It is with bittersweet emotions that I announce that I will no longer be organizing the events for “Patty’s Kids.” Ryan Olson has already started with the transition of the voluntary task and plans to continue to do so. I still however, plan on chaperoning as often as I’m available.
For those of you who don’t know, “Patty’s Kids” was formed when Patty Brown, a former Special Ed teacher, passed away from cancer. Prior to the naming of the group, Patty began chaperoning & organizing the events for dances for students in our Special Ed program. She along with parents, would arrange dinner, pictures, appropriate attire, and of course, participation at the dances.
Photo of Jared and Alexis submitted by Ann Meller
I began helping Patty 17 years ago, thus, eliminating the need for the parents to tag along. When Patty became sick, I began to continue her tradition. After her death, it only seemed appropriate to name the group after her.
“Patty’s Closet”, was also formed after her passing, to honor Patty and her generosity. Eventually the group of party goers grew from just a select number of brave students, to groups as large as 27.
Many colleagues have assisted in chaperoning, and even peers and ISIC students have joined on a yearly occasion. It is a great tribute to Patty Brown that her actions have continued to grow and blossom.
I truly believe this is a valuable resource for students in our department. Without the assistance of staff to organize a group outing, and chaperon some of our most physically and cognitively challenged students, many of them would not experience this great opportunity.
Please continue to promote the participation of “Patty’s Kids” to parents and students. I am confident Ryan Olson will assist in honoring this tradition that was implemented many years ago.
Thanks for all of your support over the years.
P.s. At this time, I still plan on running “Patty’s Closet”.;)”