S.T.A.R.S Spring Luncheon Highlights

Autism blocksWe attended the 5th Annual S.T.A.R.S. Spring Luncheon at St. Denis Party Center in Chardon, Saturday, April 14. This is a fantastic fundraiser put on by Kim Rataiczak and many others who volunteer their time and effort. The luncheon was followed by a Chinese auction, 50/50 raffles, and many door prizes. All proceeds from this great event go back into the S.T.A.R.S. program, school outings, and classroom supplies (including iPads). Two years ago, the funds allowed the students to take part in horse riding at Fieldstone Therapeutic Riding Center. I had a chance to go to one of the lessons the kids had. What a wonderful program and a great opportunity for these children to experience something that may never have been possible apart from this fundraiser.

Every year there are great items on hand as part of the Chinese auction; everything from Cleveland Indians, Lake County Captains, and Lake Erie Monsters tickets, to spa baskets, tickets to the Metro Park Zoo, along with items donated by local retailers and individuals. Other great items, such as dog training from Tall Pines and gift certificates to plenty of our local restaurants, were also donated. There were also gift baskets and some cool “Crayon Art” made by the students in the S.T.A.R.S. program.

As usual, I bought more tickets than I anticipated since there was so much to choose from. With the tickets I put in, I was fortunate enough to win a fantastic purple basket with a cup cake theme – and this thing is big! It’s filled with so many goodies from cupcake stickers to cupcake mix, cupcake pillow, etc. There is so much in this basket I could fill an article trying to list it all! I won this for my one and a half year old niece, and I can’t wait to give it to her. The generosity of the items donated was truly awesome.

I look forward to this great luncheon every year, and I hope to see many more parents get involved with their children and school functions. All proceeds are going to OUR children!

Please consider attending this important annual event next year to enjoy a great lunch and lots of fun.

Rachel Dannemiller
Author: Rachel Dannemiller

Rachel is a lifelong resident of Geauga County. She is married to Tom and has a son Jason, and a dog named Harley. Rachel and her family are devoted to bringing autism awareness to the community and they are organizing the local Autism Speaks event in Burton this year.