For the past 8 years, Sunshine Village has worked with the City of Chicopee to recognize April being “Autism Awareness Month.” We “lit” a blue light for the first couple of years– and then for the past few years, we have raised an autism flag outside of City Hall – where it flies throughout the month. This year, Chicopee Mayor John Vieau hosted another flag raising ceremony – during which time he presented Sunshine Village with a proclamation recognizing April at “World Autism Awareness Month.” City Treasurer Marie Laflamme, who serves on the Board of Directors at Sunshine Village, accepted the proclamation with Gina Kos, Executive Director.
Renovations are underway at City Hall – and once the Mayor’s Hallway is open – we will be able to “paint” the hallway blue – with pictures created by the talented artists at Sunshine Village. This artwork is always enjoyed by the employees at City Hall as well as visitors – and is a great way to not only promote acceptance of people with differing abilities – but also to encourage inclusion and acceptance.
Although clients of Sunshine Village were not able to make the annual visit, Rob Montero, Suzanne Wegrzyn and Jenny Galat joined Gina is visiting with both the Mayor and the Treasurer, bringing autism themed gifts to their offices so they could be shared with staff and City Hall guests. This is a wonderful tradition that the organization hopes to continue – especially next year – when everyone will be able to attend the celebratory activities!