Story by Jessica Goldstein
The staff and residents of JSDD gathered on Tuesday November 23rd for a very special Thanksgiving Celebration. This gathering was meaningful in several ways. For one, it was the first time the residents and staff gathered in the new building. It was also a time to come together to remember a dear friend, Scott Reich. Scott loved Thanksgiving as it always fell during the week of his birthday (or on his actual birthday). Scott loved having a birthday party at the WAE Center with all his friends. While Scott’s parents have generously hosted Thanksgiving luncheon in honor of his birthday for many years, this was the second year they did so in Scott’s memory. So, this year, once again, we gathered to celebrate his life.
The tables in the social hall were filled with our members, staff and Direct Service Professionals (DSP’s). Friends were happy to see each other and catch up over a delicious meal cooked catered by Parties by Shimon.
Aubrie George, Director of the WAE Center, spoke about what joy Scott brought to the Center and his love for his friends and his smile that would light up any room all while photos of Scott played in the background.
Randy Harris is a long time WAE Center facilitator and teaches various classes that are thought provoking conversational, and literacy based such as the Men’s Group, the Able Group, Let’s Talk About Us and a poetry class. Randy’s warm and inviting personality creates meaningful relationships with all the members with whom he interacts. Randy read a poem he wrote in Scott’s honor…
Sitting with you. Being with you. You smiled. Then we’d all smile.
Cheering and celebrating your every step. You willed and steeled with determined pep.
O’ Our time with you! Our time with you!
Tales of midnight music with Springsteen.
Telling your story and watching your eyes fill with gleam.
The celebration in memory of Scott was full of love and was truly a special afternoon that everyone present will remember.