“Astonishing Accolades and Resplendent October Activities as Princess Rapunzel!”
Hi, everyone! I’m so excited that it was my second favorite time of the year to be at The Arc (next to the month of December.) I love all of the Halloween themed activities and arts and crafts that we do at The Arc during October. We do so many cool Halloween activities that I have to wait until November 1st to send out the October Newsletter so I can include everything.
On Wednesday, September 26th, the thirty-seventh annual “Achievers of the Year” Banquet was held at Morgan’s Wonderland, America’s first playground for people with disabilities.
The event was co-hosted by Mr. Adam Caskey, a KSAT 12 Meteorologist and Mr. Gordon Hartman, a philanthropist and the owner and creator of Morgan’s Wonderland. This event was presented by the
CW 35, San Antonio Fox 29/35 KABB San Antonio and News 4 San Antonio television stations.
Awards are given to individuals who have accomplished a major goal such as learning to walk or communicate, getting a job in the community, or improving a basic skill.
I was totally caught off guard when I was chosen to be one of The Arc’s Achievers of the Year! I am used to writing about the other Arc Participants receiving their Achiever of the Year awards; I never thought that I would get one. I was greatly honored to have my award be presented by Mr. Adam C., Mr. Gordon H., and Mr. Michael B. (The Arc’s President and C.E.O.)
The following paragraph about myself was written by Arc Staff Member, Mr. Michael B. (The Arc’s President and C.E.O.) “To The Arc of San Antonio Family:
Tameka Hughes is editor in chief of our monthly internal newsletter. Those who have read it know the quality, the care, the excitement Tameka brings to every issue. To paraphrase her recently, as she accepted The Arc’s 2018 Achiever of the Year award on September 26th, “it’s about the people who make The Arc special.” And so, should every media product be: about the people whose stories need telling. My mom was editor of her high school newspaper…she taught me that, and she reads Tameka’s work every month!
But it’s much more than that with Tameka: it’s her labor of love and caring for everyone here, participants, staff and volunteers. It’s her passion, an expression of her gifts of careful writing, fun layout and graphics, and most importantly, her example that every one of us have special abilities which we need to share with and accept from each other.
So, since I am on deadline (another of Tameka’s gifts is that she never accepts excuses), let me finish by simply saying: On this, the publication of her 100th edition, I extend the congratulations of every member of The Arc family near and far to Tameka for her unceasing commitment to our work, our joy in each other, and to what matters most, the telling of the stories of our lives. You rock, Tameka…more to come at 200!
Mike Bennett, President, Chief Executive Officer & Publisher.”
Also, on Friday, October 5th, I was presented by Mr. Arc Staff Member: Michael B. (The Arc’s President and C.E.O.) former
(The Arc’s President and C.E.O.) Steve E. and Pam S. a trophy in celebration of the one-hundredth edition of The Arc’s Life Enrichment Program Newsletter! Honestly, if it was not for Mr. Steve, the Newsletter would not exist now. In 2015, after I had emergency gall bladder surgery, I was told by email that it was decided that the Newsletter will no longer be sent to the parents / guardians, but would be read to the classrooms because of budget cuts. I was extremely upset and I was thinking of stopping the Newsletter all together, but
Mr. Steve introduced me to Ms. Andie (The Arc’s Development Director) and found a way to e-mail the Newsletter to the parents / guardians. Mr. Steve said that the Newsletter was too important to the parents / guardians to be taken away.
This year, I chose to be Princess Rapunzel from Walt Disney’s computer animated 2010 movie, Tangled.
Loosely based on the German fairy tale “Rapunzel” in the collection of folk tales published by the Brothers Grimm, it is the fiftieth Disney animated feature film. Featuring the voices of Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi and Donna Murphy. The film tells the story of a lost, young princess with magical long blonde hair who yearns to leave her secluded tower. Against her mother’s wishes, she accepts the aid of an intruder to take her out into the world which she has never seen.
In Tangled, a drop of sunlight became a flower capable of healing illness, decay, and injury. For hundreds of years, the flower is used by Mother Gothel to retain her youth, until soldiers from a nearby kingdom, Corona, take the flower to heal their ailing queen. Shortly afterwards, the Queen gives birth to Princess Rapunzel. While attempting to recover the flower, Gothel discovers Rapunzel’s golden hair contains the flower’s healing properties, and that cutting her hair destroys its power. Gothel abducts the baby and raises her as her own daughter in an isolated tower. Once a year, the King and Queen release sky lanterns on Rapunzel’s birthday, hoping for their daughter to see them and return to her awaiting birth parents.
On the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Rapunzel requests to leave the tower and discover the source of the lanterns, but Gothel refuses, claiming that the outside world is a dangerous place. Rapunzel then asks for a special paint that will take Gothel three days’ round trip to obtain and return, and Gothel accepts. Meanwhile, a thief called Flynn Rider steals Rapunzel’s crown from the palace and inadvertently discovers the tower after ditching his allies, the Stabbington brothers, during a chase between them and palace guards. Rapunzel captures Flynn then finds and hides the crown, but is unaware of its significance. She convinces a reluctant Flynn to escort her to see the lanterns in exchange for the return of the crown, as a way to prove to Gothel that she can take care of herself in the “dangerous” outside world.
The new age of the Disney Princesses are sure of their selves. They’re very confident and they go after whatever it is that they want. So far, I have been Princess Ariel from The Little Mermaid (1989) and Queen Elsa from Frozen (2013), Princess Merida from Walt Disney’s movie, Brave (2012), and most recently Princess Elena from a production of the Disney Television Animation show named Elena of Avalor.
This month, I read Halloween stories to my fellow Arc Participants. I used my communicator, (with the help of YouTube) to read the books, BOO! by Robert Munsch, Pumpkin Town! (Or, Nothing Is Better and Worse Than Pumpkins) by Katie McKy, Spookley The Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano, a story about how being different can be very helpful. Spookley the pumpkin wasn’t round- he was…square! A very unique pumpkin delivers a special message of tolerance and self-acceptance. Arthur’s Halloween by Marc Brown and of course my favorite Halloween book: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schultz.
On Friday, October 12th, The Arc Participants had a Halloween Classroom Door Decorating Contest. My classroom named “The Press Club” (we’re responsible for making the informational flyers that are passed out and sent home with the Participants. Updating the bulletin boards around The Arc. Also, keeping the other classrooms informed about the activities that go on during the week.) I’m very proud to say that our class won the Honorable Mention Certificate! Our door was decorated bats with the words, “We are driving our teachers batty!”
On Friday October 19th, we had an Arc Class Pumpkin Decorating Contest. Our pumpkin was decorated as a three faced emoji named “Here an Emoji, There an Emoji, Everywhere an Emoji, Emoji!”
Later on, when I was at home with my mom, we watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. My favorite part of the television special is when Linus wakes, Sally furiously yells at him for making her miss the Halloween festivities and she bops him.
To finish up the month of October festivities, the other Arc Participants and I and Staff Members had a delightfully dreadful time at our annual Halloween Dance and Costume Contest on Wednesday, October 31st. I designed the song list of our dance and the individualized Halloween costume certificates for my fellow Participants and Staff Members to win. Even, Ephraim, The Arc’s (on West Avenue) resident slightly spooky ghost had a ghoulishly good time!
So, that was extremely fun and busy with month of October at The Arc of San Antonio!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I hope that you and your family had a great and safe Halloween!