Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Keep On Moving!

We have MOMENTOUS things to celebrate now and in the coming weeks!

First, we successfully completed our $10,000 Kickstarter crowd-funding project for our new elementary school autism peer sensitivity film!  Yahooooo!!!  Special thanks to Rob Lindemann for his $500 donation.  Because of Rob and other people who believe in our Awareness-Acceptance-Empathy mission, we are able to move forward with our casting call August 5 & 6.  If you still want to donate to this project, we will gladly accept your donation via our website or by mail and will be happy to honor the rewards promised through the Kickstarter campaign at the $25, $100, and $1,000 levels.

Second, Denise and I are excited to be meeting with University of Wisconsin-Whitewater professors Simone DeVore and Brooke Winchell next month to discuss the findings of their research study on our elementary school interventions.  This was a HUGE undertaking, spanning almost three years and involving over 1,200 participants.  We hope to have some insights to share at our annual Member Appreciation Night on August 9th!

FinallyGood Friend, Inc., celebrates is 6th "birthday" on August 10th.  Our "party" is wrapped up as part of our annual Member Appreciation Night on August 9th, when we'll raise our cupcakes to last fiscal year's Top Fundraiser, Dani Rossa, and Good Friend in Education Award winner Miranda Probst.  Plan to join us that Friday evening from 7-8:30 p.m. at Steinhafels in Waukesha! 

This football, autographed by Aaron Rodgers, will be up for auction!  Let Denise know you're coming by August 2nd, please.  And feel free to bring guests!

We appreciate your continued support as we work together to create cultures of acceptance in our schools!  (And it's not too early to schedule fall services for staff and students, by the way.)

Monday, July 15, 2013

TICK TOCK: Less than two days remain!

We are now in the hourly countdown of our KICKSTARTER crowd-funding campaign!  With some additional donations made to our website and by check by Benny B., Pamme W., Les & Jeannette S., and others, I was able to post a large pledge for "We ALL Fit".  We are now in a mad dash to find $6,400.  Donations made via Amazon payments (with a credit card or Amazon account) are tax-deductible, minus the value of any reward a backer chooses (if any).

Watch the 3:40 video at!
Will you please share this project with at least five people and/or businesses today?  Apparently, 30 days is too short a time to tell prospective backers about the value of this film!  But if we don't raise all $10K, we get NOTHING.

Special thanks to $100 backers Megan Dabols, Jackie Dorshorst, Shelly Dretzka, Jake Gould, and Jane Menheer!

In anticipation of the film being fully-funded, we have scheduled open auditions in Waukesha!  Choose which session you'd like to attend: Monday, August 5, from 4 to 7 p.m., or Tuesday, August 6, from noon to 3 p.m.  Each audition should only take a few minutes, but you may have to wait.  Since we're looking for quite a few students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in addition to children of typical neurology, if you have a kiddo who can't wait for his or her audition, please contact me (414-510-0385) to set up a specific appointment.  We'll be upstairs in the Training Center of Citizens Bank of Mukwonago (Waukesha office).  Check out the Facebook event for more information.

We're so glad you're with us every step of the way for this elementary school peer sensitivity film!

Monday, July 8, 2013

You Are Invited

You are invited to make a difference.  You are invited to be an inspiration.  You are invited to celebrate friendship.  You are invited to participate!

So far, 21 of you have accepted our invitation to participate in backing our new autism peer sensitivity film, "We ALL Fit".  Special thanks to $100 backers Kim Braatz, Jessica Lowney, Mike Rubingh, and Melanie Walsh!  While the KICKSTARTER campaign is currently reflecting $1,585 in pledges, I have another $600 here from donors who've mailed checks.  THANK YOU!  That puts our project at nearly 22% funded, and we only have a week left of this campaign!  If we don't get $10,000 in pledges by the morning of July 17, the pledges made will not be collected.  So PLEASE -- if you are able to participate by pledging, sharing the campaign via word-of-mouth, email, or social media, or both, DO SO NOW.  This is not a Save-the-Date, but an urgent plea!  Here's the shortened URL:

Good Friend co-founder Denise Schamens invited me to help her make our first video more than six years ago.  She and I have developed a rather productive synergy over the short but impactful life of our nonprofit organization.  Without the distractions of home, I managed to get the script written while on vacation, bouncing ideas off her as inspired.  Now Denise is making her final reviews before we release the script to the critique of a broader audience.  That means open auditions are coming soon!  I can tell you that this will be a LARGE cast, and we're looking for a group of some 20 children ages 5-11 (mostly 10- to 11-year-olds), diverse in both their neurology and ethnicity.  We'll also need a few adults.  For details as they're released, join the open Facebook group, Theatre Auditions for Southeastern Wisconsin.  You are invited to audition!

Friday, August 9, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., will be our 6th annual dessert reception Member Appreciation Night at Steinhafels' Community Room in Waukesha, Wis.  Don't let the name fool you -- you don't have to be a member to celebrate with us!  We will be honoring a very special student from Park Lawn Elementary School (Oconomowoc) who embodies our Good Friend autism awareness-acceptance-empathy message.  There will be entertainment, goodies, and information about our organization.  If you're someone who thinks our schools should be places where we foster healthy social-emotional development, you should plan to attend!  Paper invitations will be mailed to our members automatically.  If you want to be included on the mailing list, email me your address.

We also invite you to join Team Good Friend for Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin's Dylan's Run/Walk!  The event is on Sunday, Sept. 8, but we need to get our team squared away by Wednesday, August 7!  We have appreciated the support of ASSEW for our first two films, as well as for all they've done for our community.  This event has been fun to participate in ... and then stay for Indian Summer Festival.

What invitations will you accept??