Oddchester: Wine. Roses. Beer. Consider the possibilities
Craft beer tastings. Can't-miss cuisine. The Wall of Craft Beer. Silent and live auctions. Also, craft beer.
Imagine each of the sentences, above, set in its own hip, cool font (think Type Noir and Revla Sans). And now imagine those sentences printed on a glossy postcard with a cool logo for Wine & Roses (& Craft Beer) on it.
Because this is your save the date.
On April 28, PossAbilities will hold its 14th annual Wine & Roses fundraiser .
Wait. Make that Wine & Roses & Craft Beer.
This year, PossAbilities has kept the best parts of its long-successful event, then made it better by doing the two things that make everything better.
They made it cheaper. And they added beer.
PossAbilities, for those of you unfamiliar with the outstanding Rochester nonprofit, serves children and adults with disabilities through a variety of programs, including jobs, recreation and volunteering opportunities for more than 600 individuals and their families.
Sure, Wine & Roses & Craft Beer will feature all of the cool things you expect from one of Rochester's top-notch fundraisers. Good food (trust us, we were part of the tasting group), raffles and a silent auction (bid on a two-hour sailing cruise on Lake Pepin!), a live auction (bid on good seats for Guns N' Roses!).
But, like with all of these events, it's really about the people you'll help.
People like Angie, who, although paralyzed on her left side, recently landed a job labeling test tubes for Mayo Clinic. Or Conrad, who lived at home — rarely left the house — before joining PossAbilities in 1999 at age 44 and now lives on his own and works at Madonna Towers. Or Melanie, whose coworkers from Home Depot presented her with a customized Star Wars apron on her 10th anniversary.
People like Nick Dibble and his son, Adrian.
In 2008, the Dibbles were in month four of a first pregnancy, when you can't wait to announce to everyone you're expecting your first kid. Or kids. Twin boys.
That first-kid excitement, though, quickly turned to first-kid concerns.
"There were complications," says Nick. "There just wasn't a lot of good news regarding the health of our twins."
Adrian and Blaise arrived prematurely, week 28. Adrian weighed 2 pounds 9 ounces. Blaise weighed 1 pound.
Every day was a fight for survival. Blaise lost his fight on Day 135, the day after Christmas.
Over the next few months, the family stayed by Adrian's side in Saint Mary's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, never sure if he'd make it another day.
After nearly five months, they brought Adrian home. But he missed major milestone after major milestone. Those seemingly set-in-stone ages when your kid should crawl. Or talk. Or walk.
"The extent and to what degree of Adrian's disability wasn't really known," says Nick.
The stress of caring for a child with a disability took its toll on the couple. Nick started raising Adrian as a single dad shortly after his son's third birthday.
Adrian was fighting seizures. He wouldn't sleep for three or four days at a time.
Nick was working at Mayo Clinic, finishing his bachelor's degree, caring for Adrian.
"My only goal," says Nick, "was to be the best dad to him that I possibly could be."
Early in 2011, Nick enrolled Adrian in PossAbilities' Youth Rec program.
"The Youth Rec program is wonderful," says Nick. "It gives Adrian an opportunity to experience activities with individuals at his same ability level while being with staff who are caring and compassionate."
Throughout his week at PossAbilities, Adrian swims in the Y pool and jumps on the trampoline at JETS Gymnastics.
"We can be bitter and mad at what life throws at us or we can move forward and make ourselves better through the adversity each of us face," says Nick. "The opportunity to know and raise my son has forever changed me."
And PossAbilities, he says, has forever changed his son.
So, yeah, this is your save the date.
For the wine, and the beer, and the Guns N' Roses tickets.
And for Angie, and Conrad, and Melanie, and Adrian, and those 600 or so others.