On Saturday, April 8, the Upper School Community Service Board held its 45th annual Special Day for Special People. In a fun filled celebration of pizza and dodgeball, several faculty, staff, and Upper School students came together to spend time with friends from Our Vision of Fairfield.
Founded over 45 years ago, Our Vision was realized when several parents from Fairfield County schools’ special education programs joined together to organize after-school and weekend social activities for the benefit of their children with disabilities. Today, Our Vision continues its initial purpose, with an emphasis on the Special Olympics and programming for young adults.
At GFA, Special Day for Special People is a much loved tradition. All School Service Coordinator Sue Wilchinsky said, “Hundreds of our students over the years have enjoyed meeting and interacting with our friends from Our Vision and the results are always the same - joy, joy, and more joy!”
The event began with Upper School World Languages teacher Kate Morrison's (‘83) mother, Angela VanAcker, who served as a Spanish teacher and Head of Community Service. Today, the GFA service award is named after VanAcker for students that display “initiative and commitment to community service.”
“Almost all of the people attending the Special Day from Our Vision were only eight to 10 years old when they first stepped foot inside of GFA,” Wilchinsky remarked. “Now in their late 50's and 60's, they feel that same thrill as they pass through the Coyle Gym doors as they did so many years ago.”