Friday, February 13, 2009

Restaurant Night...A Huge Success!

Every Wednesday before Valentines day, students at the Latham School enjoy a well deserved pampering. This special night is called Restaurant Night. Students enjoy a formal five course meal to the accompaniment of soft music and lighting. The entire night, from the cooking of the food and waiting on the tables to the clearing and washing of the dishes, is done by Latham staff who give their own time for this very special occasion.

Take a look at this years PWS menu:

  • Spinach and Arugula Salad w/ Fresh Pears, Red Peppers, Capers and Drizzled w/ Light Mandarin, Sesame Dressing
  • Grilled Portabella Mushroom w/ Herbed Ricotta Cheese
  • Grilled Vegetable Lasagna w/ Carrot Puree
  • Watermelon Granita
  • Roasted Shoulder Tenderloin, Asparagus Spears, Pureed Cauliflower w/ Red Pepper Puree
  • Baked Apples w/ Whipped Topping

The evening was a huge success! The kids enjoyed themselves immensely and the staff went out of their way to please. Below is a follow up note from Eric Pleace, one of Latham’s clinicians who served as a waiter that night:

"Last night the children enjoyed a spectacular dining experience. The setting was elegant. The waitstaff were polite and responsive. The kitchen staff worked like elves and, as if by magic, these gorgeous plates of food were placed before the kids. Especially for the PWS kids - they could not believe their eyes - the portions looked huge! Their eyes said "Am I really allowed to eat all that?" And they kept coming - Six beautifully presented courses. I checked the PWS daily weights this morning - the morning after....ZERO weight gain. WOW!"

Special thanks are due to the kitchen staff and meal planners. And to everyone else who contributed to making this night such a delight - Thank You!

"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."
~Mohammed Ali

Friday, February 6, 2009

Allison's Dream Come True

Latham Centers is a strength-based program dedicated to providing excellent services. Our mission statement is focused on the individuals we serve~ "We strive to assist each individual to achieve his or her potential and become a valued member of the community."

A number of years ago when I was working in a residence with 4 individuals with PWS, I asked each one to tell me his or her dreams. Some of the items on Allison's list included to work with individuals with AIDS, get a job, and go to Ireland (the country where her parents came from). That year, Allison and I worked to achieve a few goals. Allison got a job in the community and started volunteering to help a local AIDS drop in center. Allison's commitment to volunteer in the community enriched many lives; those her volunteer services helped and her housemates who were inspired to join her. While her third goal took longer, Allison was not deterred. She worked and saved for the next few years and was able to take her dream trip to Ireland.

While I did not work with Allison in the same capacity, she chose me to support her on her trip. What a special time seeing Allison reveling in delight as she visited the town her ancestors came from and various other sites. Not only that, but Allison was also able to enjoy all the local food and only had a minimal weight gain. At one point in Allison's life she had been over 500 pounds, she was 300+ when she arrived at Latham. Her current weight is around 120 pounds. Without a program helping Allison achieve her goal weight and optimal health, she would not have been able to achieve her dreams.

Congratulations Allison!

"Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you."
~Marsha Norman