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Erie County children with disabilities honored through movie premeire

The Erie County Board of Developmental Disabilities is hosting a virtual movie premiere honoring the talents and creativity of children with disabilities.
The Erie County Board of Developmental Disabilities is hosting a virtual movie premiere...
The Erie County Board of Developmental Disabilities is hosting a virtual movie premiere honoring the talents and creativity of children with disabilities.(Jack Bassett)
Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 9:27 PM EDT
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SANDUSKY, Ohio (WTVG) - The red carpet is being rolled out to honor Erie County’s most special residents with “A Night to Shine.”

“I guess the biggest thing about “A Night to Shine” is we want to put the disabilities kind of on that back burner,” said Erie County’s Board of Developmental Disabilities Occupational Therapist Jessi Cray-Smith. “We wanted to showcase these kids for the amazing kids that they are.”

Each March, staff with Erie County’s Board of Developmental Disabilities, honor the star power of kids with disabilities with “A Night to Shine. The event which was canceled completely last year is now being reimagined as a virtual film screening. Board of Developmental Disabilities employees created a movie showcasing the talents, traits, and smiles of newborns, all the way up to 3-year-olds across the county.

“They’re just kids and they want to have fun and show what they can do and be like everyone else,” said Cray-Smith.

The Sandusky-based organization helps families understand what services are available to them, while also offering advice on how to navigate through life with a disability.

“All of it is just so unknown and it’s nice to know I have them in my corner,” said mom Jade Fouse.

“You’re not prepared to have a kid, let alone a kid with a disability,” said mom Olivia Fisher.

Mom’s who have children with disabilities explain the simple gesture of seeing their kids on the silver screen goes a long way.

“There might be a time where my kids can’t do football or basketball and participate in sports where they get recognized for and get awards... things like that or banquets,” said Fisher. “So this event really gives my kids an opportunity to shine.”

“At one point it will be a big deal, it will make her feel special,” said Fouse. “It’s her way of feeling that yes she may be different but she’s special.

8-month-old leading lady Jaydie under the care of her mom Jade Fouse is showing the world who she is. Born with a heart condition, and not expected to survive birth Jaydie’s family says the support of the board of developmental disabilities is showing her she can do whatever she sets her mind to.

“When a baby is born sick, they don’t realize that they are sick,” said Fouse.”They don’t know what are our normal is so she just wants to do everything just like everybody else.

You can watch the premiere of “A Night to Shine” on Help Me Grow of Erie County’s Facebook page.

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