Jefferson Award 2012

Living one day at a time is, I believe, what everyone has in common. Each day is governed by certain activities that are accomplished daily by everyone in some fashion – eating, drinking, sleeping, etc. The other part of the day we schedule to fill in the spaces with work, recreation, caring for family members, school, appointments, meetings. It all seems rather redundant if you only think of it that way. Becoming part of many lives to help make each day better is what CATRA as well as PECAN, Inc., has allowed me to do. It has made the “Living one day at a time” so gratifying.

Each day is riddled with many difficulties for many families, for many people. CATRA, Inc., and PECAN, Inc., can bring some “normalcy” to individuals to enjoy the movement of and warnth of animals through CATRA or through PECAN, the accomplishment of art through song, dance, and the visual arts.

At CATRA each day, the impact that the animals have on the riders and volunteers is astounding. Often, I will stand back and watch a volunteer smiling to themselves while helping a rider, brushing a horse, watching goats play, petting a cat or dog and many more each day, too many to relate.

So far as PECAN, Inc., or Progressive Education of Children in the Arts, it is always on my mind. Making Celebration of Children each year can take hours of preparation between CATRA time, but the end result is always well worth it. To see children take their creativeness to the stage or a public display of their art work, and to see their pride of accomplishment is all I need to do it again the next year, and the next, and so forth.

To help tax the creative side of a child and to watch a child receive praise for their dancing despite the wheelchair or praise for their art work despite their blindness or their part in the choral group, COC Singers, despite their ability to hear or speak is what it is all about. PECAN, Inc., makes the playing level the same for all children no matter their ability or disability.

Living one day at a time requires rhythm to make it work for the better. CATRA and PECAN go hand in hand to help establish that rhythm to help people who are involved as a participant or a volunteer to become the best that they can be. I am very proud to be a part of both of these organizations not only as a founder, but as onlooker of the impact both of these organizations have had and will continue to have on many people’s lives one day at a time.

There is a sense of adventure in all of us, whether able or disabled, to add a personal accomplishment to our everyday, to instill in us a reason for being. CATRA & PECAN, and the people involved in both, help to give value to every day life. Both of these organizations help give quality to the lives of riders, volunteers, performers, and artists one day at a time. As Emerson said, “One of the most beautiful compensations in life is that no man can help another without helping himself.”