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St. Gerard House
Home of the Grotto School
March 2015

In This Issue
Contact Us
St. Gerard House
620 Oakland Street
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Book of the Month
Rain Reign by Ann Martin

Check out the Sunday Book Review article on this book on the NY times!
Connect Program
The Connect Program is open to children in elementary, middle and high school, who need a little bit of extra support in the social world.
Students do not need a diagnosis to enroll. Classes meet twice a week after school, and include a parent forum. Teachers use fun, hands-on activities, based on Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking® Curriculum, to teach specific strategies for children to use in the classroom and at home.

For more information on how to register click here or please contact our main office at 828-693-4223 or via e-mail at
Each month we want to introduce you to some of the characters that are used in the Social Thinking® Curriculum.
  • Keeps people from thinking about others.
  • Stops a person from showing interest in others or thinking about what they want to do
  • Keeps a person from asking questions bout others or contributing their own ideas to an activity
How to defeat Un-Wonderer:
  • Look at the person who is talking to let them know that you are thinking about them and what they are saying
  • Remember the Wh questions (Who, what, where, when and why) and use them to find out more about others' interests and plans
  • Create mental files of the things you know about certain people
If you or a loved one has autism and receives or needs services through a Medicaid Home and Community Based Waivers (HCBS) waiver, you should be aware of a new plan proposed that has been developed by North Carolina.

The plan is North Carolina's response to new federal guidelines affecting how the states provide services such as in-home or out-of-home residential support, day activities like supported employment or day rehabilitation, respite and family support.

North Carolina is now required to seek public input. See your options below to weigh in as an individual with autism or a caregiver and be sure to act by deadline.
You can find it by clicking here.
SGH Blessings

We have completed our One Thousand Blessings Challenge! However, we continue to be blessed and have much to be grateful for!
This month, we are very grateful for the new Hendersonville Coop. If you haven't checked it out, we encourage you to do so! Our community is fortunate to have such a wonderful coop!

Giving to SGH
Even a small contribution makes a big difference for us. Please consider a donation, a pledge, or an in-kind gift, to help us continue offering evidence based autism services in the community. And remember, we are a 501c3 non-profit, so all monetary and in-kind donations are tax-deductible! Click here to make a donation.  
Your gift will help us provide scholarships for Grotto students and Connect participants who are on the waiting list for scholarship slots.
Wish List: We have our wish list at Amazon, if you'd  like to donate to SGH in-kind. It works just like a wedding registry - you can order items to be sent straight to us! 
Take a look and see what you may be able to help us with Click here to see it!
Because of the variety of age groups we serve and the variety of programs we offer, St. Gerard House is a great place to volunteer for learning opportunities.
We are currently looking to have more support and help in the following areas:  planning fundraisers and teacher aides at our Grotto School.

We rely on over 800 hours of volunteer work every month!
If you or someone you know are interested in any of these opportunities, please call us at 828-693-4223 x 14  or send us an email:
St. Gerard House News!

Mardi Party! After rescheduling twice due to snow/winter weather, we finally had our Mardi Gras fundraiser on March 2nd. Thank you to all who attended, donated, sponsored, and supported this event. Together we raised over $23,000 for our programs!


Dave and Stacy McFarland
Duke Says Sold!
Sarah Goodpaster
Chase and the Staff at Wild Wing Cafe South AVL
Flat Rock Bakery
First Citizen's Bank
Jennifer Long
Christy Galtieri
SGH Staff and Volunteers!
All silent and live auction donors!
And all who attended the event!
Click here to see more pictures of our Mardi Party!
Upcoming  Events:
Kindergarten Readiness Rally - Get ready for Kindergarten! Join us on March 19th from 4 - 7 pm at the Blue Ridge Mall in Hendersonville. This is a free, fun and informative event to help your child get ready to succeed in school. Come meet representatives from area Kindergartens. 
Week of the Young Child - The Children & Family Resource Center will host the 4th Annual Week of the Young Child Conference on April 18, 2015. The conference will draw child care teachers, directors and other early childhood professionals and parents from Henderson, Buncombe and Transylvania Counties to Blue Ridge Community College to participate. We are looking forward to this great event!

First Words of Hope Luncheon - Our fifth annual First Words of Hope Luncheon will take place on April 22, 2015 at Blue Ridge Community College. If you are interested in participating at this event or attending please contact Bertha Medina at 693-4223.
Foot RX Run for St. Gerard House - On July 8th, St. Gerard House will be the beneficiary of a 5K. The minimum donation per runner will be $5. The theme will be a prediction run, each runner will predict their finishing time, and will not be allowed to run with a watch.  The top 3 runners who predict the closest to their actual finish time will win, regardless of actual finishing place. We hope you can join us!

Autism in the News
Spotlight On: Don Nolan

Don and his wife Ann have been living in Flat Rock for 15 years since they moved from Atlanta.  They have 5 sons and 10 beautiful grandchildren.  The Nolan's are originally from NY. Most of Don's career was spent with AETNA in the employee benefits market and finished his career managing national accounts in Atlanta.
He has been very involved in the community since he moved to Flat Rock. We are fortunate to have his help. Don's passion for the work at SGH, shines in all he does here!
Bertha: How did you get involved with SGH?
Don: Our son who lives in LA learned his first son (age 2 & 1/2 was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum. Having no knowledge of the disorder I wanted to learn how Autism can affect a child. I soon learned Autism affects not only the child but also the entire family. I had heard of SGH and the work they do to provide therapy for young children. I met with Caroline Long who is the Founder and Director of the SGH. She was very willing to share her knowledge with me. I asked if I could help somehow with the center. I began helping by finding sponsors for the 2013 annual luncheon. I continued to assist in the same role in 2014 and I also agreed to serve as a Board of Directors member. I am on the Finance committee and continue to assist with the Annual Luncheon.
Bertha: What are some of your hobbies?
Don: Playing the trumpet in the Hendersonville Community Band, playing golf, working out at the Flat Rock Fitness center- seeing movies and helping with the yard work.  
Bertha: What else are you involved with in the community?
Don: Since moving to Flat Rock I have volunteered as a "Big Brother" of a young boy who had no father. I have also been involved with the following organizations:
SCORE  ( Senior Core of Retired Executives)
Board member of the Children and Family Resource Center
Business manager of the Hendersonville Community Band
Board member of the Morris Kaplan Kiwanis Scholarship Fund
Immaculate Conception Church & The Diocese of Charlotte
Board member of the St. Gerard House
Bertha: What is your favorite part about being a Board Member?
Don: Being a contributor in improving the life of children (and their families) with Autism.  I also enjoy being part of an organization that continues to expand their services not only to those with Autism but also helping others who have issues with social skills.
Bertha: What keeps you involved with SGH?          
Don: The growth of SGH has been, and continues to enjoy rapid growth. Also I am very impressed with the leadership of Caroline Long. She is a single mother of two children who are both on the Autism Spectrum and yet she has built an organization that is successful in fighting Autism. It is exciting being able to help with this.
Feed the Need!
Ages 14 and up
Our next session begins March 23, 2015!
The Feed the Need Garden is an exciting program for young adults with Autism. Unlike other programs at St. Gerard House, Feed the Need specifically geared toward young adults and teens in order to prepare them for the working world. Feed the Need focuses on vocational, social, and daily-living skills that are not usually taught in a typical classroom setting.
Feed the Need uses a seed-to-sale philosophy, which allows participants to be involved in every aspect of an agribusiness. If you are interested in learning more about this program call Harlan Chumley (828) 693-4223 x 15
Thank you to Botanical Interests and Johnny's Selected Seeds for donating seeds to Feed the Need! Thank you also to our new greenhouse partner for generously allowing us to start seeds for the spring in their nursery: A Growing Concern. We appreciate all of your help and support!
Family Group Night
Monday: March 16, 2015, 5:30 - 7:30 pm.

Theme: Services available for families with Special Needs.
Speakers: Representatives from The Arc and Smoky Mountain Center
We'll serve a family meal (with GF/CF options) at 5:30pm, then at 6, we'll divide into break-out groups:
  • siblings (all ages)
  • child care (0-5 yo)  
  • children with special needs (6-11 yo)
  • youth with special needs (12-21 yo)
Family Group Night is open to all families experiencing special needs in Henderson and surrounding counties. Come share your stories, gather resources, and have fun! Please be on time so you don't miss out on anything!
This group meets on the 3rd Monday of every month at 5:30 at St. Gerard House, 620 Oakland St. Additional parking at Immaculata School at 711 Buncombe St.
Provided to the community free of charge by SGH and Family Support Network of WNC

St. Gerard House • 620 Oakland St. • Hendersonville, NC 28791
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