Bretton and his pre-teen brother, Gregory, “stared at the tickets in disbelief when they were shown to them,” said Teri Donaldson, the executive director of The Futures Foundation, which provides grants to people with disabilities who receive services from the Macomb-Oakland Regional Center which has office in Clinton Township and Auburn Hills.
“GG (Gregory) clapped and laughed and Bretton just stared at the tickets with a big smile,” Donaldson said. “Bretton promised to send me a video of the Sept. 15.”
Recipients of Futures Foundation grants – which are given out the first of May, August and November -- are chosen by a committee made up of MORC employees.
Bill Barron of Holly, never went fishing. He received money to go to Camp Skyline in Almont in Macomb County where he’d had the chance to catch the first fish of his life.
He attended camp from June 9 to June 13. Besides fishing, Barron did crafts, sang songs around the campfire and made lots of new friends.
“It was the best time of my life,” he said. Barron can’t wait to return to camp next year.
Amy DeKeyser of Waterford Township competed in the Michigan Victory Games at Michigan State University from May 16 to May 19 via a grant. Among the 60 athletes from several states, DeKeyser won a first-place ribbon in Bocce ball, second place in precision discus throw and third in a relay race which tests a wheelchair user’s skill in running an obstacle course.
DeKeyser is a mentor to others with disabilities at MORC. She also volunteers three days a week at the senior community of Canterbury on the Lake in Waterford, working with patients in hospice and with Alzheimer’s.
Other grant recipients include Victoria Danyluk, 10, and her brother, Corey, 8, of Troy who learned to swim at Aqua-Tots in Rochester. The process was slow. They first put their faces in water, then were taught to float and succeeded in swimming in the pool.
Jerry Wolffe is the Writer in Residence & Advocate at Large at the Macomb-Oakland Regional Center. He can be reached at 586-263-8950. To Donate to The Futures Foundation, call 586-464-2610.
Senior Bill Barron of Holly holds crafts he made while attending Camp Skyline in Almont where he had the chance to fish for the first time in his life.