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Friends of Tennessee's Babies with Special Needs

Friends of Tennessee's Babies with Special Needs Quarterly
April 2021

Each quarter we'll highlight how we're working to enhance the potential of infants and young children with special needs by offering support to their families and the early intervention professionals who serve them...Because Babies Can't Wait!

Current Events

Welcome to 2021!  It has officially been a year since the COVID pandemic started and radically changed all of our lives.  We have all learned many things during this year-long struggle, but what stands out the most is how to unite together to make a positive impact on our precious families!  We are so proud of how our Friends, staff, Board, and volunteers have gone exceedingly above and beyond to provide support and services to our babies and their families.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Our 2021 Event Calendar is full of events that reflect safety, family fun, and flexibility for families to network with other families and have bonding time with each other. 
On March 27th, we launched our first annual Easter Egg Hunt at Mane Support in Rockwood, TN, a non-profit organization that offers equine- assisted grief counseling to children, youth, teens, and adults.  The founder and CEO, Kim Henry, worked so very hard to make this a special and peaceful day for our families, in spite of the storms and rain.  Families enjoyed goody bags, crafts, pictures with the Easter Bunny, hunting for eggs in the spacious barn, and petting and loving the horses and ponies!  Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers who helped make this a fabulous fun day for all!
The Bill Williams Fishing Tournament on March 27th was a huge success with the most registered boats in the 20 year history – 118!!!  Thank you to all of the sponsors, fishermen, and volunteers who made this event possible!  Proceeds benefit FOT Babies and other deserving organizations.
Zoo Day on April 10th at Zoo Knoxville.  Over 700 were able to come enjoy a day at the Zoo!  Thank you to all of our volunteers who welcomed families with smiles!

Upcoming Events

For more information – www.fotbabies.org

Chandler Farm Day on April 24th for our families and children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Mother’s Day Campaign – Do you want to honor your mother or another special person in your life on Mother’s Day?  Read the touching story of Resilience about Haylie and her special daughter, Hayden, featured on our Mother’s Day card this year.  For the story and ordering information, go to www.fotbabies.org and click on Events.       
Happy Gilmore Junior Open Golf Tournament – July 12-14, 2021
We are extremely excited to announce the Inaugural HG Junior Golf Tournament at the Sevierville Golf Club in Sevierville, TN. this summer!  Now open for registration to golfers ages 3-18 years!  Features Long Drive Competition and Skills Challenge, Top 5 place/Top 10 recognition, Championship belts, Door prizes.  All proceeds benefit FOT Babies.
To register: https://teamhappygilmore.com/junior-open
The Annual Lindsey Nelson Golf Tournament has changed its date and location.  It will be held on August 3rd at the Dead Horse Lake Golf Course in Knoxville, TN.  For more information, go to www.fotbabies.org  

Volunteers

A core part of our support to babies and young children with special needs, their families, and the professionals who serve them relies on volunteers to make our programs and events a success. Are you interested in volunteering with Friends of Tennessee's Babies with Special Needs? Register today Because Babies Can't Wait!
Volunteer Today

Your Contributions in Action 

These 18 month old triplets were dangerously climbing on everything and the parents were desperate to keep them safe!  They asked FOT to purchase them this special Pickler Triangle with a ramp.  The parents now report that this is the most used item in their home.  They are taking turns on the ramp and learning body awareness as they each explore in different ways.  “Thank you, FOT!!!”

Friends Spotlight

FOT would like to say “THANK YOU” to two very special people who have together given over 50 years of service to Early Intervention and children with special needs.
Our Director of Programs, Teresa McMahan, officially retired at the end of December 2020.  Teresa has been an outstanding Director, effectively establishing and implementing programs and policies that grow support and services for our families, and she did it with a gentle, kind, and positive spirit.  We will miss her greatly!
Janet Caldwell-Swann, our finance manager, also retired at the end of December 2020.  Janet very ably and efficiently managed the finances and bookkeeping so FOT can continue to provide the needed resources to our families.  She has devoted her life to helping children with special needs and we will greatly miss her sweet presence in our office. 
Our new Director of Programs is Robin Hamrick.  Robin had the privilege of mentoring under Teresa McMahan for two years before stepping into her new role.  She has worked in the field of Special Education for over 30 years and as the Event Coordinator for FOT since 2009.  We welcome her!
Kristin Alm
Phebe Starkey
We would also like to welcome 2 new members to our Board of Directors. Kristin and Phebe bring a lot of skills and knowledge to the Board and are eager to serve in any way they can that will benefit our families.  Our new Board Chairperson is Jackie Campbell, Vice Chair is Melissa Goin, Secretary is Lynn Andrick, and Treasurer is Susie McCamy.  Thank you to all of these members as they assume their new roles on our Board.   

The Family Feedback Corner

“FOT helped us get a Nugget couch that now provides a safe space for our son to fall and crash into.  It also has provided ways for us to incorporate activities he does in OT at home more easily.  Thank you so much for helping our family!”
“They provided what my child needed to help her with her oral skills. Gave our family one less thing to worry about!”
“I got custody of my nephew and I didn’t have the right car seat. He had out grown the one he had and we didn’t have the money for a new one.  FOT got one for us!  Thank you so much!”
“We have twins.  One has sensory issues and the other was born with cleft lip/palate and has muscle weakness. The z-vibes will help improve their eating quality.”
“We received a car seat that would fit my child after he had a medical emergency that made him unable to use his car seat. We're now able to go grocery shopping and appointments.”

Become a Friend

Many miracles are happening everyday with Friends of TN’s Babies with Special Needs and the many families we serve.  Please consider being a part of these miracles by becoming a monthly donor.  If you are interested in joining our circle of Friends, please contact our volunteer Executive Director, Don Thompson at 865-603-2581.
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