Rockville, MD—TLC—The Treatment and Learning Centers’ (TLC) hosted their first Fall Luncheon fundraiser themed “Celebrating Our Story” on October 16, 2012 at the Gaithersburg Marriott at Washingtonian Center. Special guests, families, friends of TLC and staff gathered to commemorate the successes of TLC’s important mission — to improve lives and expand possibilities for individuals with special needs. Laura Evans, Fox 5 News, served as Master of Ceremonies speaking personally about her connection to a family with a student at TLC’s Katherine Thomas School (KTS). KTS is an independent day school for students in preschool through twelfth grade with moderate to severe language and learning disabilities and/or high-functioning autism.
More than 100 guests attended TLC’s Fall Luncheon including Isaiah Leggett, County Executive of Montgomery County; Charles L. Short, Special Assistant to the County Executive; Ken Reichard, Assistant to Senator Ben Cardin; and Jay Kenney, Chief of Aging and Disabilities at Montgomery’s County’s Department of Health and Human Services.
TLC parent Jennifer Polkes spoke about coming to TLC six years ago with her then preschool-aged son for an occupational therapy evaluation and continuing with occupational and speech therapy and counseling services. “For the hour he is with his therapists, he says ‘I am the luckiest kid in the world.’ There was a time when the whole world was scary for Hunter. We couldn’t get him to leave the house except to come to TLC,” Jennifer’s moving words provided an emotional insight into parenting a child with autism.
Christine Giraudo and her daughter Sabrina, KTS High School Senior, spoke about their experiences at KTS. “What a wealth of learning Sabrina has enjoyed at KTS. …we as a family are enormously grateful for the wealth and depth of Sabrina’s learning at KTS,” stated Christine.
The event, raffle, and silent auction raised over $18,000 to support TLC’s programs and to provide services to families who otherwise could not afford them. “Sharing the stories of TLC’s families is one of the best parts of my job. To watch the development and growth of a child who is struggling is extraordinarily rewarding. I feel fortunate to be a part of this organization every day,” said Patricia Ritter, Ph.D., executive director. Dr. Ritter recently celebrated her 22nd anniversary with TLC.