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December 5, 2002

Disabled artists show their talent

From: Lancaster Eagle Gazette, OH - 05 Dec 2002

By Jack L. Blankenship
Contributing Writer

Amy can't hear or speak.

Confined to a wheelchair because of spina bifida, Amy's life could be spent as a permanent shut-in, and deafness makes her world a silent place. But Amy has a way to communicate to others through artistic talents, and those talents soon will speak loud and clear when Fairfield Center for Disabilities holds its inaugural Christmas Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Amy isn't the only talented artist at the center. The center has approximately 25 participants who have been busy with brushes and paints.

They're hoping everyone who comes to the bazaar will see even though they have disabilities, their abilities outweigh their disabilities.

Brainstorm of this upcoming Christmas bazaar came from two eager-minded employees: Susan Haban, office manager, and Phyllis Stiltner, transportation coordinator.

"Phyllis and I thought it would be a great way to share the Christmas spirit with the employees and participants," Haban said.

Employees and participants have been very busy getting their arts and crafts ready for the very big day.

"Since November we've been making snowmen and angels," said Betty Krile, Sugar Grove, who has been coming to the center since 1982. "While painting them, it helped me get into the spirit of Christmas. I think people who will come to the center for the bazaar will see those who have disabilities have talents. They just do it in different ways."

Ed Searles, confined in his wheelchair because of his cerebral palsy, said: "I made mostly Christmas trees, snowmen and angels. It was my first time doing this and I had a really good time."

Haban says besides the center displaying the arts and crafts, there are 18 other individuals who will sell original arts and crafts.

There will be live music by Flutasia from 10 a.m. to noon, door prizes and a possible visit by Santa.

For more information, call 653-5501.

Copyright ©2002 Lancaster Eagle-Gazette. All rights reserved.