EPU Memorial Update

July 22, 2009

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with Marian Karian the executive director of Exceptional Parents Unlimited and Cindy Lopez, Chole’s former program manager when she worked at EPU, regarding the memorial project being developed in Chole’s name.  To date over $6100 has been collected toward the project.  We cannot thank all of you enough for your donations to this project.

The ideas discussed were very exciting and would have pleased Chole very much.  We had the opportunity to tour the “Move Room” and it is in pretty sad shape and in need of major refurbishing.  The money donated will allow the room to become a pleasant visiting experience.  It is a project that Chole had been advocating prior to leaving EPU last February.   She felt this improvement to be a major necessity at EPU.  It will be wonderful to see her wishes become reality.

For those of you who are not familiar with the layout at EPU, when children and their families come to the center for their appointments with their interventionist, speech therapist, physical therapist or support person they wait in the “Move Room’.  There is really no waiting in the reception area when you enter EPU.  Families are directed to the “Move Room” which is located in the central core of EPU where so many wonderful things happen for the children and their families.

This large room is used by the EPU babies, their siblings, parents, grandparents, caregivers and any other folks who come to the appointments.  It is a hub of activity everyday and gets much use by the hundreds of clients seen weekly. 

The room needs play areas and activities for children of all ages as well as seating for adults.  Since there is really no programmatic funding for this type of room, the room has fallen into disrepair and needs considerable help in making it fun, comfortable and useful for the families while they wait for their appointments.  Also, as you are probably aware programs such as EPU have experienced and will be receiving considerable cutbacks in funding so donations such as this are doubly important for EPU to keep a therapeutic, functional and attractive facility.

A key feature for the room is to be art, which of course was a passion for Chole.  All of her sisters have been discussing various possibilities.  Mague for example has done several children’s murals in California as well as in Mexico.  She has offered her services which will become a focal point from which many of the other refurbishing activities will flow.  We also discussed incorporating some of Chole’s wonderful paintings in the room.

We will keep you all posted as the project evolves.  If you have ideas please send them along.

Chole’s spirit remains alive and well!

All our love !

Howard Fresno

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