In The News

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Weis family’s Hannah & Friends foundation celebrates 10 years of success

By Rustin Dodd

For nearly 10 years, Charlie and Maura Weis thought about this day. They would go to South Bend, Ind., drop their daughter Hannah off at her new home, and brace for tears.

For 10 years, they had planned. Maybe, Maura says, it would feel like they were dropping her off at college. One could hope. But in the end, they knew it. This would be different.

“That weekend…,” Maura says. “I was really a basketcase.”

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Happy anniversary: Charlie Weis fundraiser star-studded affair

By Matt Tait

On the 21st anniversary of their wedding night, Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis and his wife, Maura, celebrated by honoring the 10th anniversary of the charity that changed their lives.

A decade ago, the Weises started Hannah & Friends in honor of their daughter, Hannah, who struggled with developmental delays. At 12, Hannah was diagnosed with Electrical Status Epilepticus of slow wave sleep, a rare epilepsy syndrome that affects cognitive function.

The Weises wanted the best for Hannah, of course, but hoped to help others as well. Hannah & Friends was created.

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Love of running, family

by Madeline Buckley, South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND — Adams High School students Michaela Lewis and Aubrey Curl have now completed a couple of runs through the winding trails at the pastoral grounds of Hannah & Friends, carefully measuring the 3.1 miles on their GPS watches.

With one run a few weeks ago and a second Sunday, the 16-year-old runners have the course exactly right.

Now, the girls need to outline the course that rambles through grassy paths dotted with horses, goats and chickens with a measuring wheel to make the 5-kilometer distance official.

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Mission: Jobs for Adults with Autism

by Kevin Allen, South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND – It’s called the “90 percent problem” – the percentage of autistic adults who are either unemployed or underemployed.

Green Bridge Growers, a startup business at Innovation Park at Notre Dame, is working on a solution.

The company is combining a sustainable, year-round method for growing organic produce with a mission to create jobs for people with autism.

Green Bridge plans to use aquaponics — a practice for raising fish and growing vegetables together in a closed-loop system — as a model for helping people with autism find a place in the work force.

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Help us take the ‘dis’ out of disabilities

By Katie Teitgen (Director of Operations, Hannah & Friends)

Hannah and Friends is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Hannah and Friends provides support for a program called Hannah’s Helping Hands, which funds quality of life grants for Kansas, Kansas City Metropolitan area, Florida, Indiana, including the greater Michigan area, New York, and Rhode Island families that care for children and adults with special needs. The grants provide low and moderate-income families with stipends that may be used for a wide variety of supports related to their family member.

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Celebrating life, one dance at a time

October 27, 2012

by Matt Povlock

Blessed Mother Teresa once proclaimed, “Joy is prayer. Joy is strength. Joy is love. Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” Joy is radiating from Notre Dame Right to Life (RTL), as members of the club devote themselves to defending life by celebrating it. Several RTL club members recently celebrated life by participating in a night of dancing with the Hannah and Friends family.

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