One of my favorite moments of Special Needs Dads Conference South was at lunch. No it wasn’t the mere food that made my smile. Rather, it was watching a table of fathers so engrossed with talking with each other that I feared they would not have time to eat before we started the second half of the event. They were speaking fiercely. Notepads were out with hands feverishly scribbling on them.
Conversation. Shared moments. Fellowship.
It was exactly what I had hoped for when the idea for the event was envisioned in September 2019.
It’s been over two months since the conference.
I’ve been meaning to write a follow up post since the evening the event took place. I had this blog piece roughed out, but a new job (which began two weeks before the event) and other deadline oriented projects hedged this to the side.
Then the Coronavirus struck. We’ve been sheltering in place for a month and everything has been ripping along at a comfortable 150 m.p.h.
But with this brave new world upon us, I can tell you that the vibrancy of that day has not been diminished in my memory. Only enhanced.
I can’t thank everyone enough. Our speakers who came and shared insight and experience and massive information.
Jim McCarten brought a tremendous amount of data and information critical to us as our children grow up. Scott Sowers, Martin Cowen and Ben Thames opened their hearts to us and Paul Batchelor shared his techniques and ideas on coping with behavior.
Our presenting sponsor Ignite, FCC not only served up the best coffee in Georgia, but did it with a welcoming smile and Heritage Christian Church which so graciously let us use the space at no cost.
VertiKal Life Magazine and The Citizen gave us great media coverage. The Special Father’s Network provided free literature, books and the awesome coins you all remarked about so much. There were many other sponsors including Vicky Kijanksi, Frances Stewart, Jack and Linda Maguire, Shane Madden and Stephen Feather.
I am looking forward to having a second conference in 2021 and will continue to keep this website up and running and its social media apps.
But, what’s next, many of you have asked me. Is there a support group developing? An event for Special Needs Dads? Do you have a meeting planned? Are you going to make it a 501C3? have a board?
That is in many ways up to you.
What will you do? Will you grow a seed in your own community? How will things look a year from now?
With our lives and communities in the special needs world as well as life itself in this pandemic, anything is possible.