A Bright Light That Is Missed

This Saturday is our GiGi’s Fitness Acceptance Challenge, and while we are very excited, the day is bittersweet.  This was the day that we lost our dear friend, Sara Rogers, 1 year ago. Like every event we’ve had this past year, we’ve felt the absence of the joy and celebration that Sara brought into the room. We miss the bright unique light that Sara was.  She made us all feel special and important, as if our voices truly mattered.  She made us feel like it was ok to say how we felt and that we could be honest and not worry about what others thought. She taught us that breaks were important and that taking time for ourselves was not selfish. She was the definition of integrity.  What she felt was what she did.  What she said was what she believed.  She wasn’t afraid to share her weaknesses, which made her even stronger.  She celebrated our musical abilities and made us feel comfortable to dance and express ourselves.  Every voice and every performance were remarkable, and Sara held a safe space for us to express ourselves freely.  To say we’ve experienced a loss is an understatement. It’s very seldom that someone comes along like this and focuses their time and attention upon you, and when that is taken away it can never be replaced or forgotten, and its absence is deeply felt.

Stephen Ballow, an adult who attends GiGi’s Playhouse, reflects on his time spent with Sara and what she meant to him and so many others.  He also created a picture that is a tribute to Sara.  It hangs on our stage at GiGi’s Playhouse, reminding us all to sing, dance, and celebrate this life.

“Sara Rogers meant a lot to me and to everyone else she knew because she has inspired so many lives and she was also one of the greatest singers that I have met. She had a love of karaoke and loved singing and she did it with a passion.  Even through the pandemic she proved to others that she could still continue her profession and her love for music. The very first time I met the talented Sara Rogers, it was October of 2020 and we were singing and dancing to our own version of some popular Halloween songs. My favorite memory of Sarah Rogers was when we did karaoke back in Winter of 2021 and we were singing and dancing to some popular songs and she told me “Great job, I love your singing”.   Sara was a big hearted person with a wonderful personality that’s so huge that no one can ever replace the woman that has touched our lives with a kind heart.


Recent Posts

Segregated Educational Settings Are Not Beneficial for Students with Down Syndrome

Executive Director, Emily Mondschein, was recently featured in the Buffalo News for her thoughts on inclusion for students with Down syndrome. Check out her story...

Inclusion of Students With Down Syndrome

After years of hard work, our Executive Director, Emily Mondschein, was invited to the nation's capitol to discuss the inclusion of students with Down syndrome...

coming soon

Coming Soon

Leave a Comment