Thank You Letter from Richard Reilly

GiGi’s NYC was honored to receive a thank you letter following our 5th Annual Fashion Show from Richard Reilly, long-time GiGi’s NYC community member and grandfather to beloved participant, Louis. We were so moved that we decided to share it with the rest of our amazing community:

Louis with his grandmother and mother at GiGi’s NYC 5th Annual Fashion Show

Dear Friends,

The Fashion Show! Wow! An event to remember. This grateful grandfather thanks all who participated and those who made it happen – and for the invitation.

Marilee and I drove into the City from Connecticut, across the RFK and down the FDR.  Back in 2011 the bridge was called the Triborough, and we drove in many times during that November and December, as volunteers for the search committee to help find a location to put GiGi’s Playhouse NYC on the map.  For two exhaustive months we traversed and searched the entire island of Manhattan, finally finding a home at West 117th Street in Harlem. GiGi’s Playhouse NYC became a destination in February of 2012:  Playhouse #10. Our grandson Louis was three years old.

Fashions change, Down syndrome or not. We come in all different shapes, sizes, colors and cultures. One size doesn’t fit all. At GiGi’s Playhouse we celebrate our differences. We are helping the world see each of us at our best.

When we left the Fashion Show to get the car, we met little Noah’s family out on the busy sidewalk. We took the opportunity for a photo shoot, and praised Noah on his talented performance. I told his parents what I’ve said so many times at many Playhouses for all those touched by disability: “We treasure the successes of today, but dream of the potential of tomorrow.”

Louis is now fourteen years old, and unafraid to show his confidence and self-advocacy, thanks in great part to the positive reinforcement of the GiGi’s Playhouse community.  Thank you and congratulations to all of you – working together, building a strong quality of life for our loved ones.


Richard Reilly – The Grandparent Connection

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