Celebrating Our Differences: 35th Anniversary Gala – Honoring Team Hoyt and Linda Hiller

Celebrating Our Differences:

35th Anniversary Gala

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Please join Understanding Our Differences
for our special 35th Anniversary Gala fundraiser to benefit our nonprofit organization



Team Hoyt – the inspirational father-son duo, Dick and Rick Hoyt, who compete together in marathons and triathlons across the country


 Linda Hiller – UOD Past President, School Coordinator, Board Member, Resource Specialist and Speaker for the Physical Disabilities Unit

Sunday, May 4, 2014
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Community Rowing
20 Nonantum Road
Brighton, MA 02135

Team Hoyt and Linda Hiller share Understanding Our Differences’ mission to educate communities to value and respect people of all abilities through school-based, interactive disability awareness programs. 

To learn more about Team Hoyt,  please visit their website at

Linda Hiller  shares her story about the rewards of speaking for the Physical Disabilities Unit. Watch now

Ellen Cohen-Kaplan  and Barb Day – Event Co-Chairs

Mayor Setti and Tassy Warren – Honorary Co-Chair

Here is a second video clip from the same show.

Understanding Our Differences

Understanding Our Differences (UOD) is a nationally recognized, award-winning program that uses a hands-on, participatory curriculum to foster respect, acceptance, and compassion for people of all abilities in elementary schools and communities at large.

The UOD approach is grounded in the belief that children are naturally curious about differences, and that accurate information can be the difference between acceptance and discrimination.

The program consists of seven different units covering a range of physical, sensory and developmental disabilities and is designed to seamlessly fit into a typical 3rd to 5th grade curriculum. The UOD program is usually taught by trained, volunteer instructors.

Understanding Our Differences is a model, interactive disability awareness curriculum that teaches children to “see the person and not the disability.” Since 1978, the program has been successfully disseminated to more than 200 schools nationwide.

The curriculum covers Blindness and Low Vision, Deafness and Hard of Hearing, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Physical Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, and Chronic Medical Conditions such as Allergic Conditions, Asthma, Diabetes, and Epilepsy.

Understanding Our Differences is a nonprofit organization and a national leader in disability awareness education.

Thank you to our Community Partners. View all>>

Can you climb to the top?

Can you Climb to the Top?

Join the National MS Society for the 4th annual Climb to the Top-Boston at the John Hancock Tower, New England’s tallest building. Participants will climb 61 floors and more than 1,200 steps! Believe it or not it takes and average person about 20 minutes to climb that high. People of all fitness levels are encouraged to participate.

Date: March 2, 2013
Time: 7 am registration / 8 am start
Location: John Hancock Tower / 200 Clarendon St, Boston, MA

Register Online Today!

The climb is timed using a chronotrack system and will have water stations along the way. There will also be an Elite and a Firefighter & Police Division.

Register by 2/25 and be entered to win a TomTom XXL530.S!

Climb to the Top raises much needed funds for the National MS Society and helps us move closer to a world free of MS.

See you at the top!

March 2, 2013
Time: 8 – 11 AM
Location: John Hancock Tower, 200 Clarendon St, Boston, MA
Registration: $35
Minimum Fundraising: $250
Register to climb or volunteer* as …

An individual participant
A member of an existing team
A team captain (set up a team)
*Registration for volunteers is closed as of February 4.

On March 2, 2013, participants will climb 61 flights of stairs to the top of the John Hancock Tower, New England’s tallest building. Climb to the Top is a unique event that raises funds to help more than 19,000 people in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont affected by multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system that has no known cause or cure. Your participation in Climb to the Top provides help for today and hope for tomorrow through education, support, advocacy, and research funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater New England Chapter.

Donate to a Participant
Campaign Progress

Donate to Event!

I also have another fundraiser coming up for the Greater New England Chapter of the National MS SocietyEdible Arrangements is giving away a $50 gift certificate – more details next week – and they will also be giving away fruit salads to the climbers on March 2! Check out I Love Newton’s post here, March Fundraisers to fight MS.

Can’t make the climb? Sign up for Muckfest !

Tango Mango Fundraiser – Eat Well and Support Journey to Safety TeenSafe

Tango Mango Fundraiser
Eat Well and Support Journey to Safety TeenSafe

Whether Tango Mango (in Newton, MA) is already a favorite of yours or you are looking for a new dining experience, please consider stopping in sometime between February 8 – 18. Just mention that you are eating to support JF&CS Journey to Safety TeenSafe, a teen dating violence prevention program, and 20% of everything you spend (pre-tax) will be donated to Journey to Safety TeenSafe.

The fundraiser was chosen for February because it’s Teen Dating Abuse Awareness Month – a good reminder that it’s important to have ongoing conversations about dating abuse with our teens.

Feel free to share this coupon with friends and family. And when you get to Tango Mango, please thank the staff for their generous support of Journey to Safety’s TeenSafe and many other organizations in the community!

It’s easy to support JF&CS Journey to Safety TeenSafe:

Encourage your neighbors to meet you at Tango Mango for lunch or dinner.

No time to cook? Choose Tango Mango take-out as often as you can – try something different each time!

Meet your friends at Tango Mango for a fun night out – they’re open until 10 Monday through Saturday and until 9 pm on Sundays.

Tweet while you eat! Let all your friends know how delicious Tango Mango is using Twitter.

Like us on Facebook.

Personally, Tango Mango is a family favorite – especially on those nights when activities overlap and time is at a premium…so almost every night. My kids would eat there every day but then I would be deprived of the challenge of trying to find a dinner everyone likes and you know I love a challenge.

Library Love at the Newton Free Library

Here is link to a recent write-up about the Newton Free Library Benefit in the Boston Globe West Weekly Section.

Spring Fling Authors 2011

A very long time ago, a young mother joined a committee. She was newish at this and did not realize that committees are everywhere but that is another story. This committee helped raise money for the local library and that was good. So she worked on the committee and the library raised more money (for technology) each year and that was also good. Each year the event hosted new authors and more people came to the event and it is now held in the very beautiful library. The young mother is oldish now and still loves the library.

The benefit this year is being held on March 26, 6:30-10 pm at the Newton Free Library, 330 Homer Street, Newton, Massachusetts. The always interesting Tom Ashbrook of NPR’s On Point will be a featured speaker and the inimitable William Novak will present the authors. We are lucky to have such a wonderful group of authors each year and this year is no exception.

Here are our Spring Fling authors and we hope you plan to join us at Spring Fling, Saturday, March 26th, as we honor their literary contributions.
Let’s Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship
By Caldwell, Gail
2010-08 – Random House

In this gorgeous, moving memoir, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Caldwell reflects on her own coming-of-age in midlife, as she learns to open herself to the power and healing of sharing her life with a best friend. …More

A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--And a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression A Secret Gift: How One Man’s Kindness–And a Trove of Letters–Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression
By Gup, Ted
2010-10 – Penguin Press
An inspiring account of America at its worst–and Americans at their best–woven from the stories of Depression-era families who were helped by gifts from the author’s generous and secretive grandfather. More

By Harding, Paul
2009-01 – Bellevue Literary Press
2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner An astonishing first novel of memory, consciousness, and man’s place in the natural world. …More

Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, the Murders, and the Judgment of Mankind Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, the Murders, and the Judgment of Mankind
By Watson, Bruce
2007-08 – Viking Books
In the first full-length narrative of the case in thirty years, Bruce Watson unwinds a gripping tale that opens with anarchist bombs going off in a posh Washington, D.C., neighborhood and concludes with worldwide outrage over the execution of the good shoemaker and the poor fish peddler. Sacco and Vanzetti mines deep archives and new sources, unveiling fresh details about these naive dreamers and militant revolutionaries. This case still haunts the American imagination. Authoritative and engrossing, Sacco and Vanzetti will capture fans of true crime books and everyone who enjoys riveting American history. …More
No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale
By Frankel, Felice C.
Author Whitesides, George M.
2009-11 – Belknap Press
“No Small Matter” uses dazzling images and evocative descriptions to reveal the virtually invisible possibilities of nanoscience. Authors Frankel and Whitesides offer an overview of recent scientific advances that have contributed to this ever-shrinking microtechnology. …More

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