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Winter 2003 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

As we start 2003, DateAble is finally settled into our new office.  If you haven't seen the new office yet, stop by for one of the discussion or movie nights or even just stop by to say "hello." 


For DateAble, 2002 was an interesting year for our membership.  The amount of new members has declined despite our efforts to spread the word about DateAble.  Fewer members means fewer matchmaking opportunities for you.  In this New Year, help us to spread the message and mission of DateAble.  Word of mouth advertising is one of our best chances of increasing the membership.  You have the power to share your positive experiences about DateAble with your family, friends, and co-workers.  If you belong to a professional organization or group, please contact me and I'll assist you with sharing DateAble information with your colleagues.  If you haven't attended an event in a while, please give us another try.  DateAble member Leonard Weirich gave DateAble another chance and was pleasantly surprised when he unexpectedly attended the holiday party.  Read his article on page four for more information.


While our current membership isn't increasing as much as we would like, DateAble has a lot to celebrate.  We're planning a DateAble Reunion Party for early-April where all past and present members can gather with some potential members to honor and celebrate the friendships, relationships, and marriages sparked by DateAble.  Please checkout the calendar for more information. 


As I always say, get involved.  This is your DateAble so share it with someone today!


When was the last time you visited the DateAble website?  The website is updated more frequently than ever before thanks to the help of a new friend.  If you need a place to surf the 'net, stop by the DateAble office and use the cybercafe.  The cybercafe is open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:30am until 3:30pm.  Just a reminder, the cybercafe is not a computer skills training session and you are expected to have knowledge for using a computer and the Internet.



The DateAble / Making Connections Holiday Party


By Leonard Weirich, DateAble Member


It was a party enjoyed by one and all.  Even I enjoyed the party, although I had originally planned to be elsewhere on the night of December 13th.  However, I reconsidered and made my way to the Leland Community Center.  I was planning to go to a Christmas dance at the Margaret Schweinhart Senior Center, but when my ex-girlfriend Carol Hebelrand mentioned that her boyfriend Steve Brend was coming along, I decided to go to the DateAble holiday party instead.  I ran into a longtime friend of mine, Neal Della Torre, two new friends, Shannon Lyons and her boyfriend Evan Rosen, a longtime buddy from junior high, Craig Freitag, and longtime friend, Dina Bergman.  I enjoyed the DateAble and Making Connections holiday party very much, although I attended on short notice.


Editor's Note: Thank you Leonard for contributing to the newsletter.  Members are welcome to contribute story ideas and articles to the newsletter.  Just call the DateAble office and we'll get you started.




Tell Your Story

By David Bauer, DateAble Associate

What would you tell a mother or father who have a child with a disability?  How can your experience with a disability help a parent trying to understand how a disability will affect the happiness of their child?  Write an essay for these parents and earn $125 for your essay.

“Guidelines For A Different Journey:  Personal Stories for Parents by Adults with Disabilities” will be a book of essays written by adults with a disability.  The authors will write an essay that they wish their own parents had read or been told while they were growing up. 

John Kemp, Executive Director of Half the Planet, is a coauthor of the book. Stanley D. Klein, co-editor of You Will Dream New Dreams, a collection of personal stories by parents of children with disabilities, is co-editor.

Half the Planet Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports the application of technology to promote the values of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - independent living, social inclusion, equality of opportunity, economic self-sufficiency, and empowerment.  Visit their website at

Essay guidelines are as follows:

 1.  Please write an essay of about 1500 words, or less.  Add a biography of about 150 words, or less, that would follow the essay in the book.   At the end of the essay, please write your mailing address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail.

2.  Please submit your essay as an attachment in Microsoft Word to an e-mail or paste your essay into the body of your e-mail.  Send e-mail

3.   If you submit your essay by regular mail, please double space the text.  If at all possible, please also submit the essay on a computer disk as well.  Please label each page of your printed essay and the disk with your name and address.  Please send the printed copy and disc to:

Stanley D. Klein, Ph.D., DisABILITIESBOOKS, Inc., and P.O. Box 470715, Brookline, MA  02447-0715.
Deadline:  All essays must be received by
February 15, 2003.



Calendar Creations

Valentine's Day Dance

Join us for this annual event that celebrates friendship and romance.  The event will be held on February 8, 2003 at the party room at the Pavilion Apartments in Rockville from 6:00pm-9:00pm.  Please RSVP by February 6, 2003.  The cost of the event is $10.  See the calendar of events for more information.

ADA & You Seminar

Are you tired of not getting into restaurants, bookstores, or theaters?  Join us for this interesting and informative seminar on how to make the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA) work for you.  Enact positive change in your life by participating in this seminar led by some of the ADA's most knowledgeable advocates.  The seminar is January 8, 2003 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rockville from 7:00pm-9:00pm.  See the calendar of events for more information.



Ms. Wheelchair Maryland

By Gregg Donaldson, DateAble Member

 DateAble again hosted the annual Ms. Wheelchair Maryland 2003 gala event.  The gala was once again held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rockville, Maryland on November 17, 2002.  The gala was emceed by Mr. Roy Morgan, Deputy Director of United Cerebral Palsy Association (UCPA) in Washington, DC.  This year brought five contestants from around the state to the event.  The contestants were Marlene Hendler of Catonsville, Keona Jackson of Gaithersburg, Joy Limo of Glynn Oak, Jennifer Rechsteiner of Bowie, and Juilette Rizzo of North Bethesda.

The ladies participated in a weekend of seminars and interviews before the crowning gala.  Contestants presented their platforms through a series of speeches earlier in the weekend.  All five ladies presented very important platforms and are very accomplished women.  Here are two examples of the platforms presented:  Jennifer Rechsteiner's Platform: Accessibility in Maryland's places of business: shopping, entertainment, etc.  People with disabilities need to enjoy all that society has to offer.  Juliette Rizzo's Platform: To educate policy makers, people with disabilities, service providers, and employers about the necessity of workplace personal assistance services.


One of the highlights of the gala was the judge's questions.  Each contestant was asked two questions, one serious and one lighthearted.  This reporter thought they were clever and innovative questions.  The questions ranged from "How would you plan a surprise event?" to "What is your most embarrassing moment?" and "If you could be your favorite farm animal, what would that be and why?"  The answers were very entertaining.  As the judges deliberated who would be the next Ms. Wheelchair Maryland, the current Junior Miss Wheelchair Maryland,


Christen Yarbrough, and Ms. Wheelchair Maryland, Nadia Massuda, shared with the audience some of their wonderful experiences during their reign.  Then the new titleholders were announced; Jennifer Rechsteiner of Bowie was selected Ms. Wheelchair Maryland 2003 and the First Runner-Up title went to Juilette Rizzo of North Bethesda.


Jennifer Rechsteiner is married, the mother of two children, and works full-time.  She has a B.S. degree in Sociology, a M.A. Degree in Counseling Psychology, and is a Women's Executive Leadership Program graduate.  Jennifer is active in several disability-related committees and organizations.


 For Women Only...

Here is a suggestion for our Northern Virginia women members (or any female member who is interested).  DateAble member Carolyn Bayne has come up with a wonderful idea for a women’s group within DateAble.  She would like this group to meet on a fairly regular basis to have lunch, socialize and discuss issues pertinent to women.  The group could also participate in volunteer activities that would benefit those less fortunate (i.e., homeless shelters, nursing homes, etc.).  If this sounds appealing to you and if you are a female member, call Carolyn at 703-922-6873.

Editor's Note: The male members of DateAble are welcome and encouraged to form their own group with similar objectives.  Share your ideas at the next Dateable event.



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Last Updated: 07/30/2007