By Mary Bubala

We’re just a week away from the annual Festival of Trees.  Mary Bubala reports this event makes such a difference in so many lives.

The Kennedy Krieger Festival of Trees is about to light up the Timonium Fairgrounds, marking the start of the holiday season.  Proceeds from the event help children with neurological disorders.

One-year-old Ben Chason is enrolled in one of Kennedy Krieger’s early diagnosis research programs.  Ben showed subtle red flags for autism at only six months, but through this program, he’s making noticeable gains.

“I am a stay at home mom and I feel very confident in what this program, Little Learners, has given me and what Ben is learning from it, from the therapist he works with…I mean, it’s just been amazing to watch him blossom,” said his mom, Teri Chason.

“We work on helping the children play.  That’s one of the first priorities because once children learn to play with objects, they learn to share in their play with people,” said Dr. Rebecca Landa, Kennedy Krieger Institute.

So while we are in wonder of the season at the Festival of Trees, our attendance there is creating wonders here as children like Ben make progress and thrive.

“It raises awareness of the community about developmental disabilities and about how much hope all of us should have for these children,” Landa said.

The Festival of Trees opens November 26 and runs through November 28.  This year, it features 600 decorated trees and special appearances by Dorothy Hamill and several Baltimore Ravens players.


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