Orlando 2000 -- Letting Kids be Kids
Day One -- Thursday, June 8, 2000Over 100 familes from 35 states and four countries met in Orlando, Florida on June 8 for the first Children with Diabetes event. Early arriving families found lingering smoke from nearby wild fires, but thankfully the smoke cleared on Thursday. Families were greated by this welcoming sign at the entrance to the Sheraton Safari Hotel, home base for Orlando 2000.
On the evening of Thursday, June 8, families registered and met each other in the ballroom, just off the pool where many had spent the afternoon. Each family received three bags of products and goodies, courtesy of our generous sponsors. Kids were thrilled by the Mickey Mouse ears provided by Thereasense, the dozens of packs of Trident gum donated by Warner-Lambert, and their special Orlando 2000 t-shirts, just to name a few. Many families wished they'd brought an extra suitcase to bring everything home!
Early in the evening on Thursday, Connie Miller presented Laura Billetdeuax with gifts in thanks for her tireless efforts in organizing Orlando 2000. Connie too received thanks for her successful efforts in raising awareness of the event, both by the many families and by MSNBC, which sent a film crew to meet and interview our families.
Behind Laura is Sonia Cooper, new President of the Children with Diabetes Foundation. Sonia spoke briefly about the goal of the foundation, which is to sponsor promising cure research from bench to bedside. On behalf of all the families, Sonia also presented Jeff and Brenda Hitchcock with Mickey Mouse watches in thanks for their many years of work running the web site.
After eating treats, checking out the goodies from our sponsors, and meeting other kids from around the country and the world, we gathered all the kids gathered together for a group photo. Many wore their new Mickey Mouse ears. All were excited, so we just took a couple pictures. We do have a brief movie showing the entire group (15 seconds, 1.3 MB). Many kids moved off to the pool, allowing parents (and grandparents) a chance to meet and chat with each other. The night came to a close around 10:00 pm with the singing talents of a few kids ushering parents out to the pool to gather up their famlies.
Photo collage of our kids with diabetes
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