According to Easter Seals development manager Jenifer Reeve, a visit from Oakland Raider LB/LS Jon Condo is better than a holiday. For the children and young adults at an East Bay Easter Seals facility, a special visit from a professional athlete is the highlight of the year. "It gives them an experience that no one else can have. It gives them that fight to be a normal teenager," Reeve says.
Easter Seals is an organization that's been around for almost 90 years. Their mission is simple: improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. They strive to help achieve these goals for every child and their family by providing child development centers, rehabilitation centers, and job training with over 550 sites nationwide. Not only do they help on a local level, but they are strong advocates for passing legislation to improve the lives of people with disabilities in addition to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Condo's visit to the Dublin site recently was aimed at informing the kids about the importance of maintaining a healthy life through exercise and eating right - something the linebacker/long-snapper knows a little something about. Along with Condo's remarks, the visit included time for photos, autographs, and even some time to throw the ball around.
"It's always great coming out, this is my second year doing it," Condo said. "Just seeing them smile puts the biggest smile on my face. It makes you step back and look at life and realize what the important things are."
It's safe to say the folks at Easter Seals made just as much an impression on Condo as he did on them.