In this Issue: 
President's Message:  

FREE Webinar! ABLE Act: EnABLE Savings for Life

New Year, New You! Special Needs Mom...Super Hero

Congratulations to Gigi's Playhouse


President's Message:
I LOVE to hear good news! Don't you? There is so much good news in this world, and we just don't hear enough about it!

In this issue, you will learn more about the ABLE Act savings accounts. We are giving you access to a link to listen to a webinar we recently presented a long with other professionals on the topic. You will also read about several individuals and groups that are making the world a better place.  I'm so proud of all of them!

Several of you have asked how the training of my pups is going with Tails for Life. It is progressing nicely, and both Darby and Delaney love to work hard.  I'll have some videos to show how far they have progressed in the next issue. I will share that they both especially love the "BACK UP" command.  Of course, Darby does a little dance as he backs up, and Delaney acts as her little princess self as she backs up so daintily.
Here is a picture of one of the assistants at Tails for Life, Ana, who Delaney has fallen in love with (and I think it is vice versa)!

Enjoy this issue, and please feel free to send us YOUR good news.

Warm Regards,

Mary Anne Ehlert,
President & Founder

Watch a Replay of the Webinar!

"The ABLE Act: EnABLE Savings for Life"

If you are ready to save tax-free on expenses for your loved one with a disability, without losing government benefits-learn about the advantages of the new ABLE Act (which amends Section 529 of the IRS Code) and if it's right for you.

Go to our website
and click the "Watch Now!" link at the bottom of the homepage
Special Guest Speakers:
Mary Anne Ehlert, Special Olympics Illinois; President & Founder, Protected Tomorrows, Inc.
Karen Milligan , Special Olympics Illinois 
Brian Rubin, Rubin Law, A Professional Corporation
Benji Rubin, Rubin Law, A Professional Corporation
Chasse Rehwinkel, Illinois State Treasurer's Office

Topics covered
  • What is an ABLE account?
  • Impact to other resources/government benefits
  • How much can you save?
  • What type of accounts are allowed?
  • How to set up you account
  • Qualified Expenses

New Year, New You!!

Special Needs Mom... Super Hero

Recharge Yourself in 2017...
Being a mom of child with special needs takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work, not to mention caring for the rest of the family and managing the household...So how do you take care of everything and everyone and still take time to take care of yourself and recharge?  Remember, being your best means you are doing the best for your family. You don't have to be supermom, just wear your cape once in a while!

Does this article look similar to you?
Raising a Child with Special Needs: What About Your Needs?   from

Breathe...take care of yourself

Gigi's Playhouse

Congratualtions! Nancy Gianni, founder of GiGi's Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers Wins CNN Heroes!!!

12 years ago, Nancy Gianni envisioned a better world, one full of potential and acceptance.
That is when the first GiGi's Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center opened. Open to all, GiGi's is a place for families and the community to learn about and celebrate the diagnosis of DS and benefit from free therapeutic and educational programs that unleash one's "Best of All". Today there are 31 free-standing Playhouses throughout the United States and Mexico serving more than 25,000 participants and families. Programs are offered 100% free to all families so that cost will never be a barrier to achievement and acceptance. Going beyond Down syndrome, Nancy's vision for global acceptance for ALL comes to life through GiGi's Playhouse and the Generation G  campaign.              
                                                                                          Read the whole article here

Discover a Gigi's Playhouse in your local community

We will be presenting with Gigi's Parent University, Workshop #2
in Hoffman Estates, on March 4th, 2017 10:00 am -12:00pm

We'd Love to Hear Your GOOD NEWS!

Everyone likes to hear good news. Protected Tomorrows wants to hear your good news. Have you, your family, or your child, experienced success with a project, won a recent grant, overcome a long fought hardship or have a personal experience you'd like to share?  
Please submit your story to Protected Tomorrows. Sharing your story of good news can offer hope, excitement and encouragement to others.

Here's our first one..

Have you heard the good news about the JJ's Disability Awareness Players?

They were started as part of - the for disability awareness - in 2009.  Since then the Players have trained more than 6000 staff of companies and organizations on how to interact comfortably and confidently with people who have disabilities!   Ninety-eight percent of audiences who have participated in the Trainings would recommend the experience to other businesses. Among Training recipients are Baxter Healthcare, Cigna Healthspring, Discover Financial, Shedd Aquarium, Brookfield Zoo, the Art Institute of Chicago and many more. The organization was founded by JJ Hanley to help businesses do a better job welcoming individuals as customers and employees in their businesses.

The Disability Awareness Players
are all individuals with a variety of disabilities
who are passionate about their mission to
educate others and raise awareness for people
with disabilities.


Please share your Good News! stories
Send to Barb Gier

Join Us! 

March 4       Gigi's Playhouse Workshop #2
                   Hoffman Estates
                   John Hersey High School, Arlington Heights, IL
March 11      Marianjoy/American Association of Pediatrics
                   Wheaton, IL
                   Joliet, IL
March 21      School District 202-NEXT STEPS
                   Plainfield, IL 
March 25     Accessibility Summit 
                   Vienna, VA
March 26     Abilities Expo
                   Los Angeles, CA
April 8         Gigi's Playhouse Workshop #3
                  Hoffman Estates, IL 
April 11       Kimberly Area Wisconsin School District
                  Kimberly, WI
April 11       Options Fair-College of Lake County
                  Grayslake, IL
April 25       Township High School District 211 Transition Fair
                  Palatine High School, Palatine, IL
April 27       NSSEO - Miner School
                  Miner School, Arlington Heights, IL
April 28       Illinois Next Steps
                  Champaign, IL
For more dates and areas click here
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