Chapel Haven was honored to have the author of the moving essay, “Welcome to Holland,” join us January 18 for Chapel Haven Film Night.

Emily Perl Kingsley, far left, was the guest of honor at the Jan. 18 Film Night. She is shown here with Josh O'Neill and family, her son, Jason, and Chapel Haven President Michael Storz.

Emily Perl Kingsley, far left, was the guest of honor at the Jan. 18 Film Night. She is shown here with Josh O’Neill and family, her son, Jason, and Chapel Haven President Michael Storz.

The evening included the screening of the television movie, “Kids Like These,” written by Emily Perl Kingsley and featuring our very own community member, Josh O’Neill, as a youngster! Emily and son, Jason, attended and spoke at the event, which drew a full house.

In a “red carpet” moment, the event also included the honoring of two other Chapel Haven community members who have appeared in movies:

Dylan Kuhnhenn was recognized for appearing in the movie, "Game Change." He was joined at the film event by his father, James (at right) and Michael Storz.

Dylan Kuhnhenn was recognized for appearing in the movie, “Game Change.” He was joined at the film event by his father, James (at right) and Michael Storz.

Karl Arezzini  was featured in a documentary by Nathaniel Kahn entitled, "Lost and Found Childhood" by the Oscar-nominated Nathaniel Kahn. The film was featured at the spring 2007 Tribecca Film Festival. Karl was joined by his mom, Lynn, sister Rose, and Mike Storz.

Karl Arrezini, who was featured in a documentary about autism shown at the Tribeca Film Festival. Karl’s mother, Lynn, and sister, Rose, attended the film night.

Many thanks to Tom and Rita O’Neill for inviting Emily Perl Kingsley to our campus. Emily just retired from a fascinating career as a writer for Sesame Street. She wrote the movie, “Kids Like These,” based on her own experience as the mother of Jason, an individual with Down Syndrome. The film covers the first nine years of Jason’s life (with Josh playing Jason as a five-year-old tyke!)

Emily has won many Emmys and has been widely honored for her work. She may be best known as the author of “Welcome to Holland,” an essay she wrote in 1987 that is revered in the special needs community. Emily is retired after a longtime, award-winning career as a writer for Sesame Street.

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