Watching Maurice at work

Last Friday night I attended an Easter Seals event where our 2007 adult representative Maurice Snell played a prominent role — as presenter of an award to one of our leading corporate partners, Safeway.

Maurice stood at the podium in front of hundreds of people and was in complete control — of himself and especially the crowd. While his part was scripted and on a teleprompter, he ad-libbed like a pro, even cracking a joke about how much more handsome he was behind the podium than on the televised image on the big screens in the room.

Knowing that most people are very frightened at the thought of public speaking, especially with glaring lights and television cameras, I could not stop thinking about what a remarkable and wonderful thing it was, watching this young man with autism literally control the crowd with his mastery and his personality.

Maurice’s performance also reinforced the power of early diagnosis and treatment. More and more, we need to work together to find ways to increase the availability of early diagnosis and early intervention. The results, as demonstrated by Maurice’s performance, are indisputable.


Maurice and former adult representative Chad Cunningham

Maurice and his family tell their own story. Take a look for yourself. I hope that we can get video of his performance last week up on the web for you to see. You’ll be incredibly impressed … as I was!


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  1. Jennifer Snell Says:

    Mr. Williams,

    The Celebation Giving affair was truly a wonderful experience for Maurice and our entire family. The Easter Seals ambassadors past and present are remarkable. We were so very proud of the accomplishments of each ambassador. We also credit Easters Seals in helping us to make Maurice the person he is today.

    We also look forward to continuing our support for Easter Seals. We believe in Easter Seals!

    The Snell Family

  2. Jim Williams Says:

    Every word of praise is well deserved, Maurice. You really “wowed” the audience. I have no doubt that you will continue to develop your skills and that you will influence and teach many, many more people. As our former representative Lindsey Connelly liked to say, “You rock, man!!”

  3. Larree Renda Says:

    As the person from Safeway that Maurice introduced, I have to tell you I was absolutely awestruck by him. Maurice is an intelligent, confident and accomplished young man who has charm and wit beyond what most people dream of. He had the audience in “stitches” and in tears. Maurice is a wonderful testament to not only what early diagnosis and treatment can accomplish but also what power there is in the support from Easter Seals. I am proud to work for a company who sees the value of helping this wonderful organization and receives satisfaction from seeing the potential our fundraising has for transforming the lives of people with disabilities. Thank you for allowing us this privilege.

  4. Maurice Snell Says:

    This is a great blog about me, Mr. Williams. I, for one am flattered with all those things you said about me. You’re right; I am a man in my own way and I won’t let a common disorder stop me. I’ll do what it takes to please many more people in the upcoming years!

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