Knock autism out of the park

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I had nothing much to do this summer, except for relaxation and spending time with family. However, that all changed in an instant when I was invited by Easter Seals North Texas to come back to Dallas to support another fundraiser.

Since I like high stakes and competition, I knew what was in store for me. It was the All-Star break in Major League Baseball and on the eve of the 78th Annual All-Star game that took place in San Francisco (another one of the cities I’ve visited), the Home Run Derby was held. Eight of the best major league home run hitters compete for the title and prestige of who can hit the most balls out of the stadium.

When I first arrived in Dallas, I ran into Will Johnson, Marketing Director at Easter Seals North Texas, along with the familiar faces I’ve seen in my previous visit. They all welcomed me with open arms. Last time when I visited, it was Autism Awareness Month (April) and I was the focal point of what Easter Seals would become in the future. In this event, however, it was a Home Run Derby challenge that was open to the public where the people picked the batter they thought would win it all. I wanted to participate in this pool as well, but I was told that I was there to deliver my speech, that’s it. It was a good thing that I didn’t participate because the batter who I thought would win got eliminated in the first round. Shows how much I know.

After the eight batters swung in the first round, they showed my video on the JumboTron in the outfield of the ballpark. In other words, my story was publicized to Dallas in some way. It was a nice display to the public.

After the second round (the remaining four batters hit), it was time to deliver my speech to the people at the ballpark. I spoke on how Easter Seals changed my life and how it can bring hope into this world.

Overall, it was a great trip. I got to reconnect with old friends and meet new people, including Miss Wheelchair Texas 2007 Jackie Bartels. Since we are heading into the second half of the baseball season, I encourage you to step up to the plate and hit a home run for Easter Seals. KNOCK AUTISM OUT OF THE PARK!


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  1. Maurice Snell Says:

    Howdy to all my Lone Star Family down in Dallas! It’s great to hear from you all on my blog! Coincidentally, I was thinking about you guys today. I remember the enjoyable experience (actually both times I’ve visited) and I really enjoyed you all down there. Now the next step is getting me back in the Big-D in the future, which I know you’ll love. I can’t wait to return to Texas! So I’ll see you all again soon!

  2. Jami Hemmer Says:


    It is ALWAYS a pleasure to have you with us in Texas. Keep spoiling us! We sincerely appreciate your time traveling to the state of Texas to share your story and to educate and inspire others in such a profound way. Not only are you an amazing speaker, you are an amazing writer too! We are so blessed to have been in your presence. Thanks for all you do!
    – Jami

  3. Francy Kragle Says:

    Friend, Marice, it was wonderful having you visit us again in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. As you did before, you once again inspired our guests to support Easter Seals programs and services by telling your story about what determination, a supportive family and a little help at the right time can accomplish. Thanks again, for your entertaining company. Ralph was so pleased to have an opportunity to meet you this time. You have inspired him in his work with young boys who have Asperger’s Syndrome and other diagnoses on the Autism spectrum. We’re looking forward to your next visit.


  4. Jennifer Friesen Says:

    We feel so lucky to have had you visit us twice this year! Both times you were able to inspire people with your story and educate our community about Autism. We thank you for your time, dedication, and positive attitude. The Homerun Derby Watching Party was much more fun with you ~ thanks for making our event such a success!

  5. Will Johnson Says:

    Maurice, it sure was an honor and a pleasure to have you in the great state of Texas again for the Homerun Derby Watching Party. I want you to know that so many people were blessed and inspired by meeting you and by hearing your story. You are a truly gifted speaker and a remarkable friend to many.

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