On May 1st, 2023, Comprehensive Therapy Center hosted “Read to Me Tea,” our 17th annual event to celebrate the coloring contest held by our clinic! This year’s theme was “Under the Sea.” From playful dolphins to majestic whales and colorful corals, the artwork was a testament to the talent and creativity of our clients. While caregivers had the opportunity to view their child’s artwork in a gallery-style exhibition, Michigan legislators read to children for story-time over lemonade and cookies (courtesy of Bit Baking Co). The event was a huge success, with families from all over West Michigan coming together to celebrate creativity, community, and confectionery!
An award-winning artist eagerly anticipates his prize
This year’s coloring contest drew 199 submissions from students and clinic clients across West Michigan. In this contest, every entry was a winner! In preparation for the event, gift bags were carefully hand-packed for each participant. Each goodie bag came complete with a set of greeting cards made from the child’s artwork (courtesy of Hooper Printing), two books appropriate for the child’s reading level, a fidget toy, and a Certificate of Outstanding Artistic Excellence. Upon entering the main ballroom, families were invited to find their child’s prize before taking a seat to mingle with other attendees.
The event was held at the Sweet House Foundation, which was decorated with beautiful vignettes of flowers and vintage embellishments to create an inviting atmosphere. Artwork was displayed throughout the venue— so much so that we nearly ran out of frames! Families and legislators alike were thrilled to see the artwork on display, and caregivers were proud to see their children’s hard work being recognized.
Art vs. The Artist: “Gotcha!” by Justus
While the families perused the gallery at their leisure, Michigan legislators cozied up in book nooks for story-time. What made this event even more special was the opportunity for families with developmentally different children to connect with legislators in an environment they normally wouldn’t have access to. This event was a unique platform for families to communicate with each other and their elected officials.
Representative Luke Meerman narrating a Dr. Suess classic
Comprehensive Therapy Center is grateful to not only the legislators that volunteered their time for a good cause, but to our sponsors who made this event possible. The Sweet House Foundation graciously allowed us to use their beautiful event space, and Bit Baking Co. really delivered on bringing the sweets to the house! Hooper Printing generously donated their time and materials to help us create greeting cards that participating families will cherish for years to come. Last, but certainly not least, we are indebted to Warner Norcross + Judd and Independent Bank for their charitable contributions that brought this event to fruition.
2023’s edition of Read to Me Tea was a testament to the importance of imagination and advocacy, and it left hosts and attendees alike with a sense of accomplishment and recognition. It was heartening to see people from all over West Michigan coming together to celebrate the creativity of children. Comprehensive Therapy Center is so honored to have had the distinguished opportunity to celebrate our participants and caregivers— we can’t wait to see how your child’s imagination grows by the time we host next year’s coloring contest!
To our dedicated elected officials who spent invaluable face-to-face time with their constituents:
Wendy Nystrom, Senator Debbie Stabenow office
Abby Klomparens, the West Michigan Regional Coordinator for Senator Gary Peters
State Representative Luke Meerman
State Representative John Fitzgerald
State Representative Carol Glanville
… and to the amazing Sweet House Foundation for providing us a beautiful space for the event.
Click through the gallery below to see how the event went!