Have A Heart cookie promotion will benefit the Arc

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 4 March 2021 at 10:41 am

Medina business raising funds during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Nicole Tuohey, right, and her mom Mary Lou stand in front of the store window at Case-Nic Cookies in Medina, which advertises a promotion they are doing during March to benefit the Arc of Genesee Orleans.

MEDINA – Mary Lou Tuohey and her daughter Nicole are taking advantage of March as “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month” to raise money for the Arc of Genesee Orleans, while urging people not to judge people with disabilities.

Nicole, who will be 31 in May, was born with Triple X Syndrome. Doctors told her parents at her three-week checkup that she may never walk, talk, read, write or do math.

“As of that moment, we were determined (and she has been determined) not to be labeled because of a disability,” Mary Lou said. “Labels are for soup cans, not for people.”

Nicole has done all of what the doctors said she wouldn’t do – and more. She has danced with Miss Stephanie for 25 years. She plays baseball, bowls, rides a horse, swims and rides a bike. She volunteers for events at the Arc and in the fall of the year, she makes paper links, which she sells and hooks together to form a chain down Main Street – all to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. She has walked in all 21 of the Arc runs in Medina.

This is third year Nicole and her mom have sponsored their “Have a Heart” campaign to benefit the Arc. To promote their campaign, Mary Lou, who owns Case-Nic Cookies, baked two heart-shaped cookies – one with red frosting and the other frosted pink with a bite taken out of it. The object is to show, that while the cookies look different, they are the same – they are made with the same ingredients, rolled out the same, cut the same and taste the same.

Such is the case of a person with a disability. They may not do things the way other people do, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong. It means there are other ways to accomplish the same goal.

Nicole, who attended the Arc’s Rainbow Preschool from age three months to five years, currently attends Day Hab at the Arc.

To show their support for the Arc, the heart-shaped cookies are for sale at Case-Nic Cookies for $1 each through the end of March. All the money raised will be donated directly to the Arc for programs assisting individuals who are part of the Arc. Cookies can be purchased at the store or ordered by calling (585) 798-1676.

Case-Nic Cookies is also sponsoring a basket raffle through March 16. Mary Lou has designed the event to adhere to Covid restrictions. Baskets are on display in Case-Nic’s window. A table outside the door has a box of envelopes in which there is a form listing all the baskets and a plastic bag with a pen and ticket stub from a sheet of raffle tickets. Each sheet has 26 tickets and after indicating on the form how many tickets the buyer wants placed in each basket, they include their $10 per sheet with the form in the envelope and drop in through the mail slot in the door.

As a reminder, Mary Lou asks everyone to remember, “Until you have walked in the shoes of those with a disability, don’t judge them by the way they look, the way do something or the way they might communicate their needs. They are a person, just like you. They have feelings, they deserve respect and they deserve to be included.”