Williams Syndrome Association Ireland

Volunteer Testimony

 Comments from some of our camp teachers and helpers: 

“It was a pleasure and privilege to help out in some way”

“Thanks very much for inviting me back again this year”

“The amount of talent this year was huge”

“All the work and organisation behind the scenes is so obvious, as well as the love with which everything is done”

“It was great to be with everyone again”

“Congratulations on another successful year”

“Looking forward to next year already”

“I had another fantastic week, the highlight of my summer again”

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The following is a wonderful summation of what the WSAI Music/Activity camp has meant to some of the helpers since they first became involved. I think the thoughts expressed are shared by all who participate in our camp. This piece was recited by three of the helpers at the 2003 camp.

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The first time I saw that tear trickle from her face with eyes illuminating and the smile that justified what it encouraged. On Sat 20th July 2001, Ann Breen’s face left a legacy of sheer bewilderment, or should one say ecstasy, the ecstasy of friendship. Now, 2 years on, new faces, new friends, family, we are still surrounded in an abyss of awe at what happens here every year.

In 2001, we congregated as strangers outside Breen’s house. Ignorant as to what would lie in store we hit the highway, nervous, anxious, stigmatised. Lisnaskea where dreams become a reality and friends become family. An abundance of admirable, artistic aspiring stars. Mesmerised, tantalised, mind-boggled, we thank you now. We thank you for being there to hold our hands, lend support, offer that love to us, your friends.

To think of it now, the recitals, the Banana Boat, the sessions, the lessons, the sing-songs, the shows, “Joseph..”, “Paint Your Wagon” and now “Goddess” – it’s been emotional! “Goddess” – fitting isn’t it, because we know that when we’re here we’re effectively among the Gods. Gods of prime personality, Gods of stage and sound, Gods of colossal power, the power to draw us back here every year. The power to grasp, wield and grope our hearts. In the immortal words of Bryan Adams – ‘Look into my eyes and you will see, what you mean to me”. You’ve touched my heart, you’ve touched my soul. You, being the most benevolent, astute, astounding, heart-pounding friends that one could ever unveil.

Life back in Ballinasloe never really induced that spine-tingling sensation. Lisnaskea, where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came. There has never been a malevolent moment or niggling itch during our camp. We admire your spirit. We admire your confidence and courage. But most of all we admire this eternal flame that ye have lit! A flame that will never quench and will burn bright in our hearts and souls for years to come. And now as we stand among you, wielding our heads high, we feel proud, honoured and educated to have been a part of this jubilant journey…but more, much more than this, we did it our way!!

Penned by Niamh Riddell, Fergal D’Arcy, Aoife Gavin
July 2003