UC woman to ‘Star’ at event

UC woman to ‘Star’ at event
UC woman to ‘Star’ at event | UC woman to ‘Star’ at event

Clorissa Wyatt
Clorissa Wyatt of Union City will serve Community Developmental Services (CDS) as the Tennessee representative at the 55th annual Telethon of Stars this weekend in Paducah, Ky.
CDS serves people with intellectual disabilities who live in Obion, Lake, Weakley, Henry and Carroll counties.
Through CDS’ day program, Miss Wyatt is able to learn new skills, socialize with her peers and participate in her community in a way that others in the past have only dreamed of doing. Telethon dollars support the agency and allow Miss Wyatt to grow beyond what was expected of her, according to CDS executive director Cathy Cate.
“When meeting Clorissa, one will notice her sweet smile and her desire to meet you,” according to a telethon bio from CDS. “Clorissa greets everyone, making them feel like they are the only person in the room. She asks about one’s children or parents, showing her genuine concern for others. Clorissa will share about her family and will offer a warm hug or pat on the shoulder. Relationships with her friends give Clorissa joy. Most of her friends know her as ‘Sissa’ and she enjoys making new friends at any opportunity. Everyone likes to be around Clorissa since she is a good friend, kind and helpful, wanting to please others.”
Miss Wyatt lives in Union City with her mother and stepfather, Sandra and Johnny McTurner. Her father is Billy Wyatt, also of Union City.
Her sister and brother-in-law, Serena and John Blanton, live in Martin with their son and daughter, and Miss Wyatt’s extended family plays a vital role in her life as well. Family has great meaning to Miss Wyatt, who enjoys their company, CDS staff said.
“Home life for Clorissa is a true blessing to her,” according to the bio. “She understands the value of her parents and is always willing to help them out whenever she can. Clorissa enjoys helping around the house, dusting, putting dishes away and setting the table. Watching television, listening to her radio and Bill Gaither tapes and spending time with all her family are favorite activities. Clorissa loves shredding paper by hand — she can spend hours sitting in the floor shredding paper into tiny bits. Indulging in simple pleasures can have such a positive impact on a person.”
Miss Wyatt began attending CDS in 1994 after she completed school at Miles Center and Lake Road in Union City. She trained at the Union City Vocational Rehabilitation program during her school years.
At CDS, she is learning to develop her eye hand coordination through Wii game play. Another job she really enjoys is crushing cans and recycling is a way to contribute to the care of the environment and increase a sense of purpose.
She also understands the importance of keeping an active lifestyle by participating in exercise and enjoys making seasonal crafts, listening to music, working puzzles, drawing and participating in cooking activities.
“Whenever Clorissa sees a need, she is up and willing to open doors, hang coats, get a chair, find materials or whatever is needed by someone,” CDS staff said.
Miss Wyatt is also very involved with her church family. She attends services with her family at Stanley’s Chapel United Methodist Church near Union City, where her church family is also involved in helping out with the telethon.
“Though the church is small in numbers, they are giant in terms of effort,” according to CDS. “They have contributed many hours and dollars for the telethon. The church body is well aware of the importance of the work CDS does in our five-county region and serve as strong supporters. They see how much Clorissa benefits from the day program and their fundraising talents are encouraged by her progress.
“Clorissa and her family have attended and supported the telethon for many years. Clorissa always looks forward to being there and seeing all the stars. She and her brother-in-law, John, enjoy being on camera, presenting the Stanley’s Chapel contribution and Clorissa’s contribution she has gathered from family and friends.”
This year will be Miss Wyatt’s time to shine as CDS’ “Star” at the telethon.
“Through her attendance at CDS, Clorissa has become more independent in all areas of her life, making her family very happy,” according to CDS. “Her shining smile and gentle confidence serve as a wonderful testament to the achievements obtained through CDS.”
Published in The Messenger 11.9.11

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