LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Stephanie’s Day 2014 was held Saturday on the CBS lot in Studio City.
More than 5,000 kids and their parents participated.
This was the fourth Stephanie’s Day held at CBS Radford. The event — a resource fair for children with special needs and their families — ran from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“This is the happiest place on Earth, right now,” said one participant, echoing the sentiment of many.
“It’s very special to see all the little kids here and enjoying themselves, and having the parents be able to find out what they can do for their kids,” said mom Debbie Drake.
CBS2’s Health Reporter Lisa Sigell attended the festivities with more than 50 organizations providing fun for the kids and information for their parents.
There was food, music, dance, face-painting and lots of resources for parents on new breakthroughs, advice and networking.
She said it’s a day where acceptance is key.
VIDEO: The 8 p.m. KCAL9 Version
VIDEO: The 6 p.m. CBS2 Version
“The parents get a chance to exchange information and to talk about what we’re going through,” said father Damone Farris, “You feel like you’re not alone.”
The event is named for Stephanie Mauldin, daughter of CBS2 and KCAL 9 President and General Manager Steve Mauldin.
Stephanie was diagnosed with autism at an early age. Sigell said she was all smiles and all hugs today.
“She was quite the greeter,” Sigell reported.
“We’re all in this together,” said Steve Mauldin, “It’s named Stephanie’s Day, but it’s not about Stephanie, It’s about children like Stephanie, and families like ours.”
His wife Sheilah Mauldin, concurred.
“I’m just always overwhelmed,” she said, “You just realize the need for this, not just here but everywhere. It just gets real emotional every single time.”
“And smiles are everywhere,” Steve Mauldin said, “They’re everywhere.”