Solon teen Justin Bachman isn't stopping on his quest to help others learn about tolerance.
After holding a successful Tolerance Fair in Solon in 2011, Bachman are planning to hold a much larger event in March at the I-X Center, along with aspirations to make the Tolerance Fair a national event in the future.
Bachman is a 15 year old 10th Grader who attends the Solon High School. Justin deals with a medical condition called Tourette Syndrome. This causes his body to make involuntary movements and sounds that he cannot control. Unfortunately, this has opened him up to ridicule, and he fully knows the value of tolerating and accepting the differences in others.
After being disqualified from a school cross county meet because of his Tourette Syndrome, Justin felt it was important to take action. He set a goal to expose people to the differences in others through education and involvement. His family set up a 501c3 organization called Honor Good Deeds to fund and manage this mission.
In March of 2011, Justin created and held a Tolerance Fair in Solon. He invited 48 charity and advocacy organizations to exhibit at a table to interact with fair attendees with the following goals:
- Show the importance of understanding people's differences
- Highlight ways in which people can make a difference by giving back to their surrounding community
- Highlight resources available to people who need help to cope with their differences
- Demonstrate that Solon is a city inspired to create a tolerant and accepting living environment
The fair was a tremendous success. Over 1,000 people attended, many volunteer projects were formed, and people were connected to valuable resources.
Justin is now planning the next Tolerance Fair, which will be held at the I-X Center on March 10, 2013 from 2:00pm – 7:00pm.
The fair will again feature a variety of over 100 organizations that will showcase how you and your family can become involved in making a difference. Organizations focusing on tolerance strategies will be on hand to discuss acceptance and anti-bullying techniques. Groups assisting people with a variety of medical and mental handicaps will be on hand to help people find resources. These include autism, ADHD, addiction, brain injury, dating violence, and many more.
Interactive activities including wheel chair games will be available.
Admission to the event will be free of charge and parking is free.
Our keynote speaker will be Kyle Maynard (kyle-maynard.com). Kyle is a two-time ESPY winner and has a New York Times bestseller called, No Excuses. His presentation is highly inspiring and he encourages people to bring out the best in themselves.
The fair will be promoted by a number of media and grassroots strategies. Mayor Susan Drucker from Solon has initiated a Mayor’s Initiative requesting that Mayors throughout Northeast Ohio promote and attend the fair. She has requested that each make a proclamation that the day of the fair be a day to recognize the importance of creating an environment in workplaces, schools, civic venues and all areas of public gatherings for all of us to learn to be more tolerant and accepting of others who may be different than ourselves. Many, including Mayor Frank Jackson have agreed to make this proclamation.
It is Justin’s goal to take the concept of the Tolerance Fair nation wide. He and his family will be documenting all aspects and successes to take the fair to cities. There is commitment to have another fair in Baltimore and the organization is in discussion with a major sports team in Detroit. The long-term expansion plan is to hold fairs in every major city.
For more information, visit www.HonorGoodDeeds.com/2013-Tolerance-Fair-of-Northeast-ohio