We had the good fortune of connecting with Christine Faressa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christine, what’s the most important thing you’ve done for your children?
We did not fully understand what Autism entailed when Domenic was first diagnosed at age three, but we did know that these children were bullied and had a very hard time socially making friends. I quickly became an advocate for him and worked tirelessly to build a community around Domenic.
From its infancy as a judgement-free Supper Club where families with children on the autism spectrum could meet and have dinner to fun events and activities … Sun, Moon & Stars was created out of this need to create a community for Autism Families.
My son knows that he will see his friends at each of our events and programs. Whether it be our adaptive soccer team, The Watertown Stars, our Montly Lego Club, Haunted Halloween or Letters to Santa … all of the children have developed friendships and enjoy each others company.
Domenic is now ten and through our tireless advocacy and support … has friends, plays sports, enjoys so many activities and truly lives his best life.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
From early on, I always understood and believed that your personal actions dictated your worth. I never wanted to be told I was worth “such and such” per hour. I discovered ‘Sales’ just after I married and never looked back. A career in Medical Device Sales took quite a bit of time and energy but I found myself in a very rewarding field where I made a nice living by helping others.
Motherhood was put a bit on the back burner. Waiting until the the age of 38 to start a family is not exactly ideal After much hardship, our beautiful son Domenic was born. Motherhood … wonderful, terrifying, exhilarating and exhausting … all at the same time! Learning the fine art of balance was a very real struggle, especially when a child has special needs.
Domenic was diagnosed with Autism at age three and our only thought was fear. Fear of the unknown and fear for his future. The only thing we knew about Autism was that the kids were bullied and had a very hard time making friends. This was when the seeds that became Sun, Moon & Stars were formed. I consider myself a “doer” and when I see any kind of problem or hardship, my goal is to find what needs to be done.
These seeds grew into a successful non-profit that “services” 25 to 30 families in the greater Watertown and surrounding areas. We provide a support system along with fun activities, events and programs that help our families and their children have fun while forming friendships. Using my sales and networking skills, my focus was to work within our local community to form partnerships and collaborations while relentlessly promoting autism awareness, acceptance and inclusion.
Now, at age ten, our son has a wide circle of friends that are accepting of each other and enjoy spending time together. We are so very grateful of how our community, friends and families have come together to support Sun, Moon & Stars, Inc.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Connecticut is a very interesting little state with a lot to offer!!!
We could take tour of the Litchfield Hills and head over to Kent, CT. Fun and eclectic shopping with great restaurants and a lovely coffee shop … not to mention hiking at Kent Falls State Park.
Or we could head down to Mystic, CT … amazing history at Mystic Seaport, great restaurants with a scenic downtown area. And then of course there is the famous Mystic Aquarium with its Beluga Whales.
We could also hit New Haven, CT and catch a play at the Shubert Theater and then of course grab some world famous Pizza on Wooster Street … Pepe’s or Modern Pizza.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My dedication goes to Abbi Nori Nelson. Not only is she one of my oldest and most cherished friends, she is also an invaluable sounding board. Abbi has a no nonsense approach to life that she approaches with zeal. This quality along with her creativity have allowed us to continue growing and expanding our vision for Sun, Moon & Stars, Inc. This tiny passion project has turned into something quite special, which could not have happened with her insight.