The World of Mae

Ada Mae Grashow, 10

Ada Mae Grashow, 10, has Phelan McDermid Syndrome (PMS).  This rare genetic condition is caused by the deletion/mutation in the Shank 3 gene.  PMS has only been diagnosed globally in 1,800 people, and it causes life-long severe intellectual and physical disabilities.  It is often misdiagnosed as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) since it affects language, cognitive and gross motor skills.

At the age of four, Ada’s health and development began to regress.  Medical insurance would not cover all of her therapies, so the Grashow family started a foundation called The World of Mae (WOM).   It was established to help fund Ada’s needs and spread the word about Phelan-McDermid.         

According to Ada’s mother Kathryn (Katie), she receives specialized schooling.  “With World of Mae funds, we turned part of our home into a mini early learning center (Sweet Potato Academy).  It is specifically designed to be sensitive to her intellectual disabilities & medical needs, while also being a perfect setting for children between the ages of 2-5. We opened our doors in April 2018 and are grateful for the WOM community to allow us the ability to create this inclusive, respectful environment for Ada and her peers. As an early childhood educator and former kindergarten teacher and Ada’s mom, it is a dream come true to facilitate this discovery and play-based curriculum that fosters such joy in learning!  We really wanted to honor and celebrate the universal uniqueness in us all.” 

         Ada resides in Indiana Township, with her parents Katie & Jon, and two sisters, Wilhelmina, 8 and Oona, 3.   To help with Ada’s cause, the Grashow family is sponsoring a walk.  The World of Mae 5K & 1Mile FunRun will be held on October 5 at the Oregon Pavilion at North Park.  “We don’t call it a race because we truly celebrate people of all abilities and paces. Registration opens at 9:00 a.m., the 5k starts at 10:00 a.m. and the 1Mile FunRun starts at 11:00 a.m.  The courses are on the nature path so participants can enjoy the shade and beauty of the autumn foliage. We also have musicians playing every half-mile along our courses to maintain a strong sense of whimsy throughout the entire experience,” Katie said.

         For more information, on the World of Mae 5K & 1Mile Fun, visit

By Paula Green

The Creation of America 

By Weston Waite 

 The month of July figures prominently in our nation’s history, but August does as well. Coincidentally, some of the most important written when conceiving our nation were all created in the month of August, amazing right? Do you remember these from your history class?  

 The Declaration of Independence (1776) 
Anyone who celebrates the Fourth of July, should know what the Declaration of Independence is. Written by Thomas Jefferson, this is our official “break up” letter with England, sent to King George III in 1776. It lists his many tyrannical abuses, and in it, we also reassert our rights to choose our own government. I like to think of this as the metaphorical birth certificate of our country. While formally presented to the General Assembly on July 4, it wasn’t actually signed by most of the 55 men until August 2. 

 The Articles of Confederation (1776-1777, 1781) 
This document was our first shot at creating our own government. It unites the 13 colonies, not as one country, but more as an alliance, or a “league of friendship. It then only consisted of a very weak National Congress. It was not oppressive, but it was too passive. The National Congress wasn’t given the power to tax the 13 states, and so, it could not provide basic things to the states, such as an organized military. No military means no protection, and The Articles proved to be a failure after Shay’s Rebellion wreaked havoc across the land. 

 The Constitution (1787) 
The Constitution was written by James Madison and is perhaps the most well balanced and most just form of government ever created, as it blends the three main types: Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Democracy. Checks and balances prevent any of the three branches (legislative, executive, and judicial), from becoming more powerful than the rest. Otherwise, the U.S. could become a dictatorship or fall into mob rule. The Articles define what each branch can and cannot do. In addition, the Bill of Rights, consisting of 27 amendments, outlines our rights as American citizens.  

 If you’re up to the challenge, try reading the full texts of these documents. It will make you more knowledgeable about what it means to be American! 

The Fourth of July: American Independence… and France? 

Weston Waite

By Weston Waite 

We, as Americans, all (hopefully) know what The Fourth of July is all about: The struggle for American liberty and freedom, the rebellion against a tyrannical British empire,and the celebration of America as a whole, a country where we are truly free, with guaranteed rights and privileges. We’ve learned it in our history and government classes, but there is another part of the American Revolution that we fail to talk about enough, or perhaps we don’t even know about. [Read more…]

Men In Business

CLICK HERE to read this month’s feature on local Men in Business!

Women in Business

It was Leah Busque, cCo-founder of Taskrabbit, and online marketplace that matches freelance labor with demand, who said, “I’ve never thought of myself as a female engineer, or founder, or a woman in tech. I just think of myself as someone who’s passionate.” In our Women in Business section, we feature women in a variety of careers and industries from the arts to law to banking and health care. Although they and their work vary, they share something in common—a passion for what they do and for helping our community.  Northern Connection is pleased to introduce them to you.

Click here to read all about these amazing women!