Why I chose WRAP
As one of the finalists at the Transformations Charity Gala on Jan. 26 at Liberty Hall, Steve Maceli, owner of Maceli’s Banquet Hall and Catering, was asked why he chose to represent the Bert Nash WRAP (Working to Recognize Alternative Possibilities) school-based mental health program, which is a partnership with Lawrence and Eudora Public Schools. Here’s his response:
When I was in sixth grade, I had a lot of rage. Perhaps it was because I was going through puberty, perhaps it was because my parents were recently divorced or perhaps it was because I was beginning to recognize that I was different from the other boys. Like many of us, I was teased; however, on more than one occasion I found myself running around the classroom, screaming and crying and pushing over desks. Doesn’t sound like me does it? Or perhaps it does? I remember talking with a counselor but soon after the art teacher asked me if I would like to help him with some afternoon projects. I distinctly remember us talking about all the stuff going on in my life at the time. Looking back, I believe that his invitation was not coincidental but part of a planned intervention. This is the kind of work WRAP therapists do as part of a child’s normal school day. So why wouldn’t I support WRAP?
There is another reason why I chose WRAP. In graduate school I had two roommates who have become my chosen family. I love them both so much and am proud of them for so many reasons. It turns out that one of my roommates co-wrote the initial grant proposal to start the WRAP program while she was an MSW intern at Bert Nash. And when she graduated from KU, she became the very first WRAP therapist at the brand-new Free State High School. She was amazing. Unfortunately, Postpartum Psychosis changed her life after the birth of her first son. She eventually recovered but was never really the same. After the birth of her second son, it happened again. And just when we thought she was in the clear after the birth of her third son, her symptoms reappeared and two days later she lost her battle in Riverfront Park in North Lawrence. So it is with great honor, I compete today for the program she cherished.