Donna Adams

For many of us the weekends are a time for rest and relaxation; but for Donna Adams and her family, it's literally a celebration! Donna is the owner of Special Moments Wedding & Party Planning in Pontiac, IL. which specializes in creating themed weddings. Working out of her home allows Donna to be close to her family and they, in turn, have helped make her business a success.

Donnas' husband, who is skilled at carpentry, designs and build sets, backgrounds and props. Her immediate and extended family assist her in setting up the table arrangements and other specialty items for weddings and parties. This family support, coupled with the flexibility of working from home, allows Donna to have assistance on days when her Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis make it difficult for her to complete certain tasks.

Donna had always been employed in careers where she had demonstrated the ability to be creative and help others. She started out working in restaurants and bartending. From there she worked as an Activities Associate with Alzheimer patients and then as a Certified Nursing Assistant. In 1997 she began having significant back pain and fatigue. As a result she was not able to continue working and didn't know what her future held.

In 2009, Donna visited the Division of Rehabilitation and began working with Vocational Counselor, Lynn Trovillion, in the Bloomington Field Office. As the counseling relationship developed it was identified that Donna had participated in many activities through work and hobbies that were creative. One of those activities was helping to plan weddings, a hobby that Donna watched her mother do when she was younger. With the assistance and support from Lynn, Donna successfully completed all required course work to receive her certification as a wedding planner and obtain her food sanitation certificate.

Lynn also referred Donna to SCORE (Counselors for America's Small Businesses). Through SCORE, Donna was able to connect with some other, more experienced wedding planners, develop a detailed business plan, and connect with a small business operator who gave her space and supplies in a craft store. Together, DRS and SCORE helped Donna design business cards, an eye catching portfolio, learn successful advertising methods and get some needed business management software. Soon after, Special Moments Wedding & Party Planning was opened for business.

Donna knows that without the support of DRS and the continued support and assistance from her family, she would not be able to live her dream. She has completed several weddings already and has had a steady stream of referrals. She loves what she does, especially building a relationship with the bride and groom as she helps them to plan their special day. She feels that she is able to assist the happy couple with designing around their idea of the perfect day and to keep the event within a budget they can afford.

Donna is hopeful that someday she can expand her wedding and party planning business. Donna is thankful for the support, guidance and encouragement that she has received from DRS and her family. Donna states, "You must have courage to be willing to live your dream; age does not matter. Keep trying and become good at self-advocacy. I recommend the services that DRS offers to anyone!"

To learn more, call 1-877-761-9780 Voice, 1-866-264-2149 TTY, (312) 957-4881 VP, or read about DRS's Services. Refer yourself or someone else for services using the online Rehabilitation Services Web Referral.