Silver Linings Series: Celebrating Milestones

Silver Linings thumbnail Celebrating Milestones

For anyone who has celebrated a milestone in 2020 so far – birthdays, anniversaries, birth of a baby, graduations, and the like – you know they have been far from your typical celebrations. What the restrictions of the pandemic HAVE done for us is elevated our creativity to new levels and forced us to embrace that it's ok if traditions and memories look a little different this year. Drive by baby showers are really unique, socially distant graduations are possible and congratulations delivered through Zoom by family and friends are still delivered with love. Two of our ICAN staff and their families had wonderful silver lining moments with a high school graduation and an engagement this year – here are there stories!

Laura Trela
Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Manager

During "the COVID" we were an active family. Although these times are serious and not to be taken lightly, we as a family often face rough patches with some balance and humor - so this was no different. Our daughter, Casey, a senior at RFA, lost out on many "rights of passage" events. So we did our very best to make this time in history well historic. We held a senior ball for her and her boyfriend on our porch complete with a photo shoot and catered dinner. She graduated from RFA pandemic style. The school district held several small ceremonies allowing for a relatively normal in person graduation, but the party was a blast. We held a "curbside to go- covid inspired- socially distant grad party" at our home. It consisted of 4 stations spaced out along the curb in front of our home. People remained in their cars as they drove through the pandemic... The stations played on the phases of the corona and poked fun at some of the events of our time.  Station one was entering the pandemic - complete with a socially awkward baby pic of casey and the opportunity to take a selfie with her from 6 ft away.  Station 2 was the Tiger King/Carol Baskins phase food stop (we get our meat at Walmart LOL) - all in take out containers and served by her brother (a professional chef) in a very sanitary way.  Station three was entitled Marshalls is open!  And played off the good things in life including the desserts that she loves, namely Sno cones. Station 4 was the obligatory display of awards and senior pics and was entitled “I made it in spite of Google Classroom.” Finally we sent our guests Zooming off with a big thank you and horn beeping as Casey moves on to Keuka College this fall.

Brandi Candido
Director of Brand Management

COVID-19, as annoying as it has been to navigate, has given me more silver linings, positive experiences and opportunities, both personally and professionally, then I can even count and for that I am truly grateful. By far the most rewarding has been the opportunity to spend countless hours at home together with my college sophomore daughter, Lex, as she navigated the annoyances of her COVID journey.  Lex and I bonded over what has become the most life changing experience for me since her birth - my proposal of engagement to my girlfriend, Kim, aka Sully. 

I told Lex about my intentions on one random day when she stopped by the ICAN parking lot to bring me a coffee, and for the next several weeks, we spent all of our time planning the event, ring shopping, keeping secrets and even wedding planning (even though my soon-to-be fiance didn’t have any idea that was a “thing” yet!). Now... were the plans foolproof? NO. Did they change 100 times because of COVID-related restrictions? YES.  Were we able to share our moment with our friends and family there? Not at ALL.  


Did we end up on our back deck with home-made dinner in a make-shift romantic table for two, hidden photographer socially-distanced around the corner of the house and $6 champagne to celebrate?! HECK YES! Did we spend the evening drinking that champagne on Zoom and Facetime with our families to tell them the news?!?! WE SURE DID!

So yeah… Weirdly, I can say I got engaged during a pandemic. Proudly... I can say it was perfect and it is something we will never ever forget. 

We have created such an amazing little family and I cannot wait to make it official next year!

Thank you to all of the ICAN employees that sent in COVID-19 silver lining stories! We hope that everyone continues to recognize some of the positives to times of quarantine with family, friends, or even just yourself. At ICAN, we recognize how difficult this year has been for so many, so taking a moment to also consider some of the good that has come out of this time is so important. Despite these trying times, it is wonderful to see our employees working to keep their families together, stronger than ever!


This is the fourth post in ICAN’s Silver Linings Series. We will be sharing multiple stories of how many of our staff members have embarked on adventures, learned new skills, completed home improvement projects, made memories, became closer with their families and more as we all celebrate the upside to social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

Other ICAN Silver Linings Stories from Staff:

More Family Time

Home Improvements

Black Lives Matter