Gries Brown Class of 1972
graduate, Cheryl Gries married her high school sweetheart, Clint Brown
(HHS, Class of 1971) in 1977. At
the time, Cheryl worked for Lufthansa and Clint for Cablevision.
Currently, Cheryl is a Passenger Service Representative and Clint is
Area Operations Manager.
In 1981, they were blessed with their only
child, Clinton Brown III (affectionately known as CB3), who was born
with diastrophic dysplasia, a rare form of dwarfism.
Cheryl has said that when Clinton came into their lives, she
began to look at life differently. She
and Clint spent numerous days and months in hospitals where
underwent 30 surgeries.
Throughout life, they assisted him and were by
his side as he developed skills to make his own way in a world designed
for people of taller stature. Receiving
unconditional support from family, friends, co-workers, doctors, nurses
and acquaintances, Cheryl found purpose and meaning to her life.
She found the value of giving back.
As Cheryl's friend since 9th grade,
I can honestly say she was doing just that all along, she just didn't
realize it! Cheryl's
kindness and generosity of spirit was a huge part of who she was even as
a teenager. She and
Clint taught their son, by example, to be a caring, giving and
productive human being.
Cheryl taught her son
well. The Brown's became
active with the Little People of
(LPA), a national non-profit organization that provides support,
resources and information to people of short stature and their families.
The LPA is also dedicated to improving the quality of life for
people with dwarfism throughout their lives, while celebrating with
pride Little People's contribution to social diversity
Together, Cheryl and
Clinton worked tirelessly and were able to raise well over $130,000 to
support the LPA's annual conference held this past July on the
waterfront. As a result of
Cheryl's involvement in the LPA,
has become a very active member of the
chapter. Aside from LPA, Cheryl also supported the "Little
People's Research Fund" and the
Games for the Physically Challenged.
Both of these organizations are close to Cheryl and Clint's
heart and assist people and families of individuals with physical
disabilities reach their potential.
is now a 28-year-old business analyst at Cablevision.
A young man with a huge personality, Clinton has appeared on
telethons for Variety - The Children's Charity and has won an Emmy
award as a 12 year old for his work as host for a WPIX documentary named
"Walk a Mile in My Shoes" in 1993.
's life as a sports fanatic started when Cheryl would take him for
to help him rehab after surgeries. They'd
get their exercise, watch the
Islanders practice, and would make life long friends with many of the
He is a worldwide
competitor in the Dwarf Athletic Association Of
organization. At the 2009
put together the
- a basketball team consisting of Little People.
As president and
General Manager, he encourages the team to "educate, inspire and
motivate" others by displaying their talents on the court and talking
about life lessons off the court. One
of the team motto's is "Losers make excuses, Winners find
is carrying on his mother's love and enthusiasm for life in such a
positive way. He and Cheryl
also work together to raise funds for the
with fundraisers at Governor's Comedy Club in
Cheryl's influence continues to have a ripple
effect. Her zest for life is
contagious and anyone whose life she touches is a better person for it.
Cheryl Gries Brown epitomizes the type of person that
wants to send out into the world. And,
, she has remained in the neighborhood where she grew up.