Living an eventful life

As Joy House – the store that sells unique-handmade products created by individuals with special needs – grows to become a staple of Estes Park’s culture, the inspiration behind the store in Seth Truitt, continues to be a voice for the Down syndrome community both locally and across the country. From being on a Times Square billboard to meeting a past NFL superstar, Truitt has surely been keeping busy over the past few months. Seth, along with his mother Marla Truitt who helps run Joy House, shared all they’ve gotten to be a part of lately in an interview on Sunday, Oct. 23.

Seth Truitt’s big screen appearance came during a Sept. 17 buddy walk in New York City. The annual event is just one of over 100 walks across the nation organized by the National Down Syndrome Society. Truitt’s screen time was part of a Times Square video presentation that kicked off the walk. The video showcased hundreds of children, teenagers and adults with Down syndrome as a way to remind the world of the value that these individuals bring to the community.

Seth Truitt’s pictured on a Times Square billboard. (Joy House Facebook/Courtesy Photo)

Marla Truitt explained that the opportunity for him to be a part of the presentation came after an organizer of the buddy walks visited Joy House and met with the two of them.

“We just get these connections through Joy House, and to people in the Down Syndrome community something like this is priceless,” Marla said speaking on the opportunity. “You just don’t get it unless you’re a parent or a worker in this community, this is huge in giving voices to these kids.”

An event that the Truitt’s were able to take part in was the 26th annual “Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk” held on Sept. 25 in Denver’s City Park. The annual walk is hosted by the Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association to promote acceptance of all people with Down syndrome and raise funds for the cause.

The Truitt’s set up a Joy House tent at the event where Seth and his good friend Lacey were able to share the products they’ve been making with those in attendance.

“The Down syndrome community is a family to us,” Marla Truitt expressed. “We had people coming up to our tent, young parents knowing they’re having a baby with Down syndrome, and we were able to love on them and give them hope. Letting them know it’s a great life and just building the community was great.”

In one of their most recent events, Seth and Marla were able to speak with parents of Individualized Educational Plan(IEP) students within the St. Vrain Valley School District. IEP students are individuals who have identified developmental disabilities, and the talk was meant to educate their parents on the post-secondary transitional schooling that the district offers after K-12 schooling.

Seth Truitt speaking to parents of the St. Vrain Valley School District. (Joy House Facebook/Courtesy Photo)

As a graduate of the St. Vrain Valley transitional school, Seth was able to relate his story to the parent audience, while Marla offered them words of encouragement. Seth and Marla have also begun using Joy House to work with these transitional schools and teach entrepreneurship and business lessons to IEP students.

“It’s helping to create jobs and fun opportunities for the young adults in our community,” Marla explained.

This talk also served as a memorable day for Seth as he was surprised with the news that he was going to meet past Denver Bronco quarterback Tim Tebow at Denver’s “Life Surge” event.

“Life Surge” is a Christian-based seminar that teaches people how they can create a beautiful business legacy, make money, help others and shine through the Christian faith.

The event not only featured Tim Tebow as a speaker but also included several other Christian faith stars the likes of Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson, American Author Priscilla Shirer and “Life Without Limbs” motivational speaker Nick Vujicic.

Marla Truitt explained that she had bought regular tickets to the event, but was entered into a drawing where she won the chance to meet with the guest speakers.

Ecstatic to meet one of his idols, Seth wore his number 15 Denver Broncos Tebow jersey and even got on the event’s main screen for repping the Denver great.

Marla and Seth got a photo with Tebow and were even able to give him a ‘choose love’ Joy House shirt. As it is on all Joy House products, the word love is printed in Seth’s handwriting, along with a colored copy of his handprint.

Seth and Marla Truitt stand beside Tim Tebow as he holds up his new Joy House shirt. (Marla Truitt/Courtesy Photo)

When asked how it was meeting Tim Tebow, Seth still seemed to be a bit starstruck, simply saying, “oh, he’s my favorite guy.”

Seth said the heroes that he hopes to meet next are Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Peyton Manning. A lofty goal for some, Marla Truitt said that whatever Seth dreams up somehow has a way of happening.

While those are all of the events that Seth and Marla have marked on their calendars, for now, Marla shared details of a big project in the works for Joy House – a coffee shop by the name of Best Day Ever to be built in Longmont. There is no official location for the shop just yet, but Marla assured that the wheels are in motion for the shop.

Those wishing to support Joy House can find the store at 145 E Elkhorn Ave Unit 203 in Estes Park or shop on their website: joyhousestore.com.

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About Pep Dekekr

Pep loves Estes Park, he lives here with his family and hopes to bring people to Estes Park and Estes Park to the people. Along with his wife Paige, they own EstesPark.com.

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