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Glitz and glam for a good cause

Mrs. America Tours Taylorville


TAYLORVILLE — 2022’s Mrs. America, Nicole La Ha Zwiercan, (left) and Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry (right) stand side by side at “LP: Coffee and Creamery”. Zwiercan passed through on her way to Washington D.C. to spread awareness for Cerebral Palsy. See full story below.

Lucas Domonousky Breeze-Courier Writer

TAYLORVILLE — Nicole La Ha Zwiercan, also known as 2022 Mrs. America, took a tour around the city on Wednesday, March 22. She, along with her dear friend and global expert on disability advocacy Cynthia “Cindy” Frisina, are taking the journey to Washington D.C. to show support for federal funding for Cerebral Palsy.

Both Nicole and Cindy have daughters who have been diagnosed with the condition and as a result use their platforms to promote awareness for the disease.

“My daughter, Ashlynn, was born with Cerebral Palsy,” says Zwiercan. “So we really fully understand the disparities and challenges that go into raising a child with Cerebral Palsy. It’s something that is going to be with her throughout her life when she’s an adult so this funding is extremely important.”

Mrs. Zwiercan was all decked out in “Green” attire including a bright ribbon of the same color pinned to her Mrs. America sash. At first glance, you may think the reason being were in the month of March but a closer gauge reveals something a bit more special.

“Always in green.” Nicole exclaims passionately. “Anything that I can do to have conversations to bring awareness to Cerebral Palsy, and wear the color green, I take any opportunity I can. As Mrs. America I have dedicated my year to doing just that. I’m extremely grateful for Cynthia for this opportunity. This is why I wanted to be Mrs. America to use this platform to change lives and inspire support for the Cerebral Palsy community.”

Cindy Frisina’s youngest daughter was diagnosed with the condition which lead her to launch “Reaching for the Stars. A Foundation of Hope for Children with Cerebral Palsy” in 2004. Since then it has grown into one of the largest parent- led foundations of its kind and has bridged the gap between education, advocacy and parent physician partnerships for families.

She is also the CEO for Heartland Development Partners, Inc. and is currently working on a massive project to revamp the Taylorville downtown area. This includes making the buildings around town accessible to people of all abilities.

“Fully accessible buildings are what needs to happen to be inclusive of everybody.” Nicole Zwiercan says. “So I am extremely excited to hear that.”

Mrs. America and Mrs. Frisina will reach Washington D.C. just in time for National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day which falls on March 25 annually.

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