At their weekly lunch meeting this Wednesday, March 8, the Kiwanis Club of Wilton will host a speaker who is the embodiment of overcoming challenges to create a joyful and successful life. In fact, her topic will be, “My Lemonade Stand:  How I turned tragedy into triumph.”

Wilton resident Alison Jacobson has lived through it all–the death of her son, an ugly divorce, financial ruin and now her role as the caregiver for her intellectually disabled son and physically disabled husband. She has also forged a career as an expert in safety and as the head of a national non-profit organization, balancing a demanding career with being a wife, mom, friend and mentor. Alison’s inspirational stories of overcoming grief and persevering through life’s challenges make her a sought after speaker for companies and organizations.

As the CEO of CJ First Candle, the national non-profit committed to eliminating SIDS and preventable stillbirth, Alison’s life has come full circle. When her son died due to SIDS in 1997 Alison took a seat on the Board of Directors for what was then SIDS Alliance. Twenty years later she’s at the helm of the organization, helping raise awareness of the leading cause of death for infants one month to one year of age.

Alison is also a nationally recognized family safety expert known as The Safety Mom. Her ability to connect with people in a down-to-earth, uplifting and engaging manner while providing important information has made Alison a popular guest on many national television shows including The Today Show, Fox & Friends and Good Morning America. Through her appearances, blog and articles, she reaches millions of people every month with advice on how to raise self-confident kids in a happy, healthy and safe environment.  She has worked as a spokesperson for some of the world’s most recognized brands including Toyota, AT&T, COX Communications, Procter & Gamble and Sylvania.

Prior to her role in the child safety area, Alison was SVP at Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s largest PR firms, where she developed rebranding campaigns and launch programs for consumer brands.

Alison is equally passionate about the rights of individuals with intellectual disabilities and serves on the Board of STAR Inc., a not–for-profit organization serving individuals of all ages who have developmental disabilities. It provides services to individuals in Norwalk, New Canaan, Wilton, Weston, Westport and Darien.

Non members are welcome to join the Kiwanis Club for lunch and the presentation, but reservations are required and can be made by calling Bud Taylor at 203.354.0208. The club meets weekly at the Wilton Episcopal Presbyterian Complex (WEPCO) on New Canaan Rd. from noon-1:30 p.m. every Wednesday for lunch and a speaker.