It’s not every day that you get to meet your idol. But ADEC employees know how to make the magic happen.
Amber Smith, who has been served by ADEC for nearly a decade, loves listening to DJ Ron Stryker on Real Rock 103.9 The Bear. Because she has limited vision, Styrker’s voice helps Amber experience the world around her.
For years, Amber has talked about being a radio DJ. At her last extended team meeting with ADEC staff, she told her support team that she would love to tour the studio and meet her favorite DJ.
Case coordinator Lori Rassi was determined to make it happen. Fortunately, Tobi Weirich, ADEC’s protective services and guardianship manager, had a connection at the station and put Lori in touch with the right people.
On March 26, Amber sat in front of a microphone in the 103.9 The Bear studio as Ron Stryker stood over her shoulder grinning.
“I have never seen her so giggly,” Lori said. “Stryker asked if he could hug her, and she said yes. It was so sweet.”
Amber wasn’t the only one to enjoy the experience.
“I think it was fantastic,” Stryker said. “Meeting Amber was really cool, and to have her be a Rocker was totally awesome.”
Among the microphones, radio equipment, rows of CDs, and music and concert paraphernalia, Amber got the chance to hangout and chat with Stryker, and she got to experience how a radio station operates and even sit where the magic happens.
Amber said she has been listening to The Bear for years and is a huge fan of Stryker; a “Stryker Liker” as his fans are lovingly called.
“I listen all day long,” she said. “I like listening to the eight-straight songs.”
Amber, who has limited vision, donned headphones feeding in audio from The Bear, and brought her face up to the microphone to feel what it’s like to be a radio DJ. She sat in the seat of her favorite DJ, and took in the entire moment.
When asked, Stryker remained humble about his celebrity status with Amber, and said he was glad he got to spend time with her.
“I don’t see myself as a celebrity,” he said. “It’s weird for me to think of myself as a celebrity, because I see myself as an average Joe; when it does happen, I’m a little awe-struck by my fans.”
Amber walked away with some swag, too. The Bear hooked her up with a pair of Big Growl 7 tickets for this summer, as well as a Stryker Liker t-shirt signed for her by the man himself. Stryker was excited to talk about his experience meeting Amber, and wished they could have spent more time together hanging out in the studio.
Stryker said he was touched to know he is helping someone experience the world around them. Because Amber’s vision is limited, she finds a guide in Stryker’s voice.
“Knowing that somebody is using me to compensate for another sense like Amber, it’s inspiring to know I have someone’s ear in the community like that,” Stryker said. “I think helping anyone experience life to the fullest who has a limited capacity like that? How does that not enrich your own life? We’re all here to help each other, and if I can do anything that resembles that for a great person like Amber, then I’m all in.”