We are grateful for the outpouring of support we received from our friends, employees, donors and business partners in honor of our 40th anniversary on April 16th at our first gala. We are thrilled to report that it was a success! We were very pleased to welcome our community partners to celebrate with us and we truly appreciate the heartfelt congratulations and well wishes for the future. Venture was also able to raise valuable funds that provide vital resources for our program participants such as adaptive equipment and recreational opportunities.
We were honored to recognize three incredible community members as recipients of awards at the event. Congratulations to Alison Bologna, winner of Venture’s Community Contribution Award. She is the owner of Shri Studio in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and founder of Shri Service Corps, which provides adaptive yoga classes free of charge to people with disabilities. Alison and her staff embody the spirit of inclusion, encouraging individuals to participate, grow, and thrive in their community through yoga. For more information about Shri Studio we encourage you to visit their web site. We also were proud to present this year’s Personal Achievement Award to Venture program participant Albin Higgins, who has experienced tremendous personal growth while working with our staff in the agency’s Individualized Support Program. We are proud of Albin for the strides he has made living independently, volunteering in the community, and becoming empowered to take charge of his health and wellness. Last but certainly not least, we were pleased to honor Mary Ann St. Clair with this year’s Legacy Award. As a parent of an individual we have been supporting for more than thirty years, Mary Ann advocated for her son and other young adults with developmental disabilities at a time when not many people did – before our organization was even founded! Mary Ann, along with fellow parents of young adult children with disabilities, exemplifies the founding principles of this agency. It was the forward-thinking advocacy of parents like Mary Ann that set the tone for the future and laid the framework for Venture Community Services and everything we stand for – independence, empowerment and opportunity.
As we begin our fifth decade of support to the community, we recognize the importance of fostering relationships with those who believe in what we do. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the sponsors who provided generous support to our 40th Anniversary Gala: Fallon Health, MDG Associates, Southbridge Savings Bank, TD Bank, Philadelphia Insurance Company, Smith & Jones Idea Agency, Agawam Medical Supply, Dave’s Pest Control, Dunkin Donuts of Sturbridge and Charlton, Bay State Financial, Sturbridge Auto Body, All Star Incentive Marketing, Beacon Distributors, Blum Shapiro, LaMountain’s Service Station, Load Controls, Osterman Propane, Savers Bank, Country Bank, JD LeBlanc Electric and John’s Auto Service. We’d also like to extend a great big thank you to everyone who joined us to celebrate. We are looking forward to another 40 years of providing quality services to our community!