A packed room of supporters attended the Guild for Exceptional Children’s Community Appreciation Awards Luncheon, held at the non-profit agency’s main building, 260 68th Street.
Executive Direct-or/CEO Paul Cassone opened the program with a review of the Guild’s 50-year history and its many programs and services that benefit more than 1,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities, and their families.
He also described the agency’s Capital Improvement Campaign, currently involved in raising funds for renovation and expansion in order to better serve the consumers.
The presentation was followed by comments and a welcome by President Anthony Santoro who thanked the officers, board, staff, elected officials and friends who were in attendance for being instrumental in the Guild’s progress over the years.
Conducted by Cassone and Santoro, with the assistance of Harriet Leich, Guild self advocate, the awards ceremony brought forward a group of honorees, both individuals and organizations who have been especially helpful to the Guild.
They include Colonel Tracey Nicholson, commander at the Fort Hamilton Army Base, and Eric Rodriguez, deputy inspector, NYPD 68th precinct, for keeping the community safe and responding to the needs of Guild consumers; Salvatore Ferrera, president, Xaverian High School, for sponsoring fundraising events and including clients in school activities and socials; Lisa Schiano-Denis, administrator, Holy Family Nursing Home, for welcoming clients at holidays and special events; Ben-Bay Kiwanis Club, Verrazano Rotary Club and Knights of Columbus, Archbishop John Hughes Council #481, for contributions, gifts and holiday celebrations for consumers.
The award recipients each received a framed, colorful painting created by both children and adults who participate in the agency’s various activity centers.
In addition, Councilman Vincent Gentile, Senator Marty Golden and representatives of other elected officials offered their congratulations and presented citations to the honorees.
The Guild for Exceptional Children’s Community Appreciation Awards Luncheon was followed by a tour of the agency’s greenhouse program and ceramic workshop where individuals with developmental disabilities expand their creative skills.