Thursday, May 14, 2009

Profile in Partnership: Team 187th Street

Thanks to a partnership among staff, residents and family members, YAI/NIPD’s 187th Street Residence has achieved remarkable success for the Central Park Challenge. Team 187th Street have already surpassed their original goal of $10,000 and are well on their way to $13,000!

What's the secret? The members of Team 187th Street are driven by a commitment to Eliza, Mark, Jody and all the other residents. “Our motivation in fundraising this year was to maintain the level of excellence in our services, which are recognized throughout the state,” said Team Captain Vanessa Felix, a direct service professional at the residence.

“I do not mind asking for money if the cause is something I truly believe in and YAI is something we all believe in. E-mailing from our Central Park Challenge participant center has made the whole process of asking for money so much easier!” said Rosalie Hughes, a parent whose daughter Eliza lives in the residence.

Rosalie explained that, even though asking for donations may not be her first inclination, she is motivated to do so because of the role that YAI plays in her family's life. As a child, Eliza attended YAI/NIPD's inclusive summer camp program. Then, when when she turned 21, Eliza began attending YAI/NIPD's Manhattan Day Services. "We were beginning to think about her moving out of our house at some point and we hoped that we would be able to find her placement in a YAI group residence," which turned out to be in an apartment on 187th Street.

And YAI is a family affair for the Hughes family. Eliza's sister Maisie is a member of the Brighter Futures Society, a group of young professionals who support the mission of the YAI/NIPD Network.

Team 187th Street has done a lot of hard work preparing for the Central Park Challenge and they are looking forward to enjoying themselves on the day of the event.

"Each year, our residents anxiously await the Central Park Challenge," said Vanessa. "I love to see the enjoyment on their faces as they walk through the park, waving to friends, family, staff and onlookers. It is a testament of unity. Together, families and staff work together to make a difference in the lives of our residents."

"I love seeing all of Eliza’s YAI family and friends and her biological family and friends gathering to support YAI and to honor Eliza and all the other beloved Elizas of this world," Rosalie said.

Congratulations to Team 187th Street for their tremendous success. Inspired by their story? Support their team!

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