Tuesday, March 30, 2010

East Islip Community Rallies Around YAI

YAI Network’s staff is known for their creativity when fundraising for the Central Park Challenge, held this year on June 5. This year Melissa Weber, CPC Captain at Comack Day Habilitation in East Islip, Long Island sought to reach out to families. When Melissa learned that the restaurant, Shandon Court was owned by the family of Kate, a Comack Day Habilitation program participant, she was inspired by the opportunity to outreach in a new and different way.

The staff at Comack Day Habilitation and the Finley Family decided that a Family Night at the restaurant would be an exciting way to gain community support. Shandon Court’s staff donated all of their time. They advertised on Facebook, made tickets and fliers were mailed directly to Comack Day families to encourage their participation. The restaurant asked their vendors for auction donations and local florists and bakeries provided gift certificates. The restaurant donated the food for the event and five live Irish bands donated their time.

Comack Day Habilitation raised more than $3000 and 100 people came to the event. Regulars at the restaurant connected with the fundraiser’s purpose because they knew Kate and her family. Family Night introduced people who have known Kate for years to her friends with disabilities.

“The event was so inspiring and a great success!” said Melissa. “I couldn’t have done it without the Finleys and the staff at Comack, especially my co-captain Brittany Barclay.”

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