Friday, May 27, 2011

The Humphrey Family Shares Their Inspiration

The Central Park Challenge began 26 years ago as a small health and wellness initiative for YAI Network service recipients and staff. Over the years, it has grown into an exciting day in Central Park, welcoming over 12,000 people! Wow – times have changed!

One of the many reasons that this event is so special is because it really did develop as a result of the love and support that family members, friends and YAI Network staff put into it! It is a day to recognize individuals with developmental disabilities and to celebrate the potential within us all.

The Central Park Challenge team has been, and continues to be, inspired by the thousands of heart-warming and uplifting stories that you - our friends, readers and fellow event participants - have shared with us over the years.

The Humphrey family is a terrific example! Bradford, along with parents Connie and Rich, are participating in support of Bradford’s sister Jessica and the residents of her YAI group home in Mamaroneck, Westchester. The Humphrey family is so committed to fundraising as much as possible in support of Jessica, that for every dollar they raise, a matching donation will be made to their team from the Jessica Humphrey Private Family Foundation. Learn more about Jessica and the services that she receives from YAI and support the Humphrey family today!

Have a story to share? We want to hear from you! Tell us why you walk, run, attend and fundraise. Email

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

First Look! 2011 Central Park Challenge T-shirts!

We can hardly contain our excitement! The official adult, children's and volunteer T-shirts for the 2011 YAI and Broadview Networks Central Park Challenge have arrived! And you're the first to see them!

Your registration fee includes the adult or children's T-shirt, which can be picked up when you check in at the registration tents on the morning of June 4. And if you need anything on the day of the event, just look for YAI event staff in green.

Special thanks to our friends at Kay Unger New York , especially Liza Nay, for custom designing our three beautiful shirts and to W.B. Mason for printing. It is partnerships like these that make the success of the Central Park Challenge possible!.

Cabaret Success!

Congratulations to YAI's Employment Initiatives team on the success of their Cabaret Benefit! The entertaining evening of music and comedy raised over $1000 (!!!) for the Central Park Challenge, awareness about the YAI Network's many services and was, of course - FUN!

Special thanks to the Triad Theatre for generously donating the space as well as to the talented singers and comedians who performed. Check out some of the highlights below....  Miz Minelli would be proud!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Where do you share your photos?

We're doing a poll - which photo sharing site do you use?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Design Your Own T-shirt Contest!

 The Central Park Challenge team has BIG news!

For the first time ever, we're holding a Central Park Challenge Design-Your-Own T-shirt Contest!

That's right, we were so inspired by the teams in past years who have gotten into the spirit and created their own team T-shirts, that this year we've created a contest for it!

Grab your friends, family, Central Park Challenge teammates and some blank tees. Then get creative and have some fun! (Check out some photos of past participants who designed their own for inspiration.) 

Wear your shirts to the park on June 4th and be entered to win 10 passes to Six Flags Theme Park at a special YAI celebration.

To enter:

- Have your photo taken at the Team Photo Station on the day of the event


- Email photos of your team sporting your custom-designed duds to by Friday June 10th at 12-noon.

The Central Park Challenge judging panel will narrow down the contestants and then YOU (!), our faithful friends and readers, will have the final vote.

Simply check back in right here on the blog to vote on the finalists in our live poll. Voting takes place between Friday June 10th - Friday June 17th. In addition to 10 Six Flag passes, the winning team will also have their T-shirt and team story featured right here on the blog and on

Why are you walking? What motivates you to run? Who inspires you? Your shirt is your canvas - tell us your story!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Raise Funds... Get Pampered

As if you needed another great reason to register for the Central Park Challenge and begin your fundraising efforts… now you’ve got one!

In addition to all of the terrific vendors from 2010 who will be returning to the park, this year we’re thrilled to announce a new partnership with New York City's Smooth Synergy Spa.

Smooth Synergy is a beautiful spa in NYC where you can pamper your body, mind and spirit. With its cosmetic and medical day spa, Smooth Synergy offers a wide range of services, including skin rejuvenation, body treatments, skincare products and more.

Licensed massage therapists from Smooth Synergy will be in the park on June 4th, providing FREE massages to event participants.

But wait... it gets better!

And now, Smooth Synergy is offering YOU special rewards as a thank you for your outstanding online fundraising efforts.

Online donations made through credit card transactions save YAI precious time and money. That’s why we are offering this incentive for funds you’ve raised via online credit card donations.

When you raise $250 or more you’ll receive:
- 50% off any individual service (excludes packages and injections treatments)
- 30% off any product
- 20% off any injection treatment

When you raise $1,000 or more you’ll receive:
- $100 Smooth Synergy Dollars toward any service or package (excludes injection treatments)
- $200 Smooth Synergy Dollars toward any injection treatments

Log in to your participant center today and start fundraising! All of your hard work will really pay off when you are getting treated like royalty at the spa!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life is a Cabaret

What good is sitting alone in your room?
Come here the music play!
Life is a cabaret, old chum!
Come to the cabaret!

Ms. Liza Minnelli, we couldn't agree more! Life is not only a cabaret, but it's now a cabaret benefit!!

Join staff from YAI's Employment Initiatives team for
"A Night of Cabaret to Benefit the YAI Network."

Hosted by The Triad Theatre on Manhattan's Upper West Side on Thursday May 19th, this entertaining evening will feature three talented musical acts and three fall-off-your-chair-laughing comedy routines.

Enjoy drinks, food (provided by Bring Them Home Pretzels and The Cupcake Crew...yum!) and great entertainment. Don't forget to snag an autograph or two - you'll want everyone to know that you knew these stars first!

Tickets are $10 (+2 drink minimum) and can be purchased at the door or ahead of time online! The show begins at 9 p.m. The Triad Theatre is located at 158 W. 72nd Street (between Broadway & Columbus Avenues) on the 2nd floor. Need directions?

The lineup includes Evan Grove, Brian Meece & Gustavo Rodriguez, Jeff Lender, Morgan Paige Cohen, Brett Druck and the Harvard Sailing Team.

Get those tickets now! We'll see you on the other side of the red velvet rope...


Monday, May 16, 2011

Back by Popular Demand!

The Central Park Challenge is only 19 days away! And there is SO much to look forward too!

In addition to the 3K Walk, 5K Run, children's races (medals included!) and so much more, event participants will enjoy music, entertainment, face painting, spin-art, games and food.

Back by popular demand - the Chock full o'Nuts van will be serving up hot and iced coffee drinks to keep everyone energized and The Pop Chips Snack Shack will once again be on site, handing out bags of healthy chips. As if that wasn't enough, Morrisons Pastry Corp. will also be back, supplying delicious baked goods for participants.


The good news continues! In addition to the return of these drool-worthy partners, the Central Park Challenge team is excited to welcome Smooth Synergy to the park!

Liscensed massage therapists from Smooth Synergy - a beautiful spa in NYC - will provide FREE MASSAGES (!!!) to event participants.

Want in on the excitement? Register today!

Friday, May 6, 2011

We Salute Our Central Park Challenge Moms

This Mother’s Day, all of us at the YAI Network salute our dedicated, passionate Central Park Challenge moms!

Year after year, mothers play a pivotal role in raising funds and awareness for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Their dedication to their children and to their community inspires families and friends to rally around them as they lead their Central Park Challenge teams to success.
Although, the Central Park Challenge is just one day a year, these women are committed to the sons, daughters and other family members with disabilities. They advocate before legislators, attend appointments, fill out paperwork and organize support groups, while juggling jobs and providing nurturing and support to their families. And come the first Saturday in June, they fill Central Park with their energy and love.

Our moms never stop giving. They never stop advocating. And they never stop cheering.

Join these inspirational women in their efforts to provide hope and opportunity for their children with disabilities at the Central Park Challenge on Saturday, June 4, 2011.

Your participation and any funds you raise will go directly to support children and adults with disabilities.

Register for the 3K Walk or 5K Run and make a difference today!

Happy Mother’s Day!