On the night of Tuesday, May 29, people we serve, families, and staff came together to enjoy Vinfen CT’s 6th Annual Celebration of Families at Pond House in Elizabeth Park in West Hartford, CT.
A welcome reception featured a jazz duo and the opportunity to view artwork produced at Vinfen CT programs. Family Advisory Council member Bill Lamy welcomed the audience and introduced Master of Ceremonies John Holt who is an Emmy Award winning sportscaster and documentary producer. Also extending a warm welcome was Vinfen Senior Vice President of Developmental Services Joe Gomes and Connecticut Department of Developmental Services Deputy Commissioner Peter Mason.
A number of individuals were honored at the event including Family Partnership Awardees Frank and Kim Palma; Manchester Police Officer Lisa Kehoss who receive the Community Partnership Award; Direct Service Staff Kyle Clarke and Randy Shakes who were recognized with Employee Awards, and Stephanie Williams who was received the Self Advocate Award.
Guests at the event were treated to a showing of John Holt’s documentary “The Ryan Martin Story.” Ryan who served as keynote speaker, was born with Spina Bifida and had both legs amputated at a young age. As a 12 year old he discovered a love and talent for basketball, which transformed his life. No longer merely “wheelchair bound” Ryan attended college in Minnesota, played professional basketball, and traveled extensively overseas while playing with leagues in Europe. More recently, he established The Ryan Martin Foundation (http://ryanmartinfoundation.org/) to help youth and adult athletes with disabilities live independent, impassioned, productive and full lives through sports training, mentoring, and education.
A special thanks is given to event sponsors Suburban Pharmacy (www.suburbanltc.com), Brothers Oil Company (www.brothersoil.com), Donna Webber, APRN LLC, Geriatric Medical (www.geriatricmedical.com), Comtrust Federal Credit Union (www.comtrustfcu.com), and Coffee Break (https://coffeebreakct.com/). Thanks are also given to Roy Emmerthal, Lisa Ellis, the McNeff Family and Mac Brothers Gourmet Foods, Bill and Linda Lamy, and Janet Heim for the donation of door prizes at the event.
Lastly, Vinfen CT would also like to acknowledge the CT Family Advisory Council https://vinfenct.org/get-involved/family-advisory-council/) for the year long effort and coordination of this annual event and for their dedication to the celebration of families.