Ability Beyond to Honor Danbury Deputy Police Chief at Autumn Breakfast

On Thursday November 12th, Ability Beyond, a leading nonprofit providing services and programs to nearly 3,000 individuals with disabilities in Connecticut and Westchester, will be honoring Deputy Chief Shaun McColgan with the Celine Karraker Memorial Award at their Annual Autumn Breakfast.

Each year, Ability Beyond presents the Celine Karraker Memorial Award in memory of Celine Karraker, a long time mental health advocate in the Danbury community. The award is given to an individual who has had a direct, positive impact on the lives of the men and women served by Ability Beyond.

“Deputy Chief McColgan’s contributions to the Danbury community are immeasurable,” said Tom Fanning, CEO/President of Ability Beyond. “He has been an advocate of the individuals we support and continues to champion for more community supports for individuals with mental illness. We are privileged to have him involved with Ability Beyond and as a community member.”

Deputy Chief McColgan has been a member of the Danbury Police Department for over twenty-five years.  He was appointed by Mayor Boughton to be the Danbury representative to CAC #21 in 2005 and has been a loyal advocate for individuals with mental illness through the years. A member of the Northwest Regional Mental Health Board since 2008, he has held all executive board positions and served as a member of the DMHAS Commissioner’s State Advisory Board until June 2014.

In 2009 the Danbury Police started a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) and Deputy Chief McColgan has been the Team Coordinator since its inception and until his recent promotion to Deputy Chief. Deputy Chief McColgan has been instrumental in CIT training and advocating for police officers to be trained to work with the mental health population who may be in crisis. He was named the State of Connecticut CIT Officer of the Year in 2013 and was also named the Danbury Police Department’s Officer of the Year in 2013. Deputy Chief McClogan was a fifteen year member of the Danbury Police Department’s Crisis Negotiation Team and has volunteered for CT Special Olympics for many years.

Ability Beyond also presents the Theresa Foss Memorial Award in memory of Theresa Foss, an extraordinary woman who led by example through her volunteer service, her humility and her compassion at the annual Autumn Breakfast. This year’s recipient is Paul Ginofriddo, President and CEO of Mental Health America.

Paul has worked in a variety of health and mental-health related positions during his thirty year career and in 2013 was appointed by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to a four-year term on the 12-member National Advisory Council to the SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services. Prior to joining MHA, he was a consultant, speaker, and writer and author of a popular weekly health policy plog entitled Our Health Policy Matters. His book about his son was published in 2014 entitled Losing Tim: How Our Health and Education Systems Failed My Son with Schizophrenia. He has dedicated much of his life to advocating for the proper services for individuals suffering from mental illness.

The Autumn Breakfast raises money to support Mental Health Services at Ability Beyond. The funds raised at the breakfast support men and women of all ages suffering from mental illness in our communities to have their own home, job and place in the community. To attend the breakfast or for more information please visit

Annual Hard Rock event photo
On Saturday November 14th, Danbury restaurant, Two Steps Downtown Grille will be hosting Ability Beyond’s 3rdAnnual “Families Rock” event from 7:00-11:00 pm. Ability Beyond is a leading nonprofit providing services and programs to nearly 3,000 individuals with disabilities in Connecticut and Westchester. Two Steps Downtown Grille is generously donating 15% of all…
Ability Beyond today announced that Thomas H. Fanning, President/CEO of Ability Beyond has been selected as this year’s recipient of the CCPA Lifetime Achievement Award. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes outstanding leadership, commitment and accomplishments within the human services industry and will be presented at the CCPA Annual Meeting on…