Autumn Mental Health Breakfast A Huge Success!
We are excited to announce that our annual Autumn Mental Health Breakfast was a tremendous success. Among those honored before a packed house at the Amber Room included U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, who received the Celine Karraker Memorial Award for his ongoing commitment to reforming the country’s mental health system.
Celine Karraker Memorial Award
The Karraker Award, named in honor of Interlude founder Celine Karraker, honors an individual who has made a direct and positive impact on people with disabilities. Karraker founded Interlude, which merged with Ability Beyond in 2012
“To receive this award is incredibly humbling,” Murphy said when presented with the award. “Ability Beyond is able to perform miracles every day, and it’s a joy to be associated with the work that you do. I’m so in awe of the work that you’ve done to lift up individuals struggling with mental illness and developmental disabilities. What you’ve built is absolutely extraordinary.”
Theresa Foss Memorial Award
Eric Foss, the widower of Theresa Foss, presented the award named in her honor during the event to Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi and Danbury Health Department official Veasna Roeun. Foss said he is honored that Ability Beyond continues his wife’s legacy. He also announced a $50,000 grant to the organization from the Foss Family Foundation.
“This is always one of the best days for me, and also one of the most emotional,” said Foss, who serves as the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aramark. “Congratulations to all the award winners this morning. “We appreciate your passion and you’re never ending commitment.”
Jane Davis, the Chief Executive Officer of Ability Beyond, noted that Roeun was an instrumental partner during the pandemic. He provided weekly updates, assistance with vaccinations for the individuals we serve, and so much more. She added the individuals served by Ability Beyond were twice as likely to contract COVID, and three times as likely to die from the virus.
“We are so incredibly lucky to have someone like Veasna who cares so much about the individuals we serve,” Davis said. “I have no doubt that you helped to save lives.”