News & Events

Gala & Beyond Platinum Jubilee – Celebrating 70 Years of Changing Lives

It was an evening of reflection and hope as community members gathered to celebrate the thousands of lives impacted by Ability Beyond since its humble beginnings 70 years ago.

“For an organization that started with a small group of families just trying to find a better life for their children with disabilities locally, to the organization we are today is just incredible to me,” said Jane Davis, the CEO of Ability Beyond.

Three hundred people gathered at the Amber Room for the event including 22 past Robert S. Young Humanitarian Award honorees representing decades of support, philanthropy and community service in the greater Danbury area.

The event was co-chaired by Meghann Smith and Ginny Young.

A Lasting Legacy

Jack Walsh, whose parents started the organization in 1953 when they put a classified ad in the local newspaper, also attended the event.

“Both of my parents would look at the organization as it exists now, they would be astonished,” Walsh said. “They would be so pleased and so happy that this organization still exists and the problems they encountered in the early life of my brother are being treated so wonderfully by Ability Beyond.”

What began with just a few families, has grown into an organization that now serves more than 3,000 people annually in Connecticut and New York. Those services include residential, employment training, transition, day programs social activities and more.

Since its founding 70 years ago, the organization has been at the forefront of innovation and best practices recognized and modeled at the state and national levels.

If you missed the gala, don't worry, you can always check out a photo gallery of the event as featured in Fairfield County Look Magazine.

Going Beyond

Perhaps the most poignant moment of the evening was when those attending listened to some of the final words of our late board chairman, Gregory Smith. In his final words, he also gave Ability Beyond its inspiration for the future.

“It’s great that we’re serving so many people in the communities we’re in, but how do we expand it?” he asked. “That’s what really gets me excited. How many lives can we touch?”

We would like to thank our Diamond sponsors Bedoukian Research, Colonial Auto GroupMaplewood Senior Living. and Décor Sponsor Meghann Smith Design Solutions as well as the many generous supporters who made our event a success!

Bob Bedoukian, a member of Ability Beyond's Board of Directors, speaks during Gala & Beyond

Get Involved

There is so much that each one of us can do to ensure that Ability Beyond will be providing services for another 70 years. Get involved with Ability Beyond today!

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