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George Mulvaney – Keeping Our Community Strong

Whether it’s soaring above the mountains of Tanzania in a small plane loaded with supplies and gifts for terminally-ill patients and their children or making the holiday call about special treats or activities that Ability Beyond residents would need or enjoy—George Mulvaney, founder and owner of Mulvaney Mechanical, Inc. and Mulvaney Properties, is the volunteer that communities can’t live without.

George joined Ability Beyond’s Board of Directors in the early 1990’s. Since then, Ability and many regional organizations have the pleasure of working with and honoring George for being their stalwart supporter and a savvy ally of their mission.

“Prayer works.” George repeated this phrase a few times while discussing his commitment to Ability Beyond, and he embodies the spirit of a man whose fate has depended on it. On November 1, 1971, with little air left as he cupped his hands over his mouth and nose, George miraculously survived a crushing underground collapse that left a permanent leg injury. He has since spent his life as a beloved philanthropist giving back out of both gratitude and compassion.

During the 1980’s, Ability’s clients worked for local companies in workshops at Ability’s facility on Old State Road in Brookfield. Again using the phrase, “prayer works” George  was part of the team who strategized programing that would change the future for people with disabilities. “We needed to take the people we serve out of the workshop and into corporations, small businesses and other area workplaces to become part our greater community. We just had to make this happen—then doors opened for us and allowed us to make it a reality!”

After years of helping to facilitate transformational changes to both Ability’s residential and employment models, George received Ability Beyond’s Robert S. Young Humanitarian Award in 2007. Currently, George remains Ability’s ardent champion and benefactor who treasures the hope and opportunity that Ability staff brings to the people we serve: “Whether it’s the residential or program staff, they bring out the best in the people we serve and make so much possible in their lives; I could never do what they do.”

Truly a man for all seasons and serious missions, George’s support is at the heart of many regional non-profits. Whether combating domestic violence, racism and housing insecurity through the Association of Religious Communities; Western CT State University programs and scholarships; the Connecticut Institute for Communities; and at least thirty years as a philanthropic force behind Regional Hospice and especially the monumental growth and innovation at Ability Beyond—George’s kindness is a pillar of our community’s strength.

George’s reflection in Ability’s historical mirror looms large over decades of changes, both immense and subtle, as Ability pivoted to anticipate needs and explore new possibilities for the people we serve. Grateful and blessed can only begin to describe what George’s friendship and wisdom mean in the lives he empowers and to our Ability Team!

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George is one of the many stalwart supporters who help us meet our mission to discover, build and celebrate the ability in all people. Today, becuase of supporters like George, we're helping more than 3,000 individuals throughout Connecticut and New York. Learn what you can do to help today!

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