Autumn Breakfast Raises More Than $100,000 for Mental Health Services
Earlier this month, the community gathered for a most successful Autumn Mental Health Breakfast that raised more than $100,000 in support of Ability Beyond’s mental health services. We are so moved by the leadership and advocacy of our 2023 honorees: Eric Foss, Charles Coretto and Tracey Dolan as well as their extraordinary work on national, regional and local levels to destigmatize mental illness and saving and improving lives.
Thank you to all our generous supporters, including Champion Sponsors M&T Bank and Nuvance Health, for making this Autumn Breakfast one to remember!
Celine Karraker Memorial Award
Past Chairman & CEO of Aramark and Past CEO of Pepsi Beverages Company Eric Foss received the Celine Karraker Memorial Award for his foresight, compassion and leadership which have been pivotal in building a diverse, inclusive and engaged workforce as well as opening minds and supporting the mental health needs of our region.
A partnership between Ability Beyond and Aramark under Eric’s leadership began more than a decade ago, and with supports from Ability Beyond staff, people with disabilities in career development services are trained and hired to fill positions with Aramark to this day.
After the passing of his wife Theresa in 2013, Eric and their daughters Laura, Elizabeth and Kathryn established the Theresa Foss Memorial Award at Interlude, now Ability Beyond. With this annual award, the Foss family created an enduring and aspirational recognition for leadership, service, humility and compassion. Through the Foss Family Foundation founded by Eric, the family impacts the work of numerous worthy charities, including through their generous leadership support of Ability Beyond.
Theresa Foss Memorial Award
Our esteemed Theresa Foss Memorial Award honorees this year were Charles Coretto, Director of Behavioral Health & Community Mental Health Services at Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, and Tracey Dolan, Crisis Intervention/Mobile Crisis Team Manager at Nuvance Health—two advocates in our community who work tirelessly to empower individuals facing mental health crises.
In his role, Charlie often works closely with our agency on referrals and additional client support as individuals in Catholic Charities’ New Heights program move into our residential, life skills and employment training programs.
Tracey also works with our staff to keep the greater Danbury community strong and responsive to the diverse needs of people with mental and physical challenges. During the most critical points in people’s lives, Tracey responds and reaches out to other areas of the Nuvance Health System, Danbury Police, Ability Beyond and other partnering agencies to intervene for their safety, public safety, and a long-term resolution of issues that led to their crisis.
A Growing Need
“Ability Beyond has always been known for its work with people with developmental disabilities and autism, and we’ve grown over the decades to expand our services to reach individuals with acquired brain injuries and mental health challenges,” said Jane Davis, President/CEO. “Our mental health programs are growing – we’ve more than doubled the people we serve in our employment programs. With every dollar raised today, we can continue to offer hope and opportunity for those facing mental health challenges. Community support is integral to our success, and the success of the people we serve each day.”
View our event recording featuring stories of impact below as well our photo album published in Fairfield County Look Magazine.
Could not attend, but still want to support the important work we do? Click here to make a donation online or connect with our Development team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-826-3008 to learn about ways to give and to get involved.