BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Easter Seals Massachusetts, a non-profit dedicated to ensuring children and adults with disabilities have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play, announced it will be hosting its annual Evening of Empowerment on Thursday, April 27, 2017, at the Sheraton Needham Hotel in Needham, Mass. The fundraising gala is dedicated to celebrating people who are active in helping change societal attitudes and breaking down barriers for those with disabilities.
Tweet This: .@EasterSealsMA honored the inspiring work of @CommonwealthC21 @SkipFlanagan22 @CherriBlauwetMD @EliWolff10 at #EveningofEmpowerment on 4/27
“The Evening of Empowerment is always such a special occasion celebrating those who share an unsurpassed commitment to empowering people with disabilities so they have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play,” said Paul Medeiros, president and CEO, Easter Seals Massachusetts. “Not only does it showcase all the hard work our organization and volunteers have dedicated over the past year, but it re-inspires us all, reminding us how important our mission is. I know I speak for the entire Easter Seals Massachusetts organization in expressing our gratitude to our sponsors, supporters and the Evening of Empowerment event committee for making this such an incredible evening.”
Continuing its long-standing tradition, Easter Seal Massachusetts clients and supporters will deliver the following awards during the event:
Team Hoyt Award
A national partner and a local legend, CENTURY 21 Commonwealth of Massachusetts is being honored with the 2017 Team Hoyt Award. The Team Hoyt Award recognizes those we have had a positive impact on ensuring equal opportunities for people with disabilities. With over 500 agents throughout the Commonwealth, CENTURY 21 Commonwealth has raised over $60,000 for Easter Seals Massachusetts through raffles, event participation and soliciting sponsorships. It is an honor to recognize their efforts and dedication at this annual gala by presenting them with this coveted award.
Team Hoyt Rising Star Award
The Rising Star Award recognizes an individual for their current achievements and future potential to continue changing cultural attitudes and breaking down barriers for those with disabilities. This year the award is being given to Sean “Skip” Flanagan, who is in his first year as the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) Athlete Development Program Coordinator. Skip oversees NTID’s support service program for deaf and hard-of-hearing student-athletes at the varsity level. He manages a wide range of roles, serving in academic support, offering educational workshops, developing marketing strategies for the 2017-2018 academic year, assisting in recruiting, providing content on the deaf athletes’ website, and more. Skip has taken on additional roles in fundraising and technology development to improve accessibility for deaf and hard-of-hearing athletes, and in multiple summer programs at NTID.
The Empowerment are awarded to individuals or organizations whose work supports our mission to ensure individuals with disabilities have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play. This year Easter Seals Massachusetts is honoring Dr. Cheri Blauwet, M.D., U.S. Olympian and marathoner, and Eli Wolff, U.S. Olympian and Director of the Sport and Development Project at Brown University. Cheri is an American wheelchair racer who has competed at the Olympic and Paralympic level in events ranging from the 100 meters to the marathon. Outside of racing, Cheri is active in promoting the issues of disabilities rights and empowerment for individuals with disabilities in resource-poor regions such as Ethiopia and Angola. Eli was a member of the U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team in the 1996 and 2004 Paralympic Games. In efforts to unite people through sport, Eli has founded his own Foundation, The Power of Sport, which is utilized worldwide to draw attention to the athletic abilities of those within the disabilities community. In addition, he travels the world through the organization Partners for Youth with Disabilities consulting on behalf of the United Nations and educating others on how to break down barriers associated with disabilities.
About Easter Seals Massachusetts
Founded in 1944, Easter Seals Massachusetts provides exceptional services, technology, education, outreach, and advocacy so that people living with autism and other disabilities can live, learn, work and play in our communities. From child development centers to physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, Easter Seals MA offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life's challenges and achieve personal goals. The non-profit also hosts and manages the Assistive Technology Regional Center (ATRC), which houses hundreds of mainstream technology devices utilizing the IoT’s connectivity to assist in everyday tasks. The ATRC is funded by Mass Match. In 2016, Easter Seals MA increased its coverage to over 90 percent of the state, providing services in 321 Massachusetts cities and towns.