Cape Abilities 50th Annual Meeting
Resort & Conference Center, Hyannis

Filed in Blog by on November 19, 2018

More than 150 people gathered on October 24, 2018 at The 50th Cape Abilities Annual Meeting to recognize the achievements of our participants, the contributions of our staff, volunteers and community partners, and to celebrate a fifty-year legacy of service to individuals with disabilities across Cape Cod.

“Tonight is my favorite event of the year,” said Cape Abilities Board Chairman Marion Broidrick, as she addressed a capacity-filled ballroom at the Resort and Conference Center in Hyannis.  “It’s the opportunity to celebrate YOU. We have built a strong foundation over the past fifty years, and you all are the bedrock of that foundation. Tonight is a night of achievements, and a night to set a direction for our future.”

Thank you to all who made this incredible night, and the past 50 years, possible!

Our Annual Meeting showcases the finest in abilities
of the entire Cape Abilities family.

Congratulations to our
Achievement & Recognition Award winners!


CA’s Larry Thayer (left) and Hank Svirsky

2018 Participant Presentation:  Hank Svirsky
Hank is a man of many talents.  A multiple-medalist at Special Olympics and a talented stage singer, Hank is a customer service favorite at Cape Abilities Farm in Dennis where he has worked as a cashier since 2015. This past summer, his staff role expanded to our Farm Store in Chatham, serving as a staff assistant during the busy tourist season.  Hank is a proud advocate for himself and Cape Abilities, serving as a segment guest on iHeart Radio and Boston 25 News. “My employment with Cape Abilities as given me the tools to be successful in my future career,” Hank noted, to a capacity ballroom audience. “I feel like a real part of the community, I have more self-confidence speaking in public, and I am grateful for my co-workers.  They are great mentors, showing me kindness and patience.”


CA’s Tracey Fraser (left) and Stephen DaLomba

2018 Participant Achievement Award:Stephen DaLomba
There isnt a day that goes by where we don’t learn something from one of our participants.  As a longtime member of our Cape Abilities Farm team, Stephen has demonstrated that the opportunities to learn and the opportunities to grow are never ending, if one is open to the experience.  And he has taught us all how the art of determination and persistence, the importance of communication and teamwork, as well as a positive attitude and a tremendous sense of humor can open many doors.  The belief in Stephan’s potential by those who love, know and work with him will certainly support his on-going successes.


CA’s Falmouth Office team

2018 Helen Risch Staff Achievement Award:
The Staff of Our Falmouth Office and
David Baron
The dedicated staff in our Falmouth office strive to forge new paths for our participants, both vocationally and socially. They work collectively to assure that the individuals we support are included in the decisions regarding their lives, their livelihoods, and their interests. Collaboration, teamwork, and respecting differences  are the keys to success for a team that maximizes not only their own potential, but challenges the people they serve reach and attain those same goals in life.

David Baron with CA’s John Ferguson

David personifies the consummate professional with his dedication and commitment to the mission of Cape Abilities.  No matter the challenge at hand, David displays an outstanding work ethic from which our participants benefit from every day.   He is instrumental in fostering relationships with businesses in the Cape Cod community, ensuring meaningful social engagements for our participants that improve their vocational and interpersonal skills. With the utmost dignity and respect, David empowers his participants to achieve their most desired life goals by calmly instilling confidence and self-esteem, and providing exceptional support to everyone.


Dick Hoyt with CA’s Moira Swiatkowski

2018 Harold Russell Volunteer Award:  Dick Hoyt
At first, Dick began his volunteering experience for Cape Abilities with just a few hours a week in the Day Habilitiation program at our Cochran Center in Eastham.  Within a few months, that desire to serve more blossomed into a regular volunteer schedule that often exceeded more than 30 hours a week.  A true “MVP”, Dick can be found supporting our Development team, the staff at Cape Abilities Farm, or hosting our monthly Sensory Film series in Chatham. But his favorite volunteer post remains at our Cochran Center, where he spends a lot of time losing at UNO to our participants!


The O’Brien Family with Devan and CA’s Amanda Dana (far right)

2018 Sean O’Brien Self Advocate Award: Devan Maddaluno
Posthumously named in honor of Sean O’Brien, a Cape Abilities volunteer and staff who truly found his ability to advocate for himself, this award is presented to individuals determined to make real differences in their own lives.

Devan joined the Cape Abilities family in July of 2017, becoming one of the strongest advocates for herself and others.  A graduate of Cape Abilities’ Self-Advocacy program at Bridgewater State University in Yarmouth, Devan advocated to find the right job for herself, even purchasing her own car and successfully passing her driver’s test to get herself to work and back.  Devan’s positive attitude and determination is an inspiration to all and has made her a great supporter of  colleagues and friends, encouraging them to become advocates for themselves and encouraging all to pursue and achieve their most cherished goals.


Paul Tardif with CA’s Larry Thayer (right)

2018 Business Partnership Award: Paul Tardif
As Cape Abilities has grown over the years, Paul has been there every step of the way, guiding and offering pro bono legal services to this organization. He has never hesitated to offer his expertise, no matter what the need.  Not only has he been a very consistent supporter of Cape Abilities, but he also provides similar assistance to numerous non-profits across the Cape, demonstrating his strong commitment to making Cape Cod a better place for all.



PBCB’s Greg Kelly (left) and Abby Field with CA’s David Caolo

2018 Community Partnership Award: Pleasant Bay Community Boating (PBCB), West Chatham
The staff at Pleasant Bay Community Boating make sailing effective and successful for many Cape Abilities participants every summer!   This long-time Cape Abilities community partner provides sailing lessons to participants from our Cochran Center in Eastham, and it’s become a very popular Wednesday activity.  We always know it’s “sailing day” when our participants arrive to start their day at Cochran with water shoes, sunglasses and hats in tow!

But our participants don’t simply float around the bay all day.  With dignity and respect,  the exceptional staff at PBCB teach safety rules and best practices, as well as how to use the various parts of the vessels to get their excursion underway and back into port.  These are truly educational events, and they provide unique social experiences that help our participants enjoy the beauty of Cape Cod.



Highlights from this Special Evening

We proudly announced to all in attendance that Cape Abilities has been certified by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, as a Service Enterprise! Achieving Service Enterprise certification is a very prestigious accomplishment for this organization, and signifies that we have the capability and management expertise to strategically use volunteers to consistently improve our performance.

We introduced our new President/CEOJonathan Sproul (right), and welcomed incoming Board members Julie Donaldson, Brian Kenner, Nancy Lowery, Tom Reftery and James Torney to the Cape Abilities Board of Directors.  We look forward to their outstanding leadership as we move into 2019!

And we shared a special video letter from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (below), who congratulated Cape Abilities on 50 years of service to thousands of individuals with disabilities and commended us for our commitment and dedication to the growth and success of the Cape Cod community.



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