May 18, 2017
Prepared by: Abilis
Contact: Erica Klair l 203-249-4878 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abilis raises over $400,000 at its 65th Anniversary Gala GREENWICH, Conn., May 18, 2017 - Abilis, a non-profit organization that provides services and supports for over 700 individuals with special needs and their families, announced today that its Spring for Abilis Gala, held May 6th at the Tamarack Country Club in Greenwich, raised over $400,000. Over 200 guests participated in the elegant and festive event held to raise awareness of Abilis and critical funding for its wide range of programs designed to help individuals of all ages with special needs achieve their potential and lead fulfilling lives.

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The gala was co-chaired by Margot Michalski, Adriana Ospina, and Martha Perry. All three have very strong family connections to Abilis. Ms. Michalski, of Greenwich, is an Abilis Board member and her brother, Ian participates in one of Abilis’ day programs. Ms. Ospina, of Greenwich, and Mrs. Perry of New Canaan, are both mothers of young adults in the Abilis Life Skills Program, Alejandra and Ross, respectively. Brett Walkow, an actor and comedian based in Chicago, was the emcee for the evening. Now in its 65th year, Abilis offers a full range of services to support individuals with special needs from birth throughout their lives life. Abilis provides early intervention and customized therapies, as well as family education and advocacy to help individuals achieve important developmental milestones. As individuals approach and enter adulthood, Abilis offers recreational activities, transition and life skills support, job training, competitive and supported employment, and a choice of residential options, so that individuals can be more independent and self-sufficient. “Abilis is an integral part of the Fairfield County community and helps care for some of the most vulnerable people who live here,” said Dennis W. Perry, Abilis President and CEO. “We are fortunate to be part of a community that recognizes the importance of what Abilis does for individuals with special needs and is willing to collectively show that support. The generosity of spirit we experienced at the gala was both astounding and heart-warming. The evening was truly a memorable one.” In one of the more emotional speeches of the evening, Jeff Zimmerman, of Darien, spoke about his young son being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and the support his entire family has received through the Abilis Birth to Three early intervention program. Zimmerman, his voice cracking with emotion told the gala guests: “We know that this might be a lifetime journey. And we also know that Abilis is there for us and will be there for us every step along the way. The people who work for Abilis are committed, are incredibly supportive, and they changed our lives.” Proceeds from the event will enable Abilis to continue to expand its programming and reach throughout Fairfield County, so that more deserving individuals can benefit from Abilis’ state-of-the-art lifespan services. Abilis would like to thank its premiere, annual sponsors Holland & Knight, LLC, Serendipity Magazine, Toyota of Greenwich, Connecticut Pharmacy, and William Pitt-Sotheby’s International and gala event sponsors Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management and Adam and Loryn Halper. About Abilis Abilis is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that supports over 700 individuals with special needs and their families of all ages and abilities. Abilis has been a leader in serving the special needs community in Fairfield County in towns including, Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, Weston, and Wilton, and has a long-standing reputation for individualized, high quality care. For more information, visit, or,, or