Two hundred fifty people gathered for Abilities Network’s recent 50th Anniversary Celebration and Awards Event at Hillendale Country Club.
This event highlighted the work of the organization, which was initially incorporated in 1964 as the Epilepsy Association of Maryland and has since expanded to provide services to individuals with varying types of disabilities. Today, Abilities Network serves over 10,000 individuals statewide.
ABC2 News Anchor Charley Crowson served as emcee, presenting 35 awards to individuals, businesses and organizations that have created significant partnerships with Abilities Network. (There were three special awards, 13 program partner awards and 19 board of directors service awards for 10 or more years of service).
“Abilities Network has been fortunate to have built many individual, corporation and foundation partners over the past 50 years,” said its CEO, Lee Kingham. “We are able to provide quality services through our various programs to Marylanders because of the teamwork within our organization, as well as the collaboration with entities and people outside of Abilities Network.”
The honorees each received plates or wall hangings decorated with painted handprints made by children at the Woodbrook Early Education Center, a partner of Abilities Network’s Project ACT (All Children Together) program.
In addition to the awards presentation, the event featured in-person and video perspectives from various individuals involved in the organization.
The ceremony also acknowledged the late Dr. John Freeman (one of the founders of the organization who has contributed to the its growth and success over the years) and paid tribute to the late Diana Pillas (who worked in the epilepsy support center at Johns Hopkins Pediatric Epilepsy Center, served on the Abilities Network’s board for over 30 years and was instrumental in encouraging parents of children with epilepsy to get involved with the non-profit).