B. Thomas Golisano to be honored as the 5th Recipient of the “Happiness is Helping” Humanitarian Award Jarrid Blades to receive the “Volunteer of the Year” Award
Happiness House/Finger Lakes United Cerebral Palsy, Inc. will hold its 9th Annual Gala Dinner & Auction Event tonight at 6:00pm with 240 attendees and hoping to raise $50,000 for the organization! Founding and Major Sponsor Belhurst Castle, in Geneva, will host the event which is presented by Five Star Bank, the underwriter of this event. Our Mistress of Ceremonies is Patrice Walsh 13 WHAM-TV, Rochester and Mike Rusinko of Five Star Bank will be the Auctioneer.
The “Happiness Is Helping” Humanitarian Award was created to recognize outstanding individuals who dedicate their time to advocate for and on behalf of people with developmental disabilities, and whose accomplishments are consistent with the mission and vision of Happiness House. This year’s award will be presented to B. Thomas Golisano.
Golisano, founder of The Golisano Foundation awards grants to organizations like Happiness House and is dedicated to providing opportunities for those with disabilities. A very generous gift of $440,000 through Tom’s Foundation was awarded to Happiness House. This “one of a kind” non-certified transitional home will assist us in serving three young adults with disabilities and five adults with traumatic brain injury. Over the past six years Happiness House has received approximately one million dollars from The Golisano Foundation.
Past recipients of the “Happiness is Helping” Humanitarian Award are Charles T. Graham, Senator Michael F. Nozzolio Kevin W. Reeder and Mary Herlihy Gearan.
Others special guests who will be honored include Jarrid Blades, recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award. Blades, a senior at Hobart & William Smith Colleges has organized the Hobart Statesman “Tackles & Touchdowns” fundraiser for Happiness House. Past recipients include Chuck Meyn, Robert J. Quinn, Jr. and Kim Parmarter.
The “Outstanding Board Member of the Year” Award was added to this year’s program to pay tribute to a board member who goes above and beyond their duties as a volunteer, and who holds true to our agency’s mission and vision. Our first award will be presented to Roy M. Beecher.
Our guest speaker for the evening’s event is Andrea “Andy” Bonafiglia. Andy’s son, Francis “Ben” Bonafiglia has Autism and receives services through Happiness House. Happiness House Board of Directors Years of Service recipients include Brian P. Meath, Esq. for 15 years and Michael A. Coppola for his 10 years.
Distinguished guests include Happiness House Board and Foundation Board members, community leaders, and representatives from our sponsors. All proceeds from this event will be directed to the Happiness House Foundation to benefit Happiness House’s programs and services.
Happiness House- Finger Lakes Cerebral Palsy Association is a private nonprofit health and human service agency that has been serving communities in the Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York since 1969. Today with sites in Geneva, Canandaigua, Gorham, and Waterloo, Happiness House offers an array of educational program, recreational and family support services for children and adults with and without disabilities who reside in Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, and Yates counties. On average Happiness House serves 1,000 individuals and their families each year.
Cheryl L. Coppola