EASTHAMPTON – A few years ago, moving from his home would have been more than Gerry Theriault could have handled, but in 2014, he negotiated a shift from his longtime condo in Amherst to Easthampton with ease.
The transition was even his idea, said Barbara Pilarcik, executive director of The Association for Community Living in Springfield, a nonprofit that provides an array of services to people living with disabilities, including Theriault.
Pilarcik’s comments were offered on June 16 during The Association’s Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, where Theriault received an achievement award for the courage and commitment he showed throughout the move.
“Upon moving into his new apartment, Gerry said he was starting a new life and leaving the past in Amherst,” Pilarcik said. “He and his care provider now have a dog, and Gerry enjoys her company. Overall, this move has shown just how hard Gerry has worked on himself, to become the person he is today.”
In addition to presenting 11 achievement awards to individuals served in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire counties, Pilarcik also honored staff with awards and discussed milestones the organization accomplished over the past year.
Pilarcik highlighted that the agency:
- Held its first-ever Leadership Institute, providing high-quality management training to 20 emerging leaders at the agency.
- Partnered with Baystate Health to present “Crash Reel” to over 200 community members. “Crash Reel” is a documentary that tells the story of a New England family and their son, an Olympic ski boarder who is recovering from a horrific head injury.
- Produced an original play, “Once Upon a Bog,” involving more than 30 teens and adults from the Whole Children and Milestones programs to a sold-out audience.
- Opened a new, fully accessible Residential Services home on Meadow Street in Agawam.
“These are just some of the highlights we have experienced,” Pilarcik said. “They don’t begin to capture the many acts of kindness that occur daily at The Association for Community Living.”
For more information about the services and programs of The Association for Community Living, visit www.theassociationinc.org.
Photo by Trace Meek via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY 2.0.