February 7, 2014
11th Annual Gala Dinner & Auction Event
Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb, Marge Donhauser,
Michael Green, Michael Coppola and Laura & Chris Wakley
Amongst the Top Honorees Named
Presented by: Five Star Bank
Happiness House/Finger Lakes United Cerebral Palsy, Inc. will hold its 11th Annual Gala Dinner & Auction Event on Friday, February 7th, 2014 at 6:00pm. 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.
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 and our 7th recipient will be presented to Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb.
Leader Kolb was unanimously elected Minority Leader by his colleagues. His district includes all of Ontario County and parts of Seneca County. His legislative priorities include reducing taxes, improving the quality of education, fostering economic development, providing sound health care and reforming state government.
Mary Walsh Boatfield, Happiness House CEO states “We are so pleased to recognize Assembly Minority Leader Kolb for his advocacy and support for all those in need in our communities. He is a good friend to Happiness House and is truly deserving of the “Happiness Is Helping” Humanitarian Award.
Community involvement and public service have been trademarks of Leader Kolb’s background. He has been instrumental in securing prior funding for Happiness House’s library at our Geneva site and our computer laboratory in Canandaigua. Most recently, Leader Kolb was instrumental in helping Happiness House secure more than $3.8 million dollars to construct a 20,000 square foot, affordable living options for individual with and without disabilities in Canandaigua. Past recipients of the “Happiness is Helping” Humanitarian Award are Charles T. Graham, Senator Michael F. Nozzolio Kevin W. Reeder, Mary Herlihy Gearan, B. Thomas Golisano and Nozomi Williams.
Others special guests who will be honored include Marge Donhauser and Michael Green, recipients of the Volunteer of the Year Award. Donhauser, a nurse trained in hospice and geriatrics, has devoted her life to caring for the elderly and for people with disabilities. She has been Happiness House’s secret Santa for the Adult Day Structured Traumatic Brain Injury program for the past 10 years. Each year, Donhauser buys and wraps presents for each program participant which are given out at their Christmas party.
Donhauser has received numerous awards for her volunteerism with charitable organizations. The Canandaigua Freeze Fest Polar Plunge is her winter endeavor. Donhauser jumps into the freezing waters of Canandaigua Lake raising money for Happiness House. Last winter, she raised over $8,000! Her dedication and commitment to Happiness House is priceless.
Green, a senior at Hobart College, organized the Hobart Football “Tackles & Touchdowns” fundraiser for Happiness House this past fall. This event, created four years ago by another offensive lineman, Jarrid Blades, was overseen by Green this past year with much help from all of Hobart Athletics as he surpassed his $10,000 goal to raise money for Happiness House. Along with the fundraiser, Green and some of his teammates also visited Happiness House, wearing their jerseys to spend a few hours with the children. The children enjoyed reading stories, playing, and receiving wrist bands from the players. Green really enjoyed seeing the smile that was brought to the children’s faces when the team visited.
Green is a Mathematics major, with minors in Physics and Environmental Studies. When not busy with football and classes, he also spends time working as a Teaching Fellow and Resident Assistant. This past summer, he conducted research on campus with the mathematics department. Green is also a member of the Druid Society, Hobart College’s senior honor society. After graduation, Green looks to pursue a career in a mathematics related field, possibly as an actuary. Past recipients include Chuck Meyn, Robert J. Quinn, Jr., Kim Parmarter, Jarrid E. Blades and Carmen Brennan Bain.
The “Outstanding Board Member of the Year” Award pays 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 third award will be presented to Michael A. Coppola.
Coppola has served as a dedicated volunteer on the Happiness House Board of Directors for 11 years and on the Foundation Board since its inception in 2009. He served as Chairman of the HH Board in 2007-2008, and it was on his watch that the “Helping Hands” Capital Campaign was concluded, leading to the new facility being built in Canandaigua and the expansion in Geneva. Coppola has served on several Happiness House committees over the years, including the Finance and Personnel committees.
Coppola is a 23 year Paychex employee. He currently manages strategic marketing initiatives in Paychex’ Marketing and Business Development group. He holds a BA in Economics and Masters in Professional Accounting. Coppola lives in Fairport with his wife, Cheryl, and they are the proud parents of twin boys, Austin and Ty, now almost 18. Ty happens to have Down Syndrome, and he is the driving force behind Coppola’s advocacy for individuals with disabilities.
Our guest speakers for the evening’s event are Laura and Chris Wakley. Laura and Chris’ son, Graham was born prematurely and received therapeutic services through Happiness House. Graham spent 91 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Golisano Children’s Hospital.
In preparation of taking Graham home, Chris and Laura were afraid of how Graham would adjust; being taken away from the 24 hour care he was used to receiving. Graham was referred to the Early Intervention Program upon discharge, to give him some help in reaching his developmental milestones (playing “catch up” to his actual age), as he was three months behind. The Wakley’s goal for Graham is to be caught up in all areas by the age of two, which is slowly approaching. We now know, firsthand “what happens here REALLY does change lives forever.”
This event is made possible through the enthusiasm and support of our sponsors: Belhurst Castle, Founding and Major Sponsor; Five Star Bank; Underwriter; Major Sponsors Harris Beach, PLLC, Relph Benefit Advisors; Corporate Sponsors Bill Cram Chevrolet, BonaDent Dental Laboratories, Finger Lakes Health, Guardian Industries, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Lyons National Bank, The Bonadio Group and Nationwide Retirement Plans; and Table Sponsors Canandaigua Financial Group, Cayuga Lake National Bank, Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State, Friends of Brian Kolb, Mark D. Gearan & Mary Herlihy Gearan and Seneca Meadows, Inc.
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. Tickets are $125 per person or to inquire about available sponsorship packages please contact Cheryl Coppola at (585) 394-1190.
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