2012 Year In Review
January 30, 2013 - In This Issue:
Vision statement


Thursday, April 25, 2013
The Liberal Club, Fall River
More event details.

Monday, May 13, 2013
The Ridge Club, Sandwich


Community Connections was pleased to welcome three new members to its Board of Directors in 2012.


Christopher Kirrane joined us at the beginning of the year. As an Associate Attorney at Dunning, Kirrane, McNichols & Garner, LLP Chris brings his invaluable legal counsel to the Board. He is also an active golfer and is currently serving as Co-Chairman for our upcoming Classic by the Sea Charity Golf Tournament.


Brad Goodwin, Sales Representative with Qantum Cape Cod, joined the Board of Directors in the early summer. With over 27 years in Cape Cod radio broadcasting, Brad brings with him a wealth of knowledge in: advertising, sales, fundraising committees, planning, and public speaking.


Jami Carder

Most recently Jami Carder, founder and owner of Lighthouse Home Health Care of Cape Cod, joined the Community Connections' Board of Directors. In addition to starting her own business, Jami brings a depth of experience in the medical field, with fundraising events, committee involvements, and a strong network of community members to Community Connections. 



2012 saw growth in our management team as we filled new positions that would help implement our strategic plan.


Libby Hearne Libby Hearne joined the team as Director of Administration and Finance in July. She is responsible for the oversight of Finance, IT and Business Operations. Libby is a recent retiree from Eastman Kodak, where she held several senior leadership positions in operations, finance, global operations and vendor management. She admits to "being addicted to Downton Abbey, tweeting, gardening and travel."


When asked what she brings to Community Connections Libby said, "Definitely my background in finance management, an outside business perspective, an enjoyment of working as part of a team and my sense of humor. You wouldn't think it with my position but I am known in some circles for it."


Sharon Burman In October we welcomed Sharon Burman as the new Vice President of Strategic Development. She is responsible for overseeing the Fundraising and Marketing departments as well as directing some of the strategic plan initiatives. Sharon comes to Community Connections with 30 years of experience in the advertising and marketing industry with international advertising agencies and in corporate advertising/marketing departments. She has relocated to the Cape with her 20 year old cat Calie and plans to enjoy all the area has to offer - including skiing, sailing and scuba diving.


When asked what she brings to Community Connections Sharon said, "My experience running national marketing and advertising campaigns, the successful implementation of strategic plans for large corporations, respect for the people that we serve and an excitement to help Community Connections grow.


*These "clippings" are fictional. While the details reflect actual events, the following stories were never reported in any publication other than this, rather humorous, one.* 
Funny news headlines 2012

SUPPORT COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS THROUGH - Earn Community Connections cash every time you shop online! Help Community Connections every time you shop online! By signing up for iGive and making a purchase at any of the 1,000+ iGive merchants (like, JC Penny, and Staples) you'll be helping us with a donation. These online retail shops will donate a percentage of the sale to Community Connections. 

Please click the link below to register and start making donations just by shopping!
Looking Back, Looking Ahead
Donna Sabecky

Community Connections is proud and excited to be entering its 28th year of service to high school students and adults with intellectual and physical challenges, and their families. As you will read in this latest newsletter, the year 2012 was filled with wondrous achievements, all which reflect our drive to empower people so they may reach their maximum potential.


Please come and see firsthand the joy that occurs every day. From the sparkle in the eyes of someone who was just hired into their first job, to the contented smile of an Elder who participates in senior social activities; Community Connections strives to meet and exceed each person's expectations.


We tirelessly work on being the provider of choice:

  • By customizing our facilities to meet our client's needs.
  • Opening our newest Center at Commonwealth Landing in Fall River.
  • Helping more people than ever transition from Nursing Homes to community settings.
  • Nearing completion on a new Center in Mashpee. This new 6,400 square foot facility will accommodate our expanding waiting list.
  •  Increasing employment by 100% of our goal in the past year.
  • Recently rolling out a customized Electronic Case Records system that does away with binders full of paper records and allows vital information to be accessible throughout the program.
  • Completing a strategic plan to carry Community Connections into the future.
  • And by committing to provide a continuous culture of learning.

Community Connections is considered a national model of excellence, as proven by the eighth consecutive 3-year National Accreditation, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities' maximum level of certification. We have also been awarded two-year licenses in Employment, Individual Home Supports and State funded Day Services from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS), following a DDS targeted review and self assessment.


Finally, Community Connections remains committed to engaging with our appointed and elected government officials, many of whom impact our lives through public policy. New and unforeseen rules in Medicaid and Medicare will affect us all, especially those who cannot speak for themselves. Being active on State Disability Boards, as well as with State and Federal government administrators, can help bring real solutions to a complex health and human services system.


On behalf of the Board of Directors and our dedicated staff, I extend our heartfelt gratitude to you and your families for continuing to support Community Connections in our quest to positively impact lives, one person at a time. 


"Art Therapy Process Encourages You to Grow"
Up-cycled flower art
Yarmouth artists re-purposed plastic bottles to create a 3D field of flowers. Art Therapist Anne Hitch has since helped the art group complete multiple projects using recycled objects.

Art Therapy has been an important part of Community Connections' for many years now. Art has proven instrumental in enriching the lives of those with disabilities by helping boost self esteem, improve mental, emotional and even physical states while helping to improve the quality of life.


The art therapy process encourages the individual to grow in their art, to enjoy creating something wonderful, to verbally explain and express what they have created, to encourage social interaction, and to instill self confidence.


Over the last year, Art Therapy programs in Yarmouth and Mashpee have participated in a collaborative art show, held their own showing, completed a ten foot wall mural of Monet's Water Lilies and joined the up-cycling movement by creating art with recycled items. These accomplishments are in addition to donations of artwork for Community Connections' fundraising efforts. 


 "We are so honored to have clients that grow in the program and produce works of art that not only express their personality but that they can show off with pride." says Christine Boggs, Yarmouth Day Center Manager. 


This summer we were pleased to have expanded the program to include Plymouth and Fairhaven. Each location offers new challenges and rewards as participants are exposed to new techniques and projects. The programs work with varied mediums, everything from mosaics, to acrylic paintings. But it's not so much about the finished product as it is the experience.


"I have so much fun working with these new groups," says Hitch. "For my students the process, the expression and the skill building is just as important as the piece they take home."


Life Skills and Day Hab - A Strong Bond
The phrase" two hands are better than one" is true at the Marion Day Habilitation program, where the staff routinely get a hand from their Life Skills participants. The bond between the Life Skills folks and their peers in Day Hab is refreshing to observe.


Ron and Regina
Here Regina holds
one of the ropes that
Ron created for her.

Take for instance, Ronnie Colon, a member of the Life Skills group, who is an avid knitter. His craft was needed to expand Regina Cohen's goal to work with a variety of textures. He knitted her a selection of "ropes", using different stitches to vary the thickness. Regina now uses her ropes as part of her therapy sessions to improve her recognition of different textures. 


When Corey Svedine was made aware that Suzanne Sevigny enjoys picture books but most of them are designed for children, he took it upon himself to create a new "book" for Suzanne. Each month, Corey comes up with a theme and then searches for vibrantly colored photos. Then he prints the pictures and applies them onto tab pages, making it easy for Suzanne to turn the pages of her book. He is quick to initiate the project each month, looking forward to this creative challenge and feeling pleased to have assisted a friend.


The Marion program is fortunate to have a group of such good hearted participants, willing to lend a helping hand. 


Meeting Greater Needs in Fall River and Mashpee
We have made great strides over the last six months in expanding our services to meet needs within local communities. We are beyond excited to have opened our new Davol Street Center at Commonwealth Landing in Fall River. And we can't wait until February when our Mashpee Program will be moving into a sparkling new space as well. "These improvements are about more than fresh paint and new surroundings, they're really about offering new opportunities so that our clients can excel." said Kristine Fletcher, Manager of Fall River Day Habilitation.

Commonwealth Landing
Commonwealth Landing, Fall River.


The new location at Commonwealth Landing on Davol Street offers the Fall River Day Habilitation program more than double the space with a dedicated therapy room, an expanded kitchen, and specialized therapy equipment. The favorite feature of the new building is the therapy room. The large open space features stationary stairs, parallel bars, and suspension swings. 


 The new Mashpee location is close to completion. "They're putting the final touches on the building now. We're excited that they'll be finished within the month," said Joe Krajewski, Vice President of Programs. The new location will allow Mashpee to expand and begin offering services to those on their waiting list. 

Mashpee blueprints
Blueprints for the new Mashpee site

Whether it's a shinning new program or a new model for therapy Community Connections is proud to strive for excellence in every area. There's a new energy and excitement that comes with a brand new building, it's the same with a car or new home, we're looking forward to all the new opportunities ahead.

Fall River Employment Services Client Celebrates 25 Year Anniversary
Nancy Vieira
Nancy Vieira at work

Milestones in employment are often celebrated with a desk clock, or a gold pin, or some other such memento. However, the greatest feeling doesn't come from that small token of appreciation, it comes from the knowledge of a job well done, the respect and camaraderie of co-workers, and the feeling of accomplishment in taking home that paycheck every week.


Nancy Vieira knows this very well. She recently celebrated her 25th anniversary with Stop and Shop.


For the last 12 of those 25 years, she has received support through Community Connections Employment Services program. Her job coach, Melissa Arruda says, "Every time I go see Nancy at work she always greets me with a smile and shows genuine kindness towards me and everyone she comes into contact with."


Nancy's supervisor, Sharon Singleton, has known Nancy for the entire 25 years she's been with the company. She said, "Nancy is a valued employee. She always has a smile on her face and is excited to come to work every day."


Nancy's responsibilities include, bagging groceries, recovering items and returning hand baskets. When asked about what motivates her Nancy said, "The people I work with... co-workers, management team and my customers."


Arguably the best feeling that comes with employment is spending that paycheck. Nancy says she likes to spend a portion of her earnings on getting herself a coffee or a sandwich at the deli. The rest she saves for vacations. She has been on several cruises in the past and usually tries go on one every year.


 Providing the highest quality services and opportunities for people with disabilities since 1985.

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn   View our videos on YouTube    iGive icon - change online shopping for good