Held in a hybrid format on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, Party 4 PYD brought together local business people, families, and members of our community to raise program funds and increase awareness of the power of mentoring and inclusion.
Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we were able to raise over $268,000 this year, surpassing our fundraising success from last year! We’re grateful for the more than 200 guests who traveled near and far to attend or tuned in virtually.
An Inside Look into the Event
The Program’s Hosts, Kennedy Elsey and Austin Carr
Mentor-mentee match Kennedy Elsey, co-host of the Karson and Kennedy Show on Mix 104.1, and Austin Carr were excellent hosts throughout the night. Austin gave a wonderful opening talk to kick off the program and a heartfelt shoutout to his mentor, Kennedy.
Access to Theater Performance
Access to Theater participants Whelan Fugate-Kirstein and Anthony Lu had the entire room buzzing with their dance performance to “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman, bringing plenty of smiles and cheers. Later in the evening, Whelan brought all attendees together to join him in his rendition of “Rocket Man” by Elton John, leading to a standing ovation.
Support From the Event Co-Chairs, Oz Mondejar and Cheri Blauwet
Our significant growth is due, in no small part, to the abiding commitment of Oz and Cheri. We’re incredibly grateful to them for their demonstrative support of PYD’s mission and for creating welcoming opportunities for others to do the same. We appreciated hearing their stories and learning what PYD means to them, and we know our guests felt the same.
Honoring Regina Snowden
As Regina transitions to her new role as Founder in Residence, PYD’s president of the Board of Directors, Lynn Gonsalves, gave a wonderful tribute to Regina and all that she’s done throughout the past 37 years as PYD’s founder. We’re immensely grateful for Regina’s guidance, love, and support and know that she’ll continue to be a strong force for us.
Remembering Neil Leonard
We lost one of our shining stars and a member of our Board of Directors, Neil Leonard, almost a year ago and paid tribute to him at this year’s Party 4 PYD, which his family graciously supported and attended. Neil was deeply devoted to PYD, providing generous amounts of time to the organization, given with energy, astute advice, savvy insights, humor, and ever-present support. He was a kind and thoughtful problem solver, and his legendary support to PYD will carry on.
Introducing Our Honorees
It was our pleasure to honor Klare Shaw for her lifetime achievements in philanthropy, the Harvard Law School Project on Disability for their impact on global human rights law and policy, and comedian Josh Blue for his innovative and groundbreaking performances that break down barriers and stereotypes of people with disabilities. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the people who live our mission to enable youth with disabilities to lead self-determined lives with dignity, purpose, and pride, and for that, we are grateful.
We were immensely grateful to offer a silent auction throughout the night with dozens of high-value items and experiences, including, but not limited to, a four-night stay on the Oregon Coast, an overnight excursion in Boston, a trip to Cape Cod, an autographed baseball by Red Sox player Nathan Eovaldi, and more. Kennedy certainly didn’t fail to remind our attendees of the silent auction throughout the night and threw in some humor to keep guests entertained, engaged, and inspired.
Unwavering Support from Our Sponsors
Party 4 PYD wouldn’t have been possible without support from our host, visionaries, investors, innovators, sponsors, celebrators, and friends. Thank you especially to the following:
EY | Margaret & Andrew Covell | Liberty Mutual Insurance | Schawbel Group, LLC | TJX Companies | E. Callan Charitable Fund | Gay Callan | Kim & Van Gurney | Corinne Basler | Highland Partners Charitable Fund | Jean Joy | Marsha & Thomas Alperin Family Fund | Donna & Stephen Mastrocola | Marathon Financial Group | PwC | Wolf & Company, PC | Lori & George Andrews | The Boston Foundation | Dedham Savings | Jill & Mark Rocca | SBLI | Erica & Mike Arkin | Sam & Korin Arkin | Bank of America | Rose & Andy Bentley | Cheri Blauwet & Eli Wolff | Eastern Bank Charitable Fund | Lynn Gonsalves & Tim Nichols | Henry Goodrow | Gradfin | Emily Horowitz & Chatom Arkin | KPMG | Dianne & Ron Lescinskas | Pam McIntyre | Meelia Family Foundation | Oswald Mondejar & John Verlinden | Beth & Sam Pope | Regina Snowden | Special Needs Companies | Tonneson + Company, PC | Amy Trutor & Travis Kelter | Jay Krish | O’Neill & Associates
Show Your Support Beyond Party 4 PYD
Party 4 PYD is just one of the fundraisers we host throughout the year that make it possible for us to support youth with disabilities. Please consider making a donation to help us continue to increase awareness of the power of mentoring and inclusion.