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For Immediate Release

2016-A Year In Review

Change, Growth, and Hope at Easterseals UCP

December 31, 2016

2016 was full of changing beginning with the revitalized new logo and brand for Easterseals UCP and ending with making the lives of chldren and young adults with disabilities better during the holidays thanks to Sensitive Santa events throughout NC & VA.  Throughout the year, our professional staff has grown with the individuals we serve to help them live, learn, work and play in their communities.

We've compiled our Top 12 Important Moments at Easterseals UCP, but there are so many more.  Special thanks to our business partners, sponsors, individual donors, event coordinators and participants, volunteers and our dedicated staff of #EverydayGivers.  Thank you as we move into a new year full of hope and promise.

YouTube Video:2016 Year In Review  

new logo

1.  National Easterseals launched a new brand and new logo with a revitalized brighter look.  The rebrand responds to the evolution of disability in the 21st century – a cause going beyond the physical to include invisible, emotional, social and educational challenges.



2.  EMPOWER After School & Summer Camp in NC kicked off this year.  Thanks to Trillium Health Resources for sponsoring much needed programs for children with disabilities and providing a safe and educational place parents can count on in the summer and after school.

Learn more about Easterseals UCP EMPOWER Camps in North Carolina


Learn more about Easterseals UCP EMPOWER After School Programs in North Caroline



3.  The 1st Annual Champions Gala honored Jim Goodmon, recipient of the Charlie and Nancy Gaddy Champions Award.  The Gala held at Bay 7 highlighted the partnership over the years with Jim Goodmon, President of Capitol Broadcasting Company.

Read more: http://www.easterseals.com/NCVA/who-we-are/news/inaugural-champions-gala.html


4.  The 15th Annual Eggstravaganza was a huge success.  In 2016, Eggstravaganza donors and attendees helped raise $160,000 to support the programs at Easterseals UCP for children and adults with disabilities.  $29,500 went directly to camp scholarships making it possible for individuals with special needs to attend the one-of-a-kind residential Camp Easterseals UCP in Virginia. Save the date for Eggstravaganza 2017 on March 18th.



5.  Easterseals UCP Autism Program is expanding.  In 2016, Leica became the Autism Director creating new programs and hiring staff to help families throughout NC.  Also this year, staff dressed in blue as part of Easterseals UCP Autism Awareness Day. (April 2016)


charlie pit stop

6.  Easterseals UCP honored Charlie and Nancy Gaddy at an Open House at its Raleigh based developmental day center named for the former WRAL-TV News Anchor.  The highlight was the new and improved playground and the installation of Charlie’s Pitstop.



7.  A year full of countless milestones for Easterseals UCP Staff and others.  We're sharing just a few.


Earlene Russell celebrated her 90th birthday.  She was a camper at Camp Easterseals UCP and remember her days fondly.  Earlene was honored to receive a certificate and birthday wishe from the staff at Camp Easterseals UCP.


Tristan Robertson celebrated 20 years with Easterseals UCP.  She is  now Regional Director of Virginia Programs.  Congratulations to Tristan for her continued leadership.


Karen Fraller, who manages community outreach for Easterseals UCP Special Assistance Programs and Information and Referral Services for NC & VA, was recognized at the Global Rehabilitation Enhanced with Assistive Technology Conference.  She received the Stephen E. Sallee Assistive Technology Award of Excellence.



Chasity has "Whatever It Takes" as she received that award as a Multi-Systemic Therapist.  We're proud of her dedication and hard work with individuals with disabilities.



Easterseals UCP is proud of ChildFirst Program Clinical Supervisor, Twayla Eason, who received a prestigious award from the East Carolina University School of Social Work.  Twayla was awarded the Rising Star Alumni Award this year.  It is an important honor at the school, recognizing individuals who continue to dedicate their lives to social work.



For 25 years, the Association of People Supporting Employment (APSE) has played a critical role in establishing supported employment as the viable rehabilitative service for individuals with significant disabilities who have been unable to become employed in the workforce.

Bridget Hassan, the North Carolina President of APSE, has been tapped to sit on the National APSE Board.  Bridget will continue to advocate and educate for individuals with disabilities, while continuing her work at Easterseals UCP.



8.  AgrAbility celebrated it’s 25th Anniversary.  At Easterseals UCP, the AgrAbility staff continued to help individuals such as Mojdeh and Robert in Chesterfield County, VA get their farming back on track. 

Learn more about AgrAbility: http://www.easterseals.com/NCVA/who-we-are/news/agrability-comes-to-the.html

ashira wheelchair

9. Ashira was outgrowing her wheelchair and needed more supports.  Her family turned to Easterseals UCP for help.  Staff were able to help her through the Healthy Living Grant, a time-limited grant supported by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and Easterseals UCP. 



10. Clara needed help and she needed it fast.  Easterseals UCP Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team was there to help her.

The Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team is a 24/7/365 program that serves individuals with Severe and Persistent Mental Illnesses (SPMI) that are complicated by a variety of factors such as Substance Use, Medical Illness, chronic homelessness, frequent incarceration, etc.  The program assists these individuals with symptom stability so that they are able to remain in their own communities and reduce crisis intervention/hospitalization.  



11. “Voices Unlocked” is a powerful short video produced by Jonathan Newport.  His brother, Ben, attends Camp Easterseals UCP in Virginia.  We’re proud of Jonathan for being Ben’s voice and helping others.



12. Sensitive Santa events in NC & VA helped children and young adults with disabilities visit Santa in a calm and peaceful environment.  These events made possible by sponsors brought cheer and peace to many families during the holiday season.

Read more: http://www.easterseals.com/NCVA/who-we-are/news/easterseals-ucp-sensitive.html

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