Cloudy skies and misty rain did not dampen the spirits or quell the excitement of the long-awaited grand opening of the Advanced Abilities Day Program (AADP). Located in Sewell, NJ, the new program will offer services to adults with developmental or physical disabilities transitioning from a school environment or those needing daily socialization, life skill development, job training, or one of the many services and activities offered.
George Richards, Archway Programs CEO/CFO; Michelina Patetta, Director of DD Services; Ora Reed, Advanced Abilities Day Program Supervisor; and Marissa Guidos, Advanced Abilities Assistant Supervisor, shared in the ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the official opening of the program. Numerous staff members and colleagues from across all Archway Programs were present, showing their support and sharing in the day’s excitement.
Staff was on hand, offering tours of the location and answering questions about the available services within the program. Visitors were treated to delicious food and music while the staff passed out tickets for gift basket raffles held throughout the day. Five lucky winners went home with baskets filled with goodies and gadgets.
Ora Reed, excited by the sizeable turnout and the prospect of joining forces with local programs and community members, remarked, “Our grand opening event opened doors for us to attract potential participants and their families. It allowed us to connect with the community and establish relationships with local businesses.”
Janet D. Garraty, Executive Director of the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce, is one such connection and ally. Janet joined the festivities to offer her support and to learn more about the program. While taking a tour of the facility, she remarked on its potential to provide much-needed services that are often taken for granted and overlooked.
Linda Koch-Wood, Outreach Coordinator for SPWA Services, LLC, also attended the celebration and has been an advocate for the program and potential participants. Seated near the entrance, she provided relevant resource material and offered her expertise in navigating the often-confusing process of obtaining services for loved ones and family members.
After concluding the day’s events with a final tour, Michelina Patetta shared her thoughts on the new program.
“They are why we are here,” she said of the departing family. “George Richards and I have been developing this program for some time now. After years of working with consumers in a group home environment and through our respite program, we saw first-hand the strain that a system burdened with shortcomings and long waiting lists put on consumers and their families. Our goal is to bridge that gap in services and smooth the often-tenuous transition adults with disabilities and their families face every day.”
Archway Programs and the entire staff of AADP would like to offer their sincere thanks to Wawa for their donation of 240 soft pretzels, Zallies Community Foundation for their generous donation of three fresh rainbow fruit trays and six large cookie trays, to Heritage Dairy Stores for their contribution of a delicious sub tray, and to Angelo’s Pizzeria in Turnersville for their donation of five delicious large pizzas.
Thank you, Blue Violet Flowers and Gifts, for the lovely floral arrangements that graced our tables; SPWA, LLC, for their ongoing support; Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce for joining us and for your continued assistance; BGP, Inc. for their help with our vegetable garden, and Meals on Wheels for being an AADP advocate and partner.
If you would like more information about the Advanced Abilities Day Program, please visit our website: https://archwayprograms.org/adult-services/advanced-abilities/, or contact Ora Reed via phone at 856.582.3900 ext. 234 or email at email@example.com.