GEC Autumn Gala a huge success


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The Guild for Exceptional Children celebrated 56 years of service to children and adults living with developmental disabilities at the organization’s Annual Gala on October 10th at the El Caribe Country Club in Mill Basin.

The evening was dedicated to individuals for their humanitarianism, generosity and philanthropic spirit. CEO of the GEC, Paul Cassone, said, “Our honorees are people who value their community members and who have a moral compass that includes helping others and providing service to improve the community.”

He added, “It’s important to acknowledge such people, both to say thank you to them for their good work and perhaps to inspire others in the community to similarly help others.”

This year’s honorees were William Guarinello, George Kabbez, Robert Kassenbrock, Dimitri Leonardos, Mike and Janet Riddle, and Arthur Maresca, singled out for their contributions to the GEC.

“They make the world brighter, richer and happier for the people in our care and they deserve a big thank you,” Cassone said.

Present at the event for the second year in a row was Ken Rosato, anchor of WABC-TV Eyewitness News.

Those who work at the GEC are hopeful for the future of the organization.

“We are hopeful that the gala will inspire others in the community to volunteer their time and expertise to help enrich the lives of those in our care.,” said Cassone who stressed, “It’s critical that agencies like the GEC are available to provide guidance and support in meeting the oftentimes complex needs of children with cognitive challenges. We help them cope and we help them nurture their children so that they can reach their fullest potential.”

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