A Common Purpose Unites West Springfield Staff


“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”    –Helen Keller

Every day we experience extraordinary accomplishments being made by children at May Institute’s five special education schools and dozens of children’s programs. Behind these successes is a corps of dedicated professionals working tirelessly to see to it that each of these children achieves his or her full potential.

One of the many examples of staff commitment to the children they serve came to light during the 2010 Rodman Ride for Kids fundraising campaign.

As is the case in many geographically dispersed organizations, May Institute employees have limited opportunities for day-to-day interaction across programs, divisions, and states. In spite of logistical challenges, the 2010 Rodman Ride for Kids united staff and families for a common purpose – raising funds for our children’s programs. Staff in western Massachusetts were no exception, and they came together to host a wide range of fundraising activities.

These programs in West Springfield include the May Center for Child Development school for students with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities, and our Early Intervention and Specialty Services programs that provide intensive home-based services for children from birth through age 3.

The staff from these programs embraced the task at hand! They recruited six Rodman Ride bike riders, sent more than 540 letters to friends, family, and community businesses, and sold corporate raffle tickets and holiday candles. In addition, the group organized its first-ever softball game to benefit the Rodman Ride. The game was a unique setting for many members of the staff to meet their peers from other programs who typically have few opportunities to cross paths or connect about each other’s work.

Most of this year’s fundraising efforts in western Massachusetts were spearheaded by some dedicated staff: Kathy Lambert, Administrative Assistant, Erica Webster, M.A., BCBA, Educational Coordinator, Sarah Helm, Dual Classroom Instructor, and Shannon Kay, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Executive Director (all from the May Center for Child Development); Nancy Lunden, Director of Early Intervention Services; Crystal Loglisci, Home-Based Therapist; and Sarah Enright, Specialty Services Coordinator.

All were delighted by the enthusiasm and collaborative efforts of staff and parents during this year’s campaign.

“The rewards were twofold. It was wonderful getting to know staff members from other programs, along with their friends and family, during a day of fun and relaxation,” says Erica. “And the other joy was having the opportunity to work and play together for a good cause that helps the families we serve on a different level.”

Sarah agrees and notes that all the effort is worth it. “Whether we are on the softball field, on a 25-mile bike trek, hosting a tag sale or in the classroom, it’s all about the kids,” she says.” Whether teaching or fundraising, doing what we can to help our kids over the long term is where it’s at for us.”

Congratulations to all the staff, families, and members of the community who made the 2010 Rodman Ride for Kids efforts so successful in western Massachusetts!