On Nov. 3, 370 people gathered at the Westin Waltham to celebrate our five CHAI Champions who are extraordinary advocates for people with disabilities.

Our Champions have all made a positive impact in their field through their support of promoting community, housing, access and independence (CHAI) for all. This year’s CHAI Champions include:

  • Jeff Karp, founder and president of LAZ Parking, who creates an environment that allows employees to reach their personal goals and full potential
  • Julie O’Brien, who dedicates her time to helping individuals with disabilities and their families prepare for their transition into adult services
  • Mark Kelly, director of special needs for the Newton Parks and Recreation Department, who builds community connections through increasing access for adults with disabilities
  • Sammi Robertson, president of Bailey’s Team for Autism, who raises essential funds that go toward helping those with autism
  • David Rosenberg, a business leader in the community who strives to create a friendly and inclusive work environment for people of all abilities
Laurie and Paul Gershkowitz Event
From left: Chairs Paul and Laurie Gershkowitz and interim CEO Carl Zack (Courtesy photo)

Together, we raised more than $320,000 to continue building a foundation of well-being and resilience for our clients. The funds raised from this biennial event will go toward supporting those with disabilities, fostering their growth and independence and giving them opportunities to live full, meaningful lives.

Thank you to our chairs, Laurie and Paul Gershkowitz, for helping us create an inspiring and memorable evening in support of JF&CS CHAI Services; our guest speaker, Donna Roman, for sharing her experience as a client; our Champions for all they do in the community; and the CHAI event committee for their hard work and dedication.

Finally, we would like to thank our sponsors, ticket buyers and longtime and new friends for their generosity in supporting the critical work of CHAI Services.

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