Ability Plus celebrates tenth anniversary with gala

Gene Stallings was keynote speaker at the Ability Plus gala. (CONTRIBUTED)
Gene Stallings was keynote speaker at the Ability Plus gala. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Ability Plus marked its tenth anniversary in a special way or a “new beginning” as Amy Dawkins, senior director of opportunity services, described it.

The organization staged “one of the most elegant and exciting events in Alabama at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration on March 28,” Dawkins said. “We celebrated an incredible and diverse group of individuals and caregivers who are continuing to build on a rich heritage of quality service.”

Ability Plus is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that maintains residential homes and daily routines for individuals in North Alabama with intellectual disabilities.

The event served to recognize people “who have been a positive force in bringing together Alabamians with intellectual disabilities with those who are generous contributors to our Huntsville/Madison County community,” she said.

Gene Stallings was keynote speaker. After coaching the St. Louis Cardinals, Stallings led the Alabama Crimson Tide to a national championship. “Coach Stallings is also well respected for his commitment and generosity to those in need,” Dawkins said.

Stallings told the crowd that he helps this demographic “because it’s the right thing to do.” Stallings works continually for expansion of better health services with a deliberate focus on building hospitals, most recently in Texas and Haiti.

The event also included online and live auctions. “Several of the clients have lovingly painted pictures and donated these to our online auction. (Their artwork) helps us with our fundraising efforts, which will benefit them with future outings and activities,” Dawkins said.

Ability Plus offers a community-inclusive home environment to individuals with intellectual disabilities. Trained professionals maintain residential homes to support the direct care and development of residents.

To set short- and long-term goals, the organization considers each individual’s strengths and unique physical, psychological and social background, along with their families.

Ability Plus’ address is 1040 Research Blvd., Suite 160 in Madison. For more information, call 256-489-4696, email to info@ability-plus.org or visit ability-plus.org.

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