CHICOPEE — Building on the dream of several parents of children with disabilities in 1967, local nonprofit Sunshine Village celebrated its 50th anniversary with a Great Days Gala on Sept. 14.
More than 250 guests enjoyed food stations and passed hors d’oeuvres under a tent along with tours of the buildings on the main campus in Chicopee. The organization serves more than 450 people and employs more than 250 in its day programs and employment services for adults with developmental disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum.
The event focused on the innovation surrounding the next 50 years of the organization, including finding new programs to serve the growing population of individuals with disabilities. Board President Ernest Laflamme Jr. and Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos cut the ribbon on the Davis Building that was recently renovated by A. Crane Construction Co. and Caolo and Bieniek Associates Inc. to allow for future growth. The building houses administration offices and a new contemporary day-habilitation program geared toward younger adults. In addition, the Board Room was also dedicated to the leadership of Laflamme as a board member.