Working Together As One.....For All
At the 17th Annual Legislative Breakfast the Council presented
 Mary Fasano with the Council's Life Time Achievement Award.

We are all grateful to Mary for her dedication and service to people with
 disabilities throughout the years and congratulate her on this achievement. 

Here is what Roy Probeyahn said at the presentation. 

When Mary gave birth to Matthew 33 years ago, she and her husband Joe
 were told he would never walk or talk. Well, as Mary would tell you today.... Matthew is very sociable, outgoing and talkative. He lives at home with
his parents and is a pleasure to know. Too bad he isn't here with us today
 but he had to go to his day program.

Mary, as with so many parents in these circumstance, sought help for Matt
 and found Variety Preschool. She enrolled him and became an active volunteer there. She recognized the plight of parents needing respite and through her involvement with what was then an unchartered council, she won a grant for
 Variety to run a Sunday respite program for kids like Matt. Mary became
 a charter member of the Long Island Family Support Consumer Council,
now known as the Long Island Family Support Services Advisory Council
 and a charter member of the LI Task Force on Aging Out. Mary took a job at Variety and had a long and successful career there. Her respite program is still helping kids today, as it has for decades, and will continue to do so.

Along the way, she was a force in the fight to gain back funding for
Family Support services that were cut by the governor at the time.
Her instrumental role, along with parents across the state, not only
 won funding back, but resulted in legislation creating the council into law
 which remains to this very day. Our paths have crossed at innumerable
 hearings, conferences and the like in the region over the decades.

Mary is a past Chair & Co -Chair & has held every elected office in
the Council except for treasurer. Since her retirement from Variety,
she has served on the RFP committee which has the responsibility to
distribute new state funding throughout the region as it becomes available.
She presently serves as the Co-Chair and is the statewide representative
 of the LIFSSAC to the statewide council. She serves on the Nassau County
 DD Committee as an appointee of the County Executive and has received a Governors appointment to the LIDDSO Board of Visitors, where she also
serves as secretary. She represents the LI Board at the statewide
Board of Visitors as well.

As you can see, by Mary's past and present involvement, Mary
and Joe decided to stay at the ball and dance....
I can think of no one more deserving of this Lifetime Achievement award
than Mary Fasano.
            At the 16th Annual Legislative Breakfast held on October 10, 2008,             the Long Island Family Support Consumer Council was recognized by
    the Long Island Developmental Disabilities Service Office of OMRDD
         for its commitment and service to Long Island families.      
  The Council appreciates and thanks the LIDDSO for this honor.

Colleen Kunkel, Chair LIFSCC and
Max E. Chmura, Executive Deputy Commissioner, OMRDD

The Legislative Breakfast provides an opportunity to inform
our elected officials about the needs and accomplishments of
our family members with a developmental disability.

   Please plan to join us for this important event.
    Over 600 people attended this year!



At the 2006 Legislative Breakfast, we presented the Long Island Family
Support Consumer Council's First Life Time Achievement Award!

Roy Probeyahn was the recipient of this very special honor.

The Council was delighted to present this award to Roy for
his life long work on behalf of people with disabilities.
These words that were spoken at the presentation say it all.

"There is a country western song that was popular last year that offered
the listner a choice. The line in the song went "If you have the chance to
sit it out or dance, DANCE, DANCE, DANCE !" Well there is a man
here today who was given that choice many years ago when he was
confronted with the overwhelming needs of his three sons.

Roy Probeyahn could have sat on the sidelines and let others look after
his sons but he chose to dance ! And how well he did ! One needs only to ask
his local school district personnel, or the staff at the various programs
the boys attended, or the county officials with whom Roy has served on
innumerable committees, or the state officials, many of whom are here today,
that Roy cajoled, harassed, and convinced of the dignity and
worth of all citizens of this great state.

Roy never sat it out and, as a result of his untiring efforts, his sons, and
our sons and daughters, have had opportunities that were once only a dream.
To many of us, Roy has been and continues to be a mentor, a friend, and
an inspiration to keep on dancing and to win for our sons and daughters what
Roy has called this, the last great civil rights battle in our state and nation."

We are all indebted to Roy and congratulate him on his achievement.

Colleen Kunkle, LIFSCC Chair and Roy Probeyahn