The 30th AnnualReach for a Star Spring Luncheon was held on Thursday, March 29, 2012, at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, NY. 2012 is a special year for the “Reach for a Star” Committee as they are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Henry Viscardi School (HVS) at Abilities!. This year the Committee raised more than $166,000 to support the programs and services at the Henry Viscardi School (HVS), an affiliate of Abilities!. HVS provides educational services and onsite medical care to 183 children (ages 3-21) with severe physical disabilities. Students travel to HVS from 47 school districts on Long Island, in Westchester, and in the five boroughs of New York City.
The guest speaker at this year’s event was Nadia Holubnyczyj-Ortiz, who attended HVS from Pre-K through 12th, graduating in 1986. After graduating, Nadia attended Queens College to receive her Master’s Degree in speech-language pathology. As a speech-language pathologist, she served individuals with varying communicative and feeding disorders from infancy through geriatric, specializing in augmentative communication and provided diagnostic and therapeutic services to individuals requiring assistive devices. Nadia left the speech pathology field to be a stay-at-home mom when she adopted two children from Guatemala, now ages 6 and 8. Currently she is the co-chairperson of “The Citizens with Disabilities Committee,” whose mission is to work with the Village of Floral Park to develop programs and initiatives that assist people living with disabilities in the town. She is also the Vice-President of one of Floral Park’s Civic Associations, and is President of the John Lewis Childs Elementary School PTA.
The Reach for a Star Committee is co-chaired by Iris Katz, Denise Wolfbiss and Ruth Geismar. The Committee continues to devote their time and energy to raise funds that are desperately needed for the students of HVS.