Options for Community Living, Inc. recently celebrated its 35th Anniversary with a Gala and Casino Night honoring Greta Guarton, LMSW, Long Island Coalition for the Homeless; and Dr. James R. Powell Jr., MD, Long Island Select Healthcare. More than 200 people attended the Gala, which raised over $60,000 for Options’ programs that assist Long Islanders in need.
Honoree Greta Guarton, LMSW, is the executive director of the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless as well as a respected colleague and community leader. “Greta has impacted countless lives through her work with the Nassau-Suffolk Continuum of Care Group, her education and community advocacy efforts, and her deep and abiding commitment to address the needs of Long Island’s most vulnerable populations” stated Yolanda Robano-Gross, executive director, Options for Community Living. In accepting her award, Guarton stated that it is important to remember that “every single person is more than his/her diagnosis and that it is important while serving others to always treat them with dignity.”
The Gala also celebrated the contributions and accomplishments of Dr. James R. Powell Jr., MD, an active member of Options’ Incident Review Committee. “As a member of Options Incident Review Committee, Dr. Powell provides a critical perspective in the provision of high-quality residential healthcare,” said Yolanda Robano-Gross. “His work at Long Island Select Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI) and Family Residences and Essential Enterprises (FREE) clearly demonstrates his commitment to serving some of Long Island’s most vulnerable residents.” In his acceptance speech Dr. Powell told the audience that a colleague once asked him “how do you take care of those people?” His response was, “those people are my people.”
The evening included a moving testimonial by Options’ employee Traci S. A former recipient of Options’ case management services, Traci now helps others access healthcare and navigate the Social Services system. She believes that working for Options is her greatest gift enabling her “to give back all that was so freely given to me,” Traci stated. “Now I am that warm voice on the other end of the phone, the friendly face at the door.”
For more information about the Gala, click here to view our events page!