Latham Hosts Spring Legislative Breakfast
( Latham Board Member Becky Smith listens with Mass. State Senator Dan Wolf during an informative and engaging breakfast discussion in the Latham School library.)
Coffee was the first order of the day when the Advocacy Committee of Latham Centers hosted a well-attended Legislative Breakfast in the Latham School Library Friday, March 30th in Brewster. State Senator Dan Wolf, State Representatives Sarah Peake and Cleon Turner attended the packed breakfast along with aides from Senate Chair Therese Murray’s and State Representative Demetrius Atsalis’ offices. Ward Ellsasser, Clerk of the Latham Board of Directors and Chair of the Advocacy Committee, welcomed the audience comprised of the Cape legislative delegation, Latham family members, community supporters, Latham staff and fellow board members.
The high-energy morning provided an opportunity for face time with the attending legislators and for Latham to express thanks for continued support of human services funding for children and people with developmental disabilities.
“We value their support and we recognize that they have made the effort to know and understand the work done at Latham,” shared Ellsasser, who also previously worked as a Latham Direct Care staff person. Fellow board member Amy Carroll and Latham parent Rachel Perry both spoke to the expertise and life-changing experiences Latham offers their loved ones in residence and to their extended families.
Despite great advancements made at Latham, the attending legislators expressed caution as they related that more strain is being put on state funds as federal support to certain Massachusetts programs has been reduced in recent years. Anne McManus, Latham’s Executive Director, added that Latham is doing its part by attaining international accreditation and subsequently attracting more individuals to its programs beyond Massachusetts. “Our reputation for successfully treating individuals with complex special needs with failed placements elsewhere is ever increasing. As the only accredited residential program for boys and girls with Prader-Willi Syndrome on the East Coast, Latham is good for the Cape economy,” according to McManus.
Latham Centers employs more than 200 employees across Cape Cod in its Children and Adult Service programs. For more information, visit www.lathamcenters.org.
Gerry Desautels (Dez-oh-tel)
Director of Develoment