CHICAGO, March 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — More than 400 Easterseals leadership volunteers, corporate and individual donors, government officials, and affiliate and national staff from across the country gathered to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Easterseals in Washington, D.C., March 26-28, 2019. Following a day on Capitol Hill to advocate for programs and services vital to the individuals Easterseals serves, guests gathered at the Smithsonian American Art Museum for a 100th Anniversary Celebration Dinner.
“What an inspiring series of events through which Easterseals key stakeholders could come together to celebrate Easterseals’ legacy of impact and to commit to our future vision of a world in which everyone is 100% included and 100% empowered,” said Easterseals President and CEO Angela F. Williams. “I am certain that the energy felt this week will propel us into our next century of service to America.”
Capitol Hill Day
On Wednesday, March 27, more than 150 Easterseals leaders and volunteers from across the country gathered on Capitol Hill to meet with Members of Congress including Senators Joni Ernst (IA), Bob Casey (PA), Tom Carper (DE), and Ben Sasse (NE), and Representatives Jim Langevin (RI-2), Darin LaHood (IL-18), Steve Cohen (TN-9), Jim Himes (CT-4), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Darren Soto (FL-9), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), and Bradley Byrne (AL-1).
Discussions focused on Easterseals legislative funding priorities to ensure access to programs like Head Start, the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) and the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP).
Participants also asked their representatives to cosponsor the bipartisan congressional resolutions (H. Res. 100 and S. Res. 85) in either the United States House of Representatives and or the United States Senate to recognize Easterseals on its 100-year history and legacy of service and impact.
Several Members of Congress signed onto the resolutions based on the Easterseals outreach, including Representatives Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Derek Kilmer (WA-6), Andy Harris (MD-1), and Kathy Castor (FL-14) and Senators Chuck Grassley (IA) and Ron Wyden (OR).
Easterseals has a rich history of advocating for the rights of individuals with disabilities. In the last 100 years, the organization was on the forefront of lobbying for legislation including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and protecting healthcare access by rallying against Medicaid cuts and caps.
100th Anniversary Celebration Dinner
On the evening of Wednesday, March 27, 420 guests convened at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Kogod Courtyard for a Celebration Dinner. The event was emceed by Judy Woodruff, PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor. Woodruff is an influential supporter of Easterseals and has been a proud volunteer for many years as a member of the Advisory Committee for Easterseals DC, Maryland and Virginia. Easterseals was also honored to open the evening’s program with a congratulatory video message from the Honorable John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, former Governor of Florida.
The night was a celebration of Easterseals’ impact nationwide over the past 100 years. Former Easterseals representatives and clients shared stories of how Easterseals services (including early intervention, camping and recreation, job training and placement, veterans supports including caregiving and respite, and adult day services) positively affected their lives.
“Tonight, we celebrate. We congratulate. We thank. And we rededicate ourselves to delivering on our promise to assure that people with disabilities and other special needs have equal opportunities to realize their full potential in life,” said Easterseals President and CEO Angela Williams in her remarks. “As we all know – our work is not done. And with one in four Americans today living with disability, the need for our life-changing services and powerful advocacy has never been greater.”
Special guests in attendance included Easterseals national corporate partners from Comcast NBCUniversal, MassMutual, Freddie Mac, Anthem, PhRMA and Eli Lilly. Easterseals also celebrated its 40-year partnership with Century 21 Real Estate LLC as well as its 35-year partnership with Amway, companies that have raised more than $123 million and $35 million respectively for Easterseals.
For 100 years, Easterseals has served as an indispensable resource for individuals with disabilities, veterans, seniors and their families. Together, our 70 affiliates in communities nationwide serve 1.5 million people annually through high-quality programs including autism services, early intervention, workforce development adult day care and more. In schools, workplaces and communities, we’re fostering environments where everyone is included and valued – with a real and positive impact on us all. Join us in ensuring that everyone – regardless of age or ability – is 100% included and 100% empowered. Learn more at www.easterseals.com.