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News and Events

Check our events calendar for open houses, graduations, parent support groups, educational classes and other special events. Our Press Room contains our most recent press releases for the media and our newsletter highlights the accomplishments of our program participants and staff and other organizational news.

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"There is always something exciting, inspirational, informational or innovative happening at Abilities First!"

Abilities First Awarded $2,000 Grant from the Ulster Savings Charitable Foundation
LaGrange, NY (December 1, 2016) – Abilities First received $2,000 from the Ulster Savings Charitable Foundation to support the “Future Steps Playground” Campaign, the creation of an outdoor playground at the Abilities First School. The playground will include an adaptive swing, climbing environments, interactive stations and shaded structures, green spaces and play space. Abilities First students range between 5-21 years of age have intellectual or developmental disabilities and come from 22 school districts throughout Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Columbia, Greene and Putnam counties.

Dutchess County, Williams Lumber & Home Centers and Thomas Chieffo Honored at Abilities First Community Breakfast
Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (April 12, 2016) – On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, over 250 community members attended the 2016 Abilities First Community Breakfast at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel in Poughkeepsie, NY to celebrate and share the organization’s mission “Enriching the Lives of Children & Adults in our Communities” and this year’s theme “Building Partnerships to Enhance Workforce Diversity.” Abilities First honored Dutchess County’s Think Differently initiative with the first Abilities First Innovation Award for their efforts in elevating the community’s awareness and positive approach and inclusiveness of those of all disabilities. The 2016 Business of the Year was awarded to Williams Lumber & Home Centers for providing vocational training and job opportunities through the Abilities First Integrated Employment Services (IES) and School to Work Programs for adults and high school students. This year’s Participant of the Year honoree, is Thomas Chieffo.

Dutchess County, Williams Lumber & Home Centers and Thomas Chieffo Honored at Abilities First Community Breakfast

Read The Press Release Here

KeyBank Foundation Grants $120,000 to New Abilities First School
LaGrange, NY (March 4, 2016)– Abilities First’s Chief Advancement Officer, Melissa McCoy, announces a $120,000 grant has been awarded by KeyBank Foundation, whose funding priorities focus is to help communities thrive through improved education and workforce development, to establish The Abilities First & KeyBank Foundation – Workforce Readiness Program at the new Abilities First School in LaGrange. The new Abilities First school and state-of-the-art facility opened in LaGrange in December 2015 and serves over 100 students from throughout the Hudson Valley.

Read The Press Release Here

Molinaro to Expand Think DIFFERENTLY Initiatives in 2016 Budget Proposal
Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (October 22, 2015) - Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro outlined plans to expand the County’s “Think DIFFERENTLY” initiative, including the addition of a “Special Needs Advocate” position, in his 2016 Executive Budget at a tour yesterday of Abilities First’s new state-of-art school for those with developmental disabilities in the Town of LaGrange. The County Executive was joined by Abilities First CEO Jeffrey Fox, as well as representatives from Dutchess County departments and other community agencies that serve those with disabilities for a early look at the school, which is slated to open on November 30th.

Read The Press Release Here

David & Lynn Melby and Rose & Kiernan, Inc.
to be Honored at the Abilities First Signature Event

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (July 6, 2015) - Abilities First has announced the 2015 Annual Award recipients to be honored at their “nightclub” themed Signature event on Friday, September 11, 2015. David & Lynn Melby will be recognized as the 2015 Outstanding Volunteers for their years of leadership and support to Abilities First. Equally supportive of their time and direct support to the mission of Abilities First, Rose & Kiernan, Inc. will be honored as the 2015 Outstanding Community Leader.
Read The Press Release Here
Abilities First Announces Major Gift From M&T Bank

Abilities First Announces New Board of Directors
Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (June 3, 2015) - Abilities First, Inc. announces the continued growth of its community leadership with the addition of new board members and its 2015-2016 officers. “As Abilities First continues to grow and expand to meet the evolving needs of the community, it is vital that we continue to maintain the distinguished leadership which our organization has been privileged to benefit from since its inception. We are pleased to welcome Halliday Clark, Dr. C. Ryan Kinlaw, Joseph Hines and Kim Williams to our Board of Directors, as well as thank our new officers for their leadership” said Abilities First Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Jeffery Fox.
Read The Press Release Here

Abilities First Announces Major Gift
From M&T Bank

LaGrange, N.Y. (July 2, 2015) – Abilities First, Inc. CEO, Dr. Jeffery Fox announces that M&T Bank has made a $30,000 leadership gift in support of the Abilities First - Future Steps Education Campaign. The Future Steps Education Campaign supports the needs of a new school which is currently under renovations at an existing facility in LaGrange, NY.
Read The Press Release Here
Abilities First Announces Major Gift From M&T Bank

Abilities First Unveils New Tagline
Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (May 6, 2015) - Abilities First, Inc., a not-for-profit that serves over 1,500 children and adults throughout the Hudson Valley region, unveiled a new tagline, “Enriching the Lives of Children & Adults in Our Communities.”
Read The Press Release Here

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