On July 26 at the 2021 Abilities First Golf & Tennis Classic’s tennis luncheon, Mr. Dimitri Dolgov shared his, his wife Anna-Marie, and their son Michael’s journey with Abilities First. They were joined by a full room of family and friends, who were there to support them and what Abilities First has provided their son.
The following is an excerpt of his comments:
“My name is Dimitri. For those who know my wife Anna-Marie and her passion for tennis, she and I are also passionate toward and grateful to the Abilities First organization.
Our son, Michael, has been supported by the Abilities First community for over 20 years. He started in the early intervention program with therapies in our home. He then progressed to the preschool program and eventually the school-age program, where he was a student until he turned 21. He is currently a participant in adult day services and programs. The Abilities First family allowed our son to meet new children, develop friendships, and progress through the school system with other children who are his friends today, just like students in other school systems.
His classmates and teachers knew Michael as ‘The Mayor.’ He greeted many staff, students, and visitors throughout the years. Michael loves playing the drums. While attending Abilities First School, he was offered private and group drum lessons by one of the staff. Abilities First programs brought Michael and his friends out to the park, the mall, apple picking, and engaging in community activities such as delivering meals on wheels and food to the local food pantries. When we take Michael shopping or to the movies, many people stop to say hello to him. Abilities First has enabled Michael to be an integral part of his community to learn, develop, build on his social skills, and experience independence. Michael is known to the staff as a funny, gentle, and always smiling and laughing person.
We are grateful that throughout the different phases of Michael’s life, Abilities First has been with us, offering guidance, support, and programs.
On behalf of the over 1,400 individuals and families who rely on Abilities First like us, thank you! Your support today, and hopefully again, when asked, will continue to help so many more families and individuals who need the support provided by the Abilities First organization.”