Support & Commitment: A 36 Year Journey

For over 36 years, the Prenting Family has had an affiliation and commitment to the mission of Abilities First.

Theodore (Ted) and Bernardine Prenting were first introduced to Abilities First when they were searching for an appropriate program for their son, Peter. Prior to their passings, Bernardine and her daughter, Mary Nell Prenting-Palumbo, became actively involved with Abilities First, serving on its Board of Directors for many years.

Since Peter turned 21, he has been a member of an Abilities First Residential Program and the Supported Employment Program. Peter, Ted and Bernardine’s son, is now 57 years old.

“Peter has always been most happy with his programs. It is his family, and he feels at home and secure. For this, my late wife and I have been very pleased,” Ted said. “I think this quality of life is what any parents would want for their children.”

He continued: “My experience over the years and in speaking with parents is that those who put off allowing their (grown) children to try something like this are really doing themselves and their child a disservice.”

Today, Ted continues his family’s legacy of service as a member of the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Abilities First NY (FAFNY). He began as a Founding member and now holds the position of Vice Chair and serves on the Finance Committee. Ted was instrumental in the initial establishment of the Foundation, and continues to provide sound governance and leadership for the fundraising arm of Abilities First, Inc.

“What interests me most and keeps me engaged as a volunteer is the population we serve and the obvious dedication of officers and staff,” Ted said.

Prior to joining the Board of FAFNY, Ted established the Prenting Family Recreation Fund that specifically supports the recreational and socialization needs of individuals not otherwise funded through regulatory revenue streams. Ted continues to make gifts to the fund annually. These funds have purchased gazebos for houses, gym fees, trips to events, personal technology (as needed), and have enriched the lives of the recipients in so many other meaningful ways.

Ted is Professor Emeritus of Business and Heritage at Marist College and supports other regional nonprofit organizations. He continues to live in Poughkeepsie and appreciates the life of independence that Abilities First programs have afforded his son, Peter.

Abilities First and FAFNY are most grateful for the Prenting Family for their generosity to others, the leadership they have extended in the past, and for Ted’s continued service on the family’s behalf.