Thanks to the sponsors, attendees, and those who shared their stories, VersAbility Resources’ 2021 “All Abilities Shine” Gala was a great success and raised over $60,000.
Presented virtually on March 19, 2021, VersAbility’s signature fundraiser celebrates the lives and contributions of people with disabilities. The organization is grateful to Old Point National Bank for continuing to serve as the Presenting Sponsor of this annual event and to many other generous sponsors.
“VersAbility does such an amazing job of providing essential services to people with disabilities of all ages and their families,” said Rob Shuford, President, CEO and Chairman of Old Point National Bank.
“Throughout the pandemic, people with disabilities have proven to be the most resilient workforce, going to work every day to keep our military prepared for their mission and local companies in business,” said Kasia Grzelkowski, President and CEO. “We held the Gala to celebrate their efforts and raise funds to support the vital services we provide for over 1,300 people with disabilities throughout our region.”
VersAbility Resources’ support for people with disabilities of all ages dates back to 1953.
The nonprofit offers early childhood, student, day, and residential services as well as four diverse employment programs to provide jobs for people with disabilities.
VersAbility Resources serves the entire Hampton Roads region and Middle Peninsula, from offices in Hampton, Newport News, Gloucester, and Norfolk.
Prior to the pandemic, only 30% of those with disabilities were part of the workforce, a number that has declined to 18% as a result of COVID-19.
“People with disabilities are ready, willing and able to work,” Grzelkowski said. “They represent the greatest untapped talent pool and the missing workforce that our economy needs to thrive in the future.”
The virtual Gala recognized notable contributions made by people with disabilities including:
- Loading vessels from submarines to aircraft carriers with food at the five major ports on the East and West coasts, Hawaii and Guam so they could deploy
- Supporting the nation’s efforts to combat COVID-19
- Performing critical jobs for local businesses and international corporations, contributing to a strong economy
- Digitizing X-rays for the aerospace industry through an innovative solution that has scanned over 28 million X-rays to-date.
“We envision a world where people with disabilities enjoy dignified, productive lives of their choosing as fully accepted members of society,” said Grzelkowski. “Thanks to the generosity of our community and partners, we help people of all abilities shine, and lead lives of purpose and belonging without limitation.”