From the community

Easter Seals Maine has new executive director, board chair

Posted March 19, 2013, at 11:10 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine – Spring is a time for renewal and that is certainly true at Easter Seals Maine where Gail Wilkerson of Falmouth recently took the helm as executive director and Dennis Brown, also of Falmouth, took on the role of board chairman.

Under their direction, the agency, which provides services for children and families with special needs and disabilities in the Greater Portland area, is working toward expanding services and providing hope and independence for more families in Maine than ever before.

 Next month, Easter Seals Maine will host the Toast on the Coast wine tasting and silent auction to raise funds and awareness for their programs and services. The event, set for Thursday, April 11, at Ocean Gateway Pier in Portland, will offer more than 400 guests an exciting, and delicious, evening to benefit children and adults with special needs.

Local restaurants such as David’s, Farmer’s Table, Nosh and Vignola, will be sharing their culinary delights, and 100 percent of the proceeds from the event will support Maine families.

“As the parent of a child with autism who benefited from Easter Seals’ services, I know how critical this organization is in providing opportunity to those who are differently abled,” said Easter Seals Maine Executive Director Gail Wilkerson in a press release. “We are thrilled about the exciting changes occurring at the agency and welcome guests to our signature event, Toast on the Coast, to enjoy an evening of fine wine and food in celebration of our vital programs for Maine families.”

Toast on the Coast guests will have an opportunity to enjoy the Grand or Private Wine Tastings, bid on spectacular silent auction items, and sample delightful plates from some of the top restaurants in the area.

All proceeds from Toast on the Coast will benefit Easter Seals Maine’s programs and services, including physical, occupational and speech therapies for children from birth to age three, workforce development, aquatic and other recreational therapies, and an expanding child development center for youth of all abilities through age five. In addition, we are exploring as well as a new initiative to support Maine’s veterans.

“After hearing the plight of just a few of our returning veterans, and knowing that there are a thousand similar stories with a common theme, I knew we couldn’t grow our new Veterans Services Program here in Maine fast enough,” explains Easter Seals Maine Board Chairman Dennis Brown. “I will be doing everything I can to make that happen.”

Tickets for the Private Wine Tasting are limited and priced at $75 per person. The private tasting ticket provides access to the Grand Tasting as well. The Grand Tasting tickets are $50 per person. Both tickets include all food and wine for this 21+ occasion. Last year’s event sold out, so make sure to buy your tickets today and don’t miss out on this sensational event.

For more information about participating restaurants and silent auction items, or to order your tickets online, please visit www.eastersealsme.org/events.

For close to a decade, Easter Seals Maine has continually expanded its service reach to address the unmet needs of the disabled community in southern Maine. To this end, Easter Seals Maine ensures all services provide an individualized approach to infants, children, and adults with disabilities or special needs while providing additional supports to their families. Services currently consist of Early Intervention services, the All Aboard! Preschool, the Center for Therapeutic Recreation, Youth Transitional Services, and Workforce Development. For more information about Easter Seals ME, please visithttp://www.eastersealsme.org/.

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