More than 225 of Waban’s staff and family members gathered recently at the Waban TREE Center in Sanford to celebrate the organization and all that it takes to achieve its mission. Waban is dedicated to providing programs and services to help those with autism, intellectual/developmental, and other disabilities throughout southern Maine lead fulfilling lives.
According to Neal Meltzer, Executive Director of Waban, “Our model and spectrum of services are very comprehensive; we have over 450 employees working throughout the Sanford and greater York County area to help over 3,000 individuals reach their potential, be as independent as possible, and live their best lives. Our employees play a vital role in our members attaining their goals. Without their extraordinary efforts, we couldn’t achieve the results we do. This celebration honors that energy.” During the event, which coincides with September’s National Direct Service Professionals Recognition Week, the Waban administration handed out awards for longevity and employee effort.

Each year the staff appreciation and family-fun day event takes place at Waban’s Summer Camp and Conference Center, located next to Bauneg Beg Lake and includes a barbeque, games, sports and an awards ceremony, with an emphasis on the importance of the Waban’s staff commitment. Monetary awards and recognition cover several categories including: “Rookie of the Year,” for new employees, “Up and Coming,” for those who have been with Waban for 1-3 years, “Tried and True,” for those who have worked for more than 3 years, and also includes awards for each 5 years of service. This year’s show-stopping acknowledgments went to Donna Horrigan, Direct Support Professional for 25 years of dedicated effort and to Gervaise Flynn, Deputy Director, for 30 years of service. Executive Director Neal Meltzer commented, “This day celebrate our high-quality direct service professionals, Ed-techs and all our other staff, who enable us to provide high-quality services.”
Direct Service Professional, Patty Gammon, who received a 5-year service award, talked about her role at Waban, “What makes my job great is to see our members achieve their dreams. It’s such a joy to help people achieve what they didn’t think possible.”
For more than 50 years, Waban has been working on behalf of children and adults with autism, intellectual, and developmental disabilities, providing services and supporting more than 3,000 individuals annually. It offers many programs including residential services, therapeutic preschool and K-2 programs, children’s and adult case management, employment services and clinical services. For more information: www.waban.org or (207) 324-7955.