SANFORD, ME – Waban staff and members celebrated its fourth annual “Cookies and Claus” event at the Wormwood Center in Sanford last week. Staff from Waban’s main office hosted the standing-room-only crowd for the holiday celebration, featuring Waban’s Executive Director, Neal Meltzer in the role of Santa, the LifeWorks Carolers, and a sing-along in a holiday setting. Residential and adult service recipients left the event with a special present; this year the gift was a mini stocking with a special holiday chocolate and Christmas jingle bells.

Most of the Cookies & Claus guests take part in the Life Works program at Waban. Through that program, individuals with developmental disabilities are guided to live fulfilling and independent lives. Life Works coordinates with each individual to promote independence through structured and therapeutic activities, training in life skills, community integration, and the enhancement of socialization skills.

Neal Meltzer, Waban’s Executive Director commented, “While we offer services to over 3,000 individuals, it’s really our emotional connection to our members that makes this job especially meaningful. We host our Cookies & Claus event to come together and express our appreciation for our members during the holidays. For us, this caps off the spirit of the season!”

More than 450 people in the Sanford area work at Waban to provide a comprehensive array of programs, essential services and support for children and adults with special needs. Services include residential services, therapeutic preschool and K-2 programs, children’s and adult case management, employment services and clinical services.