HOLBROOK, N.Y. – On Friday, June 8th, Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker, Legislator Rudy Sunderman, Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Valerie Cartwright, and other elected officials attended the SASI (Specialized Autism Support and Information) Blue Party Gala at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook. The event honored five individuals who have proven to be SASI heroes through their work in improving the lives of autistic children and their families, and one everyday SASI hero who is a single parent to an autistic child. The event raised awareness and funds for programs and services to benefit families affected by autism.
The first two honorees were Danielle Brooks and Maria Licata from Special Kids Advocates Agency. Danielle and Maria have devoted their time to educating and empowering parents about the special education system and aiding them in getting appropriate service and diagnoses for their children. The next honorees were Bob and Barbara Mongillo. The Mongillo’s are the owners of the Dew Drop Inn, a special needs social center where children and young adults can socialize. Together they have adopted 15 special needs children. Dr. Matthew Lerner, the Director of the Social Competence and Treatment Lab at Stony Brook University was also honored for his devoted work in studying and understanding the autism population and providing social groups, programs and therapies to aid them in navigating their world. Lastly, Tiery Sameuls, the SASI everyday hero, is a single mother of her autistic son. She is a veteran of the United States military and is presently an officer in the New York Police Department.
“It was an honor to recognize these incredible individuals and the contributions they make to SASI. Their hard work in providing support and resources to the autism community and their families does not go unnoticed,” said Legislator Anker.
SASI is a 501c3 non-profit organization started in 2015 by two Mount Sinai mothers who have children with autism. SASI serves the needs of the autism community throughout Long Island with over 1,500 member families and growing each day. SASI aims to enrich the lives of special needs families and be a central resource for them to bettering the lives of their children and their family as a whole. For more information please visit https://sasiny.org/
(Pictured L-R: Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker, Co-Founder of SASI Priscilla Aren, Co-Founder of SASI Stephanie Mendelson, and Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Valerie Cartwright.)