Senator Flanagan Honored By Ddi

John J. Flanagan

December 14, 2006

Senator John J. Flanagan (2nd Senate District) joined Wendy Peters as they were honored by the Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI) during the recent Stars Gala & Casino Night held at the Hyatt Regency in Islandia. The annual event, now in its sixth year, celebrated DDI's achievements over the past year.

Wendy Peters of DDI's adult residential program provided the highlight of the Gala when she received the 2006 Stars Award. DDI employee and Wendy’s longtime friend Nicole Plawner set the tone by warmly describing Wendy and all she has achieved at DDI. Through an interpreter, Wendy showed her appreciation for the honor by signing "Thank you and I love everyone at DDI."

Senator John Flanagan was honored by DDI for being a friend, supporter and advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities. Intricately involved with DDI's work to expand its services, Senator Flanagan has worked to secure over $300,000 in state funding to fund many urgently needed construction projects.

To continue that commitment to DDI, Senator Flanagan announced that he was able to secure an additional $25,000 for DDI’s Project G.R.O.W. This community-based program helps persons with developmental disabilities learn horticulture and develop job skills.

"This is a truly humbling honor. DDI is so important to the lives of many Long Island families and I consider it a privilege to play a small role in their mission. I applaud everyone at DDI for their dedication and their compassion and know that they are the ones who we should honor," stated Senator Flanagan.

Thanks to the packed casino tables, dedicated sponsors and supporters like C & B Consulting, Tobay Printing, YAP Charitable Foundation, HIP and TD Ameritrade, this year's event raised over $200,000. All proceeds will go towards funding vital programs and services for the over 1,500 individuals DDI serves with their educational and residential programs, adult day training and medical services.

"The children and adults that we serve are our inspiration; we work hard so that they will be provided with a lifetime of growth and support," stated Peter Pierri, DDI’s Executive Director. "I am appreciative of every guest who joined our celebration and to the children, parents, teachers, staff, friends and volunteers who helped to make the 2006 Stars Gala a successful and memorable evening."

The evening’s MC, Bob Buchmann of Q104.3 FM, recognized the dedicated staff at DDI who make a difference in the lives of so many families and thanked the Gala co-chairs Michelle Di Beneddetto of Citibank and Dan Dessanti of Keyspan for helping to make the Gala such a success.

Senator Flanagan joins the night's master of ceremonies Bob Buchmann during the event.

DDI is Long Island’s leading service provider for adults and children with autism and other developmental disabilities. For more information on DDI or one of the many upcoming events please log on to or call 631-366-2900.