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Spirit of service

When a group of concerned citizens and parents of children with developmental disabilities got together in 1964, the result was the creation of the Sheltered Activity Center (SAC), which operated until 1989.

The SAC Developmental Disabilities Fund, founded in 1990 by Larry Abler and John Cumicek, continues SAC’s mission in an important and ongoing way. To date, the fund has granted more than $700,000 to community organizations that offer inclusive and accessible programs.

Organizations including Wisconsin Special Olympics and SOAR Fox Cities, as well as Bridge the Gap, Covey, Exceptional Equestrians, the Matt Kolbe Memorial Foundation, NEW Directions Learning Community, Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin and many others have benefitted from the fund.

“The contributions that have been made certainly have helped these nonprofit organizations continue to operate successfully,” said John, who has served with Larry on the committee since its inception.

“There’s such a need out there, for quite a few people,” said Larry, who along with his wife Lori, have an adult son, Tom, who is living with Prader-Willi Syndrome.

Tom works part-time at VPI, Inc. and has been a longtime participant of community programs including Wisconsin Special Olympics, in which he competes in bowling and bocce.

“It was very gratifying to be a small part of the decision-making process to assist agencies that enhance the well-being and lifestyle of our regional citizenry with special needs,” said Larry, who at age 85 retired from the committee in December 2021.

The fund is seeking new Advisory Committee members to continue its important mission. For more information, please click here.

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