Dinner of Hope 2022
The intent of our event is to raise awareness about the need for employment of adults with Asperger’s Syndrome and to raise funds to enable us to help as many people as possible.
For more information regarding the Dinner of Hope,
The 2022 AWorks Dinner
Like in years past, we are hoping that through our event, everyone in our society will learn to accept Aspies as valuable members of our neighborhoods and recognize that the differences they exhibit enrich our communities.
Bring Your Dancin’ Shoes
Bring a Guest
We Turned 10 This Summer!
Tim Coco, MC
Joe Bevilacqua, Keynote
Spectrum Chris Robbins
L’Arche Boston North
About This Year’s Event
This year we celebrated Asperger Works’ 10th Anniversary with a fundraising event designed to observe the successes of the past years and to inform attendees about the continued challenges our clients and our organization face. Above all, it was a time to applaud people and organizations that make major contributions to our community and Asperger Works.
Master of Ceremonies
Tim Coco, an ardent supporter of AWorks of many years standing and last year’s Asperger Works award winner, returned as the master of ceremonies. Tim is the CEO and President of 97.9 WHAV, Greater Haverhill’s only public radio station and nonprofit local news service.
Haverhill City Councilor Joe Bevilacqua, the CEO and President of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, is an enthusiastic supporter of our organization and is an active member or the Greater Haverhill community.
The fact that we were able to celebrate our TENTH ANNIVERSARY is largely due to the generosity and good will of the Greater Haverhill community. Without your support, we may not have survived the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.
Although in years past we did not have a theme song, this year it should have been “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John because we are still standing despite numerous setbacks.
Each year, Asperger Works gives out three awards, and this year was no different.
The Bryan Noble Award
The Bryan Noble Award recognizes an individual for their strong advocacy on behalf of the disabled community of Massachusetts. This year’s recepient was “Spectrum” Chris Robbins.
The Asperger Works Award
The Asperger Works Award recognizes an individual for their staunch advocacy work on behalf of Asperger Works, the Autistic community, and/or indeed the entire disabled population. This year’s recepient was Asperger Works’ very own Volunteer Coordinator, Lisa Rajczyk.
The Community Service Award
The Community Service Award recognizes a local Merrimack Valley organization for its work on behalf of disabled people. This year’s recepient was L’Arche Boston North.
But, beside all the serious reasons behind our Dinner, each year we also have a lot of fun.
Stephanie Beach of Stephanie Beach Magic entertained the young and the young-at-heart with her wonderful comedic magic.
We danced the night away to great dance music provided by DJ Decibel Entertainment of Cambridge.
And we cannot forget about the well-liked 50/50 raffle, and the ever-popular silent auction.
About Asperger’s Syndrome
Asperger Syndrome (AS) is a neurological developmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It is the mildest form of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), with most Aspies (people diagnosed with AS) having average or above average IQs. It differs from other ASDs in that most Aspies have relatively normal language skills and intelligence. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and unusual use of language may also be common. For boys, signs usually begin before the age of two. Diagnosing girls is much more difficult since girls tend to be very social at an early age. It is not until their preteen years that it may be noticed that something was amiss. There is no cure for Asperger’s and it lasts for a person’s entire life.
It is important to note that no two Aspies are the same, making diagnosis difficult. Some have spatial deficits often manifested by invading another person’s space. Some have heightened sensitivity and become over-stimulated by loud noises, lights, or strong tastes, smells, or textures.
On the plus side, adults with Asperger’s have the tendency to pay close attention to detail and to focus on their interests that can result in success in higher education and careers (if given the chance). Although Aspies are often associated with careers in technology, there are a number of historical and current popular figures who are Aspergians, are thought to have been Aspergians and/or exhibit Aspergian tendencies.
Although the people often listed as Aspies or are suspected to be Aspies prove that those with AS could live successful lives, a large percentage are not so lucky. According to the latest report from the CDC, between 80 to 90 percent of all adults with Asperger’s are either unemployed or under-employed and are unable to support themselves. They rely on their families and the state for their livelihood.
Asperger Works Connection
Daniel Rajczyk, our executive director and Board President, himself an Aspie, founded Asperger Works in 2012 as part of his Master’s program at Endicott College in
It’s mission is two-fold: to educate employers about the positive side of hiring people with AS and to help adult Aspergians lead productive lives through gainful employment.
VIP Ticket Holders
Ms. Raquel Quezada
Atty. Richard Rosa