Guests enjoyed an evening of Irish charm with a mix of marine life. The event was planned as Aid to the Developmentally Disabled (ADD). The fundraiser included h’orderves, cocktails, an Irish buffet and private access to the spectacular aquarium. The night was filled with fun and humor as guests were treated to comedy entertainment, as well as witness one ADD Executive or Manager being lowered into the aquariums 120,000-gallon Lost City tank for a nose-to-nose swim with the sharks.
Don Rieb, Founder of ADD and Entertainment Journalist Cognac Wellerlane, at the 1st Annual Shamrock Shindig on Thursday, March 19, 2015 at Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead.
During the event I had the pleasure of interviewing Founder Don Rieb.
I am talking to the CEO of ADD. Introduce yourself to the camera darling.
Don: My name is Don Rieb. I am the founding CEO of the organization ADD. We started the agency in 1983 and we opened up our first residence in 1984 for those with disabilities and several years later we opened up programs for those with services for mental illness. We now have thirty residences in five townships.
And that is what this event is really all about. It’s participating and giving back to this organization.
Don: Yes. It’s actually critical. What’s happening over the past several years is that Albany and the federal government is reducing Medicaid funding for the past several years. Not just ADD but other organizations in New York State. It’s becoming much more difficult. They want us to do more for less.
More for less.
Don: Yet it’s getting harder and harder. So raising events like this is actually critical. Not only that but it get’s the community engaged in what we do.
And to bring awareness. That is the whole point behind this particular event. Obviously we are celebrating St. .Patrick’s Day but in a nice way because we are giving back to this wonderful organization.
Don: That and as you said it becomes an educational process for the community. The East End has been absolutely wonderful to us. It’s a wonderful community and we are happy to be here. We have houses out in East Hampton, Southampton, Greenport, Southold and Brookhaven Town. People are great.
Tell my audience what we’re going to experience at the 1st Annual Shamrock Shindig.
Don: Well this evening, obviously it’s to get the community together to learn something about ADD and to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. One of the things we are going to do is, we have a shark tank contest and the people who contributed will go into the shark tank. We had a program director and our board president, they got the most funding so there going to be going into the tank with the sharks!
Oh my God!
Don: Yeah, that’s what I said. Getting the people here is really about awareness and raising money is extremely important to us. All the money that we raise will go to all the people we serve.
Tell my audience where we can go to participate, support and contribute.
Don: We have a website. It’s http://www.addny.org
I also spoke to President Vincent Barry and why he became a big supporter of ADD.
Tell my audience why you are a big supporter of ADD.
Vinnie: Well I have been with ADD for more than ten years on the board and I really didn’t know too much about ADD when I first joined. I heard about it and the longer I have been with it’s been just a phenomenal organization. Don runs a great organization. It serves a very strong lead out here to save the mentally challenged and disabled. Don started this thirty years ago in 1984 with one home and now it has grown to thirty houses.
TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Founder of http://www.addny.org Donald Rieb and President Vincent Barry at the 1st Annual Shamrock Shindig at the Atlantis Aquarium in Riverhead, NY on March 19, 2015
The purpose at ADD is to provide the optimum level of quality rehabilitative services to all individuals living within their residential program. They provide a healthy, safe, and homelike environment in which individuals may achieve the greatest level of independence possible. ADD strives to surpass all requirements of OMH, OMRDD, federal, state and local authorities.
They are guided by their core of values:
ADD believes that every individual has value and the potential to learn and achieve goals. ADD does everything to inspire self-esteem, and encourage individuals to help each other and work together whenever possible. They aim to achieve fulfillment for every individual and employee by providing innovative and progressive programming and training. They are consistent in providing competent and compassionate staff who are role models for the people they serve. Standards of excellence are adhered to and monitored, as we work to achieve continuous improvement in all areas. ADD is dedicated to creating an environment where individuals are given the opportunity to be productive members of their community.
For more information please visit http://www.addny.org