SASI nominated for provincial award

Published on August 27, 2011
Carol Eliot and Emilie Pohl work in the backyard garden at the Shelburne Association Supporting Inclusion restaurant that will be opening this fall. Amy Woolvett photo

By Amy Woolvett THE COAST GUARD The province has recognized a local community organization for its leadership and drive toward community growth and prosperity by choosing the Shelburne Association Supporting Inclusion as a finalist for the Celebrating Communities Award.

There were 18 finalists chosen out of the 58 entries submitted and SASI has been singled out as a finalist for the Excellence in Client Services.

“It’s amazing the amount of hard work and commitment there is to growing our communities around the province,” said Vaughne Madden, CEO of Acadian Affairs and a member of the judging panel.  “The scope of these projects covers so many important aspects of community involvement.”

SASI is an organization committed to providing quality, person-centred programs to benefit individuals with disabilities and mental health difficulties. 

They are a charitable non-profit organization includes programs including Heritage Hall in Shelburne, Mayflower Place and Shift Employment Training in Barrington and Beech Street Studio’s in Lockeport as well as three residential support programs.

One of the many ways that make SASI stand out for nomination for client services is how they focus on putting the client’s needs first.

Their focus has been on realizing their client’s dreams in any way they can, no matter how big or small.

Whether it be having a CD of their music recorded, getting a drivers license or opening their own business; SASI has worked hard to facilitate their client’s dreams.

“It is a goal of SASI to support their dreams,” said director Joanne Bangay. “We’re hoping to give confidence that if you speak up and voice your dream and when they see it come to reality…they will realize that it is okay to dream.”

One of SASI’s client’s recent dreams include the creation of their café which is expected to be open in the fall.

The café will be both a training facility as well as a restaurant for the public that will serve simple but delicious sandwiches and salads as well as desserts.

Director of Economic and Community Development, Jerry Locke nominated SASI after attending their Annual General Meeting.

While Locke was aware of SASI’s accomplishments the meeting and its overwhelming sense of community sparked him to nominate the association.

“SASI has become a vibrant, active and creative force in the community,” he wrote in a council report. 

He was also impressed with the level of economic development that the organization brings to the community.

“They employ 60 people on their staff…aside from the hospital and Ven Rez, they are the biggest employers in town,” he said.  “Their initiative with buying and expanding it shows and economic development spirit that is based on clients needs and integrating them into the community.”

The awards banquet will be held at the Rodd Grand in Yarmouth from Sept 28 to 30