Providence Center, a non-profit organization that serves adults with developmental disabilities, announced that the Danny’s Day Foundation has awarded the Center $5700 in grant funds for the purchase of two SMART boards for its program sites. The grant was awarded at a dinner banquet held on Sunday, March 10, 2013, at the Doubletree Hotel in Annapolis for Providence Center participants, caregivers, and staff. The banquet featured a dinner buffet, DJ and dancing, an ice carving demonstration, and cookie decorating.
The Foundation was named for Daniel Patrick Ernst, a Pasadena resident who passed away in February of 2011. Ernst had a connection with Providence Center in that he had worked at one point at a local restaurant with a Providence Center participant whom Ernst befriended.
The decision to form a Foundation honoring Danny was spearheaded by his parents, Pat and Neysa Ernst, also Pasadena residents. Pat Ernst is a local chef that started the company, “Moving Flavors.” Members of the Foundation’s Board of Directors include Curtis Eargle, Paul Glomp, Larry Kushner, and Ford Gaitley.
The grant for two SMART boards is significant because of the technology’s educational benefits for those with disabilities. The technology is commonly used in classrooms and will now benefit the participants of Providence Center. SMART boards engage users by allowing them to express their ideas, improve communication, and participate in the learning process. The funds for the grant were provided from the Foundation’s proceeds of its annual golf tournament held in August at Sparrows Point Golf Course.
Providence Center CEO Chuck Coble expressed gratitude for the event and the funds for the boards. “I am completely humbled by the kindness and generosity that the Ernst’s and the Danny’s Day Foundation have shown to the extraordinary men and women we serve at Providence Center,” Coble said. “The participants had a wonderful evening with great food and entertainment. Difficult circumstances often reveal the true heroism within the human spirit and there is a profound symbiosis between the men and women of Providence Center, Danny Ernst, and the goals of the Foundation. We are so proud to be beneficiaries of the Foundation’s efforts in Danny Ernst’s name.”
Foundation founder Pat Ernst stated, “This was a great evening that was full of fun and new friendships that help us keep Danny’s spirit going. My son was always the life of the party and loved organizing events. We worked hard to make this a special day for Providence Center and know that Danny was a big part of the celebration. He will live on in the good that we can do for others.”
Neysa Ernst added, “We hope that those who attend programs at Providence Center will gain so much from the new SMART boards. If this technology assists just one person to gain greater independence and achieve their dreams, this was an incredibly worthy investment.”
The mission of the Danny’s Day Foundation is to honor, support, and enrich the lives of developmentally challenged individuals in our region. It will provide enjoyable experiences for this special population, advocate, and champion their worth in everyday society, help them reach their full potential, and in so doing, live out the philosophy “always remember on the path of life, stop to make a difference.”
Providence Center, a non-profit organization based in Anne Arundel County, operates four facilities which provide care and training in programs such as Horticulture, Woodshop, and Pottery throughout the county. It meets the growing needs of nearly 500 individuals through an array of services and supports, including medical supervision and care, psychological assistance, skills training for activities of daily living, vocational training and job placement as well as retirement services.
The mission of Providence Center is to provide services that allow individuals with disabilities to enjoy increased self-determination in leading a more independent, valuable and functioning role in society. These support services are individually designed and professionally managed to enable these individuals to exercise higher levels of control over their lives.