Skip to Content

May 20th, 2024 | Press Release

TKC - 73rd Anniversary & Awards Celebration May 15, 2024

The Kennedy Collective Celebrates 73 Years of Empowering and Employing Individuals with Disabilities

Awards Presented to Individuals of Exemplary Achievement

TRUMBULL, CT (May 20, 2024) - The Kennedy Collective hosted its 73rd Anniversary & Awards celebration on Wednesday, May 15, at Tashua Knolls in Trumbull. More than 150 staff, Board of Directors, individuals served, and local dignitaries, including Representative Joe Gresco (Stratford), Representative Sarah Keitt (Trumbull), Representative Mitch Bolinsky (Newtown), and Bill Purcell (President, Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce), gathered for the evening to recognize outstanding achievement and honor the mission and legacy of the agency founded in 1951.

Bill Purcell presented the evening Keynote address while guests enjoyed a buffet dinner and later, danced to music provided by Jonathan Lett, The Kennedy Collective Transition Specialist by day and DJ by night. During the evening’s celebration, awards were presented to staff, individuals, and a community partner who have gone above and beyond expectation and who embrace The Kennedy Collective values in all they do. This year’s Awards and recipients include:

Direct Support Professional (DSP) Empowerment Award:

Kelly Russell, DSP
            Thomas Robertson, DSP
            Brendan Wendt, DSP
            Tierra Cox, DSP
Employee Impact Awards:
            Alyssa Cocce, Quality Assurance Manager
            Amy Nelson, Behavior Specialist
Competitive Employment Awards:
            Alexis Dobbins, Stop & Shop Ansonia
Community Partner Award
            Kenneth Ell, Owner UV Engineering Solutions
Self-Advocate Award
            Trechena Greer, Peer Mentor
Silver Bowl Award
            Silvia Calabro, The Kennedy Collective Auxiliary Volunteer
Star Program Award
            Marlene Bodnar, Chief of Staff
President’s Award
            Stuart Gordon, CFO


In addition to the award presentations, Christina Bevans, artist at The Kennedy Collective Maggie Daly Arts Cooperative (MDAC) in Bridgeport, presented her commissioned painting "Lordship Seawall", to Representative Gresco, to be displayed in his office in Stratford, CT.

The Kennedy Collective was set in motion when Evelyn Kennedy, the mother of a young boy with intellectual disabilities, was encouraged to institutionalize him. Outraged and energized, Evelyn, along with a group of twelve parents, embarked on a mission to overcome obstacles and established a support system where individuals with disabilities would have the same opportunities as everyone else.

For 73 years, The Kennedy Collective has remained true to the original mission by providing support services and building business enterprises that empower and employ people with disabilities. Since its inception, the number of individuals The Kennedy Collective has supported totals in the tens of thousands.