Thank You Golfers

Thank you to all who supported of our 22nd Annual Charity Golf Classic!  We are truly grateful for community partners like you who help us to make a difference in the lives of the people we support. 

Your generosity helps us to continually develop programs and initiatives that will help to provide the people we support with the highest quality of life.  The proceeds from our fundraising events are set aside to specifically offer direct assistance to the people we support and others in our community – these funds are never used for general operating expenses.  We are able to offer sensory-friendly events for kids with autism, free adaptive yoga to our participants, family fun events, assistive technology, adaptive equipment, holiday gifts and more. 

We hope you will join us again next year on Friday, June 19, 2020.
Check out all of the photos from the Day on the Venture Facebook Page

Countable Controlled Book

Developed by certified MAP trainers, this controlled substance documentation book is geared toward the specific needs of staff certified under the Medication Administration Program. The book meets all MAP requirements and is approved by the Department of Developmental Services and the Department of Mental Health.

The binding meets the specifications set by the Library Binding Institute.  These standards meet all requirements for the binding process that have been set by the Departments of  Public Health, Mental Health and  Developmental Services.

This hardcover book consists of 3 sections:

· An Index:  10 pages with clearly printed lines, for making 32 entries per page.

· The Perpetual Count Section:  220  pages, with space for 23 entries per page.

The Count Verification Section:   110 pages, with space for 36 entries per page

Join Our Human Rights Committee

Your Opportunity to Make a Difference! We currently have space available to serve on our Human Rights Committee.

Looking for: 

~ A psychologist or master level clinician 
~ An attorney, law student, or paralegal 
~ Registered Nurse or LPN or physician
~ General committee members 

Learn more here: or contact Robby Dookhran at

Outstanding Direct Support Professional

The Outstanding Direct Support Professional award is presented to a Venture employee who: Consistently demonstrates commitment and dedication to the agency’s core values of honesty, integrity, respect, innovation, and compassion and advocates for individuals we support & takes initiative to make things better

Being honored this year is Sheila Swift from the Venture Individual Supports Department.  Sheila was presented the award at the Venture Wine & Beer Tasting on November 8th.

Following is an excerpt from her nomination:

Sheila has worked with individuals with developmental disabilities throughout her whole career.  For Sheila, working in this field is not a job but a passion.  There are a number of examples that could be given that exemplifies Sheila’s commitment to the individuals she serves, however this one moment in particular stands out and needs to be noted and celebrated:

Earlier this year, an individual on Sheila’s caseload was having emotional difficulty stemming from never being able to attend services for his parents who had passed away years ago.  The individual remembered the cemetery was in Worcester where his parents were laid to rest, but that was all. Sheila did her research and found the individual’s mom and dad’s burial site.  Sheila called the Pastor from the local church and assisted the individual in preparing and scheduling a ceremony at his parent’s grave.  The individual picked up balloons and had his parent’s name placed on them, which was released from the gravesite along with lighted religious candles.  On a Sunday morning, Sheila accompanied the individual to his parent’s gravesite where a private religious ceremony was held.  The individual shared with Sheila that he was at peace now with his parent’s passing after being part of such a meaningful ceremony.

Congratulations to all of the nominees:

* Bridget Essuman, Mechanic St A

* Debra Lovewell, Hope Street

* Evelyn Odonkor-Boudrea, Route 31

* Hayford Htim, Pike Avenue

* Jean Albihome, Residential Relief

* Karen Mwangi, Residential Relief

* Matt Tillotson, Sturbridge Day

* Scott Bagley, Uxbridge Day

* Tammy Perron, Leominster Day

* Marguerite Maboupda-Tamgno, Crawford A

Team Hoyt Specialty License Plates

You can get your low number license plate and support Team Hoyt and Venture.  Venture will recieve a $10 for every application submitted.  (#100 – 850 randomly assigned. ) An application must be completed and submitted with your check made payable MASS DOT in the amount of $40.00 and sent to: Team Hoyt Plate, PO Box 245, Billerica, MA 01821

For more information contact:

Download application form here:  Application – License Plate

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There Really Are Plenty of Good Stories

by Mike Hyland, President & CEO

What trying times we live in now.  It seems every newscast we watch leads off with a story about shootings or fires or guns or disasters or war.  In fact, most of the time a newscast leads off with eight or nine of these stories and by the time we get to a commercial break it’s hard to sit up straight.  It’s a shame, a real shame that newscasts and newspapers almost never lead off with something positive and uplifting.  There are after all, plenty of good stories happening all around us every day.

I’d like to see a newscast lead off the nightly news with a story about the direct support professional who took an individual to her very first movie because a team of people helped her to manage the crippling anxiety that she has lived with for 20 years.  Or the nurse who helped a terrified teenager give birth and then held the teenager’s hand and told her everything would be all right because she’s not alone.  A story about the cop who encountered a man hearing voices but still managed to get him to safety and then checked on him two days later.  That would be a great way to lead off a newscast too.  I’d like to see a story about the foster parent who just helped her fifth foster child graduate high school in spite of overwhelmingly long odds and is now helping him get ready to attend college.  Maybe a newscast could make the first story of the night a feature about the seven year old who is now cancer free after four surgeries and has already decided she wants to be a doctor.  We just never see this stuff on the news but it happens all the time.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see a major newspaper make a block headline on the front page about the volunteer in the nursing home who comes in every day to dance with the Alzheimer’s patients because it helps them remember their weddings 50+ years ago?  It would be wonderful to see three stories above the fold; one about the teacher who talked a kid out of quitting school, another about the counselor who single-handedly helped a man stay sober for the third day in a row, and a story about the librarian who delivers books on her own time to people in psychiatric hospitals.  What a great thing it would be to see a whole front page dedicated to the little girl who comes home from school every day and leaves a letter in her neighbor’s mailbox so the neighbor’s autistic daughter who is afraid to leave the house can always have mail to open.  It would be amazing to see a local newspaper do a series on the gentleman from Ghana who reaches into his own pocket every day to augment the food he delivers as a volunteer with authentic dishes from his country because he thinks the people he delivers to would like it.  A story about the neighbor who started looking after the lonely 54 year old disabled woman because she has no one else but now does it because she likes her would surely be better than anything I saw on seven different front pages this morning.

People do things like this every day but we have to go looking to find out about it.  Given the world we live in, it’s about time the people who deliver the news to the masses started making it easier for us to meet all these people.


Hoyt Foundation Donation

Dick and Rick Hoyt Contribute $25,000 to Venture

Funds Will Support People with Disabilities Across the State


Sturbridge – Venture Community Services, one of the Commonwealth’s leading providers of innovative human services, received a $25,000 donation from the Hoyt Foundation.  Hundreds of people with developmental disabilities supported by Venture will now have greater access to the opportunities they deserve thanks to this contribution.

Dick and Rick Hoyt, the famed father-son running team, made the donation to Mike Hyland, Venture President & CEO.  “We are so thankful to have the support of The Hoyt Foundation,” said Hyland. “Their continued partnership with our agency speaks to their generosity and their commitment to people living with disabilities.”

Funds from previous donations have been used to construct a multi-sensory room in the Sturbridge Day Program and also for supportive and adaptive yoga for people with disabilities.

The Hoyt Foundation, founded by father-and-son team Dick and Rick Hoyt in 1989, helps build the individual character, self-confidence and self-esteem of America’s disabled young people through inclusion in all facets of daily life, including in family and community activities, especially sports, at home, in schools and in the workplace. Dick and Rick have run more than 1,000 road races together all across the world, including 30 Boston Marathons, inspiring countless people to achieve what they previously believed was impossible.

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MassDevelopment Bond Assists Uxbridge Day Program


MassDevelopment has issued a $1,550,000 tax-exempt bond for Venture Community Services, a nonprofit in Worcester County that provides advocacy and support to individuals with disabilities and their families. The organization used bond proceeds to renovate, furnish, and equip a day program facility at 670 Douglas Street in Uxbridge. The facility will support young adults with developmental disabilities, and staff will use the space to develop autism services for children and families. TD Bank N.A. purchased the bond.


“MassDevelopment is a proud supporter of the Commonwealth’s human services nonprofits, which provide high-quality services and programs for individuals and families across Massachusetts,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “We are so pleased to issue this financing to help Venture Community Services continue providing the compassionate, individualized care for which it is known.”


Venture Community Services, founded in 1975, provides support to individuals with developmental disabilities through innovative practices that encourage independence, empowerment, and opportunity. The organization provided Worcester County with some of the first community-based residential programs for individuals transitioning from Belchertown State School. The organization has since grown to develop new programs that promote independence and a higher quality of life for individuals with disabilities, such as supported employment, shared living, and individual supports. MassDevelopment is now working with the Belchertown Economic Development and Industrial Corporation on the redevelopment of the former Belchertown State School site, known as Carriage Grove.


“Support from MassDevelopment has helped Venture to expand our reach and create opportunities for more people in Massachusetts,” said Mike Hyland, Venture Community Services President and CEO. “We are grateful for the long-term relationship we have with MassDevelopment and are looking forward to providing high quality, person-centered services throughout the Blackstone Valley.”


MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2017, MassDevelopment financed or managed 377 projects generating investment of more than $4.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 9,488 jobs and build or rehabilitate 1,863 residential units.



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Katie Laplante New VP of Health Services

Katie Laplante Joins Venture Senior Management Team

Accomplished Healthcare Professional Named as Vice President of Health Services

Sturbridge – Venture Community Services, one of the Commonwealth’s leading providers of innovative human services has announced the selection of Katie Laplante as its new Vice President of Health Services.  In this role, Katie will oversee residential and day habilitation nursing operations, plan and direct all agency medical trainings, and coordinate management of care for people receiving services.

Katie brings over 20 years of professional experience to Venture and has a strong history of management and clinical oversight.  She most recently served as the Health and Wellness Director at The Estate at Franklin where she was responsible for the clinical department in the assisted living community.  Katie has also served with the Berkshire Healthcare System, The Fieldstone School, St. Mary Healthcare Center and The Meadows Healthcare Center.  She has held various positions from Quality Improvement Manager and CNA Certified Instructor to Director of Nursing Services and Clinical Services Coordinator.

“We are very pleased to have Katie join our Senior Management Team,” said Venture President & CEO Mike Hyland.  “Katie brings a tremendous amount of professional experience that will further enhance our ability to provide cutting edge and innovative care models to the people we support.”

Katie received a Bachelor of Science degree in Social and Health Services from Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI and her RN Nursing Diploma from St. Vincent School of Nursing in Worcester, MA.

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Accessible Summer Activities

Click here to see all that is available this summer.

Summer info from the DCR’s Universal Access Program:

This beautiful weather we’ve been having has us looking forward to outdoor fun! Set sail with us into the summer recreation season! Take a seat in a kayak and paddle your way through warm, sunswept afternoons.

Cruise along the Quabbin Reservoir, observing the plentiful source of fish and wildlife or flip that kickstand up and go for a bike ride down the rail trail. Take to the green and perfect that golf swing or lace up those boots and go for a gentle hike along scenic trails.

Whatever activity you prefer, there’s something for everyone and we hope you join us for some fun in the sun in Massachusetts State Parks this summer!

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