East Boston’s Piers Park Sailing Center Honored for Its Inclusive Sailing Programs

Triangle, Inc.,a 50-year-old nonprofit based in Malden that serves people with disabilities and their families, honored the Piers Park Sailing Center as its 2023 Carmella Gregorie Advocacy award recipient on Thursday, April 27, at its annual gala.  

Piers Park Sailing Center, a nonprofit organization located on East Boston’s waterfront, is celebrating its 25th anniversary and has reached over 25,000 sailors of all abilities since 1998. The center is among fewer than ten U.S. Sailing-accredited Adaptive Sailing Centers in the country. The center’s youth programs bring students with and without disabilities together to learn sailing and explore the natural world around them. Piers Park offers “give it a try” sailing lessons to adults with spinal cord injuries and special programs for people with spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injuries, and other diagnoses. The center has provided sailing opportunities to nearly 3,000 people with disabilities. Within the last five years, Triangle and Piers Park have partnered to offer residents a six-week adaptive sailing program for the summer season. 

“Triangle is proud of our partnership with the Piers Park Sailing Center, which has provided wonderful and empowering experiences for people of all abilities,” said Coleman Nee, CEO of Triangle, Inc. “This incredible program gives our participants the opportunity of a lifetime and teaches them valuable life lessons both on and off the water. We hope to provide more sailing opportunities for our community and continue our strong partnership with this incredible organization for many years to come.” 

Triangle presented the following additional awards to groups and individuals for their contributions and advocacy for the disability community: 

• Public Servant of the Year Award went to Senator Sal DiDomenico, who represents Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, and Everett was recognized for his backing and partnership with advocacy groups to support individuals with disabilities and their families with emergency aid during the height of the pandemic. In 2020, Senator DiDomenico and his colleagues passed “An Act Creating Higher Education Opportunities for Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities,” eliminating barriers for individuals to pursue inclusive academic, social, and career development opportunities on college campuses with their peers.

• Stan Black Business Leader of the Year Award was accepted by Rally 2 Give Foundation for its significant impact in helping organizations that support both youth

and adults with disabilities throughout New England. Since its founding in 2016, Triangle has received over $60,000 in grant support from the foundation and their friends, funding the Career Pathway programs, abuse prevention classes and recently helping the launch of Triangle’s Prism Program.

• The Ability Award was given to Ralph “RJ” Churchill, a member from Triangle’s Community-Based Services program in Salem, who helped Salem staff develop strategies for working through stressful situations. The Triangle community recognizes RJ as a self-starter, who has demonstrated a hardworking and positive attitude toward his managers, co-workers, and Triangle staff members. In 2021, RJ worked at Salem City Hall three days a week, where he was responsible for recycling for two municipal buildings – collecting 82 bins from desks and offices each shift. This allowed him to interact with his colleagues, which included many city-elected leaders and staff. 

This year, Triangle raised more than $100,000 at its annual gala. Donations will help fund Triangle’s efforts in growing and evolving its vital programming and continuing its legacy of supporting people with disabilities throughout Massachusetts. 

Triangle is a 50-year-old disability services agency that reaches 3,000 people every year in North Shore, Metro North, Greater Boston, South Shore, and Worcester communities. We offer a variety of services to the disability community, including residential services, supported employment and community-based day services, workforce development programs, and empowerment programs that promote self-advocacy, personal safety, and community engagement. IMPACT Boston and Empowering People for Inclusive Communities (EPIC) are both proud Triangle affiliates. Learn more at triangle-inc.org

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