Parties: In Dreams, Poss-ability Abounds

By Catherine Bigelow


Cause: Power of Possibilities

Attendees: 300 viewers online; 200 guests in-person at Filoli

Impact: More than $575K for AbilityPath programs

One of spring’s first hybrid events (online and in-person) was the AbilityPath fundraiser, Power of Possibilities, on May 13. This century-old Burlingame organization — which skillfully serves children and adults with developmental disabilities through children’s therapy, inclusive preschools, education and job training — was forced last year to celebrate its centennial and rebranding (it was formerly called Gatepath) online. So supporters were thrilled to score in-person tickets, savoring the blooming Filoli gardens at this Woodside estate.

Led by AbilityPath CEO Bryan Neider and board chair Linda Leao, the evening featured a dinner-auction and virtual keynote by actress-humanitarian Holly Robinson Peete. But the fete’s heartfelt spotlight shone on Sharon Boddie, honored with AbilityPath’s Neal Poppin Award. “Work provides a sense of pride and inclusion. This award honors a client in our employment program who inspires us with their dedication and accomplishment,” toasted Leao. “Someone who has achieved their dreams.”

Boddie moved to San Jose just before the pandemic and landed a Safeway job, shopping for online customers. She quickly won the devotion of her shoppers and was appointed a manager. “This is the best job I’ve ever had,” she enthused. “And I have more dreams: buying a house, having kids, being a good auntie. People with a disability can accomplish anything — you’ve just got to believe.”

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