As you know, we've been trying to devise a good way to honor the memory of Matt Inman, the former captain of the Felons who passed away on May 2, 2006.
As you’ll read below, after some tough conversations with Matt's family and Wayne, the current captain of the Felons, we've decided to honor the memory of Matt by raising money in his honor. Please forward this message to each member of your teams. I recognize that there is a lot of information contained in this email. If you or any of your team has any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 917-807-0947. If I am not able to answer your question, I will place you in touch with someone who can.
The league each year supports one or more organizations. At the end of each season, the league donates money to the Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism (NSSA) in the name of the league champion honoring the memory of Kevin. We've decided to focus our efforts to honor Matt on NSSA as they are moving to a new facility and will have a brick entrance area to honor loved ones and celebrate key events in life.
NSSA is in the process of moving to a new facility. As part of their fundraising efforts, they've created a campaign labeled "Help Us Pave the Way!." The goal is to help raise funds through purchasing a brick to honor a loved one, commemorate a special event or show the support of a business or friend helping NSSA to create a Center of Excellence in autism education and treatment. The bricks will adorn the entrance of the new headquarters and will be engraved with the names or phrases that will serve as an enduring tribute to all participants and leave a lasting impression for years to come.
Bricks are available in two sizes: 4" x 8" at a cost of $100 per brick and 8" x 8" at $250 apiece. Personalized messages can be engraved in characters of upper case, lower case, or a mix of both.
No one is obligated to participate, but if you're interested please let me know and we can pool together all of our resources and buy a series of bricks to remember Matt. I'd like to inform the family at the end of our efforts, the actual impact that we were able to have in memory of Matt. With 24 teams in the league, I'm hoping that we can make a substantial impact. For those interested, all donations to NSSA are normally considered tax deductible.
In addition, as part of the Capital Campaign, NSSA has a number of sponsorships available for large donations. If you know anyone who may be interested in making a larger donation, please let me know and I may provide additional details. If we can raise enough money, I'll speak with members at NSSA and find additional ways to honor Matt's memory. Regardless, I'll keep everyone updated on our progress.
I'm hoping that we can make this a quick turnaround as the deadline for the first round of engraving and installation is June 15. All monies received by this date will be able to be included during the Grand Opening Ceremony slated before September of this year.
Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism (NSSA) offers hope to people with autism and their families by providing high quality life-long support through services that enable people with autism to function better in everyday life. NSSA offers the most advanced treatment and training programs for the benefit of people with autism, and will continue to pioneer, through research, comprehensive treatment models, which can be adopted nationally.
For those who may be interested, Matt was very active
working with the Minds Matter of NYC.
Minds Matter is a not-for-profit organization that brings bright and
motivated inner-city high school students together with dedicated mentors to
achieve academic excellence and expand educational horizons. Founded in 1991, Minds Matter pairs up underprivileged
inner-city students with young professionals to provide assistance with basic
homework, SAT preparation and the college application process including school
selection, essay writing and interview skills. Currently, Minds Matter is
enrolled with over 80 students from over a dozen local high schools and is
supported by more than 200 volunteers. For sophomores and juniors, Minds Matter
assists in selecting and applying to summer academic programs both in the
United States and abroad. For seniors, Minds Matter helps students with the complete
college application process. Minds Matter students have attended some of the
country’s top colleges and universities including Amherst, Duke, Georgetown,
Harvard and Yale. The organization relies solely on donations from generous
individuals, corporations and foundations to send students to summer programs
and to provide scholarships. Minds Matter builds lifelong mentee/mentor
friendships and provides students with academic opportunities that may
otherwise never have existed. For more information, please visit their website
at www.mindsmatter.org. Minds Matter also has chapters in Boston and Denver.
Historical Background on NSSA
NSSA LAUNCHES A CAPITAL CAMPAIGN IN PURSUIT OF A NEW FACILITY
For the past year NSSA’s Executive Staff has been in pursuit of a new facility for NSSA. After an extensive review of the real estate market on Long Island, coupled with a comprehensive assessment of NSSA’s current and expanding needs, the Board of Directors and Administration have concluded that NSSA will require approximately $4,000,000 to purchase a suitable property. Currently NSSA is in contract for the purchase of an ideal facility.
From it’s creation in 1983 as an agency offering respite services to families touched by autism, NSSA has grown into an agency whose path few could have envisioned. Much has changed over the years and much has stayed the same. NSSA remains steadfast in pursuit of its mission to offer hope to people with autism and their families by providing high quality life-long support through services which enable people with autism to function better in everyday life. But as an agency, NSSA has spread its wings to envelop an expanding constituency beyond the initial Respite Program.
In 1993 NSSA opened its Education Program, the Martin C. Barell School, the first school of its kind on Long Island utilizing the science of applied behavior analysis as its cornerstone. For the first time, students and their families were offered a school program dedicated solely to the treatment of autism and based on teaching techniques and strategies that had been scientifically proven effective. Over the years the Barell School has served as a model program to school districts throughout Long Island and
nationally who have witnessed its effectiveness and desire to replicate it. NSSA’s current programs also include a Consultation Services Program, Recreation Program, Afterschool Services Program, and an Adult Services Program. With growth of this nature comes increased staffing requirements, an increased client base, and the concomitant need for expanded facilities.
In 2004, when the Barell School’s first student reached the age of twenty-one and could no longer be served in the Education Program, NSSA launched an Adult Services Program to serve the needs this student and the many others that will graduate shortly after him. In the next five years 12 additional students will graduate and leave the education program; in ten years a total of 20 students will be graduated. With each passing year NSSA will be serving an expanding adult population. As students
from our school graduate to the Adult Services Program, we will be able to serve more students at the Martin C. Barell School, thereby doubling our population.
In addition to the expansion of our client population, the passing years have seen the needs of our students become more varied. Our present facility is no longer suited to addressing the variety and complexity of our students’ needs. To maximize each students’ potential, and foster as much independence as possible, a larger facility is needed. As NSSA embarks on a capital campaign, moving into this new and exciting phase of its development, we would like to offer heartfelt thanks to our extended NSSA family and constituency for their love and support throughout the years.
A campaign of this magnitude will require the support and dedication of many in order to succeed. This brochure outlines the variety of ways in which you can support this campaign.
Together we can continue to change lives and build futures for those who are touched by autism.
Nicole Weidenbaum, M.S., SAS
Initial message regarding Matt
Just to recap, the initial message that I sent regarding Matt on Thursday, May 4 is below.
Running the softball league is a great thing that I do to honor Kevin's memory. It allows me to keep his memory alive as well as form additional relationships with all of the teams and each of the captains. With most teams returning year by year, we tend to learn about each other's professional and personal lives.
This morning, I received a call that I hoped I would never would receive.
It has come to my attention, that one of our captain's, Matt Inman, was in a serious accident on Tuesday and has passed away. Matt was the captain of the Felons and was just 31 years old. He had worked for a government agency for four years and investigated health care fraud. He was originally from St. Louis and is survived by his parents, Carol and Gary, and two brothers, Thomas and Timothy. Services will be taking place in St. Louis.
Having not informed anyone of the news of Matt's accident and grieving their lost captain and leader, the Felons actually had a game last evening and played with heavy hearts winning a game against the Giants. In an attempt to not sound cliche, it is ironic that it was raining during most of their game.
Please all pause for a moment to say a prayer for Matt and his family. It is a sad day for Matt's friends and family and the Kevin McAuliffe City Softball League as well.
In the event that you wish to make a donation in Matt's memory, I will be putting up something on the League Homepage with options. According to the assistant captain of the Felons, Matt had been working with a local charity. Obviously, he's in a great deal of shock so I did not receive all of the information. In addition, I will also publish information regarding the league's charity if you'd like to make a contribution in his memory there.
Going forward, I will gladly consider any ideas to help honor Matt. As you may be able to tell, I'm both shocked and saddened by his passing. He was a good guy who was a pleasure to have in the league. He will be sorely missed, as I would often speak with him during the off-season.
Commissioner, Kevin McAuliffe City Softball League
League Site: www.gwhynot.com