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Gala to Honor Vercollone and Sabino

Needham, MA

Contact: Alison Rivers
Phone: 781-972-1002

The Charles River Center to Host Building a Dream Gala April 29

The Charles River Center will host its 19th annual Building a Dream benefit gala on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.  Emceed by award-winning journalist Paula Ebben of WBZ-TV News, the evening will include an awards program and formal dinner along with live and silent auctions, featuring vacations, golf packages, weekend getaways, electronics, jewelry, sporting event tickets, and more.

This year, Charles River is honored to present the Visionary Leadership Award to Leo and Paul Vercollone, owners of VERC Enterprises.  Based in Duxbury, VERC Enterprises is a family-owned convenience store and gasoline group operating 26 facilities in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire.

VERC currently employees three individuals from The Charles River Center and is committed to comprising 20% of its workforce with individuals who are Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled (IDD).  “Making the commitment to hiring individuals who are challenged and disabled has been a great experience for our company. We work with these people, they show up rain or shine, and they stay with us.  Their presence also adds a positive culture to our stores, so we encourage other businesses to do the same,” said Leo Vercollone.

“VERC Enterprises has done an exemplary job working with Charles River and other agencies to recruit, train and mentor individuals with developmental disabilities.  One of our primary goals at Charles River is to increase the number of individuals out in the workforce, and we rely on devoted business partners, such as VERC, to accomplish this goal,” said John Grugan, President of The Charles River Center.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Peter Sabino.  Peter is from Wellesley and came to Charles River in 2008.  Peter currently works in the kitchens at both Plates in Newton and Bertucci’s in Needham and is being recognized for his friendliness and excellent attitude toward work.

The Charles River Center offers programs and services to children and adults with developmental disabilities.  It currently runs 24 group homes, provides day programs for those with significant needs, offers vacation and after school programs for children, and does vocational training and job placement. Located in Needham, Charles River serves people in Needham, Newton, Wellesley, Dedham, Westwood, Wayland, Millis, Natick, Sharon and beyond. 

VERC Enterprises is the region’s leading, independent chain of convenience stores, gasoline stations and car washes.  With 26 locations throughout Eastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, the firm has more than 250 employees and is a leader in hiring those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. In 2009 and 2011 VERC Enterprises was recognized by the Boston Business Journal as a Best Place to Work in Massachusetts and as a 2012 Leader in Diversity. In 2011, 2012, and 2013 the company was recognized by The Boston Globe as a Best Place to Work in Massachusetts. 

To purchase tickets or for more information, please visit or contact Hilary Ryan at 781-972-1030.