Sunshine Village


Thank YOU for helping us achieve our success!

Calendar Year 2022 / Fiscal Year 2022



Sunshine Village was founded in 1967 by a small group of parents who came together to create an organization to improve the lives of their children who had developmental disabilities.  With the commitment of the local business community and civic groups, their dream was realized and has been sustained for over five decades. 


Their dream was to create a warm and welcoming organization that would improve the lives of their children - and other people's children. Their dream was to serve people with developmental disabilities, regardless of their level of disability. Their dream was to found an organization that would be around for more years than them - and continue in their tradition of caring.


Their dream was and is Sunshine Village.


As Sunshine Village continues to rebuild itself from the global pandemic – and grapples with the ongoing impact of the workforce crisis – we THANK YOU for your continued support of all that we do. Whether it is providing high-quality services throughout our day habilitation, employment, and community engagement programs – providing therapeutic and clinical services, or helping people find a job or make new friends – in the end, it is all about helping people have a GREAT day. We are committed to that – and we appreciate all your support in helping us make that happen!


Thank you! You SHINE!


Gina Kos

Executive Director

Click Here to Enjoy our 55th Anniversary Celebration Video!

Click the video above to enjoy a viewing of our 55th Anniversary Celebration!


Sunshine Village is incredibly fortunate to have the support of eight experienced and talented professionals – who volunteer their time our on governing Board of Directors. This group – led by long-term Chair Ernest N. Laflamme, Jr. - provides guidance in directing the operations and programs of the agency – and each brings a unique perspective that aids Sunshine Village in ensuring the continued deliverance of high-quality support in safe, welcoming environments.

CHAIR - ERNEST N. LAFLAMME, JR. serving Sunshine Village since 1982

(Pictured above)                  

VICE CHAIR - STEPHEN C. MELNYCK, JR. serving Sunshine Village since 1982              

TREASURER - PETER S. BENTON, CPA serving Sunshine Village since 2012                       

CLERK - MICHAEL R. SIDDALL, ESQ. serving Sunshine Village since 2004                         

DIRECTOR - MARIE LAFLAMME serving Sunshine Village since 2002

DIRECTOR - TERI SZLOSEK serving Sunshine Village since 2011

DIRECTOR - DEBRA A. SCHNEEWEIS serving Sunshine Village since 2013                         

DIRECTOR - FRANK STELLATO serving Sunshine Village since 2015


Sunshine Village was incorporated on July 24, 1967, and we celebrated this milestone with many events this past year. We honored and thanked our employees with a Memories and Milestones Employee Celebration in June. Each program site also celebrated – with Three Rivers hosting a Block Party, the Litwin Lane programs hosting a Summer Carnival, Westover Maintenance Systems hosting a Milestone Luncheon, and Agawam hosting a Fiesta. GREAT events to celebrate our traditions and history – as we all look forward to a BRIGHT future!




At the Annual Meeting in June of 2022, the Board of Directors approved a REBUILDING PLAN that will direct efforts thru June of 2023. The VISION is to rebuild Sunshine Village to its $16 million size with 500+ clients while continuing to successfully serve a more diverse population of individuals with a broader spectrum of disabilities. This will be accomplished through the ongoing delivery of an array of innovative IN-PERSON SERVICES. The organization will also continue working to achieve higher efficiencies based on investment in real estate and buildings, technology, and personnel.


So far, we have achieved our four Organizational Goals in the following ways: 


Advance SSV as a “Provider of Choice” by meeting the changing and growing needs of current and future referrals, including those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with intellectual disabilities (ID), and other growing populations. 

Bringing the Community

to Us

Our friends from Out of the Arc, visit us on a weekly basis to share an assortment of different animals to learn about and enjoy.

We also have partnerships with Special Olympics and VegaYoga which host wellness sessions and local professionals who offer dance instruction and music therapy.

Click here to meet Clover the Skunk!

Community and Work

We help people get ready for meaningful employment thru career track opportunities and we help people find jobs – just like Stephen!  Stephen attended a college course at HCC with support from Sunshine Village. Stephen obtained a line cook certification, and now holds a job at Westfield State College.

Click here to see Stephen being recognized for his accomplishment.

2022 Highlights

Three Rivers 

Our Three Rivers Program hosted a Fall Festival and recognized each client with a SHINE Certificate – honoring them for a very individualized personal accomplishment.

Click here to view more photos.


Our Casey Program embarked on the Fire Hydrant Project – a beautification project where we partnered with the City of Chicopee.

Click here to view our video interview!


 Our Agawam program is growing into our newest building – and began offering CBDS services. The newly built deck increased the use of the outdoor space – which was already being enjoyed with innovative horticulture programming.

Knights and Davis

 The two-day habilitation programs at the agency’s main campus grew steadily – and many holiday celebrations were enjoyed by all. Many of the clients also experienced the benefits from our massive vegetable garden - being outside, physical activity, learning new skills, and connecting with friends! 

Westover Maintenance Systems

WMS continued to meet the exacting standards of our federal SourceAmerica contract to maintain the buildings and hangars at Westover Air Reserve Base!

Ensuring the financial stability of the organization by maximizing current funding, diversifying funding streams, managing investments, and increasing development dollars while growing the organization.

Our FY2022 Financial Audit showed SSV is a strong, financially viable organization. At the end of June 2022, revenues exceeded $12 million. Employees numbered 152. Clients being served thru in-person services in Chicopee, Three Rivers and Agawam totaled 356.  

Meyers Brothers Kalicka, a local CPA firm, completed the Annual Financial Audit for Fiscal Year 2022. As in the past several years, the report was clean - with no material weaknesses or management recommendations. Sunshine Village spends more than 85 cents of each fundraising and contract dollar on programmatic services – directly benefiting our clients. This exceeds the national average of 80 cents – and is a true indicator that the organization is a good fiscal steward for our donors and taxpayers. 

33rd Annual Sunshine Village Golf Tournament

The 2022 Golf Tournament was incredibly successful! Tournament Sponsors Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, Westfield Bank and PeoplesBank led a contingent of generous sponsors that created a day that was a financial success! A full roster of golf teams made for a fun day!

 Visit our website page to see all of our sponsors and more pictures from this GREAT event!

Click here to view more photos from our 33rd Annual Golf Tournament -2022

Maximize property and technology utilization of all buildings, equipment, and vehicles owned and leased by Sunshine Village.

Security Risk Assessment

We are currently undergoing a second Security Risk Assessment – being completed by an external security professional – to ensure that we are providing safe environments within all of our buildings and we protect our people, property, and equipment.


Technology Plan

Our FY2023 Technology Plan will ensure that we are operating in efficient ways - acquiring the latest technology while upgrading our current systems.

Continue to be an “Employer of Choice” by providing competitive compensation, benefits, and professional development while implementing innovative promotion and recognition initiatives to improve recruitment and retention efforts. 

Compensation and Benefits

We realize that our paid employees are our greatest asset – and the Board of Directors works hard to provide annual raises – now coupled with Appreciation and Retention Bonuses. Benefits are reviewed annually – and this past year – we enhanced the Life Insurance Policy benefit as well as the Mileage Refund. 

Professional Development

We continue to invest in our employees – using our electronic training platform to provide a comprehensive Annual Training Program. 

Appreciation and Recognition

To enhance our retention efforts, we thank our employees in so many ways – all directed by a very robust Appreciate and Wellness Calendar. 


Throughout the years since 1967, Sunshine Village has achieved the dream of our founders in many ways. The agency has offered a variety of innovative programs designed to meet the ever-changing demands of its clientele. The organization provides a host of unique life, work, and community engagement supports for individuals with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders – while also having the capacity to successfully serve people with significant challenges - cognitively, physically, and behaviorally – and complicated medical conditions.


Sunshine Village currently provides a host of life, work, and community engagement services and works hard to design supports that continue to meet the needs of people with intellectual disabilities as well as people on the autism spectrum. These services are:  

LIFE ENGAGEMENT SERVICES (Therapeutic Day Habilitation Services)

Life Engagement Services is a medically based program with services augmented with clinical support as necessary, including speech and language, physical and occupational therapies, and access to autism consultants. The program’s focus is on building functional life skills, including social, communication, personal wellness, and independent living. In addition to providing this type of programming at the main campus of Sunshine Village in Chicopee, the organization also operates community-based sites in Three Rivers and Agawam.


Employment Services offers people a variety of paid work experience through supervised teams at local business settings. Additionally, staff work to train and place individuals directly into competitive jobs and within entrepreneurial opportunities. The organization also holds a federal contract that supports a commercial cleaning company that maintains the buildings and hangers at Westover Air Reserve Base. 



Community Engagement Services offer individual activities involving wellness, recreation, community engagement, technology, self-advocacy, and personal development. Individuals on a Career Track are also supported in professional development, entrepreneurial opportunities, and volunteering to build their resumes and job skills. Those on the Retirement Track are supported in healthy aging with relationship-building and life-long learning activities and the FUSION program allows access to clinical and nursing services. This program is designed to both complement and act as wrap-around support to both Life Engagement and Work Services for individuals with complex needs.  


Sunshine Village has partnerships with numerous civic, charitable, and municipal organizations to support community bases volunteer opportunities and recreational options. Additionally, the organization works with several local businesses through its “Bringing the Community to Us” program – where wellness coaches and performance artists host their sessions at programmatic sites.  



All programs operated by the organization have received the highest level of accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), a national non-profit accrediting body, since 1986. We look forward to sharing all of our successes when the CARF team returns for our next accreditation in the spring of 2023.



We cannot thank our employees enough – those who returned to us after the emergency closure – and those who began working with us during our reopening and rebuilding phases. We are so lucky to have committed, caring people who are kind and compassionate.  


We appreciate all the support we have received from our community over the past 55 years. THANK YOU for helping us to improve the lives of people with developmental and intellectual disabilities – and deliver on our promise of a GREAT day, every day!


Together, we are SHINING EVEN BRIGHTER!!

If you would like to make a donation to Sunshine Village’s ANNUAL APPEAL, please click the DONATE BUTTON below

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