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Gala to raise funds for autism agency workers affected by Sandy

The bay waters come ashore in Mastic Beach

The bay waters come ashore in Mastic Beach as a nor'easter hits Long Island in the wake of superstorm Sandy that left this home in shambles. (Nov. 7, 2012). Photo Credit: John Roca

The people who help Long Island’s autistic adults and children need help themselves.

Some employees of Smithtown-based Developmental Disabilities Institute lost homes, cars and other possessions to superstorm Sandy.

The organization is helping those workers by establishing a relief fund — partially funded by Friday night's annual gala at the Woodbury Country Club.

“These are people who braved the storm, who came out in the middle of the storm to keep our people safe and assured their well-being, even though their personal life may have been shattered,” said Dan Rowland, director of development for the DDI Foundation.

DDI executive director John Lessard could not estimate how many of his 1,800 employees were affected or how much money must be raised. Employees have until Nov. 30 to apply.

The gala raises about $100,000 annually to fund DDI programs at dozens of sites in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Tickets are $150. Call 631-366-2978 or go to ddiny.org/gala.

“There’s no way to carry out our mission without our employees,” Lessard said. “Anything we can do to support them just seemed to be the right thing to do.”

Pictured above: Bay waters come ashore in Mastic Beach as a nor'easter hits Long Island a week after superstorm Sandy left this home in shambles. (Nov. 7, 2012)

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