The Auxiliary Adds Ten New Provisional Members

The Auxiliary is excited to welcome ten new provisional members to our organization!

At our general meeting on March 6, 2024, the Auxiliary welcomed ten provisional members into our organization. Under the guidance of Provisional Chairs Kate Breaux and Doreen Barger, our newest members will tour the various AbilityPath facilities and learn about the many different opportunities to volunteer in support of the Agency. With their Sponsors, our Provisional members will help celebrate Cupcake Day ( a monthly birthday celebration) and Lunch Buddies (a fun lunch-time get-together, also occurring monthly at the Carole Groom Learning Center in Burlingame) with AbilityPath participants. In the months ahead, our newest members will also become involved in activities at Camp Via West in Cupertino and the AbilityPath facility on Middlefield Road in Palo Alto.

Meet the Cohens: Pursuing Matters of the Heart without Missing a Beat

“To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – that is to have succeeded.” This idea of success, rooted in the betterment of another, is attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson.

These words are emblematic of the lives of this month’s cover family: Elaine and George Cohen.


Cooperative Living Home Named in Recognition of Elaine Cohen

Some great news and a new chapter in the services we provide!  Earlier in November we held the joint ribbon cutting ceremony for the two cooperative living homes on 16th Avenue in San Mateo.  As you may recall, the homes were made possible by the Peninsula Healthcare District.  We will be operating the homes in partnership with PARCA, with the support of the Golden Gate Regional Center.

We also unveiled a special recognition for Elaine Cohen.   We named the one of the homes after Elaine.  We are appreciative of the many impactful contributions she has in our community.  Here is the message I shared about during the event about Elaine:

I have had the pleasure of working with Elaine Cohen for many years, beginning when she became the President of the Auxiliary to AbilityPath, and began her first term on the AbilityPath Board of Directors.  Elaine’s leadership as a Board Member and as our Board Chair, has enabled us to take on new opportunities and reach new levels of success.

Helping others and taking risks seems to be in Elaine’s DNA! She was a Founding Director of the Hillsborough Schools Foundation (HSF) one of the first nonprofit public-school foundations in the country – since 1980 HSF has allocated over $50 million!

Her professional career was spent teaching – inspiring hope, igniting imaginations and instilling a love of learning to her students at the College of Notre Dame, the University of San Francisco, the Millbrae School District, the Laguna Salada District, the Texas-San Antonio Unified School District, the Springfield School District, the Lower Merion School District, and the Philadelphia School District.

During her career at NDNU, she helped shape and nurture 15 master’s degree programs, four credentials in education, and eight professional certificates. Upon her retirement her many friends and colleagues created an endowed scholarship in her honor to recognize her outstanding contributions to the University.  Elaine has held leadership positions in numerous community groups, including Notre Dame de Namur University, Mission Hospice of San Mateo County, Mills-Peninsula Hospital Foundation, University of Pennsylvania, Hillsborough Schools Foundation, San Mateo County Medical Auxiliary, and San Francisco Symphony Upper Peninsula League, to name just a few!

Most recently, under her leadership as Board Chair of AbilityPath, we merged with Abilities United, increasing our staff from 220 to 300 and our budget from $17M to $22M, as well as extending our services into Santa Clara County. This growth has been made possible in large part because of her visionary leadership, collaboration, and drive.

Elaine, you’re simply amazing!  Thank you for all that you do for others.  Your tireless dedication is inspiring!

The second home was named after Sheryl Young.  As you know, she was the Chief Executive Officer of AbilityPath for over 25 years and during her tenure she inspired the agency’s dedication to “Turning Disabilities Into Possibilities”.

Please join me in thanking and congratulating Elaine for her dedication and commitment to our community and to the Auxiliary! (More pictures below).


Bryan Neider
Chief Executive Officer
Pronouns:  He/Him/His


Gatepath Auxiliary Honored

The Gatepath Auxiliary was honored in October 2018 at an annual appreciation event hosted by Gatepath to recognize the members for their incredible dedication to the mission since 1950. Remarkably, more than half of the Auxiliary members have been with the Auxiliary for 20+ years! The members who were able to attend the event were recognized for their commitment with an honorary pin noting their years of service. It was a very special treat to also welcome Michael Collopy Photography, world renowned photographer, who spoke about his portrait work of inspiring changemakers who are “Architects of Peace” such as Saint Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez, and many more.