(PRWEB) June 14, 2014
Lifespire, a nonprofit organization that provides a full range of residential, occupational and behavioral management services to developmentally disabled adults in New York, sadly announces the passing Board Member Michael Rappaport on June 5, 2014.
Mr. Rappaport was the son of founder Ida Rappaport and the inspiration for the creation of the organization in 1951, then known as the Association for Children with Retarded Mental Development (ACRMD). Under Ida Rappaport’s leadership, ACRMD was one of the first organizations to advocate for developmentally disabled children in New York City and successfully fought for a law requiring public schools to establish programs suitable to the abilities of disabled students.
Mr. Rappaport himself served on the Lifespire Board of Directors for over a decade and was honored with a Special Achievement Award by the organization in 2012. He was fondly recalled by many of his fellow Lifespire board members.
“I met Michael at various functions when his mother Ida was still alive, but I really began to know and appreciate Michael when he joined the board in 2002,” recalls Larry Hirsch, a Lifespire board member. “Michael had a tremendous sense of humor and was very outspoken at board meetings. What impressed me most was his caring attitude toward his peers. Advocating for people with special needs was his legacy. I will miss him very much, especially at functions where I always sat next to him and enjoyed his antics.”
"Michael was not only on the Lifespire board for many years, he was the impetus for the organization’s creation by his mother, co-founder Ida Rappaport," says board member Robert Krakow. "Michael was a constant uplifting reminder of why we were all there and why our work at Lifespire is vital to so many individuals."
“Michael Rappaport was a very special person who was the reason that Lifespire was founded,” says Jeffrey Goodman, Chairman of the Lifespire Board of Directors. “He was a dedicated Board member for more than a decade and will be truly missed.”
Lifespire is planning to name one of their residences after Michael Rappaport, probably a home in the Bronx where Michael was born and raised.
“The entire organization mourns the passing of Michael Rappaport,” says Mark van Voorst, Lifespire President and CEO. “While we are saddened by his death, all of us who knew Michael will remember him because of his humor, his deep caring for the people he loved, and for helping Lifespire continue to carry out the dreams of his mother, Ida Rappaport, who founded the organization over 60 years ago. He will be deeply missed.”
At the request of the family: As an expression of sympathy, contributions in memory of Michael R. Rappaport may be made to: Lifespire 1 Whitehall Street 9th Fl. New York, NY 10004
For more information, contact Ron Gold, MarketingWorks PR at (516) 297-1637 or ron(at)marketingworkspr(dot)com.
Lifespire is a recognized leader in providing developmentally disabled adults in New York State with a full range of programs including pre-vocation and supported employment, as well as residential, medical, behavior management and family services. It was founded in 1951 as the Association for Children with Retarded Mental Development (ACRMD), and was one of the first organizations to advocate for developmentally disabled children in New York City. In 2000, the name was changed to Lifespire to reflect the organization’s aim of “helping individuals reach life’s aspirations.”