Welcome to the Monthly Connect!

Main Street's e-newsletter brings project updates, events, community resources, and more to your inbox the first Friday of every month. Thank you for being a part of the Main Street community!

Member Spotlight:
Meet Eric Edwards


The Edwards family spans three generations from age 25 to 101. Learn more here.

Photo by Sam Kittner

Call to Action!

Final Hearing on the Main Street Building Plan

Wednesday, December 13, 7 PM
Mayor and Council Chambers at Rockville City Hall
111 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD

The City of Rockville Planning Commission is holding a final hearing on the Main Street building plan on December 13 at 7 PM. We strongly encourage Main Street members and friends to attend and, if time permits, we hope many of you will testify in support of Main Street. It is critical that city officials understand the great need that exists for quality, affordable, and inclusive housing for people with disabilities. Questions may be sent to info@mainstreetconnect.org.

Upcoming Events

Main Street Breakfast for Prospective Professional Partners and Friends
Monday, January 22, 8:30 - 10 AM
Bender JCC, 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville, MD

All professionals are invited to learn more about Main Street and to explore opportunities for professional partnerships. Follow this link to RSVP - and please spread the word! 

Main Street Member Happy Hour
Friday, February 9, 6 - 8 PM
120 Quincy Street, Chevy Chase, MD

Join us for a fun and informal gathering at the home of Main Street members Karen and Jim Huizinga.  

See the Main Street website for additional details about these events. 

Main Street Event Gallery

As we approach the end of 2017, we are so grateful to all Main Street members and friends who have supported the development of the Main Street community over the past year. See the Main Street Event Gallery for a look back at the fun we have had and friends we have made at our 2017 events.

Community News

Maryland Launches ABLE Program!

On November 28, the state of Maryland launched the Maryland ABLE program that allows people with disabilities to save for their future without risking eligibility for federal and state means-tested benefits. This program was made possible by the passage of the federal Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014. Participants may contribute up to $14,000 annually (increasing to $15,000 in 2018) to a tax-advantaged ABLE account that may be used to pay for qualified disability-related expenses. In Maryland, it takes only $25 to open an ABLE account and residents are allowed an annual state income tax deduction of up to $2,500 per beneficiary.

Heather Sachs, a Main Street member and the Policy & Advocacy Director at the National Down Syndrome Congress, long advocated for the passage of the ABLE bill and has assisted states in developing their ABLE programs. On Tuesday, Heather's daughter, Leah, became the first Marylander to open an ABLE account. (Leah is pictured here with Maryland State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, and her proud parents, Heather and Andrew.) Congratulations to Leah and the Sachs family! 

To learn more about the Maryland ABLE program, go to www.marylandable.org

MCPS College Night for Students with an IEP

Tuesday, December 5, 6:30 - 9 PM
Gaithersburg High School Cafeteria, 101 Education Blvd., Gaithersburg, MD

The Transition Services office of Montgomery County Public Schools is sponsoring a College Night for families of students ages 14 - 21 who have an IEP. The event will offer an opportunity to explore post-secondary education and enrichment options. Click here to see the event flyer. 

VisAbility Art Lab Holiday Show

Sunday, December 10, 1 - 3 PM
Salon Centric, 12225 Nebel Street, Rockville, MD

The VisAbility Art Lab, which supports young adult artists with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities, is holding a holiday show on December 10 at Salon Centric. Paintings, drawings, ceramics, and prints will be on sale just in time for the holidays. Contact: Elaine Parks at eparks@visartscenter.org.

Travel Opportunities for People with Disabilities

A number of organizations provide support for children and adults with disabilities to travel near and far:
  • Gateway to Israel - The Edlavitch DC JCC is sponsoring its second trip to Israel designed specifically for those with disabilities ages 18 and up. 
  • Wings for All - Sponsored by the Arc, Wings for All offers airport "rehearsals" for those with autism and/or intellectual disabilities and their families. The program is designed to alleviate stress by allowing participants to practice the process of entering the airport, obtaining boarding passes, going through security, and boarding a plane. The next Wings for All event at BWI Airport is expected to be in January 2018.  
  • Summit Camp and Travel - Summit offers therapeutically designed weekend excursions, multi-week travel adventures, and sleepaway summer camps organized to meet the needs of people ages 8 - 20 with a variety of social, emotional, and learning issues. 

Help Build Our Community

Are you on Facebook? So are we! Follow us here.

Already following us on Facebook? Invite your friends to follow Main Street. Simply go to the
Main Street Facebook page and click on "Invite your friends" under community on the right hand side. 

Are you on Twitter? Connect with us here
Help us expand the Main Street community! Invite your friends to visit our website to become Main Street members. Membership is good for one year, renewable in the spring. Members who join after November 1, 2017, will not have to renew until 2019!
We wish you all the happiest of holidays! Please keep Main Street in mind when making year-end donations. Donations received will support capital expenditures for the Main Street building. Help us make this project a reality!  
Copyright © 2017 Main Street, All rights reserved.

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