Together Is Better

The opportunity … to actively participate in the community, to learn and create, and to serve.

The Aim Higher Dinner & Silent Auction, benefiting Able to Serve, is a chance for the community to lend a hand as this nonprofit works to offer opportunities to adults with developmental disabilities that equip them to lead and serve.

“We’re raising the standard of how a day program meets the needs of its participants,” said executive director Carlton McDaniel Jr., a national-level consultant on special needs ministries who founded the organization in 2003.

More than a great evening of food and entertainment, this fourth annual benefit is a gathering of community leaders, businesses and families to celebrate the achievements and involvement of people with disabilities in our community, and how that improves life for all of us.

“I had been looking for something like this,” said Fuquay-Varina High graduate Becky Beasley of the organization, to fill a post-high school void often faced by adults with disabilities. “It’s a chance to interact with others, and the volunteers are just amazing.”

Beasley plays an active role in the publishing of Able to Serve's participant newspaper, the A2S Post.

Able to Serve's newly-expanded programming includes individualized educational instruction, daily outings into the community, recreation, community service projects and more.

Able to Serve receives no government funding, relying on community partnerships to sustain and grow the work.

“We need help, so we can continue to give abilities a chance every day of the year,” McDaniel said.

Here are two fun ways you can do just that:

  1. The Aim Higher Dinner & Silent Auction: Set for Friday, April 17 from 6 to 8:30 p.m., at First Baptist Church in Garner; entertainment includes the Antique Outlaws, Brooks Bristow and Joni Davis. Individual tickets are $25, and sponsorships are available.
  2. The Golf “Fore” Special Needs Tournament: Set for Friday, May 8 at Raleigh Golf Association (RGA). Registration and lunch begin at noon, with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Registration is $60 per golfer.  

Able to Serve currently works with participants from Wake and Johnston counties, averaging 25 people in its weekday program, and reaching more than 150 people in its community dance events.

“We often help or minister ‘to’ people with special needs, not ‘with’ them,” McDaniel said. “But my friends at Able to Serve have taught me that life isn’t just about doing — it’s about being. Being who I am, contributing what I have, to a community that values what I have to offer."

For event tickets, information, or to make an online donation, visit

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