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Access: Supports for Living Welcomes Two Former Pro Athletes to its Foundation Board of Directors

Middletown, N.Y. – Access: Supports for Living (Access) announced today that former National Football League (NFL) fullback Tony Richardson and television baseball broadcaster and former Major League Baseball (MLB) catcher John Flaherty will join its Foundation Board of Directors. Access is one of New York State’s most diverse human services agencies. Richardson and Flaherty comprise two of the 16 seats on the Board.

Richardson, a former American football fullback for NFL teams including the Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, and the New York Jets, has developed close connections with Access: Supports for Living in recent years, supporting many of the organization’s fundraising events as well as its mental health programming. While he was considered to be one of the premier fullbacks in the NFL during his playing days, Richardson has used his retirement to focus on philanthropic efforts, including supporting the Selah Way Foundation and its mandate to eradicate sex trafficking.

“I am proud to join the Board of Directors for such a valuable organization in New York,” said Richardson. “Access: Supports for Living plays a critical role in ensuring that men, women, and children across the Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island understand the services available to them to help each one live the fullest, healthiest life possible. I look forward to working alongside the rest of the Board to carry out this important mission.”

Flaherty, a New York native, is a broadcaster and analyst of New York Yankees baseball for the YES Network. He is a former MLB catcher, having played for the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and the New York Yankees over a 13-year MLB career. Flaherty grew up in West Nyack, N.Y., and has become a friend of Access over the last few years, attending and supporting the organization in its many events. He most recently represented the organization by taking part in a virtual assembly at Fallsburg Junior Senior High School where he led a discussion about mental health.

“I have seen the powerful work performed in my home county of Rockland – as well as all those across the Hudson Valley and neighboring regions – by the more than 2,200 Access staff members,” said Flaherty. “It’s an honor to join the organization’s Board of Directors. I hope that I can use my own experiences to help others gain access to the vital tools and resources the organization offers.”

The Access: Supports for Living Foundation is committed to creating a future where people with a unique set of needs are supported by high quality services assisting in their ability to live fully, enjoying all our community has to offer.

“With the addition of Tony and John, we have further strengthened our Board of Directors with two people whose personal values align with Access’s mission,” said Ron Colavito, President and CEO of Access: Supports for Living Inc. and the Access: Supports for Living Foundation Inc. “Continued collaboration with Tony, John, and other members of the Board of Directors will ensure we are providing and evolving services that meet the changing needs of our community.”

“Tony and John are tremendous assets to our Board of Directors. They have both demonstrated such dedication and passion on and off the field, and I know they will use that drive to fuel the critical work we do here at Access,” said Chris Masters, Executive Director of Access: Supports for Living Foundation. “It’s my pleasure to welcome them both to the Board.”

“I want to extend a warm welcome to Tony and John as the newest members of our Board of Directors,” said Nick Preddice, Chairperson of the Access: Supports for Living Foundation. “We have already seen the appreciation they each have for the role Access plays in our communities, and I look forward to hearing their ideas and strategies to further the mission of our organization.”

About Access: Supports for Living
Access: Supports for Living was founded in 1963 by a group of families who believed in a bright, positive future for their children with disabilities. Today, Access is a $100 million non-profit organization mission-driven to help people live the healthiest and fullest lives possible. Access summarizes its worldview in four words: Rewarding Lives, Healthy Communities and supports Access for All. For more information, visit the website: or call 1-888-750-2266.

Tony Richardson
John Flaherty
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