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A bit of Hollywood in Perkins

Andy Ouriel • Jul 11, 2014 at 10:14 AM


It’s as if producers from Studio 33 at CBS Television City in Hollywood filmed the station’s most popular game show inside Perkins High School.

But not even A-list TV executives could pull off a flawless episode like Ability Works Inc. employees, volunteers and clients did Thursday night.

Representatives from the organization, assisting and providing jobs to almost 130 area adult residents with disabilities, recreated “The Price Is Right” set on the stage.

Several lucky clients receiving services from Ability Works got to play classic games like Plinko, Hole in One and Punch A Bunch. Some even scored cash.

Not everyone got to play. Just like the real show, George Gray, played by Theresa Gerold, called names of clients, who came on down — or in this case, up — to Contestant’s Row.

From there, Drew Carey, played by Samantha Klinow, questioned all four candidates on retail prices of various products, including toothpaste and a homemade apron. And of course, contestants couldn’t go over the suggested amount if they wanted to win.

Even staff workers acted as models, featuring each product as catchy, classic show tunes blared in the background. 

The audience, packed with about 100 community members, also played along. People shouted advice to players, like bidding $1, when conflicted with tough choices.

All Contestant’s Row winners spun the wheel, and two lucky individuals — Shawn Shafer and Amy Edwards — headed to the legendary Showcase Showdown.

In the end, Shafer successfully guessed $170 on a $215 showcase, capturing two Cedar Point day passes, a digital camera and a brand new (model) car.

“The event was great,” said Allison Young, chief executive officer at Ability Works.

Every three months or so, Ability Works employees host events to raise awareness and bring together others involved with similar organizations around Erie County.

“We want to provide activities to connect people and make relationships with people in the community," said Laura LaGodney, the organization's chief operating officer. “It’s important the community understands and encourages people with disabilities.”

In addition to hosting these type of events, Ability Works also provides transportation to those needing rides to jobs and community functions.

The organization, funded mostly through Medicaid reimbursements, also offers day services, a safe environment where adults with disabilities can play, learn, interact or just get away from a stressful situation for a bit.

And having fun remains a critical component to Ability Works' mission.

“This is probably the most popular game show that people watch during lunchtime,” LaGodney said. “It’s beloved dearly, and we wanted to do it.”

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