Dennis Blenkin

(Dennis Blenkin (second from left) and his Golden Book Tribute, with ABLE2 Executive Director Heather Lacey (on the left), Cathy Hall, and ABLE2 Founder David Hall) 

Dennis Blenkin

We featured Dennis in our 2016 Annual Report and were delighted to learn about his recent award by the Y’s Men International. 

In May 2024, Dennis was recognized for the positive impact he has made in the Y’s Men International communities. He received a Golden Book Tribute, which is a record for posterity of the “Golden Deeds” of Y’s Men. The Golden Book is housed in Geneva, Switzerland. Congratulations Dennis! 

For ABLE2, Dennis Blenkin exemplifies the goals of the Matching Program; he is someone who with support, has led an independent life of meaning and joy.

In 1974, Dennis was one of the first Friends to be matched to a volunteer Ally. In fact, Dennis, along with another young man, was the catalyst for the formation of ABLE2, at that time known as Citizen Advocacy. Dennis and his match were together for many years and his Ally supported him through many life changes such as finding a new place to live, a job and getting married to the love of his life, Cathy. 

However, life has a funny way of flipping things around. Back in 2016, it was Dennis who was visiting his former Ally. At that time, John had been in a nursing home for 10 years and Dennis was one of only two visitors he had each week. To Dennis these visits were a completely natural thing for him to do; John supported him when he needed someone and when John was the person in need, Dennis was his support.

Sadly, Dennis’ wife, Cathy, died about twelve years ago but the now-retired Dennis has been matched again to a new Ally, Peter, since 2020.