Team attends strategy meeting

Supporting survivors of domestic abuse and families coping with Alzheimer’s disease

Team members Mitchell Heider and Lori Catapano support causes combatting domestic violence and providing comfort for loved ones diagnosed with dementia.  

Baker Tilly Wishes brings the resources of our firm and our people together to tackle big issues. Learn how two team members invest their time to help their neighbors. 

Putting an end to domestic abuse

Mitchell Heider, senior associate

For nearly 40 years, Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services has provided safe housing and counseling services for victims and their families in Winnebago County, Wisconsin.  

Mitchell Heider (pictured at left with his wife, Katie), senior associate in our Real Estate and Construction practice, first learned of the organization at the age of 10, when he joined their Race for the Light 5k fundraiser with his father.  

After several of Mitchell’s friends experienced domestic abuse, he felt compelled to volunteer with the organization and further their mission.  

“One of my high school classmates even lost their life to domestic violence, so it’s a cause that hits very close to home,” Mitchell said.  

He now serves as the treasurer and helps coordinate all fundraising events. 

Named for a woman who died as a result of domestic violence, the organization offers educational programming to raise awareness on safe dating practices. The shelter provides a safe space with mental health counselors and legal guidance on restraining orders.  

Mitchell said the Baker Tilly Wishes grant will help the organization transition to a bigger building, which will allow for more services like a pet kennel. 

“Unfortunately, some people hesitate to seek a safe place here because they can’t bring their pet. One of the main reasons I applied for the Baker Tilly Wishes grant was to help with this issue,” Mitchell said.  

A respite for families coping with Alzheimer’s disease

Assurance Partner Lori Catapano

With an aunt and two grandparents diagnosed with dementia, Assurance Partner Lori Catapano (pictured at left with her aunt) knows how devastating the disease can be.  

“Alzheimer’s disease takes so much away, not just from the person themselves but their whole family,” Lori said.  

The Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center (ADRC) helps over 2500 families each year on Long Island, New York navigate the challenges of the disease and access safe and engaging programs for their loved ones. 

Lori first volunteered with the ADRC over 12 years ago, and she now serves as treasurer on the board of directors. 

The ADRC offers music, art and equine therapy for people with dementia and their families, as well as care consultations, support groups and elder care attorneys. 

“With group therapy, you can see how the power of music and art bridges connections for people,” Lori said. “It’s incredibly moving to see how music and lyrics from people’s childhoods fill them with joy.”  

To provide resources free of charge, the ADRC relies on donations and several fundraising events each year. The Baker Tilly Wishes grant will allow the ADRC to increase programming in more locations.