Charlie’s Sunflower

Charlie’s Story

Charlie has been taking photos for over 40 years and now considers himself a ‘semi – professional’ photographer. Below are pictures from one of his shows at IGHL. Charlie says he puts the money he makes towards new equipment. “I am always saving up for a better camera.” said Charlie. “He practically sold out,” said Therese Martin, Recreation Services Coordinator. “I really wasn’t surprised since his photos make great gifts.”

Charlie and Therese Martin setting up his show.

His ‘Sunflower’ photo is one of his favorites because of how he shot it. “Therese and I were driving and we saw this huge field of sunflowers, but I couldn’t get that close because of my wheelchair,” said Charlie. “So I focused on a flower about 100 yards away, zoomed in and went click.  I didn’t like that one, it wasn’t centered.  So I focused more, steadied my hand and went click again. That was the one! Sometimes you need to have a lot of patience to get the results you want.” Charlie said.

Fall on the farm. Charlie D.  2015

When he is not taking photos, Charlie works his ‘day job’ at IGHL in their Manorville Center mail room. Charlie does it all, sorting, stamping and delivering mail to all of the offices in the building. He does his job well and with a smile.

North Fork bluff at sunset.  Charlie D. 2016

Charlie has always been enterprising.  In 1974, while still in high school he bought a wheel horse tractor C160 automatic with hydraulics for $3,500 because he knew he wanted to go into landscaping. He ran his own landscaping business until 1996 and shortly thereafter moved into an IGHL managed group home, tractor and all!

Charlie and his tractor.

“To this day, the tractor is in the shed at my house.” said Charlie. “I climb up on it every Sunday and cut the lawn at my home in Aquebogue. It still runs like a top!”
Charlie is just one of many exceptional individuals that IGHL helps lead full and independent lives through our 70 residential facilities and more than 20 specialized programs across Long Island.

If you would like to help IGHL support people like Charlie, please consider making a donation to our Summer Sunflower appeal below. A donation of any amount will automatically enter you into a contest to win an overnight stay at Oheka Castle.


Click Here to Donate to our Summer Sunflower appeal


For more information about IGHL please contact or call 631-878-8900.

Thank you for helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities on Long Island.


Overnight Weekday Stay in a Chateau Room and Continental Breakfast or Two – Donation Value $395 – Overnight Stay M-Th.  Weekend hotel requests may be accommodated for a $125 fee per night, per room.  Additional nights will be billed at the standard rate.  Subject to availability.  Cannot be divided.  Not redeemable for cash.  Non-transferable.  No substitutions.  Expires 3/10/18.  Gift Certificate must be presented at the time of redemption.  Not replaceable if lost or stolen.  Donation value excludes sales tax.  Winner will be notified on August 1st.