Courtesy photo Frannie Gillilan accepts the Arc Hero of the Year Award during the annual Arc Awards Celebration.
published: Sunday, May 26, 2013
Ridge Area Arc gives annual awards
Special to the News-Sun
AVON PARK - Ridge Area Arc held its Annual Awards Celebration on May 17 at the Grogan Center at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church. The theme "Achieve With Us" was selected to honor the consumers who have made achievements during the past year and the volunteers, staff, and community partners who assisted them to make those achievements.
Awards were presented to five consumers to acknowledge their achievements. Dama Massey, who lives in a group home in Avon Park, was named the Residential Consumer of the Year. Terry Richardson, who lives in his own apartment in Sebring, was chosen the Community Services Consumer of the Year. Elba Ortiz, who is now in training at the Avon Park Resale Store, was recognized as the Adult Day Training Consumer of the Year. Rene Herrera, who lives in Avon Park, was selected as the ADT - Intensive Consumer of the Year. Justin Brown, who has worked at Taco Bell for two years, was the winner of Community Employment Consumer of the Year.
Andy and Mary Basso, of Lake Placid, were named the Volunteers of the Year. They volunteer for Special STARS, employ people with disabilities, and Mary serves on the Arc Board of Directors. Russell Cummings and Denise Allegro accepted the Community Partner Award for Mulberry Pharmacy. Mulberry Pharmacy not only provides excellent services to the Arc's group home and supported living programs, it also provides staff training at no charge.
Frannie Gillilan received the Arc Hero of the Year Award. Gillilan has been a volunteer with Special STARS since 2004 and is the coordinator of the track and field events for the Highlands County school students.
The People First! Advocate Award went to The Arc of Florida. Deborah Linton, executive director, who was also the guest speaker at the celebration, accepted the award. The Arc of Florida's most recent advocacy efforts included the passage of the Intellectual Disability bill that is awaiting Governor Scott's signature and obtaining funding to provide services to those on the state's wait list.
Representative Cary Pigman, who was unable to attend the celebration, was recognized for co-sponsoring the Intellectual Disability Bill. Accepting the award was his wife, Darlene Pigman.
Employees were also recognized for their years of service to Ridge Area Arc. Those working 15 years are: Janet Tooley, through South Florida State College and Tonja Weed; 10 years, Raimunda Johnson and Tiffany Perry; and five years, Dreena Brown, Betty Rowland, and Velvorie Walker.
Miquette Jackson, an employee of Ridge Area Arc's Adult Day Training program in Wauchula, entertained the crowd with her vocal talents.
For more information about Ridge Area Arc, contact Rhonda Beckman, CEO at 452-1295, ext. 112 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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