Every year, people with disabilities in Chautauqua County make tremendous strides in their quest to lead productive, meaningful lives. And every day, they are supported in their efforts by a wide segment of the community that appreciates and values the contributions those with disabilities can make, if given a chance.
To recognize the efforts of people with disabilities and those who support them, The Resource Center and TRC Foundation each year hold a celebration to pay tribute to this deserving group. The public is encouraged to nominate individuals with disabilities whom they know, or persons and organizations from the community that have had a positive impact on the lives of those with disabling conditions.
Awards will be given in the following categories:
Advocate of the Year, recognizing a person or organization that has advocated for the rights of individuals with disabilities to achieve greater independence and integration in the community, or a person who has made significant personal accomplishments in the area of self-advocacy.
Carl Cappa Humanitarian of the Year, honoring an individual who has provided financial support to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. This award is named in honor of the late Carl Cappa of Jamestown, a philanthropist who made significant financial contributions to improve the lives of people with disabilities.
Bruce Walford Community Service Award, honoring an individual who demonstrates a commitment to the community; selflessness; the initiative and the ingenuity to forge forward and make things happen; and enthusiasm and exuberance that inspire others.
This award was created in honor of the late Bruce "Wally" Walford, who was the manager of TRC's Dunkirk Work Center Program.
Community Support Award, given to a person, service group or business that has provided unique opportunities and experiences to individuals with disabilities.
Edwin W. Roth Memorial Award, recognizing a consumer, consumer advocate, agency, professional, or individual that has supported efforts to improve the lives of persons with mental illness or substance abuse challenges.
This award is named in honor of the late Ed Roth, a New York State Office of Mental Health official who was a strong advocate for people with mental illness;
Elmer Muench Volunteer of the Year, honoring a person who has donated time, talents and/or expertise toward improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. In addition to interacting directly with persons with disabilities, volunteer service could include assisting with special events, serving on a board or committee, or other uses of personal time. This award is named in honor of the late Elmer Muench of Fredonia, a longtime volunteer and advocate for people with disabilities.
Employer of the Year, recognizing an employer that has improved the availability, accessibility and quality of integrated employment for people with disabilities.
Health Provider of the Year, honoring an entity or professional that has enhanced the lives of persons with disabilities by providing outstanding health services.
Outstanding Achieve-ment, saluting a person challenged by a severe disability who has made significant advancements in the areas of personal skills, community integration or contributions to society.
Success of the Year, praising an individual challenged by a disability who has achieved his or her goals in the areas of community integration and/or employment.
Nominees do not have to be affiliated with The Resource Center. A selection committee composed of community volunteers will decide which nominees are most deserving of the awards.
Nominations are being accepted until Tuesday. Each nomination must include a narrative explaining why the nominee is deserving of an award. You can submit a nomination online by visiting www.resourcecenter.org. If you want a nomination form sent to you, phone 661-1477. Nominations can be mailed to the Awards Planning Committee, c/o The Resource Center, 200 Dunham Ave., Jamestown 14701. Nominations also can be faxed to 661-1419.
The awards will be presented at the Disability Awareness Awards Celebration on Oct. 9 at The Resource Center's administrative offices, 200 Dunham Avenue in Jamestown.