Pathfinder Services of Huntington honored individuals and organizations within the communities they serve at their annual community recognition dinner Saturday evening at Huntington University. The Comprehensive Human and Community Development organization unveiled the new logo of the organization, presented awards for support of the organization and the people it serves in front of the audience of over 165 people.
The keynote speaker for the evening was Chantal Sicile-Kira, an international speaker, author and advocate who has been involved with autism spectrum disorders for over 20 years– her son Jeremy has Autism. Kira has raised her son in France, the UK and in California. Kira’s family has been highlighted in the Newsweek cover story “Growing up with Autism’ and featured in the MTV documentary True Life series, in “I Have Autism,” which was the recipient of a 2008 Voice Award. Kira shared her story of “Things I wish I’d known sooner; reflections on raising a person with autism, with an additional focus on “Preparing Ourselves and Preparing for Change.”
At the dinner, the Pathfinder Services Board of Directors presented the prestigious Herbert D. LaMont award to Greta Schenkel. She has been a volunteer for many years of her life. Since she graduated from Huntington North in 1991, Greta has volunteered the past 18 years at Pathfinder Kids Kampus from anywhere to 20 to 30 hours per week. Currently Greta works in the Adventurers and Premier Preschool classrooms at Pathfinder Kids Kampus.
The Pathfinder Services Board of Directors gives the LaMont award annually in honor of the late Herbert D. LaMont, who was a major force in the development of services for persons with disabilities in Huntington County. This year the award was presented by Craig Johnson, Chairman of the Pathfinder Services Board of Directors.
Bill Hancher, presented the Timothy Hancher Direct Services Award to two recipients this year: Amy Thornsberry, Team Leader for Pathfinder Community Supports, and Nancy Lewis, Occupational Therapist for Pathfinder Kids Kampus. Hancher, along with his wife Barbara has initiated the Timothy Hancher Direct Services Award, honoring a Pathfinder staff person who has gone “above and beyond” in providing direct services to the Pathfinder clients. The award was founded in memory of the Hancher’s son, Timothy, who was born with severe developmental and physical disabilities and passed away in 1996 at the age of twenty-six.
At the dinner, Pathfinder Services also gave Community Partner Awards to individuals and organizations that supported Pathfinder Services Inc. and their customers during the past fiscal year. Recipients include:
- The Huntington County Chamber of Commerce, and Chamber Board member Lori Mickley along with the Huntington County Chamber’s JoAnn Buranau were recognized for the outstanding support the Chamber has given over the years.
- Boogie Down Dee-Jay’s Gary and Angela Davisson were recognized for their support of the
Pathfinder Community Supports Client Council through their discounted rates and their flexibility.
- Knox Moose Family Center’s Ron Singleton received a Community Partner Award from the Pathfinder Community Supports office in Plymouth for their donations of food and money’s raised each year from fish fry’s held for the division’s Client Council.
- Vivian Hans and USA DanceSport received a Community Partner award for their partnership with the Pathfinder Foundation and the Pathfinder Community Supports division to make it possible for nine clients to participate in the Special Olympics Ballroom Dancing competition held in Fort Wayne on July 4, 2009.
- Greta Schenkel was honored by Pathfinder Kids Kampus for her years of service as a volunteer for the division and going above and beyond each and every day at the child care center.
- Angie Beauchamp, the owner of Modoc’s Market received a Community Partner Award from Pathfinder Resource Connection, the organization’s Employment division for her outstanding flexibility and partnership with the staff and clients.
- Lake City Bank and Ralph Villalon were recognized with a Community Partner Award by Pathfinder Community Connections, the organization’s housing division. Lake City Bank has partnered with Pathfinder Community Connections this year to provide over $381,000 in down payment assistance money. Additionally, Lake City Bank has partnered with Pathfinder Community Connections and Fort Wayne Baptist to target home ownership for the growing Burmese population in Fort Wayne.
- WTCA-AM 1050 in Plymouth will receive a Community Partner Award later this year for their Partnership with the Pathfinder Community Connections Transitional Housing program that assists families who are homeless along the path towards self sufficiency. WTCA made Christmas in 2008 very special for the families in the program in the Plymouth area by delivering food and gift baskets to the families in the program. This provided the families a Christmas they would not have been able to have otherwise.
Pathfinder Services is a not-for-profit human services organization based in Huntington, where it was founded in 1966. In addition to Huntington County, Pathfinder Services has office locations in Wabash and Plymouth. For more information on the services of Pathfinder Services please call (260) 356-0500 or visit www.pathfinderservices.org .