Annual Awards Dinner 2017 A Night to Remember

Mar 26, 2017

On stage, Gary Edwards shaking hands with Ryan Wasko, Lisa Edwards standing to the side.

Left to right – Gary Edwards, Ryan Wasko, Lisa Edwards

Another year of advocacy, education and resources to celebrate

More than 150 community members, board of directors, staff, sponsors and guests gathered this past Thursday evening at The Woodlands, to join us for The Arc Annual Awards Dinner. Pamela Zotynia, Exec. Dir., provided an annual report of all we have accomplished over the past year, to include:

  • A successful launch of the first NEPA Disability Conference
  • The 5th graduating class of the Transition to Community Employment (TRACE) program
  • Another year of Independent Monitoring for Quality (IM4Q)
  • Appointment as an Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC) through the Pennsylvania Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT)
  • Another successful Martin Luther King Jr. Day of volunteering with Commission on Economic Opportunity
  • Continued success with PA Independent Living podcast & sharing news through padisabilitynews.com

Students from the TRACE Class of 2017 also provided an update on their progress

The guest speaker was football great Rocky Bleier

Guest speaker Rocky Bleier began the evening with an interview by Steve Bennett of the Citizen’s Voice. WBRE and WNEP also covered the event. He began his dinner address to attendees with a story of how he first came to know The Arc as a volunteer while a college student at Notre Dame. He went on to talk about challenges he faced wanting to play professional football after an injury while serving in Viet Nam, the importance of ‘team’, and how support from those around us in dealing with challenges and obstacles in life can make a difference.

About overcoming the obstacles within our lives, and we all face them, no matter what we may do, said Rocky Bleier. So what spurs us on, and sometimes it’s other people who give us the encouragement to do something not only within our community but within our lives to overcome challenges that are set before us.

Luzerne County Intellectual Disabilities Awareness Month Proclamation

The annual proclamation ceremony coincidentally had been scheduled the same day snowstorm Stella came to town. Everything was closed that day, and we were disappointed to break tradition and have to cancel. So, we worked to reschedule the ceremony to take place during the event! TRACE Student, Brittany Romantic, performed the honors of reading the proclamation presented by Luzerne County Council, Vice-Chair, Tim McGinley.

A highlight of the evening was the award ceremony

This year’s award recipients were called to the stage and honored for their good work in the community.

How do you wrap up any great event?

With great raffle prizes (congratulations to the winners) and a fabulous collection of photos!

Annual Awards Dinner 2017

Move your cursor to the right side of the image and click the arrow to flip through the photo album


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