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Several honored at 'Together We Can' appreciation dinner

By Deb Hutmire, Perry County Tribune
Published Wednesday, November 22, 2017

At the recent Together We Can Appreciation dinner, sponsored by the Perry County Board of Developmental Disabilities, several community members and an employee of the program were recognized for their contributions and dedication to the agency.

The recipient of the Employee of the Year award was presented to Janis Reed, who has been with the Board of DD since 2006. This award is presented to an outstanding employee of the Perry County Board of DD, and recognizes their efforts, enthusiasm, and passion that drive not only personal success, but that also impacts the success of the agency.

Janis' family and co-workers describe her as a caring, giving and inspiring person. These qualities and her dedication to helping others are some of the reasons she was nominated and selected to represent the board.

When David Couch, Board of DD Superintendent, presented the award, tears of joy were filling her eyes as she said, "Thank you." Janis has attended the same church for 63 years..The Good Shepherd in Junction City. She spends as much time with her grandchildren as possible. Janis enjoys volunteering one night a week at Dr. Haggenjos' office to help people get the medicine that they are unable to afford.

When it comes her family, Janis enjoys spending time with her husband, Larry. Although she claims she is not very community involved she has a list of projects she once was totally involved with, that includes: volunteering in the school system when her kids, Larissa and Matthew were younger. She was also a Girl Scout Leader, volunteered at the baseball field keeping score and such. “I remember cooking every home meal for both teams the whole time my son was in high school football. I did teach Sunday school for 20 years.”

In concluding with a smile, then a laugh she said, “I am old now, and I want to spend as much time with my husband, kids and grandchildren as I know it will not last long. Thank you for this great honor.”

Presenting the Helen Hoover Klingler Commitment award to Kay Stickdorn was Dwight Hoover and family. Dwight is the son of the late Mrs. Hoover. This award was established in honor of the late Mrs. Hoover, who dedicated years of service to what was then known as the MR/DD field.

Dwight stated, “Kay has demonstrated commitment to Perry County, and the developmental disabilities field for over 25 years. She has had many roles throughout her career that have made an impact in the community. She began her role as a classroom attendant, caring for a young child. In the early 2000's Kay assisted in the development of the Special Olympics for New Lexington City School District. She also teaches sign language to students in Signing Patriots, which performs each year at the Veteran's Day assembly. Kay has also served as director support staff for the Sech-Kar Company for over 10 years, and is active with the Board of DD recreational and summer camp activities. Kay's passion is evident; she entourages people with developmental disabilities to become as independent as possible, and supports them as they become active members of the community.”

Receiving the Debbie King Advocacy award was Cassandra “Cass” Bolyard. Presenting the award was Morgan Deavers and Danny Miller. This award is presented to an individual to recognize the recipient's contribution as a self-advocate in Perry County. The award honors Ms. King, in remembrance of her courage as a self-advocate and as a defender for people with disabilities.

Cass is is known as an energetic, smart, creative and determined champion for advocacy, has overcome many obstacles in her life, and because she does not take “no” for an answer. As a student in high school, Cass participated in bowling, drama, chamber singers and a teacher assistant in the Multi-Handicapped classroom. She is currently a sophomore at Muskingum University, majoring in Special Education, with a focus in Early childhood Education. One of her former high school teachers stated, “When she decides that she is going to do something, nothing can stop her. I do not think Cass has any idea of just how inspirational she really is, and that is what makes her extra special.”

Receiving the Community Collaboration award was Allwell Behavioral Health Services. This award was presented by County Commissioner Ben Carpenter. This award is presented to a business or community organization

This article has been reproduced for educational purposes only and appeared in the Perry County Tribune. The original story can be found at:

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