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SPARC Award Winners Announced

SPARC award winners will be honored at the organization’s Annual Meeting and General Membership Meeting, November 16. Please see the Events Calendar for more information on the meeting.

Carol Smith—Nominated by Jo Lynn Osborne
In 1991 when the Arc in Jefferson County developed the training program Mobilizing Families we gathered a team for success that included parents and professionals. Carol Smith was part of that team. She was chosen because of her knowledge and love for children. Today Mobilizing Families is still going strong and so is Carol. By profession she has chosen to work with children. At the Arc in Jefferson County she leads by example in the way she communicates and works with others. Over the past 14 years Carol has been a part of this team. We appreciate her and believe it is time that she is recognized for the years of service to families with children who have developmental disabilities.

Clare Summers—Nominated by Barbara and Mike Young
Clare is an OT at The Children’s Hospital – Denver (TCH) who has worked with our older son for almost seven years, and our younger son for about 18 months. She has proven to be an incredibly creative therapist, finding unique ways to reach and teach our kids. Clare finds a way to meet our children’s goals without being tied to a strict structure – her ability to be flexible and flow with the kids’ moods or abilities from day to day, and still be connected and ‘in the moment’ with them is impressive.

She does a wonderful job of looking at the whole child, rather than at just his obvious OT issues. Because of that, she has helped our family (and many others that we know) work through and educate ourselves about other issues concerning our children.

Clare has an innate ability to work with a very diverse group of kids and still be able to reach each child individually – she always seems to be able to get kids to do things that no one else can! In fact, several parents I know have used Clare’s attitude and methods as examples to teach others in school and therapy settings how to work with their children.

Her energy and enthusiasm for her work and her kids is obvious because she also has found the time and energy to volunteer time to travel to Nicaragua twice to work with kids with sensory issues, and she has worked at TCH’s Little Tree summer camp for kids with sensory issues for eight years. She also volunteers for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

Clare has been a great support, comfort and friend to our family, and we believe that she deserves recognition for her dedication and commitment to our community of kids.

George Giles—Nominated by Jeanne Weis
George has voluntarily been providing bus training for several months to one of his friends from Coffee House. He has been very consistent and loyal in showing up to escort her safely with a new job that doesn’t end until 7 pm, since she is apprehensive because of safety concerns. He has done a great job training her. George is also a member of the DDRC Consumer Council, and was just elected president of the Rocky Mountain Partners Aktion Club (a service club sponsored by the Kiwanis). George is also the vice president of the Arc in Jefferson County’s People First self-advocacy group. And last but not least, George comes into the Arc in Jefferson County offices several times a month to volunteer his time, helping with mailings and other administrative jobs.

County Commissioners—Nominated by the Board of Directors
The Arc in Jefferson County wants to acknowledge the support that the Jefferson County Commissioners gave the DD community by placing Referendum 1A mill levy on the ballot last fall. According to Art Hogling, executive director for Developmental Disabilities Resource Center, “It took a lot of courage for the commissioners to place this issue before the voters at a time when many felt new tax initiatives would be unpopular.” The voters rallied to pass the issue and many new programs and services are available to persons with developmental disabilities in Jefferson County as a result.

David Pemberton—Nominated by Todd Lowther
David Pemberton has donated an extraordinary amount of time to the Training for Transitions workshops. He has been on the parents' panels numerous times; he is a compelling speaker with a terrific message “Information is Power!” David is also the current board president for Developmental Disabilities Resource Center and has served on the Family Support Council for many years.

Sukle Advertising/MARC (ARC Thrift Stores)—Nominated by Todd Lowther and the Board of Directors
I would like to nominate Mike Sukle and Amy Stroh of Sukle Advertising and ARC Thrift Stores for a SPARC award. The awareness campaign had its roots with The Arc in Jefferson County board and staff retreat two years ago. Mike walked the board through a process that we initially had hoped to conduct for our own organization, but when we saw the possibilities presented, we agreed to work with The Arc of CO for a wider audience. As part of that planning group, Sukle met with families and individuals with developmental disabilities to introduce self-determination and the capabilities of individuals with developmental disabilities when given the supports needed to provide meaningful contributions to their communities. We also helped introduce Mike and Amy to the ARC Thrift Stores business and Sukle responded to the challenge of combining the image campaign with the advertising available on the trucks and store fronts. For their efforts, I believe the whole firm, as represented by Mike and Amy, should receive our prestigious SPARC award. Tied to the SPARC award for Sukle Advertising and Design, the Executive Committee and the Membership Committee feel it is appropriate to give a SPARC to the ARC Thrift Stores as well. The ARC Thrift Store operation has a significant role in how the new advertising campaign has developed in the last two years and how it will be implemented over the next few years. The organization responded favorably to the suggestion we expand the campaign to include images on the thrift store trucks and in newly opened or remodeled stores. It is an aggressive, and expensive, move, costing the organization more than $60,000 to “wrap” its fleet of 40 with the new images.

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