DisAbility Awareness Day Celebration
Public gathering at the mall provided opportunity to meet award recipients and vendors serving those with disabilities.
A crowd gathered outside Pottery Barn at Westfield Annapolis mall today to celebrate all people who have disabilities and their accomplishments, along with those who help people with disabilities in our community. Secretary Cathy Raggio of the Maryland Department of Disabilities read a governor's citation declaring Oct. 30 as DisAbility Awareness Day (DAD) in Anne Arundel County.
The county Commission on Disability Issues, along with County Executive John R. Leopold , presented the 2010 DAD Award to Nancy Patterson of Canine Companions for Independence. Leopold remarked that he felt it was important to be there personally to thank every single honoree. He helped present the award to Patterson, who was accompanied by her service dog, Molly.
The recipient of the Disability Leadership Award was Edward Feinberg of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education. Additional awards were presented to employers who have hired those with disabilities, including the following businesses in Greater Annapolis:
Several more businesses in Greater Annapolis received accessibility awards, including:
The Democratic candidate for District 6 County Council, Chris Trumbauer, attended the event. Mall shoppers were perplexed when they stumbled upon the celebration that took place in the atrium, yet most stopped to learn more about the honorees or talk with vendors who serve people with disabilities. The OBI Bell Choir and the Hands of Harmony provided entertainment for the event. Children and adults alike were interested in watching the demonstration by Canine Companions for Independence, which provides service dogs.
Other county businesses honored included the Arc of Maryland, Graul's Market, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, On Our Own of Anne Arundel County — all in the city of Annapolis; Giant Food in Severna Park; Kmart in Edgewater; McDonald's and RM Service Center in Glen Burnie; Panera Bread in Pasadena; and Safeway in Arnold.
Other county accessibility awards were presented to Annapolis Marriott Waterfront hotel and Zachary's, both in the city of Annapolis; Four Seasons Grille in Gambrills; Safeway in Arnold; and Skipper's Pier in Deale.
The first faith-based advocacy award was presented to Holy Family Catholic Church in Davidsonville. The Business Leadership Award went to Annapolis Healthcare Supplies.
Recipients of the County Executive's Public Service Awards include Dean Adams, Adrian Blake, Kenny Naylor, Ligia Perales, and Terrell Thigpen in the county's Office of Central Services; and to Jay Cuccia, Daryl Kirk, Dorothy McGee, and David Minnix in the county's Office of Information Technology.
Recipients of the Volunteer Leadership Awards include Pam Ontko of Gambrills, Friendly Visitor Program; and Richard S. Finlay and Richard A. Lagana of Severna Park, Helen Ann Hobbs of Glen Burnie, Audrey Miller of Linthicum, and Patricia Matthews of Bowie, all of the OBI Bell Choir.