Each year, the UCP Awards for Excellence are presented to affiliates, individuals and companies whose exceptional activities, achievements and dedication exemplify the UCP mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities through its affiliate network. This year, these awards were presented to 10 recipients at an opening reception and a dinner and presentation during the Annual Conference.
2011 Ritter Legacy Award was presented to UCP of the North Bay for their website, Facebook page, and $1,000 Donor Club packet program, which includes DVDs, newsletters and brochures. These marketing materials are used to raise funds for their programs, with particular focus on their recreation activities for children and adults with disabilities. They’re also used to raise awareness of UCP and create a positive impression of the organization and its work; and finally, to build a strong community of current and future supporters. UCP of the North Bay has created programs which exemplify successful methods to further advocacy and reach fundraising goals.
2011 Nina Eaton Program of the Year Award was presented to UCP Heartland for The Employment Collaborative, which builds relationships that lead to employment opportunities through a single point of entry between supported employment services providers and local school districts. The Collaborative is comprised of seven social service agencies, including UCP Heartland, who working together have placed more than 75 individuals with nine school districts and two district contractors. The goal of the Employment Collaborative is to provide opportunities for people who face a barrier to employment with the means to work more independently in their communities, often times at employment settings in which they are already familiar. It is an example of successful integration that can serve as a catalyst for change.
2011 Outstanding Youth Award was presented to the students of the Villanova University social justice film class, who created the documentary "On the DL,” (nominated by UCP of Philadelphia & Vicinity). The documentary follows the lives of two university students, Frank and Nick, who have cerebral palsy. The film depicts Frank and Nick in their daily tasks and as managers of the men’s and women’s division one basketball teams. In their work to show how these two students have to overcome physical as well as social barriers to feel like they belong to the team and to the university, the experience ultimately changed the live of the students in the film class and their community by creating awareness for students without disabilities, about their colleagues with disabilities.
2011 Universal Accessibility Design Award was presented to John Allen of Southern Construction and Design of Madison Alabama. In response to the need of one family whose son Casey is quadriplegic with other health issues, the Huntsville/Madison County Home Builder’s Association pledged to build a Universal Design home.
The home - dubbed “Casey’s House” -, has extensive structural, plumbing, and electrical modification including an elevator, a completely accessible bathroom, a battery powered lift chair with track system, video surveillance cameras for monitoring with video and audio recording and streaming capabilities, an environmental control system, and many other features that meet Casey’s medical needs. “Casey’s House” has become a model accessible home utilizing Universal Design principles and guidelines as well as creative use of building materials to provide comfort and functionality to Casey and his caregivers. Mr. Allen now educates other builders at conferences and speaking engagements to share information on designing and building a Universal Design homes.
2011 Employer of the Year Award was presented to Gone for Good Document Destruction, a coalition of four UCP affiliates- UCP Land of Lincoln, UCP of Greater Birmingham, UCP of Arkansas, and UCP of the North Bay, for their continued service in training and employing people with a spectrum of disabilities. The program was also recognized for its capacity to generate revenue and its ability to be successfully replicated in UCP affiliates across the country. This group of winners exemplifies the strength of the affiliate network to collaborate and harness their entrepreneurial spirit in support of a larger goal.
2011 the Ethel Hausman Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Charlotte Eddington, (nominated by UCP of Arkansas ) Charlotte has been a volunteer with UCP for 38 years and has been instrumental in key fundraising activities including the Arkansas UCP Telethon and annual tennis tournament. Over the years, her efforts have helped to raise more than 2.5 million dollars. In addition, she helps coordinate and serve a Christmas dinner for individuals with disabilities and their caregivers in her community. Charlotte exemplifies the spirit of UCP through their endless philanthropy, relentless advocacy, and time given to support the UCP mission, helping many to live a life with dignity and respect.
2011 Life Without Limits Award was presented to Steve Wampler from Coranado, California, to recognize an individual with disabilities who has demonstrated leadership and achievement of such a caliber as to be a significant role model to people with and without disabilities. Steve embodies what UCP represents- not only living his life without limits but encouraging others to do the same. In 2002 Steve founded the Wampler foundation, which provides support to organizations helping children with disabilities get outside and have a wilderness adventure. His foundation is a strong supporter of Access Leisure, which provides several outdoor camps for kids with disabilities, and also partners with UCP of Sacramento and Northern California. Last year, to honor the foundation’s mission and to inspire children with disabilities everywhere, Steve became the first man with cerebral palsy to climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, a 3,000 foot vertical rock. His vision was to conquer the rock, that’s twice the height of the empire state building, to show children with disabilities that they can and should embrace and enjoy the great outdoors.
Steve’s personal adventures, requiring perseverance and endurance, have made him a role model for millions with disabilities, and his foundation’s work to enable children to have their own outdoor adventures is truly remarkable.
2011 Kathleen O. Maul Leadership Award was presented to Glenn Harger, CEO of UCP of Mobile, for his leadership and strong commitment to UCP. He joined the affiliate of UCP of Mobile in 1989 and has grown the affiliate from a budget of $400,000 and 12 employees to a budget size of $4.1 million and 75 employees. He served in a leadership role as Chair with the National Administrators Council and as the first chair of the Professional Council following the reinvention of the management structure for UCP. He has offered his expertise to the planning and logistical support of several UCP annual conferences and has faithfully participated in Regional Administrator Council meetings. He currently serves as the Chair of the Program Advancement Ad Hoc Committee. Glenn previously served on the Affiliate Services Committee and was the Chair of the Interagency Coordinating Council of Alabama for Early Childhood Intervention. Throughout his time with UCP he has been a respected, vocal executive director who not only has Southern charm and a booming voice but a great passion for people with disabilities.
2011 Chair Award was presented to Mr. Darrell Davis, Vice President of the Circle K Florida Region and Mr. Jason Broussard, Vice President of the Circle K Gulf Coast Region. For close to three decades, Circle K has made a profound difference in the lives of people with disabilities. Through the company’s canister program, special events and cause marketing efforts, Circle K employees have literally transformed thousands of lives.