Cape Gazette
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Autism Delaware volunteers honored

Jun 26, 2014
At the June 6 awards ceremony at Dover Downs Hotel honoring volunteers are (l-r) Autism Delaware Executive Director Teresa Avery; Autism Delaware President Marcy Kempner; Brian Redding, supervisor in the pharmacy stock area of Christiana Health Care, recipient of the Noel Perry Smith Award; and Autism Delaware Secretary John Fisher Gray.

Autism Delaware’s volunteers were honored at Dover Downs Hotel June 6 as the autism agency’s most valuable asset. Among the honorees were organizations and individuals who had donated their time, resources, and expertise to help meet Autism Delaware’s mission in 2013: to help people and families affected by autism spectrum disorder.

Awarded the prestigious Autism Delaware Noel Perry Smith Award for Outstanding Employer, Christiana Care Health System was acknowledged for its hiring practices and serving as a positive role model for the employment community. “Christiana Care has been a longtime community partner with Autism Delaware’s adult services program, Productive Opportunities for Work and Recreation,” notes Teresa Avery, Autism Delaware’s executive director. “Thanks to Christiana Care Health System, many people with disabilities have been able to gain valuable work experience.”

For volunteering their time and resources, Mervin Brittingham, of Brittingham Movers, and George “GL” Jefferson, who owns Jeff’s Tap Room with his family in Bridgeville, were each named an Autism Delaware Outstanding Leader in the Community. This honor acknowledges contributions made to the statewide autism community. Awards for Outstanding Autism Delaware Volunteer were presented to nine individuals and organizations: Jeff Carnright, Rob and Robin Delaney, Sam Johnson, Chie Kelly, Dorian Kleinstuber, Ed Martin, Jen Nardo, and John Schelich. These volunteers provided a range of much-needed help throughout 2013, including technical and operational support and assistance at social outings and fundraising events. Because they all donated their time and expertise so generously, Autism Delaware could apply more funding toward creating better lives for Delawareans with ASD and their families.

“Many of our volunteers work behind the scenes,” says Avery, “and their efforts are as important as our more visible volunteers at fundraising events. As a result, no job is more important than any other, because all the jobs help Autism Delaware move toward its mission. We at Autism Delaware are privileged to be able to rely on such passionate and talented volunteers, and it’s my honor to celebrate them.”

Autism Delaware is a nonprofit organization made up of individuals with ASD, their family members, the professionals who serve them, and friends of people with ASD. The agency’s mission is to help people and families affected by ASD. With offices in Newark, Dover, and Lewes, Autism Delaware serves the entire state. For more information on how to help, visit autismdelaware.org.

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