29th Legislative Event Central Mass Gathering with the Governor
The Arc-Center of Hope Foundation, Inc., led the 29th Annual Legislative Event called “Gathering with the Governor” on Thursday, May 30th at the AC Hotel by Marriott. Local area service providers came together to bring awareness of the needs of the I/DD community. Co-sponsors included The Arc of Opportunity,
HMEA, Life-Skills, Open Sky Community Services, Venture Community Services, Seven Hills Foundation, Riverside Community Care, South Central Citizens Advisory Board, The Arc of Massachusetts, and ADDP. The Chamber of Central Mass South and the Worcester Area Chamber of Commerce were also sponsors of the event.
Governor Charlie Baker was the featured speaker and was presented an award in gratitude for his commitment to advocating for disabled individuals. In his remarks, he said he was glad to “get a front-row seat to all the great work that people do.”
Legislators from Central Massachusetts and local provider agencies presented awards to those who have shown remarkable dedication and support to those we serve. The following awards were given: Rosemarie Derry, Family Support Professional; Eileen Harris, Making a Difference Award; Michael Seibold, Leadership; Peter Geoffroy, Hero; Jessica Santiago, Linda Cournoyer Award for Excellence in Advocacy; Peggy Akinlosotu, Direct Support Professional; Dan Stewart, Shining Star and Lynda Moore, Legacy of Leadership.
Several local businesses also received awards for their inclusion in the workforce: Chartwells, Community Inclusion Champion; Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center, Ripple Effect Award; Harrington Healthcare, Civic Engagement Award; and Dell Technologies, Corporate Community Partnership. These businesses have offered employment opportunities to folks with disabilities. Their realization that they receive valuable and dedicated employees has led to numerous paid and meaningful opportunities for our folks.
Cody Decarteret, a Webster resident, was awarded the Courage and Bravery Award for his help during a fire that broke out in his house. He was able to stay calm, alert his mother, and help firefighters navigate when they arrived at the scene.
The Center of Hope Foundation and the other local service providers continue to advocate for these individuals and will continue to fight for additional funding, not only for supporting these individuals but also to open up new opportunities within the community.