United Cerebral Palsy of Illinois Prairieland celebrated their 57th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, October 2nd at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Joliet. More than 100 people participated in the dinner and award ceremony honoring staff, board members, volunteers and agency benefactors.
The Melvin J. Larson Award for outstanding community service and stewardship was presented to Gini Lester who was instrumental in helping UCP begin a gardening project using permaculture. Because of her efforts, UCP is enjoying the fruits and vegetables produced by the gardens. She is a Master naturalist certified by the University of Illinois and is working on becoming a Master Gardner. Lester has also volunteered at the community garden in Pilcher Park, the development of the St. Francis/Cool Joliet community garden and the rain garden at Westwood.
Special recognition went to Friends of UCP for their volunteer service, as well as the Will Grundy Sportsmen for Charity for coordinating the Sportsmen Banquet. Retiring Board Member, Jean Kenol was honored for 9 years of service and the Board of Directors were honored for their time and efforts. Larry Burich, Superintendent of Planning and Facilities Management of the Joliet Park District and R. Dale Evans, Sr., Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator at the Housing Authority of Joliet were elected to the Board.
During the last year, UCP’s school program was selected as one of 62 schools nationwide to receive the National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 2012-2013 School of Excellence Award. UCP also received a three year accreditation from the Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission (CARF). CARF-accredited programs and services have demonstrated that they substantially meet nationally recognized standards.
The following staff were honored for their years of service:
Since 1955, United Cerebral Palsy has been providing direct services to people with developmental disabilities in Illinois. UCP provides the following programs and services: The School Program, Respite Care and Family Support Programs. Services are available to residents in Will, Grundy, Kendall, LaSalle, Ford and Iroquois counties.