Advocates, service professionals, and others were honored by the Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities (DCBDD) during its annual “Lifetime of Giving” event held Thursday at Merrick Hall on the Ohio Wesleyan University campus.
The annual awards ceremony recognizes people in the community for their contributions to enhance the lives of people with disabilities.
The event is held every March, which is designated as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.
Anyone within the Delaware County community can be nominated for an award.
“Delaware County is stronger when people of all abilities are included,” said DCBDD Communications and Public Relations Coordinator Anne Miller. “‘Lifetime of Giving’ provides that opportunity to recognize those who are excelling at including people of all abilities.”
Louis Borowicz, Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities president, was the evening’s award presenter.
“I look forward to this event every year,” he said. “As a board member, it’s nice to be a part of thanking people who have made an impact in the lives of the people we support.”
From the multiple names that were submitted, the nine recipients of this year’s Lifetime of Giving Awards include:
• Jewel Herbig — Outstanding Direct Support Professional
• Ashdin Hoffman — Outstanding Advocate
• Lisa Justice, MOD Pizza — Outstanding Community Employer
• Columbus Zoo and Aquarium — Outstanding Community Partners
• Addie Kearns — Outstanding Peer Mentor
• Dave Galloway — Outstanding Professional
• Barb Rollins — Outstanding Volunteer
• Tiffany Lewis — Lifesaver Award
• Amber Grunion and Laurie Hollingsworth — Outstanding DCBDD Employee
Rachel Barber, 2018 recipient of the Outstanding Advocate Award, presented the 2019 award to Hoffman.
“The recipient of this year’s award is an outgoing, talented and independent 9-year-old,” she said. “He is an author, screenplay writer and director, and despite his disability, this young man has written many stories and created many movies.”
To create inclusion, Hoffman created a movie to help his classmates better understand his disability. The young author and screenplay writer also has a fascination with whistles, for which he carried four around his neck Thursday evening.
“I think it’s pretty nice,” he said about being honored as the Outstanding Advocate. “I want to blow all of my whistles.”
Miller said the month of awareness provides focus on inclusion, highlighting advocacy, and demonstrates the role people with disabilities play in our community.
“It’s a great way to recognize people in our community that are going above and beyond to help people, and a great way to recognize our partners,” she said.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.