[As presented by Bell Board of Directors president, Bob Lease, at the 2012 Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony.]
Nancy Leister and her therapy dog, Layla, received the 2012 Margo Atwood Community Service Award. Pictured with Bell executive director, Ike Hileman, and Bob Lease, president of Bell's Board of Directors.
Margo Atwood Community Service Award
Awarded to the individual or group that provides their time and resources to enhance Bell Socialization Services’ programs.
A few years ago, one of this year’s Margo Atwood award recipients received one of our other community awards. Well, shee’s baack. And this year, she’s here with her best friend.
Nancy Leister continues to donate her time, energy, financial support, and talents to Bell. She volunteers on a regular basis at Bell’s Adult Training Facility (ATF), which is located on the grounds of the Brethren Home in New Oxford, and provides a ride for her friend, who also volunteers.
Now, we know the other part of this dynamic duo will never write a check or encourage friends and coworkers to donate like Nancy does. She won’t bring snacks and treats for individuals who receive service there. But it’s okay. Because what she does bring is very special.
Nancy’s good-natured and loving friend is her therapy dog, Layla.
When the two of them show up each month, Layla is dressed to the nines to represent whatever holiday is appropriate. With her kind spirit, she knows just how to bring a smile to the faces of those she visits; they’re always happy to see her.
Now you can meet her, too. Here to accept this year’s Margo Atwood Community Service Award is Nancy Leister . . . and Layla.
[As presented by Bell Board of Directors president, Bob Lease, at the 2012 Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony.]
Al Kuhner, Kuhner Associates (left) receives the 2012 Bell Business of the Year award from Bell executive director, Ike Hileman.
2012 Business of the Year Award
This award is presented to a business that contributes time and resources to assist Bell in fulfilling its mission within the community.
When the nomination came in for this award, it held ten signatures. All are members of Bell’s Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team. All in agreement that the nominee was worthy of recognition.
When one of Bell’s clients passed away unexpectedly this year, Nnebu Ochiobi, who wrote up the nomination, contacted Al Kuhner of Kuhner Associates to inquire about discounted funeral services. After explaining the situation, Mr. Kuhner, without hesitation, agreed to provide the service free of charge. He further assisted with the planning of a memorial service at the church where the client had attended.
With no family members in the area to tend to details, Mr. Kuhner worked with the ACT staff to arrange a befitting farewell. It was an “awesome” experience, said Nnebu. One that made the team very grateful for involved community members who follow their hearts to extend a hand so generously.
Please join the members of the ACT team in acknowledging Mr. Al Kuhner.
[As presented by Bob Lease, president of Bell Board of Directors, at the 2012 Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony.]
JJ Anderson (left) accepts the award on behalf of PriceRite. Shaking hands with Bell Board president, Bob Lease; also shown, Ike Hileman, Bell executive director.
2012 Employer of the Year Award
Awarded to an employer who provides an opportunity for a Bell consumer to live and work in the community with dignity and independence.
As a supported employment job coach with Bell’s vocational rehabilitation program, Melissa Fair interacts with local businesses to assist people using voc rehab services to find and maintain employment. It’s her job to find companies whose management is willing to complete a Community Based Work Assessment and give Bell service users a chance to succeed.
Managers of Price Rite have embraced this opportunity and demonstrated understanding and support every step of the way, even when one of the individuals in the program was experiencing some difficulties.
Price Rite fully supported the individual through the challenges and worked with them and the caseworker to find creative solutions.
Here to accept the Employer of the Year award on behalf of Price Rite is JJ Anderson.
[from the presentation by Bell Board president at Bell's 2012 Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony]
YCP Art Galleries Director, Matthew Clay-Robison (left), with Bell executive director, Ike Hileman.
Pauline Whitacre Community Service Award
Awarded to an individual or group who provides time and resources to enhance Bell Socialization Services’ mental health programs.
You may have noticed as you walked down the hallway outside, some colorful artwork. These and many other works of creative expression were made by Bell service users and were part of this (and past) year’s Mental Health Awareness Month Art Shows held each May.
The 2012 art show rose to a professional level – in no small part due to the efforts of the person selected to receive this year’s Pauline Whitacre Award.
As director of the Art Galleries of York College of Pennsylvania, Matthew Clay-Robison offered exhibit space at the College free of charge for Bell’s 2012 show. Under his supervision and guidance, the gallery team displayed the art work masterfully, creating what nominator Karen Roland said was “an awesome experience for both consumers and staff.”
Seeing their work in the gallery – and mixing and mingling at the opening reception the gallery hosted – provided an extra sense of pride for those who created the art and, Karen thinks, really made them feel like a valuable part of the community.
What makes this story even better is that Matthew didn’t approach this year’s show as a ‘once-and-done’ effort. He is enthusiastically encouraging a continued partnership with Bell, already adding our 2013 art show to the Gallery’s official Cultural Series book, and sharing new ideas to provide and promote more community exposure and helping to erase the stigma associated with mental illness.
Please recognize Matthew Clay-Robison.
As leaves begin to change color and we welcome relief from the hot humid days of this past summer, the time has come for Bell Socialization Services’ annual event to celebrate the achievements and contributions of those associated with our agency.
Instead of our typical mid-day, sit-down luncheon we changed things up this year and invite you to join us for an after-hours event from 5:00 to 6:00 pm on Tuesday, October 2 at The Yorktowne Hotel.
Please come and enjoy a brief reception where you can meet and mingle with Bell service users, employees, volunteers, partners and supporters. Then add your applause to recognize award recipients and be among the first to see a new video spotlighting Bell’s impact in our community from the perspectives of those who live it.
I look forward to seeing you there!! — Ike Hileman, Executive Director
Elena Kalinoski wasn’t a stranger to Bell when she responded to an online posting for a Community Relations internship this summer. Several years ago when she was still in high school, she was one of the cast members (which also included her mother, Cindy) in a Bell murder mystery dinner fundraiser.
Now enrolled at American University, Elena quickly proved herself to be a valuable addition to the community relations and development team, sharing her volunteer hours specifically to help promote Bell’s vocational rehabilitation services. During her internship, she stepped up to lead a group of youth volunters who were scheduled to come for a community outreach mission, incorporating their enthusiasitc assistance to help fulfill her internship requirements.
Here’s what Elena had to say about her experience with the group:
“It was a privilege to work with the volunteers from Ignite youth group. They were mature, intelligent, hard-working, and kind. For the two days they volunteered, they used their artistic skills to design and create a window display to promote the Vocational Rehabilitation program. This program has a goal of matching qualified individuals who are living with mental illnesses with identified employer needs in the community.
The display, planned by Diane Sowers [vocational rehab program coordinator] and me, has two parts: It educates potential service users on one side and encourages employers to get involved in the program on the other side. The volunteers also decorated with hallway around the Vocational Rehab offices with inspirational work-related quotes.
The display was successful right away: The first day it was up, people started to come in and inquire about the program. Thank you to our valuable volunteers! ”
This just in:
Social Friendship #42
of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of PA Free Masons will be holding a car wash this Saturday, August 25 to benefit Bell. The 142 S. George Street McDonald’s (which happens to be next door to our main office) is offering their parking lot and donating the water. Hooray for community partners working together!
Swing on by between 9am and 2pm or so. Rumor has it they may be offering interior vacuuming, too!
A traveler's things
Armand Young last visited York in August of 2010. During those hot couple of summer days he did what he’d been doing for many months prior in other towns across the country – he helped place a local homeless family into a safe living situation. (Read story here.)
Young came back to York this week, retracing his steps from Ground Zero in NYC to the place his journey originated, the Santa Monica Pier in California. His goal: that a million acts of human kindness be happening behind him as each family he helps, each community he touches, reaches out to “pay it forward” in honor of fallen heroes and lives lost in the September 11 tragedy.
The bamboo stick he carries held about a dozen small U.S. flags in 2010; it now holds more than 200 and carries 529,000 signatures from people he has inspired to do good. “No matter where you are or what you’ve done, you can change. And you can make a difference,” Armand said, referring to his own life path of crime, drug abuse and near fatal overdoses. He’s a big fan of the song, “Bless the Broken Road,” saying when he walks into a town, not knowing anybody and within a day there’s a familiy in a home; “that’s God.”
Awaiting her arrival "home"
One family counting their blessings thanks to Armand’s good deeds is former Bell Family Shelter resident LaShawn Ferguson and her 10-year old daughter, Ruth. Living out of her car and her mother’s home, LaShawn exhausted the 30-day maximum stay at the Shelter. Even though she has a good job as an EMT, her situation was such that she could not yet afford a security deposit and first month’s rent to move into an apartment on her own.
Shelter services caseworker, Diana Moya, was staying in touch with LaShawn since her discharge from the Shelter, trying to offer help as she could to the hard-working mother tyring to find suitable safe housing for herself and her little girl. When Armand showed up on the Shelter doorstep last Friday, Diana knew LaShawn was the ideal candidate to benefit from his efforts. Diana assured him LaShawn was dedicated to making a better life and would not squander this miracle of an opportunity.
Four days later, LaShawn was surprised beyond belief to walk into the apartment on West King Street where she was met by Armand and a host of reporters and news camera operators, and others. Armand had arranged the happening with the help of realtor Charlotte Bergdoll of Cherry Lane Realty, landlord Rhett Lowery (who waived the security deposit and first month’s rent), and a crew from the East York Home Depot store who pitched in to install some new doors and replace the front porch flooring so LaShawn could get settled in immediately.
LaShawn Ferguson (in yellow) is overcome with joy. Bell Family Shelter caseworker Diana Moya steadies LaShawn's daughter, Ruth, as Armand Young reaches out to shake her hand.
Through her tears, LaShawn kept asking, “Is this real?” Everyone assured her it was, indeed. She and Ruth were now in a home of their own thanks to kindness of strangers and neighbors.
Armand Young may be, as he says, “just one man trying to change the world by making a gesture to help other people’s light shine.” LaShawn Ferguson just knows she’s blessed to be family number 414 he’s helped into a safe home .
York Dispatch article and video
York Daily Record article and video
Armand Young on Facebook
Roosterpalooza 3 will be here before we know it. So tell your friends and family and GET YOUR TICKETS NOW! Need to play it by ear? Well, how about a little incentive: print this coupon to save 50% off the $20 admission price at the gate the day of the event.
With two successful events behind them, Blue Rooster Entertainment extended an invitation of partnership to Bell for this year’s festival — giving back to the local community while at the same time bringing you great music and a wonderful family-friendly day. You’ll appreciate the relaxed atmosphere of Elicker’s Grove Park, where you can kick back under the trees, enjoying tunes from 11 in the morning until 11 at night. There will also be fun activities and vendors with all sorts of good stuff to peruse and purchase. Many booths will be run by Bell staff and service users, raising awareness and funds for our many fine programs.
See you there!