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Monday, October 5, 2015

Seven Outstanding Individuals with Disabilities to Receive Donald J. Sykes Award

Seven Atlantic County residents will be recognized for their outstanding achievements and contributions to our community at the 27th annual Donald J. Sykes Awards ceremony on Thursday, October 15 at noon at the Mays Landing Golf and Country Club, 1855 Cates Road, Hamilton Township.

Each October the county celebrates Disability Awareness Month with the presentation of awards to individuals with disabilities who were nominated by area organizations, family or friends for their positive attitudes, personal accomplishments and their success in enriching the lives of others. The ceremony is presented as a cooperative effort of the Atlantic County Division of Intergenerational Services and the Atlantic County Disability Advisory Board.

Established by the county in 1989, the ceremony was later named in memory of Donald J. Sykes, a longtime community advocate and former chairman of the county's Disabled Citizens Advisory Board.

This year's honorees include:

Joanie Anastasi of Galloway, nominated by a representative of the Spinal Cord Injury Program of Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation;

Alfred Carmichael of Atlantic City, nominated by Jewish Family services and the Atlantic City Rescue Mission;

Pam Crosby of Pleasantville, nominated by The Arc of Atlantic County;

Kathy Ford of Egg Harbor Township, nominated by her co-workers at the Communications Bureau of Atlantic City;

Aaron Melora of Somers Point, nominated by FACES 4 Autism;

Jennifer Murray of Somers Point, nominated by the John D. Young Memorial Lions Center for the Blind;

Shirley Shafer of Northfield, nominated by The Arc of Atlantic County.

In addition to the seven Sykes Award recipients, Rebecca McGill of Somers Point will be honored with Atlantic County's Partners in Community Access Award. McGill is a physical therapist and coordinator of the Spinal Cord Injury Program at Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation. She and Joshua Villa will provide a special demonstration of ReWalk, a robotic exoskeleton, at the October 15 event.

For more information about the Donald J. Sykes Awards ceremony, contact 609-645-7700 ext 4519. (TTY, please use 711) Reserved seating only.

For information on services, contact the Atlantic County Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) at 1-888-426-9243.

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