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Monday, October 3, 2016

Six Outstanding Individuals with Disabilities to Receive Annual Donald J. Sykes Award on October 19

Six Atlantic County residents will be recognized for their outstanding achievements and contributions to our community at the 28th annual Donald J. Sykes Awards ceremony on Wednesday, October 19 at noon at the Linwood Country Club, 500 Shore Road, Linwood.

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 is one of the most heartwarming and rewarding events Atlantic County has the pleasure to present,” said Dennis Levinson, Atlantic County Executive. “Over the past 28 years we have recognized more than 100 individuals of all ages from throughout Atlantic County who despite any physical or mental challenges have persevered to make important strides and outstanding achievements. It is our honor to publicly recognize them and all of their accomplishments. They help make Atlantic County a better place for all.”

This year’s honorees include:

Stacey Bertonazzi of Buena, nominated by her sister, Lauren Bertonazzi;

Michael Braxton of Mays Landing, nominated by Kathy Ford and Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation;

David Fowlkes of Pleasantville, nominated by the John D. Young Memorial Lions Blind Center;

Nam Ly of Egg Harbor Township, nominated by Bacharach Institute of Rehabilitation;

Jessica Ransom of Egg Harbor Township, nominated by her mother, Eileen Ransom;

LaToya Smith of Atlantic City, nominated by The Arc of Atlantic County.

The ceremony will feature Donald Campbell as its guest speaker. Campbell is a former Sykes Award recipient and a 2016 graduate of Widener Law School. Representatives from PAWS of Jewish Family Service will also participate.

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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