Honoring his commitment.
Being committed to planning meaningful daily activities and employment for people with disabilities has been the life work of Van Viney.
For a number of decades Viney has worked for MATCO Services — the last several as its Chief Operating Officer.
On Thursday, March 9, Viney’s leadership was recognized as he was awarded the prestigious Dorothy Allison Lifetime Achievement Award. Named after Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD) founder, that presentation capped off the 27th annual appreciation awards, coinciding with March’s statewide DD Awareness Month.
Awards were presented by MCBDD Superintendent Susan Thompson, MCBDD Board President Sue Mosier, State Sen. Bob Hackett and State Rep. Bill Dean.
The third annual Judge Glenn S. Hamilton Leadership Award was presented. Named in recognition of Hamilton’s 30 years of judicial leadership, the award was given to MCBDD consumer Josh Miller, an individual that represents the ‘exemplary character’ of which the honor signifies through his self-advocacy efforts and involvement in the Human Rights Committee.
The event, held at Fairhaven School and attended by about 300, honored those individuals who have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of people with disabilities. The evening itself was formatted somewhat differently than in the past — with one winner chosen in each category among those nominated.
The Consumer Award went to Mindy Morris. She was acknowledged for her role-modeling for others with disabilities.
Earning staff recognition was MCBDD Transportation Scheduler Jay Hicks for his heartfelt concern with the transportation needs of others.
Billy Hamm was applauded for giving his daughter the assistance she needs, even in the school setting.
Mike and Donna Quilter were thanked for their individual efforts as providers of services for individuals with disabilities, as was Dana Fisher on behalf of his business — Eberle-Fisher Funeral Home.
In the area of advocacy, London High School football coach Kyle Cutler was recognized for his support of players with disabilities. Cutler pointed out the support given by the young man’s peers on the team as well.
To further make the public aware of the talents of people with disabilities, West Jefferson High School music professionals Rachel Herman and Elmer Broecker were honored. Herman works with a student with a disability involved in the school’s theatrical musical, while Broecker directs the same student in the school’s marching band.
This year, MCBDD established a Hero Award, highlighting two individuals who provided lifesaving methods to assist individuals with disabilities. Mario Avery and Rebecca Purdy each performed the Heimlich Maneuver at separate times during the past year.
MCBDD recognized nine staff members who have achieved 20-plus years of service locally to individuals with disabilities. They include Carol Ansel, Julie Anthony, Annette Clevenger, Melonie Fisher, Brenda Fitch, John LaCivita, Mike Mast, Vicki Thompson and Melody Williams.
MATCO Services presented “The Mesmerizing Amazing Dazzling Show Choir,” which entertained prior to the awards presentations. Door prizes were donated by Cappy’s Pizza, Coughlin Automotive and Madison County Special Olympics.
All in attendance enjoyed a meal catered by Cappy’s Pizza.