The Arc also announced that award winning KTVU Fox2 Reporter, Rita Williams, will serve as the MC at the ceremony. Williams has been described as a "pit bull with a heart" because of her persistance in following a news story mixed with compassion for those in need.
"The people we serve in each program selected the honorees this year," said Arc of Alameda County Executive Director Ron Luter, adding, "This is the first time staff has not been involved in the selection process."
The Arc will also recognize businesses and individuals who have contributed to the organization's success in the past 12 months.
Honorees will also receive recognition for their achievements from the California State Senate courtesy of Senator Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro).
CLIENT OF THE YEAR AWARD winners:
Student of the Year - First Step Children’s Center, Hayward - Eduardo Montclar
Union City SCOPE - Sam Kato
San Leandro SCOPE - Gary Monroe
San Leandro Vocational Development Center- Brook Mesfin
Union City Vocational Development Center - Robin Doss
Livermore Vocational Development Center - Feris Brooks
Hayward Vocational Development Center - Donna Warren
Union City Alternative Ventures Program - Dominic Lerona
Hayward Alaternative Ventures Program - Claudette Hoffman
Community Services - Individual Placement - Sheri Gray
Community Services -Group Placement - San Leandro Grounds Crew: Scott Levine, Ronald Orosco and Brook Mesfin
AWARDS TO BUSINESSES AND OTHERS IN THE COMMUNITY
Business of The Year; Community Services - NUMMI
Business of the Year; Vocational Development Centers - Autocell Electronics
Organizational Support Award - The Hayward Bookshop
Service Award - Alameda County Public Health Department: Communicable Disease Control & Prevention Division
Advocacy Award - City of Union City - Leisure Services Department - Chris Valuckas and Alma Gomez
Volunteer of the Year - Nancy Strange
Lifetime Achievement Award - The Walpert Center Board of Directors - Alice Thomason, Jean Rolf, Ernest Cheschi, Jeanette House, Joan Taugher, Marge Rae Bullock
Luter made special note of two award winners, the Alameda County Health Department for ensuring Arc employees received priority in getting H1N1 vaccines during the "Swine Flu" outbreak.
"People with intellectual and developmental disabilities typically have a variety of heath issues and we needed to reduce their risk of contracting the H1N1 flu virus," said Luter. "The Communicable Disease Control & Prevention Division ensured our employees were given health care worker status and got their injections as soon as they were available," he added.
Luter also singled out The Board of Directors of the Walpert Center for the Developmentally Disabled in Hayward, many of whom were instrumental in founding an organization in the 1950s that eventually became The Arc of Alameda County.
"The six people we will honor at the ceremony built a service organization, an advocacy organziation and physically built The Walpert Center in Hayward where we still operate three of our programs," said Luter. "Today's parents owe these people a huge debt of gratitude."
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About The Arc of Alameda County: The Arc offers life skills education, vocational training and jobs to some 600 Alameda County residents at five locations in the county: Hayward, Union City, Livermore and two in San Leandro. The Arc also operates the First Step Children's Center in Hayward to provide early intervention services for preschoolers with developmental disabilities.