More than 450 people attended the annual meeting of the SKIL Resource Center, based in Parsons Friday evening. The meeting was held on just prior to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities as proclaimed by President Barack Obama in renewal of dedication to embrace diversity, end discrimination, remove barriers, and uphold the rights, dignity, and equal opportunity of all people.
State Representative Rich Proehl welcomed those who attended the “My Home for the Holidays” Celebration that included a dinner, dance and door prizes. He commented, "We have come a long ways, but have a long ways to go. And I am asking for your help." Representative Proehl shared that the hardest barrier people with disabilities face is negative attitudes. He also commented that, "there were no negative attitudes he could find at the event."
The keynote speaker was Dr. Robert Harder, who was appointed as the first Secretary of Kansas Department of Social & Rehabilitation Services in 1973. He served in that position until 1987. He shared several role models of individuals that had heart and didn't give up as a result of their disability.
Dr. Harder was presented with a portrait of himself and his wife, Dottie created by local artist Skip Smith.
SKIL Chief Executive Officer Shari Coatney recognized board members of the non-profit organization. She said, "We have worked for 19 years and we continue to get stronger. It is so great to have my SKIL family together."
Ed Reynolds retiring board chairman was recognized and a number of awards were presented during the business session that included an election of officers.
- Michael Leachner Award – Rick Knight
- Internship Certificates-Daren Sorrick presented to Joe Riniger
- Most Courageous Patient – Mary Mustain
- Youth Award – Keenan Coatney
- John Spillman Spirit of Independence – Rocky Arb
- Believe and Achieve – Sarah Colyer
- Tom Robinson Proving by Doing – Julie Babcock
- Ron Garnett ADAPT – Percy Knudsen
- Bobbi Carter Spirit of Giving – Greg Krepps
- Marty Wooten Advocacy – Shannon Jones
- Gary Cantrell Excellence in Radio – Colt Smith
Retiring Board Members
- Edward Reynolds, 2011 Board Chair
- Jeanette Pruitt, 2011 Secretary – Treasurer
- Darlene Lomax, Board Member
- Marty Wooten, Board Member
2012 Board Officers
- John Kazmierski, Board Chair
- Janet Spillman, Vice Chair
- Nancy Varner, Secretary – Treasurer
2012 Board Members
- Elizabeth Brown
- Samuel Burnett
- Kathleen Cerne
- Olivia Lyons
- Susan Roberson
- Larry Smith
- Lori Wiesendanger
- Henry Williams