Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. and his Commission on Disabilities are doing their part in recognizing March as Disabilities Awareness Month. The theme for this year is “Inclusion is within Everyone’s Ability.” To celebrate that theme, the Annual Disability Breakfast and Resource Fair will be held at the Dynasty Banquet Hall, 4125 Calumet Avenue in Hammond beginning at 8:00 am on March 31. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the event being held in Hammond. At the event, Master of Ceremonies, Phil Taillon, will be giving awards in the following categories:
- Youth Award-A young individual who has conquered their disability to work in the community to make an outstanding contribution in the City of Hammond, or recognition of an outstanding program geared toward youth with disability.
- Individual Adult Award-An individual, who makes a positive impact or contribution to the disabled community in the City of Hammond, or recognition of an outstanding program geared toward adults with disability.
- Individual Adult Volunteer Award-for an individual who gives of his/her time and service and act on his/her own free will to aid those individuals with disabilities.
- Business Award-awarded to a company or public entity that gives strong support through their hiring practices of individuals regardless of their disability.
- Caregiver Award-awarded to an individual who demonstrates outstanding compassion and abilities in one-on-one care giving for a friend or family member living with a disability. They frequently make great personal sacrifices to provide care for their loved ones, sometimes to the detriment of their own health and well-being.
- Charles Nagy, Jr. Award-In recognition of spirit and determination in overcoming obstacles to lead a productive life in service to the community.
Taillon, who is also the Director of Planning and Development in Hammond, states, “It is a privilege to MC an event where we as a city honor outstanding individuals who are examples for all of us. Acknowledging the 30th anniversary in Hammond makes it that much more special. ”
Since 2004, Hammond has built 146 ramps for Hammond residents through Community Development Block Grants. “Building ramps may seem like a small thing to most people, but it has a major impact on the quality of life for a disabled person. I wish I could do more, but I am proud to help as many as I can through this great program”, says Mayor McDermott.
Mayor McDermott has also issued a proclamation bringing further attention to March as Disabilities Awareness Month.
At this year’s event, there will be 15 vendors showcasing goods and services that are available to the disabled. “The resource portion of our event is an appreciated addition. It has really helped to educate and communicate what is out there for this portion of our population,” says Cynthia Rangel, Secretary to the Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities. “We will include it in our yearly program as long as there is a demand for it.”
Tickets to the 30th Annual Disabilities Awards Breakfast and Resource Fair are made available courtesy of Mayor McDermott. Call the Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities directly at (219) 853-7311.