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May 23rd, 2018

Two women and one man smiling for a photo at TKC's 67th Annual Awards Dinner.

Opportunity, possibility, and impact: it’s something all of us strive to achieve in our everyday lives. But anyone affiliated with The Kennedy Center knows these powerful words embody everything this major rehabilitation agency stands for.

Richard E. Sebastian, Jr., of Shelton, the new President & CEO of The Kennedy Center, conveyed this inspirational message of hope to over 170 guests who attended The Center’s 67th Annual Awards Dinner. This major annual celebration took place at the Bridgeport Holiday Inn. During his riveting keynote speech he recounted many personal stories and then focused on the many opportunities The Kennedy Center provides the community.

The event concluded with the Awards Presentation, with 12 awards given to area employers, volunteers, staff and persons with disabilities. These awards pay tribute to those who have made outstanding personal achievements or significant contributions to people with disabilities and are as follows:

  • The Corporate VIP (Very Important Partner) Award - Fairfield University
  • Competitive Worker of the Year – Jamie Cicero, Milford
  • Competitive Employer of the Year - Bear Hugs Child Care Center, Fairfield
  • James Rebeta Individual Achievement Award – Alexander Laughlin, Stratford
  • Community Service Award – Leslie Browning of Homebound Publications, Wayfarer Magazine, Pawcatuck, CT
  • Supported Employee of Year – Chris Hasak, Fairfield
  • Bob Brown Volunteer of the Year -Michele Macauda, Monroe
  • Volunteer of the Year - Exercise Science Club, Sacred Heart University
  • Direct Support Professional Empowerment Award – Art Therapist Elizabeth Rooney, Stratford, Project Twenty, Stratford
  • Employee Impact Award – Patricia “Trish” Fountain, West Haven

Area residents serving on the Annual Meeting Committee include: Pietro Andres of Fairfield; Bridgeport residents Mary Brown and Teri Brown; Trumbull residents Joe Dennin, Randye Kaye, and David Kmetz; Michele Macauda of Monroe, Dottie Kellersman of Shelton, Jo Ann McMullan of Wilton; Dan Long of Cheshire; Anna Maisner of Easton, Debra Kane of Ansonia; and Rachelle Mitchell of Milford. Mary Brown and Rachelle Mitchell served as Co-Chairs of the Committee.