2023 Better Together Award Winners & DD Awareness Writing Contest Winners

by Kerri Silverthorn , Community Relations/Special Project Director   |   Wed, Mar 29th, 2023

Better Together Award: Lori Kutcher
This award recognizes a stand-out person who provides direct support to children or adults with developmental disabilities and who demonstrates a dedication to improving the lives of the people they have the pleasure to support, while also promoting independence, equity, and inclusion.

Ripple Effect Award: New Philadelphia Fire Department
This award recognizes a business or employer for contributing to the awareness that individuals with disabilities are crucial members of the workforce and can make an amazing impact in a specific workplace and ultimately throughout the community.

Standing Ovation Award: Jacob & Joshua Bennett
This award recognizes a parent, guardian, sibling, or someone who has stepped into the role of family to tirelessly support their loved one with developmental disabilities.

Diamond Award: Alex Adkins
This award recognizes an individual with developmental disabilities for their fearless bravery and efforts to advocate for themselves and on behalf of others to achieve their dreams and encourage others to do the same.

DD Awareness Month Writing Contest Winners Who or What Inspires You?

1st Place Winner: Chelsea Lefler
"My mom helps people. She helps me. She takes care of me. My mom loves me always and forever. My mom buy a house with a apartment for me. She want me to grow.  My mom always tells me to dream and pray. I dream about lots of stuff. My mom tells me not to stop.  No quitting.  She tells me to pray and know God take care of us. My mom pick me.  My heart is not broken anymore. I have a mom. I have a boyfriend. I have a job. I am in Special Olympics. I have a apartment. I have a cat. I have good life because my mom pick me."  

2nd Place Winner: Taylor Harding
"If I had to choose one thing that inspires me, I would have to say that my blindness is what inspires me most. The reason that I choose this, is because I know that there are many things that I can do. There are things that I can do that most people can’t do. I can read Braille and use a cane. I learned to read Braille in kindergarten. I was born blind.  My blindness was caused by my other disability. I have Septo-Optic Dysplasia. Even though I am legally blind my senses are stronger. Blindness is my challenge and my inspiration."

3rd Place Winner: Tyler Alleshouse
"Who inspires me is my dad. My dad knows how to get me to calm down. He tells me to walk away and take deep breaths, take a walk close by the house.Once I am calmed down when I return to the house and we all sit down and talk about what happens when I have my great days. Me and my dad go out and we fishing, four wheeler, and my all time favorite dumpster diving. I love my dad."


by Kerri Silverthorn , Community Relations/Special Project Director Wed, Mar 29th, 2023