Latham center honors supporters, students and staff at 2011 year-end celebration

Latham Centers, Inc., a leading non-profit agency for the treatment of children and adults with emotional, developmental and physical disabilities hosted its 2011 Annual Meeting and Year-End celebration on their Brewster campus last Friday.

The 2011 celebration entitled “Building Our Circle of Courage”, featured special presentations by Latham Board Chair Keith W. Bradley, staff and students.  Highlights included the announcement of the Roy T. Morgan Community and Staff Awards and the McClennan Award for Staff Excellence.

The Morgan Award, named after the late Rhode Island philanthropist Roy T. Morgan, acknowledges individuals who have made a significant contribution to the work of Latham Centers and the children and adults the agency serves.  The nominees’ performance and achievements reflect leadership and commitment to the high principles and mission of Latham Centers.

2011 community recipients of the Morgan Awards are Charlie Sumner, Brewster Town Administrator; Janice Baltrushunas of Capewood Labrador Retrievers in Dennis; and Bob and Kris Thompson of Great Hill Farm in East Sandwich.

Mr. Sumner ran his first marathon at age 55 last Halloween to fundraise for the children of Latham School.  In his professional role as Brewster Town Manager, he has also worked closely with Latham staff and administration to advance the school’s mission to educate and treat some 45 resident students annually with varying special needs.

Ms. Balrushunas works with several Latham students at her kennel, training them to clean and care for the dogs at Capewood Labrador Retrievers.  Her support, understanding, and high expectations assist Latham individuals to learn and develop important skills and prepare for possible careers in animal care.

Mr. and Mrs. Thompson are the lead trainers of Latham’s highly innovated Asinotherapy program, based in East Sandwich.  The Thompsons work with Latham individuals on the care of two resident miniature donkeys owned by Latham in addition to general Donkey Training.  Similar to equine therapy, this innovate program provides many physiological and psychological benefits for Latham residents diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and other disabilities.

The Morgan staff award for Latham Children’s Services is awarded to Melissa Weber, a Latham employee since 2002.  Weber has worked in various capacities as a teacher’s aide, a child care worker, and presently as the school’s Behavior Specialist.  Melissa’s compassion, and her ability to temper firmness with kindness, creates for our students an environment that is safe and accepting.

The Morgan staff award for Latham Adult Services is presented to Helene Delaney, an outstanding employee of Latham Centers for nearly eight years, both in the Children’s and the Adult Programs.  She currently works weekends in the Supported Adult Independent Living (SAIL) program.  SAIL provides young adults with hands-on staff guidance, as they learn to make important decisions in their lives while continuing to work toward greater independence.  Weekends for the individuals Ms. Delaney is paired with are packed with valuable learning activities in the community, thanks to her drive and passion.

The 2011 Mr. McClennan Award, named after the late William A. McClennan, a longtime Latham volunteer fundraiser, recognizes outstanding contributions by support and administrative staff who assist in Latham’s Children’s and Adult Programs. The recipients’ performance and achievements reflect strong leadership and commitment to the high principles of their profession and to Latham’s mission.

The 2011 recipient is Missy Adle, Latham Scheduling Supervisor.  In addition to her hectic and challenging scheduling duties, Ms. Adle volunteers on a regular basis to go the extra mile with weekend, holiday and fundraising activities on behalf of Latham.  She has served the agency with caring and competence for 17 years.

Courtesy of Latham Centers. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on