11/05/13 – Community Living, Inc., support staff members receive honors at 2013 Direct Support Professional Awards Ceremony

Community Living, Inc., (CLI) today announced that three members of its support staff received recognition at the 2013 Direct Support Professional Awards Ceremony, held Oct. 17 at St. Charles Community College. Accolades went to Karl Bryant, who received an Outstanding Achievement Award for Respite Services; Mike Rothermich, who was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award for Recreation Services, and Sara Bailey, who was named 2013 Direct Support Professional of the Year. The employees were honored for their dedication to serving individuals with disabilities and their work to provide those they serve with opportunities to become active, valued members of the community.

With a son who had been receiving Respite Center services at CLI for several years, Bryant decided to take a position with the organization as a way to give back to other families. His duties with CLI’s Respite Center are focused on providing care to individuals with disabilities so their parents and caregivers can enjoy much-needed respite time. He was recognized for the individualized care he provides to the participants, including one young woman who benefited from Bryant’s efforts to encourage her to explore her love of singing and playing the keyboard.

Rothermich’s award for Outstanding Achievement in Recreation Services recognized his creation of a baseball camp for individuals with disabilities taking part in CLI’s Social Opportunities and Recreation (SOAR) summer camp. The camp, which took place at T.R. Hughes Ballpark in O’Fallon in July, gave 70 individuals the chance to run the bases, work on batting and throwing techniques and get practice fielding ground balls. Rothermich was involved with all aspects of the event, from soliciting sponsors and garnering participation from his baseball teammates to providing skills instruction and securing the venue.

Bailey was named the 2013 Direct Support Professional of the Year based on her commitment to the individuals she works with and her efforts to go above and beyond to help out whenever and wherever she’s needed. As a Residential Services employee, she works to provide personalized support to individuals with disabilities to encourage self-sufficiency and self-direction in their homes and communities.

Bailey works at one house, but she knows most of the individuals within Residential Services because she stays connected and provides assistance as needed. Most recently, she came to the aid of a resident in need of CPR and remained on the scene long after her shift was over to comfort the client’s family.

“We are so incredibly fortunate to employ such amazing staff members,” said Barb Griffith, President and CEO of CLI. “They are truly the backbone of what we do. Without them, it would be impossible to provide the outstanding services for which we’re known. Congratulations go out to direct support staff members Karl Bryant, Mike Rothermich and Sara Bailey on a job well done. It was a pleasure to have the chance to formally recognize them for their dedicated efforts.”

Bryant, Rothermich and Bailey were among seven individuals who were recognized with awards during the 2013 Direct Support Professional Awards Ceremony. In addition to receiving a plaque and an awards certificate, Bryant and Rothermich were each presented with a $250 monetary gift to use for professional development, while Bailey received $1,500, also for professional development. The 2013 Direct Support Professional Awards Ceremony was presented by the St. Charles County Coalition of Service Providers and funded through a grant from the Developmental Disabilities Resource Board of St. Charles County.

For more information on the 2013 Direct Support Professional Awards Ceremony or CLI and its range of services, individuals can visit the Community Living website at www.cliservices.org, or call 636-970-2800.

Enriching the lives of people with disabilities. This mission has guided Community Living to be a premier provider of programs and services for people with disabilities in St. Charles County. Community Living’s mission and programs reach over 900 individuals and their families. From children to seniors, Community Living provides people with disabilities the opportunity to learn, live, work, and play in the community, which makes the community inclusive, diverse and a better place to live. Community Living is a proud member of the United Way.

For more information, contact:

Christine Rutherford, Community Living, Inc., (636) 970-2800