Announcing the winners of the Family Support Institute (FSI) first annual Celebration of Families Awards
New Westminster, BC, May 2013 – The mission statement of the Family Support Institute is: To strengthen and support families faced with the extraordinary circumstances that come with having a family member who has a disability”.
FSI is about Families. Our Celebration of Families awards are our way to celebrate families and thank and recognize those people and organizations across British Columbia that “strengthen and support ALL families, not just families with a member with a disability”.
On April 20, 2013, during our Annual FSI Training Weekend at Naramata we presented Celebration of Families awards in the four categories of: FSI RP/RFM volunteer, non-FSI volunteer, Corporation and
FSI RESOURCE PARENT /RESOURCE FAMILY MEMBER CATEGORY
The recipient of our first Celebration of Families award is Marie Webb of Dawson Creek. As a longtime FSI Resource Parent, Marie has been an exceptional help to others in her community since even before the beginning days of FSI. She went to the first FSI Training Weekend in 1987 at Bowen Island. When Marie first heard about FSI and the development of Resource Parents she happily became involved as she was already doing that kind of role in her community. The Parent Support group that was formed with her help years ago is still going strong. The 30 member group share their struggles and victories and collectively find ways to help each other.
Like many parents with a child with a disability, Marie would have had struggles of her own to meet the needs for her son Shawn but yet, she still managed to find time to help other families. Marie is still an active member and promoter of FSI. She is generous, supportive and kind and her compassion resonates wherever she is. She is quoted as saying that FSI was her lifeline as she raised a child with a disability, but we are sure that for many of the families that Marie has supported over the years she was their lifeline.
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NON-FSI VOLUNTEER CATEGORY
The Celebrations of Families award for non-FSI volunteer goes to Nancy Hoyano. Nancy has been a long time advocate for inclusive education and for bettering the lives of people with disabilities. She has been a friend to the Family Support Institute for many years. Nancy has always been readily available to support FSI parents and staff with workshop delivery and development, inclusive education, post-secondary education and transition supports and now mentors Resource Parents to take over as facilitators.
Nancy has been an instructor at Langara College in their Education Assistant Program since 2000. She has volunteered on many committees and the BCACL (now INCLUSION BC) board of directors.
We wish to thank her for her years of service and her continued commitment to family support and the Family Support Institute.
Our Celebration of Families award in the Corporation Category is presented to the Accent Inns. In 1986 Terry Farmer opened a modest motor inn in Victoria which has grown to be Accent Inns – an award-winning, family-owned chain of five hotels in BC. Terry ran his hotels under the stance that every business has a responsibility to its community – something that his daughter Mandy Farmer has continued since she took over management of the chain. She has developed InnAid – a program that gets Accent Inn staff out into their communities to make differences in other people’s lives and supports the creation of a sustainable world. InnAid initiatives range from food and clothing drives to education and awareness programs. In the past two years, Accent Inns has supported over 430 organizations in BC.
Even while running a hotel chain, Terry Farmer took time to speak at Supported Employment meetings in BC. He still talks passionately about the benefits of hiring people with developmental disabilities.
FSI wishes to honor Accents Inns for their high support of family and their strong commitment to community.
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VELA Microboard Association
Vela Microboard Association dedicates itself to honouring the rights of, and eliminating the barriers for, people with disabilities. This includes the right to freedom, equality, control over their own lives, and to be fully included as valued citizens in the relationships and the opportunities of community life.
The first Vela Microboard was formed in 1990 and since that time staff at Vela have assisted with the development of over 700 Microboards in B.C. For the past 4 years, Vela has also been a resource for individuals and families interested in Individualized Funding. A Vela Microboard is formed when a small (micro) group of committed family and friends join together with a person with challenges to create a non-profit society (board). Together this small group of people address the person’s planning and support needs in an empowering and customized fashion and is created for the sole support of one individual.
Since their formation over 20 years ago, Vela has been a leader in community living and their staff have consistently demonstrated their commitment to families. They understand that one size doesn’t fit all and leave it to families to dictate the degree of help and support they want.
This quote from one family says what many families feel about Vela. “Our family has been connected with Vela for over 17 years. Vela has been there for us from the conception of our daughter’s Microboard, continuing to the present time.
With Vela’s support and the education they provide, we have been able to ensure that our daughter leads a wonderful inclusive life in community, surrounded by friends and family and the supports tailored to her needs. ”
FSI is pleased to award Vela Microboard Association a Celebration of Families Award as the work they do truly strengthens and supports families.
For more information please contact:
Phone: (604)540-8374 Cell: (778)822-8374 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org