DWI held its first Annual Dinner, recognized as DWI. Held the evening of October 19th at the Westbank Convention Center, just over 200 people attended to enjoy a dinner catered by Catered Your Way and hear of some of the successes over the past fiscal year.
Guest Speakers included Cindy and Dylan Hare, representing the Children's Program. Cindy spoke about Dylan's experience in the program and his successes in the past few years. Dylan was the first child in the program. Dylan also led the Pledge of Allegiance to begin the program. He also did a great job helping to emcee (maybe next year we can hire him). Noah King presented the Adult LIFE Program and introduced an AI speech from Brian Cahoon, President of the IF Client Association. Although Brian was not able to attend due to an illness, his speech was very impactful.. Serina and Rachel Slay spoke about Rachels challenges and successes in the Work Services program that has allowed Rachel to gain more of her independence. Kelsie Harmon gave a moving speech about her challenges and how she has thrived with the Industrial Serivces team working at the Department of Energy.
The DWI Champion Program was introduced and presented as a way to give support to the work that DWI does day in and day out. Those in attendance were given an opportunity to see firsthand some of the successes that would not have been possible without the financial support of DWI Champions.
Annual Awards were presented to individuals and businesses that have gone over and above in their work for and support of individuals with disabilities. The Advocate Award was presented to Tom and Suzy Hersch of Dixie's Diner. The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Jonalee McDonald for her support and care of individuals with disabilities and for her leadership with Scout Explorer Post 559 Special Needs Post of the Boy Scouts of America. The Humanitarian Award went to Jon Bonnett. Not only is Jon a DWI Board member and committee chair, but he has also led the effort to shore up the infrastructure of the Idaho Falls Campus to ensure the safety of all who use the facilities.
Employers of the year went to regional employers who have continued to hire and support individuals with disabilities. Idaho Falls Employer was Chik-Fil-A Ammon. Rexburg Employer was Advance Auto Parts and Salmon, although not an Employer, has done so much for the support of the DWI office in Salmon was Pins and Tips Bowling Alley.
Employee of the Year award was presented to James Wilson for his example of living out DWI's Vision and Mission throughout his daily work duties and beyond.
We appreciated all who came out and attended, it was a full evening of celebrating everyone's successes, appreciating those who made the successes possible and encouraging the support still needed in the future.
DWI continues to be More than you can ever imagine.