Marie Gonzalez, self-advocate and employee of SunriseArc, was awarded the Skeet and Delores Norley Award, for excelling as an advocate for other citizens with developmental disabilities by The Arc of Florida at The Arc’s National Convention in Florida, November 4, 2010.
Marie Gonzalez, a resident of Lake County, was honored at The ARC National Convention as the recipient of The ARC of Florida’s Skeet and Delores Norley Award. This award was founded to recognize the efforts of an individual with a developmental disability who has excelled as an advocate for other citizens with developmental disabilities. The award is named for two individuals who dedicated their lives in advocating for those with developmental disabilities in Florida. It is The ARC of Florida’s highest honor for a person with a developmental disability.
Marie’s life journey is filled with a spirit and passion to succeed and through SunriseArc’s “self-directed” services; she has transitioned from living in a SunriseArc’s community based residential home, to living independently. As recipient for the Norley Award, Marie has demonstrated an outstanding commitment and compassion for others. Since age 9 Marie has been involved with Special Olympics. Today, Marie’s continues her commitment to others as demonstrated by serving as a coach in volley ball and also serving as a referee at the international games held in Beijing in 2008. Marie has also served as a delegate to the Global Athlete Congress for Special Olympics representing North America.
At the core of SunriseArc’s mission is providing opportunities for people with disabilities so they may achieve their highest potential. While Marie continues to achieve the goals she sets for herself, her inner determination and compassion for others is also reflected in her activities at SunriseArc where she teaches bocce ball to the adults who attend SunriseArc’s Adult Day Training Center. Through her coaching, a number of individuals at SunriseArc have achieved their own metals in this sport. Marie’s inner determination and compassion for others reflects the meaning of meaning of the Skeet and Dolores Norley Award.
The National Conference of Executives of The Arc (NCE) represents over 300 professional leaders of local, state and national organizations serving individuals with cognitive or other developmental disabilities.
The Executive Excellence Award is the highest honor bestowed by NCE to an individual whose career exemplifies the fulfillment of the mission, core values and position statements of The Arc. The Executive Excellence award winner’s career and accomplishments serves as a testimony to our collective mission. It is in this spirit that we recognize and salute an individual who has aspired to excellence through his/her words and deeds in the name of The Arc and those it serves.
John Askew has served as the Executive Director of SunriseArc for 18 years, part of career that has spanned over 30 years as a leader in The Arc family. John Askew’s entire career has been devoted to ‘thinking outside the box’, visionary leadership, courage in the face of failure and adversity and a willingness to challenge the status quo. Still, after many years his passion for serving others remains strong and undimmed by the passing of time. John Askew is viewed by his peers as a true leader who understands that real power is invested in those around him. He has never lost his ideals of service to others and the power of the movement that is The Arc.
A score of this magnitude is almost impossible to attain, and yet it is now ours. It represents what SunriseArc can do when we serve others by means of utilizing the very best we have to offer, fully realizing that this accomplishment was made possible by the gifts that we are given and meant to share with others.
Please remember to check off when you renew your drivers license or vehicle registration! The people we serve gain so much by attending the Annual Arc Florida Convention each year!