Mayor Buckhorn recognizes service to persons with disability at awards luncheon

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Mayor Bob Buckhorn presented four awards for excellence in service to persons with disabilities during the Mayor’s Alliance for Persons with Disabilities Awards Luncheon held Friday, October 16, 2015. Almost 200 persons gathered at the DoubleTree Hotel Westshore for the occasion. The Florida Aquarium won the Employer of the Year Award; The Call 4 Help Show, which airs in WTMP Radio, won the Excellence in Media Award; Connie Hayden-McPeak won the Outstanding Community Service/Volunteer of the Year Award; and Chatequa Pinkston won the coveted Joe Sanchez, Jr. Leadership Award, who, during her award acceptance remarks, provided a tremendously impacting message that moved the audience to tears.

Dr. Elizabeth Perkins, Assistant Director and Research Assistant Professor of the Florida Center for inclusive Communities at the University of South Florida, was the keynote speaker for this year’s event. She spoke of the path she has traveled from being born as a congenital amputee lacking her right arm to her current position where she educates health professionals about appropriate health care for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as, does research regarding health, aging, and family quality of life. She is also an accomplished writer having co-authored a textbook and written numerous articles in the medical and disability fields. Her educational and motivating speech earned her a standing ovation from the audience.

The mission of the Tampa Mayor’s Alliance for Persons with Disabilities, under the auspice of the City of Tampa Mayor’s Office, is an effective advocacy organization whose goals are to increase opportunities and the quality of life for persons in Tampa who are disabled. For more information please contact Karen Sinnreich at 307-5595.