Maurice is 2015 ERMA Award recipient

Maurice receives his award from (l-r) Nancy Banks, Superintendent of the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Nancy Ritchey, and Choices’ Program Administrator Dan Pratt. Dan nominated Maurice for his award.

Maurice receives his award from (l-r) Nancy Banks, Superintendent of the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Nancy Ritchey, and Choices’ Program Administrator Dan Pratt. Dan nominated Maurice for his award.

The smile hasn’t left Maurice Hollingsworth’s face since he was called to the stage on April 24 to receive the 2015 Erin Ritchey Memorial Award in the Achievement category. His brother Ray, his Program Administrator and nominator Dan Pratt and friends from Choices In Community Living were at his side as he was honored as part of the annual Developmental Disabilities Hall of Fame ceremonies. The ceremonies were hosted by WDTN News Anchor Mark Allen.

When Maurice came to Choices in 1987 he was strong-willed, independent and with some speech difficulties that made it hard for others to understand him. He was frustrated and always angry. He began in foster care and soon moved to a group home setting, where his independent streak led to aggressive behaviors. He wanted his independence, so arrangements were made for him to live in his own apartment in 1991.

That wasn’t the only change for Maurice. He began to share more about what he wanted and came to understand that people were listening to him. They would be there beside him as he dealt with his anger and the struggles to change his behavior.

Today Maurice is a busy and talented man. He works in a MONCO janitorial enclave two days a week. On Friday he works in the Choices office as a janitor. He has maintained employment for several years, where previously he would become angry and walk away or be asked to leave.

He attends Choices’ Fun-Fit program two days a week. Electricity fills the room at Choices’ annual Talent Show when he takes the stage to dance to a Michael Jackson or James Brown song. Hiding behind that anger all those years was a great sense of humor and a beaming, smiling face. He’s a master at joking with people.

In 2012 as his physical needs were changing due to age, he moved from his apartment to live happily in a home with housemates. That Maurice of 1987 is a memory now, replaced by a man made stronger and happier after winning the most difficult struggle of all, that struggle to leave the anger behind, to become what so many say about him today. That Maurice, they say, that Maurice, he’s just a great guy!

This marked the 27th year for the Hall of Fame and the 26th year for the ERMA Awards ceremonies. The Erin Ritchey Awards are named  in memory of Erin Ritchey, the daughter of Kenneth and Nancy Ritchey. Ken served as Superintendent of the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities and then as Director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. He also held the same position for the state of New Jersey.  He is currently a Senior Partner with Public Policy Impacts of Washington D.C. and New York. He and Nancy were at the ceremonies this year, as they are every year, to recognize and celebrate the achievements of Maurice and other recipients.

Maurice poses after the ceremonies at the Mandalay Banquet Center with his friend Greg Stephens. Greg visits often with Maurice at the Choices’ office and the two of them share their interest in police work and cars. Greg, a Captain in the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, was at the ceremonies to accept the Carl Day Volunteer Service Awards on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department. They were recognized for their ALICE program. Sgt. Mark Worley, Deputy Josh Tays and Deputy Tyler Watson presented the program, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, to all seven of the Board’s facilities, training nearly 400 staff on how to act in the case of a violent intruder or shooter. That program is now being implemented in schools in Montgomery County.

Maurice poses after the ceremonies at the Mandalay Banquet Center with his friend Greg Stephens. Greg visits often with Maurice at the Choices’ office and the two of them share their interest in police work and cars. Greg, a Captain in the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, was at the ceremonies to accept the Carl Day Volunteer Service Awards on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department. They were recognized for their ALICE program. Sgt. Mark Worley, Deputy Josh Tays and Deputy Tyler Watson presented the program, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, to all seven of the Board’s facilities, training nearly 400 staff on how to act in the case of a violent intruder or shooter. That program is now being implemented in schools in Montgomery County.

 

 

 

Bowling for Wishes

Larry and Donald took time out from bowling during our 2014 Bowl-A-Thon to share a special message of appreciation to George Martin and everyone at the George C. Martin Funeral Home for their ongoing support as Event Sponsor.

Larry and Donald took time out from bowling during our 2014 Bowl-A-Thon to share a special message of appreciation to George Martin and everyone at the George C. Martin Funeral Home for their ongoing support as Event Sponsor.

Beaver Vu Bowl in Beavercreek will host our 2015 Partners Bowl-A-Thon on Friday, May 22. Bowlers from Choices In Community Living, Resident Home Association and the community will bowl together and all for a great cause – to support the Wish Lists of our two partner agencies.

Friends, families and bowlers from throughout the community are invited to join us for a night of great sportsmanship and some very competitive bowling. Bowling gets underway at 6:30, with pizza and pop served at 5:30. Pre-registration is requested by May 15 by contacting Partners at 937-898-3655.

We thank the George C. Martin Funeral Home for once again joining us as our event sponsor, something they have done for many years. We also thank those who are joining us as Lane, Team and Bowler sponsors, including: Accel Consulting; Donald & Eunice Stueve; Ellen McCloskey; Knights of Columbus #14882; Doug & Ann Jones; Rollin & Jenny Furnas; Ellsworth & Arlene Szkudlarek; and Sandra Johnson. Sponsorships are available beginning at $25 and up to $500 and are tax-deductible.

We also have 50/50 Jackpot tickets available at $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00. The winner will be drawn at the end of the Bowl-A-Thon. The winner does not have to be present. Tickets are available at the offices of Choices In Community Living at 1651 Needmore Road or at the offices of Resident Home Association at 3661 Salem Avenue, or by calling Partners at 937-898-3655.

All of the proceeds from our Bowl-A-Thon help us provide clothing, shoes, furniture, medical equipment, recreation, holiday gifts and more when there are no other funds available to meet these important needs.

Go to our Events page to learn more about our Bowl-A-Thon.

 

Horton hears a Who …. and more

book clubFor Amanda Wallace, her favorite resident-driven class to coordinate this year was the book club class. “The residents really enjoyed this class,” she shares, “and one of the coolest things about it was that the class came about because of Greg Rock. He played a big role in our doing this class.” The group met at Panera each week to read and then discuss what they had read. Greg was joined in the class by Greg Williams, Mary Sue Randolph, Mike Lewis, and Steve Shock. Melinda Moore assisted Amanda with the class, where Amanda says “she did a fantastic job!” The books they read and discussed were The Giving Tree, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Story of Ferdinand, Stellaluna and Horton Hears a Who. In addition to having the books to read, Amanda made a CD with all the stories being read aloud so that everyone could enjoy the stories. One of the best discussions followed the reading of The Story of Ferdinand. Members talked about bullying and standing up for yourself, including their own thoughts on being different and being picked on. After reading Stellaluna, they talked about appearances. Stellaluna is a bat who for a time lives with a family of birds that look very different from her. The members appreciated that they not only had the opportunity to read the books, but that they were encouraged to share their own opinions in an open and respectful way.