The Karen Albond Courage in Caring Award was established in 2005 to honor individuals in the Niagara community who persevere in service to others despite physical or developmental disabilities, or chronic illness. The award is presented at HANCI's annual meeting and luncheon, to be held this year on June 6.
The nomination form is available at www.hanci.com or by contacting Karen Smith, director of the foster grandparent program at HANCI, at 716-285-8224, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations are due by April 29.
Nominees must be 18 or older; live, work and/or volunteer in Niagara County; have a physical or developmental disability or be affected by a chronic illness or health condition; be engaged in professional and/or volunteer service that improves the quality of life for others. Nominations are solicited and accepted from organizations and individuals in the Niagara community. A panel of HANCI staff and volunteers, including representatives of the Albond family, selects the winner.
The award is named for Karen Albond, a longtime HANCI board member who passed away in November 2003 after significant volunteer and professional service to the Niagara community.
Professionally, Karen was a commercial artist. She was also a wife, mother, grandmother and friend. Karen volunteered for such organizations as HANCI, the Friends of the Niagara Falls Public Library, the Kidney Foundation of Western New York, the United Way of Niagara, the YMCA, the St. Francis Guild of Mount St. Mary's Hospital, Beta Sigma Phi International Sorority and Niagara University.
But HANCI remembers Karen for what she was not. She was not a person who could be held back by illness or disability. After suffering multiple strokes and the devastating effects of an automobile accident, she insisted on continuing to contribute to the community she loved.
Karen was and is a role model for others who, in the midst of physical weakness, reveal their great strength.
The Health Association of Niagara County Inc. is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing programs and services that promote health, wellness and a strong quality of life across generations. A full list of programs and services is available at www.hanci.com.
Located in Niagara Falls, with satellite offices in Lockport and North Tonawanda, HANCI employs 140 people on a full-time and part-time basis. It is governed by a volunteer board of directors.