Empower, the not-for-profit organization formerly known as Niagara Cerebral Palsy, will hold its first "Living the Values" luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 14, at the Four Points by Sheraton, 7001 Buffalo Ave. Tickets are $35, and reservations can be made by phone at 716-297-0798, ext. 173, or by email at [email protected].
During the event, Empower will recognize seven individuals, organizations and companies for their work on behalf of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities in Western New York:
•Matthew Minderler will receive the Inspiring Individual award for his ingenuity and perseverance over significant challenges associated with spinal muscular atrophy in order to graduate from Lewiston-Porter High school in June.
•Mark Laurrie, superintendent of the Niagara Falls City School District, will receive the Leading Luminary Award for his long-standing commitment to inclusion for students with disabilities.
•Charles Dieteman, a student at Lewiston-Porter Middle School, will receive the Junior Leading Luminary for his efforts to increase awareness of cerebral palsy and to raise funds for Empower's programs.
•The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation will receive the Faithful Funder Award for its ongoing support of Empower, with support totaling more than $125,000.
•The Parent Network of Western New York will receive the Priceless Partner Award for its collaboration with Empower on a variety of initiatives, including a monthly support group for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder.
•C&W Services will receive the Exceptional Employer Award for employing five individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities who receive supported employment services through Empower's job training division.
•Matrix Imaging Solutions will receive the Committed Contractor Award for providing contracted work for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities who receive employment services from Empower's job training division to help with large mailings.
With 300 employees and a $14 million budget, Empower is one of Western New York's 50 largest nonprofit organizations. The administrative offices, preschool, community clinic and service coordination program are located on Lockport Road in the Town of Niagara. The job training and day programs division is based in Niagara Falls, while residential facilities are located throughout Niagara County. Licensed by the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and the New York State Education Department, Empower is an affiliate of the Cerebral Palsy Association of New York State.