South Shore Leaders to be Honored for Work with Individuals with Special Needs


Randolph, Mass., — May Institute and the Department of Mental Retardation’s (DMR) South Coastal Area Citizen Advisory Board will honor legislators and community leaders who help improve the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities on the South Shore. An award ceremony and recognition breakfast will take place on Monday, April 2, at May Institute’s corporate headquarters in Randolph.

The 2007 South Coastal Area Citizen Advisory Board honorees are:

Senator Michael W. Morrissey, of the Norfolk and Plymouth District. Throughout his career, he has been a formidable champion on behalf of his constituents with developmental disabilities who need DMR supports. Sen. Morrissey has been an important legislative and budgetary advisor and proponent on issues that affect this special population. He has also been a driving force on behalf of the department’s “Turning 22” program.

Sheila and Phil Gerety, dedicated parents and advocates for individuals with disabilities. Mrs. Gerety is a long-time Board member of DMR’s Regional (Carver) and South Coastal Area Citizen Advisory Boards. Both she and Mr. Gerety serve on the board of the Simon of Cyrene Society (SCS) in South Boston. Mr. Gerety is former president of the South Shore Educational Collaborative, and former board member of the Cerebral Palsy of the South Shore. The Gerety’s are also dedicated supporters of Friendship Home, an organization that provides quality respite services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Friendship Home is currently working toward constructing a respite home in Norwell.

Jessica MacDonald, volunteer and global messenger for Special Olympics. She won four gold medals at last summer’s National Special Olympics in Ames, Iowa, and brought home gold and bronze medals from the World Winter games in Alaska. Ms. MacDonald is a member of the United States Specialty Sports Association’s Hall of Fame.

Debbie Rademacher, Director of Friendship Club, a part of the Friendship Home organization that offers social and educational opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities. Ms. Rademacher is a full-time teacher assistant at the South Shore Collaborative in Hingham. She has worked with Workcamp, Inc., building and refurbishing homes in Maine.

Louise Voveris, board member of the South Coastal Area DMR Citizen Advisory Board and the ARC of the South Shore. Ms. Voveris has served on these two boards in many capacities over the years. Her support has helped improve the lives of numerous families on the South Shore.

May Institute, a national nonprofit that provides behavioral healthcare services for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities, brain injury, mental retardation, and psychiatric disorders. Each year, the Institute provides behavioral services to over 25,000 individuals and their families at nearly 200 service locations in the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and on the West Coast.

“On behalf of families across the South Shore, I salute the tireless work of these remarkable individuals and of May Institute,” said Laurie Ingersoll, Chairperson of the South Coastal Area Citizen Advisory Board. “Through their commitment and dedication to advocating and serving individuals with mental retardation, families have been able to access services for loved ones, and tap into a valuable network of support and guidance. I congratulate them on a job well done.”

For additional information about the event, please call 781-740-9507.

DMR’s South Coastal Area Citizen Advisory Board is an advocacy organization that lobbies for funding to support services for individuals with developmental disabilities and conducts quality assurance inspections of state-run facilities. The organization serves the communities of Braintree, Cohasset, Hingham, Norwell, Quincy, Randolph, Scituate, Weymouth, Milton, and the surrounding areas.

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