Friday, October 14, 2011

A shining light

Today I attended the Wyckoff Luncheon & Awards Ceremony, benefiting Provail, a Seattle non-profit organization helping children and adults with disabilities live better lives. I've had the honor of attending this event for several years, thanks to an invitation by my dear friend, Sharon Jodock-King, a past-board member. The fund-raising luncheon is an inspirational community celebration, honoring the many businesses and individuals in our region who volunteer their time and services to support Provail and their programs.

Sharon served as our table captain and was an awards presenter today, which also happens to be her birthday. Her presentation speech, delivered through her communication device, was classic Sharon, infused with poignant facts, eloquent stories and her trademark sense of humor. A sensitive and spiritual woman, Sharon takes great pride and joy in living independently with her husband, Alan, in their Shoreline home. She is a breast cancer survivor and a devoted advocate for those living with disabilities. The DSHS Aging & Disabilities Services website offers this bio:

Born in Washington State, Sharon spent much of her childhood living in a hospital ward for children with disabilities before spending most of the next 30 years living in three different Washington State institutions, including Rainier School, the Interlake Nursing Home in Bellevue, and the United Cerebral Palsy Center in Seattle. She moved from the UCP Center in 1986 and has lived on her own in Seattle with her husband, Alan King, since that time. Sharon was honored as the first ever recipient of the lifetime achievement award from Washington People First, having been active as a founding member since its inception. Among her many other accomplishments, Sharon earned an AA degree in general studies from a Seattle area community college in the 1970s and has served on multiple boards, including Washington Protection & Advocacy, the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, Provail, the Neglect and Abuse committee, and her local church council. She is also an artist, having sold many paintings over the years.

Thank you, Sharon, for your steadfast advocacy and community service, and for your friendship these many years.

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