(SAVANNAH, GA) Five “Champions” and their employers were recognized at the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society’s eleventh annual Night of Champions held virtually.
The event recognized local businesses that hire and retain differently-abled people, including those with Down syndrome, and the contributions made by these employees who are designated as Champions.
The 2020 Champions include:
Champion: Elijah Black
“Elijah has been a clerical employee for the Effingham Country Board of Education for 5 years and is a key part of our dynamic. He is known for being a hard worker — shredding, filing and organizing for various departments — and for dressing with style and professionalism” said Dr. Ashly Hunter, Director of Exceptional Students
Champion: Matthew Redhead
Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Riding Center
Matthew had just graduated from high school when he came to work at Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Riding Center two years ago. He had a lot to learn and was shy with people, but he is now in charge of 5 therapeutic ponies, “Mr Ears” the donkey, and has made many friends as well.
Bonnie Rachael, Founder and CEO
Champion: Felita Crook
Felita has been employed with St. Joseph’s Hospital in the Dietary Department since August 1989. She helps train co-workers and has even volunteered to stay behind during hurricanes so her co-workers with small children could evacuate with their families
Ann Hopkins, Clinical Operations Manager.
Champion: Johanna Castro
Johannah’s primary responsibility is sorting, organizing and delivering mail for the entire Chatham County Sheriff’s Department — a 700,000 sq ft facility with a constantly changing population of 1800 inmates, 500 staff members and many others.
Sheriff John Wilcher.
Champion: Allison Nettles
Allison is very self sufficient — quiet, very clean, and definitely a self-starter. She is part of the crew at Friendship Coffee Company on Wilmington Island where she helps with… everything.
Gay Fortson, owner
“Night of Champions is an inspiring event for professional recognition of those individuals who exceed expectations while overcoming perceived barriers to employment. It’s a lot of individuals’ favorite event of the year, and our sponsors allow us to host past Champions for free,” says Tom Kenkel, the 2020 Night of Champions chairman.
In addition to recognizing community Champions and their employers, the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society presented the 2020 President’s Award to Will Howell, a Darien-based entrepreneur, and Kevin Sheehan, who heads an organization dedicated to improving the lives of differently abled people.
The 2020 Night of Champions was presented by Grainger Honda and Grainger Nissan of Savannah. The event was sponsored by the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS), Matson, Marchese Construction, Edwards Interiors, Rise Biscuits & Donuts, Kenkel Design, PSAV, Savannah Convention Center, Carriage Trade Public Relations.
For more information, visit https://ldssga.org
ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) supports people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, support, outreach, education and advocacy. Virtual meetings are held every fourth Tuesday of the month. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit ldssga.org
Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society
Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.