Honorees Include CEO Connie Kirk; Fundraising Goal Exceeded
Marietta, GA,– Nobis Works, a nonprofit organization that provides job training, employment and vocational support for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment, held its 17th Annual Galaxy of Stars luncheon event at the Cobb Galleria Centre on April 16. With almost 300 people in attendance, a dozen individuals were honored for their successes in the workplace and for serving people with disabilities. Candice Saunders, President and COO of Wellstar was Honorary Chair of the event, which was emceed by WSB-TV sports anchor Anthony Amey and raised almost $120,000 to support Nobis Works’ programs. The funds raised will allow 25 people with disabilities to receive training and assistance finding employment who would not have been able to access these services otherwise.
Each year at the Galaxy of Stars event, awards are presented to individuals with disabilities who have achieved outstanding accomplishments with their employers. This year’s honorees included:
- Michele Canton, Nobis Works
- Dorval Cousins, Regal Cinemas
- Nina Gonzalez, Reworx Electronics Recycling
- April Heyliger, Publix Super Market
- Althea Holmes, InfoMart, Inc
- Douglas Jackson, Publix Super Market
- Wendy Sorkin, Cobb County School District
Additionally, several professionals who support people with disabilities seeking employment and transitioning into a job were also honored. They were Bernadette Amerein, Henrietta Archie and Mary Crawford, all of whom work at the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, and Wendy Sorkin, of the Cobb County School System. Two organizations, The Chattooga School of Gymnastics and Dance and its owner Cindy Bickman and McKenna Farms and its owner Jessica Moore, were also recognized for the exemplary programs they provide to offer people with disabilities opportunities to experience dance, gymnastics and therapeutic services.
The prestigious Governor’s Award was presented by First Lady Sandra Deal to Nobis Works’ President and CEO Connie Kirk for her 38 years of service to the organization. Kirk was hired as the first President of Nobis Works in 1977 when the organization served 50 people. Under her leadership, Nobis Works has grown to serve almost 1,000 people annually and employs over 200 people in 17 states. Kirk has announced that she will retire at the end of 2015. “Working at Nobis Works has given me the opportunity to help thousands of people with disabilities find their talents and abilities and live successful, independent lives,” said Ms. Kirk. “Being recognized with the Governor’s Award is truly a special honor, and I appreciate everyone who supported and attended the luncheon for making this such a memorable occasion.”
The event is one of the largest annual fundraisers supporting Nobis Works, and this year’s goal was to raise at least $100,000. With the generosity of presenting sponsor Wellstar, as well as the Sam P. Alterman Foundation, Publix Super Markets Charities, Southern Company and numerous others, the goal was met before the event started. During the luncheon, the attendees came together to donate over $10,000, which was matched by an anonymous donor and will be used to purchase a new forklift for use in Nobis Works’ training courses and business operations.