Celebration of Possibilities

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The 9th Annual Celebration of Possibilities will take place at 6 pm March 30 in the Crossroads Event Center in Lancaster. The evening will recognize individuals and businesses throughout the county who have exemplified the Fairfield DD mission statement. Along with live music, the evening will feature renown comic and author Zach Anner.

Anner is most widely known for his zany, self-deprecating YouTube videos that are viewed by millions. Most recently, he authored the best-seller book, If at Birth You Don't Succeed.

Comic Zach Anner

Comic Zach Anner


The Fairfield County Board of Developmental Disabilities established A Celebration of Possibilities in 2009 as the finale of our month-long celebration of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March.

A Celebration of Possibilities, held at the end of March each year, is designed to celebrate and recognize those individuals, businesses and organizations that promote the concept of community inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities.  We in Fairfield County are blessed with those who believe in Fairfield DD's mission: To bring about a vibrant community where people lead fulfilling lives and make meaningful contributions.

Awards are given in the following categories.

Deanna Kirwin Award for Individual Achievement:
This award is presented to an individual served by Fairfield DD who exemplifies the concepts of self-determination through personal, academic or developmental achievement by exceeding the goals he/she has set.  The award is dedicated to the memory of Deanna Kirwin, the first person in the state of Ohio to start her own business with a microenterprise grant.

2016 Award Winner: Elizabeth Burgoon
2015 Award Winner: Ryan Barber
2014 Award Winner: Janna Wicks
2013 Award Winner: Brandon Booth
2012 Award Winner: Trent Glaze
2011 Award Winner: Bob McMasters
2010 Award Winner: Derek Upp
2009 Award Winner: Ben Walters


Goldie Fields Spirit Award:
This award is presented to a person who regularly volunteers at Fairfield DD and goes above and beyond his or her duties to provide exemplary benefits to the individuals we serve, our staff, and our stakeholders.  The award is dedicated to the memory of Goldie Fields, who was a long-time volunteer at Forest Rose School.  Her unrelenting spirit and positive attitude was felt at the school until her death in 2008.

2016 Award Winner: Priscilla Fitzsimmons
2015 Award Winner: Jackie Marion and Trish Jones
2014 Award Winner: Missing Link Motorcycle Club
2013 Award Winner: Jim Henderly
2012 Award Winner: AC Equines 4-H Club
2011 Award Winner: Adam Nowacin
2010 Award Winner: Blue Shoe Arts Volunteers
2009 Award Winner: Judy Hug


Hartung Family Pioneer Award:
This award is given to a person or family that has gone above and beyond the norm to help promote awareness or provide services to children or adults with developmental disabilities in Fairfield County.  The award is dedicated to the memory of the Hartung family.  Beginning in the mid-1950s, Art and Wilma Hartung were instrumental in organizing services for children and adults with developmental disabilities in Fairfield County.  Mr. Hartung died in 1971, Mrs. Hartung died in 2008, and their son Tommy passed away in 2009.

2016 Award Winner: Julie Bruckelmeyer
2015 Award Winner: Anita Birk
2014 Award Winner: Dave Macioci
2013 Award Winner: John and Paula Clark
2012 Award Winner: Rockmill Rehabilitation Centre
2011 Award Winner: Pam Simmons-Bontrager
2010 Award Winner: Marvene Blume, June Hoy and Jean Miller-Kennedy
2009 Award Winner: Diane Bresler


Distinguished Service Award:
This award is presented to a staff member from Fairfield DD, a service provider, or a school district within the county who serves individuals with developmental disabilities and embodies our vision and mission, especially when that person's support goes above and beyond the norm to promote the ideals of community acceptance.

2016 Award Winner: Kathy Boyer

2015 Award Winner: James Armstrong, III
2014 Award Winner: John Wagner
2013 Award Winner: Terri Garrett
2012 Award Winner: Kathy Dennison
2011 Award Winner: Missy McCready
2010 Award Winner: Matt Haban
2009 Award Winner: Kim and John Conrad


Vision Award:
This award is presented to a Fairfield County business or service organization that embraces the concepts of inclusion and self-determination, and displays that commitment through innovation.


2016 Award Winner: Kroger Marketplace - Pickerington

2015 Award Winner: Elder-Beerman
2014 Award Winner: River Valley Mall, Glimcher Properties
2013 Award Winner: The Weeders Master Gardeners
2012 Award Winner: SMART Team
2011 Award Winner: Lancaster Kiwanis Club (Tony Fortkamp) and Southeastern Center for Independent Living (Linda McDonald)
2010 Award Winner: Project SEARCH Partners: Fairfield Medical Center, Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools and the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission
2009 Award Winner: Ohio University-Lancaster and Allen's Lancaster Greenhouse and Nursery


Commitment Award:
This award is presented to an individual who represents a business or service organization in Fairfield County who, through his/her work with that business or organization, does the most to carry out the mission of Fairfield DD through his or her commitment to the individuals we support, Fairfield DD staff, other stakeholders and the Fairfield County Community at large.

2016 Award winners: Jennifer Capretta, Stephanie Miller

2015 Award Winner: John Hammond
2014 Award Winner: Rob and Dawn McDonald
2013 Award Winner: Jeff Whitehead
2012 Award Winner: Art Brate and Bob Sulick
2011 Award Winner: Greg Russell
2010 Award Winner: Tammi and Joe Neighbor
2009 Award Winner: Brad Frakowski


The McGhee Family Inspiration Award:
This award is given to an individual, business, or organization whose actions make a significant difference in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and enhance the quality of life in Fairfield County, and who may or may not fit within the descriptors of the other award categories.  In 2010, the award was named in honor of the McGhee family, who have always held services to individuals with developmental disabilities close to their hearts, beginning with the late Clark McGhee, an early Fairfield DD Board member, and continuing with his children, Terry McGhee, president and CEO of Westerman Companies, and Sally Grimm, who retired after 31 years as an educational assistant at Forest Rose School.

2016 Award Winner: Tessie Swain

2015 Award Winner: Janie Heston
2014 Award Winner: Fairfield Medical Center, Autism Camp and Cody Sarensen
2013 Award Winner: Miles of Smiles
2012 Award Winner: Steve Rauch
2011 Award Winner: Gary Barstow
2010 Award Winner: The McGhee Family and Jimmy Cordle
2009 Award Winner: The Brick Family

Fairfield DD Hall of Fame
In 2012, we established the Fairfield DD Hall of Fame and honored five distinguished women, each of whom had won awards at previous Celebrations, as our first class of inductees. The Hall of Fame class will be chosen by the awards committee and the Fairfield DD Board, but there won’t necessarily be a Hall of Fame induction each year.

2016 Inductees:

Pam Patula, SOCIL

Dr. John Furlow, late Dean OU-L

Sally Grimm, retired teacher



2015 Inductees:
Betty Davis, retired instructor
Sam Hurley, former Board member
Mark Everly, former Special Olympics Coordinator
Tracey Lee, former Training Coordinator
Penny Patrick, retired instructor

2014 Inductees:
Tony Fortkamp, retired Adult Services Director
Gay Grandstaff, retired instructor
Betty Flynn, retired instructor assistant
Sharon Walton, retired instructor
Marcia Hill, retired instructor assistant
Phyllis and Russ Shanks, adoptive parents

2013 Inductees:
Larry and Carol Seesholtz, residential services provider

2012 Inductees: 
Della Partridge, former teacher and principal at Forest Rose School and curriculum supervisor and intake coordinator for FairfieldDD
Pam Simmons-Bontrager, 2011 Hartung Family Pioneer Award winner and FairfieldDD retiree
Jean Miller, Marvene Blume and June Hoy, all three of whom helped develop services for children and adults with disabilities in Fairfield County and winners of the Hartung Family Pioneer Award in 2010

Special Guests:
Each year the Celebration of Possibilities concludes with a presentation or performance by a special guest.  Listed below are those who have honored us with their presence.  Please click on their names to learn more about them.

2016 Special Guest: Maysoon Zayid

2015 Special Guest: Kathy Buckley
2014 Special Guest: The Dancing Wheels
2013 Special Guest: Josh Blue
2012 Special Guest: Geri Jewell
2011 Special Guest: Josh Blue
2010 Special Guest: Colonel Thomas Moe
2009 Special Guest: Archie Griffin