Former student wins Herbert D. LaMont Award

Barb Hancher (left) applauds Nancy Lewis after Lewis received one of two Timothy Hancher Direct Service Awards during the Pathfinder Services recognition dinner on Saturday, Nov. 7.
Barb Hancher (left) applauds Nancy Lewis after Lewis received one of two Timothy Hancher Direct Service Awards during the Pathfinder Services recognition dinner on Saturday, Nov. 7. Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Greta Schenkel, a former Pathfinder Services client who now serves as a Pathfinder Services volunteer, was honored Saturday, Nov. 7, with the organization's Herbert D. LaMont Award.

The annual award, the top honor given out by Pathfinder Services, is named in honor of the man who was a major force in the development of services in Huntington County for people with disabilities.

Schenkel was just 2 years old when she became a student at the Village Training Center, a predecessor of Pathfinder Services. She graduated from Huntington North High School in 1991 and immediately began volunteering at Pathfinder Kids Kampus. She currently spends 20 to 30 hours each week assisting in two of the Kids Kampus classrooms.

Schenkel also received a Community Partner Award for her volunteer activities.

The award was presented during Pathfinder's annual community recognition dinner, which also saw top awards go to two Pathfinder employees.

Amy Thornsberry, team leader for Pathfinder community supports, and Nancy Lewis, an occupational therapist for pathfinder Kids Kampus, received the Timothy Hancher Direct Services Awards. The award was presented by Bill and Barbara Hancher in honor of Bill's son, who was born with severe developmental and physical difficulties and died in 1996 at age 26.

Individuals and organizations who supported Pathfinder Services and its customers during the past fiscal year received Community Partner Awards.

Those awards went to:
• The Huntington County Chamber of Commerce. Chamber board member Lori Mickley and Chamber staff member JoAnn Burnau were recognized for the support the chamber has given to Pathfinder Services over the years.

• Gary and Angela Davisson, owners of Boogie Down Dee-Jays, were recognized for their support of Pathfinder Community Supports Client Council through its discounted rates and its flexibility.

• The Knox Moose Family Center's Ron Singleton was recognized by the Pathfinder Community Supports office in Plymouth for the center's donations of food and money raised each year from fish fries held for the division's Client Council.

• Vivian Hans and USA DanceSport were honored for their efforts to make it possible for nine Pathfinder clients to participate in the Special Olympics ballroom dancing competition held on Fort Wayne on July 4.

• Angie Beauchamp, owner of Modoc's Market in Wabash, was honored by Pathfinder Resource Connection, the organization's employment division, for her flexibility and partnership with the staff and clients.

• Lake City Bank and Ralph Villalon were honored by Pathfinder Community Connections, the organization's housing division. Lake City Bank has provided more than $381,000 in down payment assistance money this year. The bank has also partnered with Pathfinder Community Connections and Fort Wayne Baptist Church to target home ownership for the growing Burmese population in Fort Wayne.

• WTCA-AM 1050 in Plymouth will receive its award later this year. For Christmas 2008, the radio station delivered food and gift baskets to families in the Plymouth area who are participating in the Pathfinder Community Connections transitional housing program.