Students from LaFayette, Gordon Lee, Ridgeland, Heritage, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, Ringgold and Dade County high schools attended. Awards were given to a Student of the Year from each school in recognition and appreciation for overcoming the obstacles of their disability through successful employment, and for the dedication and commitment they have shown as being an inspiration to all.
The winners were as follows LaFayette High School, George Link; Gordon Lee High School, Lauren Cook; Ridgeland High School, Christopher Bradley; Heritage High School, Jessica Brooks; Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe High School, Troy Lee Norris; Dade County High School, A.J. Hester; and Ringgold High School, Valerie Townsell. There was also an Honorable Mention Award to LHS student Matthew Harris.
Awards were also given to Walker, Catoosa and Dade County residents for Employee of the Year in recognition and appreciation for overcoming the obstacles of their disability through successful employment. The winners were Walker County, James Morgan; Catoosa County, Victoria Morrison; and Dade County, Jessica Daniel.
Photo: Front row (from left), Troy Lee Norris (LFO), Valerie Townsell (Ringgold High), Allison Smith (Walker County Animal Shelter), Jessica Brooks (Heritage), Lauren Cook (Gordon Lee), Jessica Daniel (Dade County), Lorri Collins (Bi-Lo) and Dwayne Moon (Ingles); back row, George Link (LaFayette), Christopher Bradley (Ridgeland), Matthew Harris (LaFayette), and James Morgan (Walker County). Not pictured are A.J. Hester (Dade County High), and Victoria Morrison (Catoosa County).
Employer of the Year awards were given to the Walker County Animal Shelter, Bi-Lo of Fort Oglethorpe, and Ingles Market in Trenton. Theses businesses were awarded in recognition and appreciation for opening the door of opportunity to employees with disabilities and for the many opportunities they provide to the disabled that display a shining example for others to follow.
A crowd of approximately 200 guests were entertained by a presentation of assistive technology by Signal Centers, and by keynote speaker Al Scarbrough, who is a motivational speaker and comedian from Chattanooga. Kim Correll, a video producer and actress from Ringgold, served as event emcee.
Corporate sponsors and financial contributors for the event included Chickamauga City Schools, Battlefield Civitan Club, Chattanooga Goodwill Industries, LaFayette Area Employer Committee, Northwest Georgia Career Center, Professional Park Associates, Ringgold Telephone Co., Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation, Dr. Douglas Graydon, Fred Henry Agency, Precision Embroidery and Printwear, attorney William Slack, Blood Assurance, The Bank of LaFayette, Jackson Realty, Hammond-Jones Hardware, Teems and Teems Agency, and Pathfinders.
Door prizes were donated by the following the Chattanooga Southern Belle Riverboat, Bi-Lo, Chattanooga Ducks, Chattanooga Ghost Tours, Chattanooga Nature Center, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Precision Embroidery & Printwear, Ruby Falls, Creative Discovery Museum, Midway Drive-In Theatre, Rock City Gardens, Dollywood, Stone Mountain Park, Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball, Blood Assurance, Sentry Station Tire & Auto, Antiques and Uniques, Zoo Atlanta, and Cave Spring Rehabilitation Center.
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