Award banquet preparations continue

It’s the best party of the year for Minnesota’s disability community. And you and your friends can make it better. Access Press hosts the Charlie Smith Award Banquet Friday, Nov. 4 at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott, Bloomington. Attendees enjoy music, a delicious meal and the presentation of the Charlie Smith Award, which is given annually to someone who provides outstanding service to Minnesotans with disabilities. Tickets are $45, with a table for 8 available for $325.

One highlight banquet attendees look forward to is the silent auction and raffle. Proceeds go to support operations of Access Press, Minnesota’s disability community newspaper.

Lots of great items are up for bid or available by raffle drawing. Past prizes have included plane tickets, garden supplies, jars of costume jewelry, restaurant gift certificates, original artwork, vintage items, theater and sports tickets and much more! Bidding can be spirited for some of the more popular items and friends can have fun bidding against one another.

But the silent auction and raffle cannot succeed without the support of dedicated Access Press supporters. That’s where you come in. Do you have access to a pair of single-game sports tickets? Are you a skilled artist or crafter? Do you build wonderful birdhouses or make pretty quilts?

Do you own a business that serves people with disabilities, and can offer a gift certificate for goods or services? Access Press Business Manager Dawn Frederick would like to hear your idea for a silent auction or raffle donation. Contact her at 651-644-2133 or dawn@testing.accesspress.org Banquet sponsorships continue to come in. Courage Center, Land O’Lakes, National Handicap Housing Institute, Rise, Handi Medical, Courage Center, the Institute on Community Integration, and Tamarack Habilitation have signed up.

Access Press uses historic newsroom terms to delineate sponsors. Keyliners put the newspaper together, proofreaders check for typos and the editor-in-chief is in charge of everything. The information on banquet sponsorship levels can be found HERE.

Contact Dawn at 651-644-2133 or dawn@testing.accesspress.org if your company is interested in being a sponsor for the banquet, or if you would like information on attending the banquet.

Nominations for the 2011 Charlie Smith Award are prior to the August 30 due date. While there is still time to nominate someone who has provided outstanding service to Minnesota’s disability community, the newspaper board of directors reminds everyone that the deadline is approaching.

Do you know someone who is an effective self-advocate? Do you know someone who doesn’t get the recognition for his or her efforts on behalf of people with disabilities?

Nominees can be anyone from anywhere in Minnesota. Access Press would like to see nominations from Greater Minnesota as well as the Twin Cities.

It can be found HERE or call the office at 651-644-2133.