Charlie Smith Award banquet: Save the date

Access Press reminds readers to save the date of Friday, Nov. 4 for the annual Charlie Smith Award Banquet. Every year Minnesota’s disability community celebrates its accomplishments and honors a person, group or organization for outstanding service. It is a fun and well-attended event. This year’s banquet will again be held at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott in Bloomington. The Access Press Board of Directors and staff are busy planning the event, which includes a silent auction and raffle, as well as a delicious meal, music and the awards ceremony itself. The award is named for the newspaper’s founding editor, the late Charlie Smith Jr. He was a longtime disability community activist and journalist.

Nominations for the 2011 Charlie Smith Award will be accepted starting this month, with a June 30 deadline. The award application is online, at Otherwise, call the newspaper office at 651-644-2133 to receive a form by mail or if you need accommodations in submitting a name. The online form can also be printed out and mailed or faxed to the office. The newspaper board will review the nominations in July and select a winner in August. Read about the winner in the September issue of Access Press. Registration for the banquet will start in September and close Oct. 25.

Past winners of the award are:

2010-Steve Kuntz,Minnesota DEED
2009-Anne Henry, of the Minnesota Disability Law Center
2008-Pete Feigal, Co-Founder of Tilting at Windmills
2007-Jim and Claudia Carlisle, People Enhancing People
2006-John Smith, University of MN
2005-Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD)
2004-Rick Cardenas, Co-Director of Advocating Change Together (ACT)
2003-Margot Imdieke Cross, Minnesota State Council on Disability