Deadline June 30: Nominations needed for 2013 Charlie Award

Many people provide exceptional service to Minnesota’s disability community. We all know them. We see them working to make change, […]

Many people provide exceptional service to Minnesota’s disability community. We all know them. We see them working to make change, at the capitol or in our neighborhoods. We may benefit from a law they helped pass or a program they started or a facility they helped to design or build.

Honor that exceptional person or group with the 2013 Access Press Charlie Smith Award. The award is a high-profile way to thank those who go above and beyond in service to Minnesotans with disabilities. Nominations are now open and will close June 30.

Get out your calendars and reserve Friday, Nov. 1 for the 11th Annual Charlie Smith Award Banquet. The banquet returns to the Minneapolis Airport Marriott.

The highlight of the banquet is the presentation of the Charlie Smith Award and the winner’s speech. The award is given in honor of the late Charlie Smith Jr. founder of Access Press, and a longtime disability community activist and journalist.

The banquet, organized by Access Press, honors a member, group or organization in Minnesota’s disability community for outstanding service. Winners are always very pleased and moved by the award. Last year’s winner, activist Charles “Chuck” Van Heuveln, said it was one of the greatest things that had ever happened to him. “All the Charlie Smith award winners have been very humbled, gracious and appreciative of being honored by their community,” said Tim Benjamin, Executive Director of Access Press. “Charlie was very influential in the way the disability community thinks today and his indirect influence is still strong in each of the winners.”

“Last year’s winner and his work were not very well known. I think his selection surprised many for this reason,” said Brigid Alseth, chairperson of the Access Press Board. “Once his story was shared, however, I heard comments such as ‘Now I understand!’ Nominating someone for the Charlie Smith Award is a community process and helps us celebrate an extraordinary citizen and sometimes, we get a valuable history lesson.”

The 2013 award nomination period closes June 30. Early nominations are appreciated. The nominations are open to any Minnesota individual, family, organization or group that serves Minnesotans with disabilities. Self-nominations are not accepted.

The nominations remain confidential and are known only to the newspaper’s board and staff until the winner is announced.

The newspaper board will review the nominations in July and select a winner in August. Read about the winner and the nominees in the September issue of Access Press.

Nomination forms are available on the newspaper’s website, www.testing.accesspress.org or by calling the office at 651-644-2133. Contact the newspaper board at CSAnominations@testing.accesspress.org if there are question. Anyone needing accommodations to make a nomination may call the newspaper office.

The banquet will again be held at the Minneapolis Airport Marriot in Bloomington. This setting offers a very accessible and comfortable space for the silent auction and raffle, cash bar, pre-dinner music and conversation and the banquet itself. The facility offers plenty of parking and easy front-door drop-off.

Previous winners of the award are:
2012—Charles “Chuck” Van Heuveln, community activist
2011—Jeff Bangsberg, consultant, legislative activist
2010—Steve Kuntz, Minnesota DEED
2009—Anne Henry, 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 (MN-CCD)
2004—Rick Cardenas, co-director of Advocating Change Together (ACT)
2003—Margot Imdieke Cross, Minnesota State Council on Disability

Making the banquet a success means relying on many community members for support. One way to help the banquet is to serve as a sponsor. Three levels of sponsorship are offered, using titles that reflect terms used historically in the newspaper industry.

Keyliners Level – $200.

The keyliners pasted up newspaper pages. If you are a keyliner sponsor:

• Your logo will be displayed at a table
• Your organization/company name will be listed in the 2013 Charlie Award Banquet program
• Your organization/company will be recognized in our November and December 2013 newspapers
• You will have one (1) free website ad (your month of choice), a value of $100

Proofreaders Level – $300.

The proofreaders would check newspaper pages for errors. If you are a proofreader sponsor:

• Your logo will be displayed at a table
• Your organization/company name will be listed in the 2013 Charlie Award Banquet program
• Your organization/company will be recognized in our November and December 2013 newspapers
• You will have two (2) free rotating website ads (your months of choice), a value of $200
• Your organization/company will be listed on a special banner (on display) during the 2013 Charlie Award Banquet

Editor-in-Chief Level – $400.

This denotes the leader of the newspaper. If you are an editor-in-chief sponsor:

• Your logo will be displayed at a table.
• Your organization/company name will be listed in the 2013 Charlie Award Banquet program
• Your organization/company will be recognized in our November and December 2013 newspapers
• You will have two (2) free rotating website ads (your months of choice), a value of $200
• Your organization/company will be listed on a special banner, on display during the 2013 Charlie Award Banquet
• Your organization/company will be recognized by our emcee during the 2013 Charlie Award Banquet
• A table will be named in your organization/company’s honor the evening of the event
• A free Access Press subscription, a value of $30
• One (1) Directory of Organizations listing, good for one year, a value of $60

Donations will also be needed for the newspaper’s annual silent auction and “pick your prize” raffle. Past prizes have included theater and sports tickets, gift certificates, art and more.  Access Press Office Manager, Dawn  handles the sponsor, silent auction and raffle. Contact Dawn at 651-644-2133 or at dawn@testing.accesspress.org to be a sponsor or to make a donation.

Join us! 2023 Virtual Legislative Forum. December 16th, 2022. MN Council on Disability