People and Places – May 2016

  Jacobson competition open for applications The Courage Kenny Foundation has announced the start of applications for the Judd and […]

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Take Them Out to the Ballgame


Jacobson competition open for applications

Judd Jacobson AwardThe Courage Kenny Foundation has announced the start of applications for the Judd and Barbara Jacobson Award. The award is presented annually by the foundation. It honors persons with physical disabilities or sensory impairments who have an entrepreneurial business endeavor.

Established in 1992, the Judd and Barbara Jacobson Award recognizes the pursuit or achievement of a business entrepreneurial endeavor by a person with a disability. The award winner receives a $5,000 cash award to advance their business endeavor. Applicants should demonstrate entrepreneurial skill and spirit, determination, financial need, exceptional personal commitment and have received little or no public recognition.

The desired or current business must be one that will be ongoing with a forecasted future (i.e., book publishing costs are not an ongoing business with a forecasted future). Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and reside in in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota or South Dakota. Individuals and groups are welcome to apply for the award. Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute and/or Courage Kenny Foundation employees are not eligible. Applicants must fill out a form and state how they would use the financial award to support their businesses.

Award namesake Judd Jacobson was a Minnesota business leader who became a quadriplegic as a result of a diving accident in 1943. The award exemplifies the business entrepreneurial spirit of Judd Jacobson who was a committed, creative and innovative spirit in both his vocational and avocational endeavors. His wife Barbara supported him in his life’s work. She attends the award luncheons to congratulate winners. Funds for the award are made possible by a gift from the late Daniel J. Gainey, a lifelong friend of Judd and Barbara Jacobson.

Two young people with disabilities were recipients of the 2015 award. In 2012, Zach Knuckey, 26, from Duluth, Minn., experienced a stroke in his spine which left him with paralysis. Knuckey’s love of water and an active lifestyle led him to create Waters Edge Guide Service, which provides guided fishing tours and builds custom fishing rods. Kelsey Peterson, 30, from Minneapolis, is a quadriplegic as a result of a diving accident in 2012. Since her injury she has devoted her time to Siren, an organic, safe holistic body care line.

Applications for the 2016 award are due Friday, July 29. All applicants will be notified of their application status the week of August 15. The finalists will be asked to participate in an interview on Friday, August 26. The interviews will be held at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute or may be completed by Skype. The recipient and runners up will be notified of the selection committee’s decision shortly after the interview.

The winner or winners will attend and be honored at an award luncheon October 6.

Return nomination form and supporting materials by July 29 to: [email protected] Or contact Lindsay Kedzuf, Courage Kenny Foundation, 3915 Golden Valley Road, Minneapolis, MN 55422. She can also be reached at 612-775-2584.


University’s ICI program is 2016 public policy honoree

Anne RoehlThe Arc Minnesota’s annual Public Policy Recognition Event will recognize the University of Minnesota Institute on Community Integration (ICI) as its 2016 honoree. The banquet is 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 25 at Midland Hills Country Club in Roseville. Since 1985, ICI has provided training for people with disabilities and direct care staff, provided agencies with advice on best practices, informed policymakers in the creation of disability policy, and performed research and disseminated data to the public about how people with disabilities can be most fully included in their communities.

A federally-funded University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, the ICI is part of a national network of similar programs committed to advancing all aspects of community for people with disabilities. Through collaborative research, training, and information sharing, ICI improves policies and practices to ensure that all children, youth, and adults with disabilities are valued by, and contribute to, their communities of choice.

During its 30 years of service, ICI has also influenced a wave of social change supporting equality and inclusion for people with intellectual and develop-mental disabilities. Many Minnesotans have been among the many beneficiaries of ICI’s research data, training curricula, and online resources. For

more on ICI’s work, visit Banquet reservations are due Wednesday, May 11 but people can check to see if space is available.



Skydiver prepares for ‘imperfect jumps

Imperfect JumpsAfter watching his father’s Parkinson’s disease symptoms progress, Kevin Burkart wanted to bring awareness to Parkinson’s. He used his skydiving skills to jump out of a plane 100 times in 24 hours. Burkart’s first Parkinson’s skydiving fundraiser raised more than $48,000, but he knew he could do more. Two years later, Burkart set out to complete 200 jumps in one day. Bad weather interfered, but he still completed 150 jumps, a new world record, and raised $78,000, working with the National Parkinson Foundation and Twin Cities Skydiving Club based in Baldwin, Wisc.

Burkart was planning 300 jumps when a life-changing snowmobile accident caused the immobilization of his left arm. But like his father, he is a fighter. A year after the accident he devised a way to skydive with one arm and was already planning his next event, the disease that was taking over his father’s life. Burkart jumped 151 times and set a new record for onearmed skydives in a day. To date, he has completed three skydiving fundraising events totaling 401 jumps and raising nearly $250,000 for the fight against Parkinson’s.

In order to complete consecutive skydives, Burkart puts his body through immense stress, but it’s worth it to him if more people are learning about Parkinson’s. “The involvement in the disease has really helped a lot… We know the disease well and that has helped us fight it,” he said.

Burkart is still determined to complete 300 jumps in a day. On June 15, Burkart will attempt “300 Imperfect Jumps” where he hopes to raise $300,000 for the fight against Parkinson’s disease. To help raise awareness or learn about the jumps, visit



ProAct wins major accreditation

ProAct eRecycling Services, a Minnesota electronics recycler employing people with disabilities, has achieved national environmental accreditation for its work in collecting and handling outmoded and discarded electronic devices and equipment. NSF International announced that ProAct is now officially registered for two key certifications: Responsible Recycling (R2): 2013 and RIOS: 2006.

“The trust factor in our systems and environmental soundness of what we’re doing just took a major leap with these two certifications,” said Tim Hovey, manager of ProAct eRecycling Services.

The certification was a two-part process, with an initial audit and then a later audit to assure that all systems and procedures meet standards. ProAct spent nearly five months to establish a quality, environmental health and safety manual to document its practices.

“The greatest excitement with eRecycling stems from employment of people with disabilities,” said Steven Ditschler, president and chief executive officer of ProAct. “These certifications further prove that we are on the right track and I’m pleased to report that we have these added credentials for our eRecycling service.”

The nonprofit offers drop off, pickup and packaging services, and many materials are received free of charge. A complete list of the materials accepted, including the items requiring a fee, is available at ProAct takes most items with cords or batteries, except for devices containing refrigerants and large appliances. It partners with CyclePoint from SourceAmerica, a nationwide electronics recycling network.

Electronics recycling operations are based at 204 Mississippi Avenue in Red Wing, in the city’s industrial park. The nonprofit also offers regular collection hours, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Fridays. ProAct plans to open a collection site in Eagan serving the Twin Cities shortly.

ProAct eRecycling Services is a service unit of ProAct, Inc. The nonprofit’s mission is to serve individuals with disabilities experiencing barriers to employment and self-sufficiency.



Book is finalist for award

St. Paul writer Amy Zellmer, who writes about her life with a traumatic brain injury, has announced that her book, Life With a Traumatic Brain Injury: Finding the Road Back to Normal, is a finalist in the Midwest Book Awards. The book is competing with other books in the health category. “This award is a pretty big deal, and I am super proud . . . especially considering I wrote and published it while dealing with the effects of my brain injury,” she said.

The awards recognize quality in independent publishing in the Midwest. This year’s awards attracted 198 titles, entered in 30 categories. All books were copyrighted in 2015 and entered by publishers from the 12-state Midwestern region (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin).

Winners will be announced at the Midwest Book Awards Gala to be held May 13 at the Olson Campus Center at Luther Seminary in St. Paul. The winning book will receive a gold foil seal to display on its cover, while the other two finalists will receive a silver foil seal to display on their book covers.







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