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9th Disabilities Awareness Day Highlighted by Annual Awards

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By Al Campbell

AVALON – A feature of the ninth annual Cape May County Disabilities Awareness Day Nov. 4 at Avalon Community Center was the presentation of the Frank Unkle Outstanding Service Awards.
Ron Jost received the individual award. He has worked to help raise awareness of those with disabilities and to improve the services made available to them.
St. John Lutheran Church of Ocean City, 1001 Central Ave. received the organization award for its Rejoicing Spirits worship service the first Sunday of the month at 1 p.m. for those with intellectual disabilities.
According to Glen Stewart, the service includes music, a short message and lots of noise and merry-making because it is a “shush-free” environment.
“In fact, everyone gets a noise maker when they arrive,” said Stewart.
“It’s uplifting,” he added. “Dec. 3 will be a Christmas service with carols and a living Nativity where everyone gets to take part.”
Those with questions may call (609) 399-0798 for information about the services.
There were 44 exhibitors present at the event, each offering services to persons with various disabilities.
Wayne Roorda hard-of-hearing specialist with the Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, N.J. Department of Human Services displayed an array of devices to aid those with hearing loss. One was a monitor that would alert a deaf person that their smoke alarm was sounding through vibrations of their bed to awaken them.
Reggie Lancaster and Phil Harrison represented the Blind Center of the Jersey Cape which meets Tuesday and Thursday year-round at First United Methodist Church of Avalon.
Harrison said the non-profit organization welcomes all who are blind and visually impaired for crafts, drama, lectures, computer classes, and socialization. Transportation is provided by Cape May County Fare Free Transportation. For information call Harrison at (609) 382-5987 or Millicent Saraduke at (609) 624-0931. No fees are involved.
Members of Cape May County String Band provided music to make the event a festive one.

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