Each year LifeSPAN presents the “Good Life” Award to an individual or organization that makes an outstanding contribution to the lives of people with disabilities. We celebrate the award at our annual Salty’s Fundraiser: Community, Contributions, Connections, held in September each year.
2017 Good Life Award Winner
Cathy Murahashi is the Family Engagement Coordinator, King County Parent & Family Coalition at the Arc of King County. She supports families, develops engaging training & curriculum, and serves as a dedicated legislative advocate.
2016 Good Life Award Winner
Jill Rogers has worked tirelessly over the years to enrich the lives of people with disabilities. Park programs, drama and glee clubs (which culminate in an annual variety show), respite, and a weekly Girls’ Club are just a few of the things that Jill has spearheaded to create fuller, richer lives for people with disabilities.
2015 Good Life Award Winner
Scott Leonard is an employee of King County DCHS Developmental Disabilities Division. He has built a reputation over the years as the “go to” guy for social security. He has helped families, individuals, and professionals navigate the complicated system and arrive at a good outcome. He is helpful, knowledgeable, and a great communicator. More than one family has referred to him as a “life saver”!
2014 Good Life Award Winner
Pam Blanton (Partners 4 Housing) has worked with families for many years concerning housing issues, first with King County and then with her own organization, Partners4Housing. Her commitment to helping families find innovative, quality solutions is remarkable. She also integrated the “My Home, My Life” program into her organization, providing even more depth to resources for families.
2013 Good Life Award Winner
Joanne O’Neill has been a parent advocate for many years, through her work with the Arc of King County. She has been an invaluable resource for families on housing, state rules and regulations, and advocacy. She is approachable, friendly and deeply knowledgeable.
2012 Good Life Award Winner
AtWork! has been at the forefront of the movement from sheltered workshops to community employment. They have helped change the face of employment for people with disabilities, by focusing as much on the employer’s needs as on its clients’ needs. AtWork! Strategizes, designs and creates jobs that are valuable, meaningful and deliver a measurable benefit to everyone involved.
Ron Sims, as King County Executive, helped to create major opportunities for people with disabilities. His influence not only created jobs and support, but also provided natural integration into the community in a broader sense. Ron is an example of one of LifeSPAN’s core values – everyone has a contribution to make, and the richest communities are those with a place for everyone.
Sherry McNary, as an employee of Washington Initiative for Supported Employment, Sherry created the “My Home, My Life” program as a gathering place for families to share information, and as a resource for community knowledge of all sorts. Meetings include activities for sons and daughters. Sherry has also been an inspiration with her work with her brother Jeff, helping him to start and maintain his own shredding company.
2011 Good Life Award Winners
Bill & Kathy Sellars were a couple who not only advocated for their own daughter, Kari Sellars, but for all people with disabilities. Bill served as President of the Arc of Washington State, and Kathy has been a topnotch resource for families for years. The home they created for their daughter is a model and inspiration for other families. They recognized, from the start, the depth and breadth of a “good life” for Kari. Kathy is a founding Board member of LifeSPAN, and both Bill and Kathy are founding partners. (Bill passed away in February 2013.)
Larry Jones for many years specialized in disability law. He was a tremendous resource for families around issues of wills, estate planning and guardianship. He is the author of Doing Disability Justice. He often shared his knowledge in informal workshops with families. Although he is now retired, his firm, Jones & Ibrahim PLLC, carries on his legacy.
2010 Good Life Award Winners
Friendship Adventures, led by Maureen Browning, offers quality recreational opportunities to people with disabilities. Their events are varied, frequent, and very popular.
Parkview Services has been a leader for many years in providing housing for people with developmental disabilities. In 2000, recognizing that a “good life” includes more than a home, they brought the PLAN Canada model to the Seattle area and founded LifeSPAN. We became an independent organization early on, but would not be here without Parkview.
PCC Natural Markets has been a leader in providing employment to people with disabilities, supporting those employees, and recognizing the value they bring to the health of the organization.