The significant contributions of an individual and an organization whose dedicated efforts are benefiting individuals with disabilities across St. Charles County will be in the spotlight Saturday, March 2 at Community Living Inc.’s 19th Annual Legacy Ball.
During the gala event, Community Living supporter Denise Gould of Family Advocacy and Community Training [F.A.C.T.] will receive Community Living’s Legacy Award, while St. Charles County Ambulance District [SCCAD] will be presented with the organization’s Community Volunteer of the Year Award.
Gould first began to learn about the world of disabilities after she and her husband, Richard, welcomed their son, David. In her efforts to find the support he needed, she discovered F.A.C.T. Gould joined Audrey Yarbrough, founder of F.A.C.T., in helping to support other families who also had children with disabilities. After a few years of volunteering, she joined the SSM Corporate Human Resources team full-time for 10 years. In 2003, she came back to F.A.C.T. as its executive director.
During her time at F.A.C.T., she has served on several local and state committees related to the disability field. She presented at the local, state and national level on the family driven, family centered, strength-based model of family support.
Gould also played a vital role in changing the state system of providing expensive and outdated communication devices for people who are non-verbal by appealing that decision for her son at the state level. Due to her advocacy efforts, all people with developmental disabilities can receive an iPad when needed in order to communicate.
SCCAD is a seven-time recipient of the Missouri Emergency Medical Services Association’s Emergency Medical Service of the Year Award. Its programs include a Mobile Integrated Health partnership with BJC, and the Substance Use Recovery Response Team, which links those affected by the opioid epidemic with treatment. The latter initiative earned SCCAD the American Ambulance Association’s 2017 Community Impact Program award.
Legacy Ball tickets can be purchased for $125 per person through Jan. 31 and are available at http://bidpal.net/legacyball2019. After Jan. 31, ticket costs increase to $150 per person. Tables seat 10.