News & Articles
In celebration of a work-life in service
â€œThere is no greater calling than to serve your fellow men. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well.â€ Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
On Wednesday January 13, Camp Venture â€˜s staff award celebration named for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the agencyâ€™s principal founder Kathleen Lukens will be held at the agencyâ€™s Coleman Gromack auditorium on Route 340 in Sparkill, New York. â€œDr. King was for every man or woman left out of the American Dream,â€ explains Camp Ventureâ€™s Executive Director Dan Lukens. â€œHis message was about service and his work, liberation. King made possible the social change that closed institutions and liberated a there- before forgotten people,â€ he said.
The Camp Venture Dr. Martin Luther King Kathleen Lukens Staff Award Celebration is an agency event that celebrates the dedication and commitment of Camp Venture staff. The theme for this yearâ€™s event is â€œWorking Together, Changing Livesâ€ and will offer awards for innovative team efforts that are making a difference in the lives of the people served by the agency.
According to Dorothy Cox, Camp Ventureâ€™s Associate Executive Director for Quality Assurance, â€œ Agencies provide the structure and the means but people do the caring. We give staff procedures, we challenge them and offer ideas, but the quality of life that our people experience is really a measure of the resourcefulness and determination of the staff that work directly with them and their ability and willingness to work as a team,â€ she said.
Mark Lukens, the agencyâ€™s Associate Executive Director for Education and Training agrees. â€œWe can teach people the basic skills but itâ€™s their creativity and personal investment that make a life for people in care. So much of our focus as managers is to make people understand what not to do. Itâ€™s great to be able to celebrate with them their good work, their caring and their dedication.
Some of the honors to be bestowed this year will be for efforts that include an innovative and individualized approach to CPR skill development, a day program rock band, a survival adventure, end of life care for a stranger and other innovative efforts that reflect a quality of concern and a resourceful approach to serving people that reflects the values the organization and Dr. Kingâ€™s legacy of service and sacrifice.
The Camp Venture Dr. Martin Luther King Staff Award event is an agency tradition started by the agencyâ€™s principal founder and first Executive Director, Kathleen Lukens and traces its origins to the first days of the organization. â€œKathy established Dr. King as the agencyâ€™s patron saint pretty early on,â€ said John Murphy Camp Ventureâ€™s President. â€œKing was a personal hero for her and the event, an opportunity to say thank you to the staff whose efforts on behalf of people in care she believed embodied the Kingâ€™s message,â€ he said.
This yearâ€™s event is organized by Theresa Freson, who is gratefully acknowledged, as are the efforts of the Event Committee, which include Dorothy Cox, Mark Lukens, George Hoehmann, Debbie Archambault, Earl Lewis, Rhys Lukens and Maryanne Modafferi.
â€œOur economy is bad and we a government that seems intent laying a disproportionate share of the hardship on community developmental disability programs,â€ said Dan Lukens. â€œOur staff especially are getting a bad deal all around and thatâ€™s why this event is so timely,â€™ said Lukens. â€œLike King, for their service to humanity, it doesnâ€™t look like theyâ€™re going to get any respect at least in terms of funding to support their salaries, so we have to be there for each other and take stock in the reasons why we do what we do,â€™ he said.
Page 1 of 1 pages for this article