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King Award Celebration 2011

King Award Celebration 2011

On Wednesday January 19, the Venture Family celebrates one of it’s most time-honored tradition, it’s Dr. Martin Luther King staff award celebration. An annual ceremony created by the agency’s principal founder and first Executive Director, Kathleen Lukens, the event honors a tradition of service inspired by Dr. King.

“Kathleen Lukens was a great admirer of Dr. King and she credited King not only with inspiring the movement to close institutions in New York State in favor of community programs, but also for the founding of the Venture agency,” explains Dan Lukens, Camp Venture’s Executive Director.


“Kathy saw King’s message embodied in the work of people who committed their career lives to service to humanity. In her eyes, caring for vulnerable people is living the dream,” Lukens said.

Keynote speaker for the ceremony this year will be Venture’s own President, John Murphy whom just the month before became one of Rockland County’s newest inductees in the Rockland County Civil / Human Rights Hall of Fame. In addition to his role in the governance of Camp Venture, Mr. Murphy has been a pivotal figure in the development of the community movement in Rockland County.

This year’s staff honors will include honors for two of the agency’s residential programs and for the agency’s at-home program staff.

New for 2011 will be special honors for the agency’s first responders. “Our training department and our nurses have challenged our direct support staff in recent years to develop their professional life-saving skills,” said Dorothy Cox, Camp Venture’s Deputy Director. “We always trained staff in CPR and first aid but more recently the team has tried to bring that preparation to the next level. The results have been dramatic in that lives have been saved,” Cox said.

“People do great things here every day,” said Lukens. “They don’t do them because they are told to. They do them because they are great people, people who define themselves by what King called the spirit of creative altruism. It’s that spirit that we celebrate and honor with this event”

The event is scheduled for 3:30PM on January 19, in the Coleman/Gromack auditorium of the Venture Center. Friends and neighbors are welcome to attend but are asked to RSVP to the Venture administrative office.

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