The Able Trust’s annual celebration is marking its 20th anniversary and honoring Publix Supermarkets for its commitment to hiring people with disabilities. The Able Trust is based in Tallahassee.
Tallahassee, FL (August 30, 2011) –
On Saturday, Sept. 17, supporters from across the state will gather at Disney’s Contemporary Resort for the 2011 Ability Celebration, The Able Trust’s signature event created to raise awareness and funds to help provide people with disabilities successful employment opportunities. This year’s event is lead by Honorary Chair and Master of Ceremonies, Jim Payne, WESH News Anchor.
“During these tough economic times, people throughout Florida are having difficulty finding and maintaining employment. And unfortunately, people with disabilities often have even greater employment challenges,” said Sue Homant, President & CEO of The Able Trust. “This is especially evident in the disability unemployment rate, which is more than double the rate for people without disabilities – a tragedy, because there are many talented people with disabilities who are willing and able to work.”
To address such differences, the Florida State Legislature created The Able Trust in 1990 as a public-private partnership. Through its many programs, The Able Trust helps people with physical and mental disabilities of all ages and ethnicities get back to work through a variety of means – grant awards at the community level, public education, a veterans initiative and youth programs. Last year, The Able Trust awarded 72 grants totaling more than $2 million. To date, the organization has given more than $27 million in grants to organizations serving every county in Florida.
“Throughout the past 20 years, our organization has received tremendous support from corporations and individuals who understand that a diverse workforce inclusive of all individuals, regardless of their differences, benefits the business, as well as the entire community,” said Homant.
This year’s Ability Celebration will pay special tribute to Publix Super Markets, Inc., for their dedication to hiring people with disabilities and making the types of accommodations that allow individuals to flourish professionally, as well as helping them impact the bottom line. Ed Crenshaw, CEO, Publix Super Markets Inc., will be on hand to accept the award and share the Publix philosophy for hiring and promoting people with disabilities.
Allan Bense, former Florida Speaker of the House and Chairman of the Board, Florida Chamber of Commerce, will deliver the keynote address. Whitney Harris, a young woman with a disability, will be presented with the Youth Leadership Award; and Julio Suarez, Director of Diversity Outreach, Darden, will receive the Executive Champion of the Year award.
Event attendees also will hear from Sarah Goldman, a participant in several Able Trust youth programs. Despite having cerebral palsy, Goldman is a successful student at the University of Central Florida and was an ambassador to the US Paralympic Games in Beijing.
Event attendees are encouraged to arrive by 6:30 p.m. for the cocktail reception and silent auction featuring one-of-a-kind items and travel excursions.
For more information about tickets to the event, sponsorship opportunities and special room rates at the resort, visit www.AbleTrust.org.