(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) honored the 2015 Champions at the Sixth Annual Night of Champions, Thursday, May 14. Champions and their employers are Jason Thompson of OA Logistics, Reuben Johnson of Chu’s Mart, Wesley Mosley of J & B’s Steakhouse, Kenneth Kelly Jr. of Kitchens on the Square, and Billy Behrens of Gulfstream Aerospace.
“Dignity and self-respect are borne out of feeling that what we have to offer makes a difference,” said LDSS Night of Champions Chairperson, Allyson Harvin. “When forward thinking businesses give those with Down syndrome, and other differently-abled adults, a chance to be productive members of society, society itself benefits.”
LDSS also presented Doug and Denise Edwards of Edwards Interiors, Inc. with the President’s Award at the banquet. President of LDSS, Joe Marchese said, “Doug and Denise both possess many special qualities, but one that really stands out is their ability to recognize an individual’s strengths and place them in a role that will enable them to utilize these unique skills and abilities to their fullest potential, giving many an opportunity where others may not.”
The Night of Champions awards and celebration was emceed by Jamie Deen, TV personality and best-selling cookbook author. Deen, who sits on the LDSS Board, is strong advocate for hiring those with Down syndrome and other different abilities.
For more information on the 2015 Night of Champions, visit nightofchampions.org.
ABOUT THE CHAMPIONS:
1. Jason Thompson
Presented by OA Logistics
Jason has worked at OA Logistics since 2013. He is helpful, upbeat and a valued team member of the OA Logistics family. Part of Jason’s responsibilities include the operation and safety reviews for the commercial floor sweeper. He genuinely enjoys his job and has excelled in this position. In his free time, Jason is a huge wrestling fan and keeps all of his co-workers up-to-date on the wrestling world. He is working on buying a house.
2. Reuben Johnson
Presented by Chu’s Mart
Reuben joined the Chu’s Mart on Abercorn team in 2007 and quickly distinguished himself as an exceptional worker. It was because of his job performance and being well liked by both his co-workers and customers that Chu’s Mart held his job open after Reuben was hit and run over by a car in June of 2014. His team waited, believing and praying, for a good recovery. In August 2014, he was released by his doctor and happily went back to his friends and customers at the store.
3. Wesley Mosley
Presented by J & B’s Steakhouse
Wesley has worked at J & B’s Steakhouse for over 2 years. One of Wesley’s favorite parts of his job is working with the customers. His employers describe him as hardworking and a joy to work with. Wesley learned how to work hard and give his best long before he started at J & B’s Steakhouse. He has been a Special Olympian since he was eight years old, competing in winter, fall and summer games in events including golf, bocce, basketball, power lifting and swimming.
4. Kenneth Kelly Jr.
Presented by Kitchens on the Square
Kenny joined the Kitchens on the Square team in 2014. When the position he was hired for was outsourced, rather than being let go, he got promoted! In his
current position, he is responsible for ensuring that the merchandise is well stocked and appealingly displayed. It became obvious that Kenny is held in high esteem by his co-workers when he received nine nominations to be considered a 2015 Champion.
5. Billy Behrens
Presented by Gulfstream Aerospace
Billy started working at Gulfstream in July of 2013 and has worked in several different departments. When his current position required working with computers, he rose to the challenge, despite not having any typing skills. Over a year later, he has made remarkable strides and has now closed out over 73,000 work orders. It is this type of diligence that has enabled Billy to win 7 Mach Awards, which are given for going above and beyond what is expected.
MORE ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a family support group to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, outreach, education, and advocacy to champion and celebrate acceptance and inclusion. Meetings are held every 4th Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact with one another. LDSS encourages people to bring their children. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit http://www.ldssga.org/
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