Puzzle Pieces Celebrates 10th Anniversary in Owensboro with Heartfelt Awards Ceremony
Last night, Puzzle Pieces celebrated its 10th Anniversary here in Owensboro. I remember when Puzzle Pieces was simply an idea. It was over a decade ago that Amanda Owen visited my morning show and, off-air, shared her initial plans for what would eventually become an absolutely incredible and impactful nonprofit serving our community. Amanda had a vision and today that vision is an impactful and moving reality.
Tuesday, at the RiverPark Center in downtown Owensboro, employees, clients and proud supporters of the agency gathered together to celebrate ten years of inclusion and making huge differences in the lives of those with developmental disabilities.
There's no doubt that a highlight of the evening was a major announcement from the Hager Family Foundation, which donated $400,000 to the organization. That donation- the biggest in the history of the foundation.
That $400,000 will be used for a major expansion of the Owen Autism Center, the region's only targeted autism programming, employment placement and vocational training facility.
There were other highlights as well, including the recognition of ten local companies and individuals who have spent the last decade making a difference for Puzzle Pieces, its clients and our community as a whole.
Here are those award winners:
Corporate Partner of the Decade- OWENSBORO HEALTH
Community Partner of the Decade- INDEPENDENCE BANK
Believer Award- DEBBIE ZUERNER
Workforce Diversity Award- UNIFIRST CORP
Volunteer of the Decade- DREW HARDESTY (Wonder Boy Media)
Leadership Excellence- AMY JACKSON
Community Advocate- CHAD BENEFIELD (WBKR)
Unmatched Dedication Award- KATHY HEMPEL
Legacy Award- SHARON & LEON BOARMAN
Mission Award- NICK BOARMAN
Since opening in 2012, Puzzle Pieces has vastly expanded its services and reach here in our community. As shared last evening, when Puzzle Pieces opened its doors, the movement began with just four full-time employees, three part-time staff and 32 clients. Today, Puzzle Pieces employees over 100 people and serves more than 400 clients.
As the parent of a Puzzle Pieces client shared during the 10th Anniversary celebration, "This city is kinder because of Puzzle Pieces."