Exceptional Parent magazine is honoring extraordinary individuals who improve the lives of people with special needs through its national Disability Awareness Night program. 2005 marks the fourth year of Exceptional Parent magazine's Disability Awareness Night. The goal is to expand awareness of the 54 million Americans with disabilities, by highlighting their extraordinary achievements, as well as the perseverance and dedication of their families, caregivers, physicians, nurses, therapists and teachers. The program takes place at pre-game ceremonies during sporting events. The National Alliance for Autism Research is proud to say three members of the NAAR family will receive the EP Maxwell J. Schleifer DistinguishedService Award.They are Jackie Merens ( Florida), Monica Moshenko ( New York) and Margie Pascetta ( Massachusetts).
“Jackie, Margie and Monica are each so remarkable”, says NAAR CEO Glenn Tringali. “Their dedication and support has been instrumental in helping to advance NAAR's mission. Congratulations to each of them for receiving this prestigious honor”.
Margie Pascetta is a member of the NAAR Board of Trustees and Vice Chair of Development. In addition to being a parent of a 19-year-old son with autism, she is also the founder and President of the New England NAAR chapter. Through Margie's efforts with the NAAR New England Chapter, Walk F.A.R. for NAAR, and the TJ Maxx national footprints
campaign, she has helped raise millions of dollars for autism research. Margie says, “really and truly, the only award I want is for NAAR to accomplish its mission”. She calls her work with NAAR “addictive, therapeutic and a privilege”. Margie will accept her award August 10 th at a Boston Red Sox game.
Jackie Merens is the South Florida Regional Director for NAAR, managing three Walk F.A.R. for NAAR events. She is also the parent a 21-year-old son with autism. Jackie has dedicated her life to educating and helping other parents understand their various rights. She believes it's her mission to share what she has learned with other people. Jackie says she's been blessed to find
jobs that enable her to help special needs families. She is proud to be receiving this award, but says, “I'm simply doing what I have to do, to ensure my son's life has a purpose. I won't stop until I'm certain my grandchildren will not have autism”. Jackie will accept her award August 23 rd at a Palm Beach Cardinals game.
Monica Moshenko is the parent of a 12-year-old with Asperger's Syndrome. She started the Walk F.A.R. for NAAR in the Buffalo, NY area and served as its co-chair in 2002 and 2003. Her work with NAAR was the springboard for a radio show she developed and launched last year. "Disability News & Views" can be heard on nearly 100 stations across the country. The show is about “building bridges” between people with disabilities
and people without. She is the host, producer and handles all the marketing and research. Monica says, “My inspirations are the guests and my son. To be getting this award so soon after launching my show is an honor and a surprise”. She will receive her award August 24 th at a Buffalo Bisons game. For more on the “Disability News & Views Radio Show”, log onto www.disabilitynewsradio.com