(Published Feb. 12, 2007, 10:38 a.m.)
Over 260 clients, business representatives, family members and guests gathered at the Monte Carlo Room in Elkhorn on Thursday, January 25, 2007 to pay tribute to the 2006 VIP Services client award winners and outstanding community business partners.
Scott Bushey of Elkhorn was named as the 2006 Worker of the Year.
Client honorees are selected by the VIP Services staff based on criteria that include the demonstration of uncommon dedication and commitment to their jobs and the attendant challenges faced by each client in completing their personal goals.
Bushey was chosen from this year's group of honorees that included Mark Anich of Lake Geneva, Wally Costa of Delavan, Paula Duncan of East Troy, John Fleming of Delavan, Wendy Harmon of Burlington, David Herro of Lake Geneva, Steve Lider of Genoa City, Tom Recknagel of Delavan, John Sucharski of Genoa City, Samantha Westerhold of Delavan and Kira Youngsteadt of Whitewater.
The event also honored three local businesses that havw provided exceptional support in 2006.
Bill Ven Housen, owner of Culver's in Elkhorn, Lake Geneva and Delavan, accepted an award as Employer of the Year.
The Ven Housen family has long been in the forefront of providing opportunities to individuals with disabilities and over 20 VIP Services clients were able to work in one of the three locations in 2006.
Charles Colman, owner of San Jamar, Inc. of Elkhorn, was recognized as the VIP Services' Business Partner of the Year.
The company has provided a vital link in expanding work opportunities for VIP Services clients. Since the inception of our relationship with San Jamar--with a single assembly and packaging product--VIP has branched into multiple production lines. Over 90 percent of the clients involved in the Employment Training and Production Center worked on one or more San Jamar projects during 2006.
The final community award, Volunteer Site of the Year, was presented to Harbor House of Lake Geneva.
The client volunteer program at VIP Services allows participants to give back to the community by helping others, to expand their social skills and to gain exposure to the community.
An assisted living facility with a special area for residents with memory loss, Harbor House allows VIP Services clients to be an important part of the care that they offer and strong bonds of mutual caring develop between their residents and VIP Services volunteers.