NEW ALBANY — Sixty years ago, New Albany’s Leona Receveur was driven to provide educational opportunities for children like her daughter regardless of their perceived ability. Together with other area parents, she founded the first school for children with disabilities in the state of Indiana in 1953.
In 2013, this school lives on in the community through the many vital programs and services provided for 1,000 adults and children with disabilities each year by Rauch, Inc.
Thirteen years ago, Rauch launched the Imagine Awards, an annual gala to celebrate the accomplishments of an individual with a disability, a community leader who has worked to benefit people with disabilities and a business or organization that has employed or supported people with disabilities. This year’s event will be held at Horseshoe Southern Indiana on Saturday, March 2. In addition to a special celebration of Rauch’s diamond anniversary, the evening will feature an entertainer, a surf-and-turf dinner, and distinctive silent and live auction items.
Mark Goffeney of San Diego will perform at the event. Goffeney, born without arms, has always had a passion for music. After attempts with various instruments, he developed a technique for playing the guitar with his feet. Goffeney has traveled the world with his music and has worked with a variety of celebrities in music and entertainment; he received an Emmy nomination for his work on a Fox television commercial. Jamey Aebersold Jazz will provide music during the evening’s reception.
The evening will culminate with the presentation of a Zimmerman Art Glass-crafted Imagine Award to this year’s honorees: Andrew Ganote, Kim Kruer and Dr. Joseph A. Fleck, DDS.
Ganote, honoree in the Individual category, is an employee at Goodwill of Southern Indiana. His devoted work-ethic, eye for detail, and heart for others can also be witnessed in his volunteerism at Wesley Chapel Church. He is described as a “sophisticated prankster” who brings joy to those he meets.
Kruer, Community Leader honoree, is a caretaker by nature. A nurse by profession, she has always advocated for people with disabilities in her work. In Kruer’s personal life, she continues to serve others as a caregiver to two family members impacted by disability, a lead volunteer in recreational programming for people with disabilities at St. Mary of the Knobs, and as a breast cancer survivor and advocate.
After 26 years in dentistry, Fleck still gives his all to his patients … and those patients often include people with disabilities who may not be able to communicate their questions or fears. As a specialist in treating children and adults with disabilities, he is dedicated to soothing these real or perceived worries; as a parent of two children with disabilities, his dedication is personal. Rauch will present Fleck with an Imagine Award in the Business category.
Tickets to the event are now available at $75 per person. For more information about the Imagine Awards, or to purchase a table or an individual ticket, contact 812-981-4411 or visit imagineawards.org