Tuesday, January 23, 2001

Awards recognize aid to handicapped

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        “If she was here tonight, she could teach us the way we should see the world.”

        Those words were spoken by Essie Pederson, who accepted Dixie Harmon's posthumous award for outstanding achievement Monday night at the sixth annual Leadership Inclusion Awards dinner at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, downtown.

        “She was my mentor and dear friend,” Ms Pederson said. “She taught me a great deal. I wish she was here to receive this award herself.”

        Ms. Harmon, a paraplegic for most of her life, was recognized as a torchbearer for equality for people with disabilities. She died last year.

        Ms. Harmon was one of five honorees.

        Others were:

        • Tim Reilly, principal of St. Ignatius School, Monfort Heights, for Educational Inclusion.

        • Procter & Gamble Co., Workplace Inclusion.

        • Madison Avenue Christian Church, Covington, Religious Inclusion.

        • Covington Millennium Mosaic Project, of the Covington Community Center, 1008 Lee St., Community Inclusion. The project will be in Park Place Square.

        “Our entire congregation is excited about receiving this honor,” said the Rev. Mike Delaney, pastor of Madison Avenue Christian Church. “We have an overall mentoring program for people with disabilities. We have a special inclusion class. We installed elevators and ramps ... especially for people with disabilities.”

        Joel Kahn, general manager and corporate engineer at Procter & Gamble who accepted the award for his company, talked about an all-day seminar last year on how to train people with disabilities, how to make them comfortable and what the benefits are.

        Jean St. John, coordinator of the Millennium Mosaic Project, said it's a way of showing how art can improve a community.

        “It is an expression that should be shared by everyone,” she said.

        Keynote speaker was Norman Kunc.


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