And One More Thing...

Molly Elliott, KindTree's Vice-President, received the prestigious Lisl Waechter Award from the ARC at their annual awards dinner February 11, 2016. This is The Arc’s lifetime achievement award. This award honors a volunteer or professional who has devoted themselves to making life better for individuals with disabilities. This could include service providers, teachers, legislators, vocational counselors, parents, persons with disabilities—anyone that has made a life long commitment in the field of developmental disabilities. Congratulations, Molly! Well deserved...!

Here is one of the many letters supporting Molly's nomination for this honor:

From Nel Applegate...
Molly Elliot is a person who has been in service to our community for many many long years. I first met her in 1989 when I moved to Eugene. She was the program director for the Hilyard Center Adaptive Recreation. This is a job that she held for well over 20 years, I am sure. She was involved when the Hilyard Center was created and built. I remember her coming to our staff meeting at Lane County to tell us what a wonderful, inclusive and adaptive facility it was going to be. For all these years, so many people have had classes, dances, groups at the Center. Molly was responsible for creating a stellar adaptive recreation program for the City of Eugene, still the envy of most communities.

She knows so many people in our community; and has supported and advocated for/with them through difficult times and watched them grow from children to adults and learn and have fun through the programs at Hilyard. This in itself, is enough to earn this award.

Molly is one of those few “old guard” people in Eugene who were present at the beginning of community services to people with developmental disabilities. She can be counted as one of the few people still standing people who actually created the service delivery model and gave it our all. The First Gen of supports. This was back before laborious administrative rules, and layers of bureaucracy when we lived and played and learned together in our community, back when people regularly came from Fairview institution and needed so much love and support to feel good about new found freedoms and community life. For this; today, I honor her.

After her retirement from the city, she jumped in with both feet, and became one of the strong movers and shakers for Kind Tree/Autism Rocks. Because of the strong volunteer nature of this organization, she quickly realized that involvement in this organization was a deep deep well of both giving and receiving. With energy, commitment, drive, fun, and exploding ideas, Molly has spearheaded the organization’s growth over the past few years. She has also taken on considerable responsibility in the last year.

She has written successful grants, led a group to hire KT’s first ever paid ongoing staff, led annual board retreats to success, led yearly advisory board meetings, served as an executive committee member, helped create and overseen STiLE program, taught trainings, cooked for camp, worked unseen hours with both Tim and Mary-Minn behind the scenes. The hours spent around the kitchen table with Tim and Mary-Minn planning plotting and taking action are just mind blowing for three volunteers such as themselves. She is currently the vice president of the organization. This is an awesome responsibility because it functions as a volunteer coordinator at times, support to our president always, and much much more. Who could fill her shoes ?

In addition to all of this, she has had to take on more and more responsibilities during transition times within the organization. Without a doubt, if her leadership were gone, Kind Tree would be suffering mightily. Again, her commitment, her vision, her love of service to our community, her long standing knowledge and skills are all a gift to us. I am personally so grateful to her for her outstanding service to the autism community. And it has been so gratifying to work with such a competent and clear minded person.

I am pleased to nominate her for the 2016 Lisl Waechter Award. 
Nel Applegate

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