By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Speaking at the annual celebration of Lakes Region Community Services at the Beane Conference Center yesterday, Carrie Cariello, the mother of five children one of whom is autistic, could not have struck a more telling note when she remarked "we ask everybody in the family to do whatever they're capable of."
Each year the Lakes Region Community Services honors the dedication of its employees as well as the generosity of its partners and benefactors whose benevolence enables the agency to support and serve those living with developmental disabilities as well as the elderly and chronically ill. Each year the agency serves some 1,200 individuals while its Family Resource Center reaches another 500 families and 1,000 children.
This year C. Anthony MacArthur was recognized for 35 years of service, Heidi Gilmore and Edith McCormack for 25 years of service, Lewis and Denise Marden for 20 years of service, Sarah Brown, Rosemary Earle, Charles Hughes, James King, Elizabeth Manning and executive director Christine Santeniello for 15 years of service, and Douglas Braddock, Laura Brouillard, Ruth Earl, Heidi Nichols, Joyce Partridge and Dawn Hanson Winters for 10 years of service.
AFL Global of Belmont, Dr. Raymond Thomas Finn, DMD of Laconia, the "We Care" program of Temple B'nai Israel of Laconia and Wood & Clay, Inc. of Gilford were honored as outstanding community partners.
Cariello, an author and blogger whose insights and reflections on autism have earned her a national and international following, spoke with wisdom, love and humor of her son Jack, offering glimpses into the world as seen through the prism of autism. Jack, a seventh grader, she said #would be devastated not to follow the same journey as his siblings," then noted "he's the bossiest person you've ever met so he always does everything with the others, otherwise he would take over our household."
Cariello's message of expectations tempered by reality and inclusiveness without reservations echoed the mission of Lakes Region Community Services — "Dedicated to Serving the Community by Promoting Independence, Dignity and Opportunity."
Carrie Cariello, author, blogger and mother of five, delivered the keynote address when Lakes Region Community Services held its annual celebration at the Beane Conference Center. With her is R. Stewart Wallace, president of the board of directors of Lakes Region Community Services. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch)
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