NEWBERRY — The City of Newberry has been selected to receive South Carolina’s 2016 Silver Palmetto Award.
The award is presented annually by the S.C. Commission on Disabilities and Special Needs to the South Carolina city or town that made the most outstanding contribution to people with disabilities the previous year.
Commission Chairman Bill Danielson presented the award to Newberry Mayor Foster Senn recently during the Municipal Association of South Carolina meeting in Columbia. The Commission is the governing board of the S.C. Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.
“Clearly the City of Newberry has embraced its citizens with disabilities and demonstrates exceptional support for the people we serve,” Danielson said at the presentation. “The Commission recognizes the City of Newberry’s outstanding leadership. Their example is one to be honored and celebrated.”
Danielson noted that the support and participation from the City of Newberry is broad-based, beginning with the personal commitment of Senn, his office and City Council. The City’s Police, Fire/EMS, and Recreation departments are all involved in promoting opportunities.
“This support and enthusiasm creates a ripple effect in the community that greatly benefits people with disabilities,” said Danielson.
Senn accepted the award on behalf of the City of Newberry.
“At the Municipal Association’s meetings over the years, we have heard the many wonderful acts of outreach across our state,” Senn said. “We sat there and thought, we could do that in Newberry. We should do that. And later getting back here to our council meetings and discussions, we decided, we will do that.
“Our local Newberry County Disabilities and Special Needs Agency and their relationship to our local community is filled with outreach. Our local professionals do an outstanding job,” he added. “I’d like to salute our local City of Newberry staff, led by Matt Dewitt, our City Manager. Scott Sawyer, our PRT director, is leading the charge in Newberry to make sure our parks become more accessible. He now has an advisory committee of special need parents and professionals. We are very proud of that.”
Lt. Randy Malloy of the Newberry Police Department initiated and leads an annual cookout and festival with the NPD and the local Special Disability Needs community. Last year 250 people attended.
The City of Newberry was nominated for the award by the Newberry County Disabilities and Special Needs Board. The Silver Palmetto Award is DDSN’s way of thanking municipal governments for their leadership and actions that support people with disabilities.