WORCESTER – Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) and Representative Kate D. Campanale (R-Leicester) recently joined representatives from The Arc, The Central Mass Providers, the South Valley Citizens Advisory Board and local officials to congratulate community members who have dedicated their lives to serving and advocating for persons with disabilities. Among the award recipients were David and Marjorie Cohen of Worcester who have served the special needs community for more than two decades.

The Cohens were awarded the Linda Cournoyer Award for Excellence in Advocacy for their work with various disability organizations. They were also selected because of their unwavering support of all people with disabilities, including their daughter Caroline, who was born with cerebral palsy.

“David and Marjorie are gracious, hardworking parents committed to creating a better life for their daughter, and for other families across our Commonwealth,” said Senator Moore. “The disability community here in Massachusetts is tremendously passionate and knowledgeable, and through efforts of people like the Cohens, the lives of others are changed for the better.”

“I have had the pleasure of getting to know David, Marjorie, and their daughter Caroline over the years,” said Representative Campanale. “Their work, not only on their daughter’s behalf but on behalf of families across the Commonwealth, is an inspiration to us all and a testament to how much good can be achieved when we put words in to action.”

Representative Kate D. Campanale (R-Leicester); Commissioner Elin M. Howe, Department of Developmental Services; David and Marjorie Cohen; Bill Stock, Seven Hills Foundation; Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) [Submitted photo]

The Cohens’ involvement includes initiatives associated with the Massachusetts Governor’s Commission on Intellectual Disabilities, the Worcester Area Citizens Advisory Board, and the Worcester City Manager’s Committee on Persons with Disabilities among many other programs and activities.

“The best thing about this recognition is that it is named after a tireless, admirable, and effective advocate for all individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities,” said Marjorie and David Cohen in a statement. “She and all the attendees at this legislative event are doing amazing work for people who need some help to assume their place in their community. Human service professionals, elected officials, and disabled self-advocates are all doing their part to help challenged individuals reach their full potential and to make their families grow stronger. We are proud to be part of that”

The awards were presented at the annual legislative breakfast hosted by the College of the Holy Cross. The mission of The Arc is to “promote and protect the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to actively support their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.” To learn more about The Arc, please visit their website, www.thearcofmass.org.