LIFEDesigns’ 2012 Annual Awards Celebration Results


LIFEDesigns Celebrates the Accomplishments of Employees, Customers and Volunteers at the 2012 Annual Awards Celebration

June 4, 2012

Bloomington, Indiana: LIFEDesigns, Inc. is pleased to announce that its 30th Annual Meeting, now called the Annual Awards Celebration, was held on May 23rd at the Liberty Ballroom. With over 300 people in attendance, it was a huge success! These supporters came together to demonstrate a commitment to partnering with people with disabilities to bring about self-directed and enriched lives by offering opportunities for people to work and live in communities that are inclusive. 

At the event, LIFEDesigns celebrated the merger of two long standing local organizations, Options and Christole, into one new agency that became effective January 1, 2012. The past year, staff worked diligently to bring the two organizations together so that as state funding declines, administrative costs could be cut without cutting quantity or quality of services to customers. Excitement about the new organization showed as customers, staff, donors, volunteers and board members cheered when Chief Executive Officer, Susan Rinne, asked “Who is with LIFEDesigns?” Bringing the two cultures together has not been easy, but it has been worth it. The Annual Awards Celebration brought everyone together to recognize the outstanding work done during 2011 and to celebrate the future of LIFEDesigns.

 The winners of the 2012 LIFEDesigns Awards were:

            Optimism Award – Katelyn Hamilton        

            Lois Edwards Memorial Award- Linda Herzner

            Community Service Awards – Michael Runyan and Jessie Wagers


            Dan Day Employee Recognition Award- John Howell


 Angie Morgan Employee Recognition Award – Joe Connor


DSP of the Year Award – Megan Runion-Hunter


 Bob Magee Volunteer of the Year Memorial Award- Susan Gray


LIFEDesigns’ 2012 Stewardship Award went to Bloomington Moose Lodge #1081. The Moose has graciously donated the space for LIFEDesigns’ Holiday party and other events for many years. Their continued support of LIFEDesigns and our customers shows their dedication to our agency and the work we do in our communities.

LIFEDesigns celebrated the service of many staff members, including Danie Norris, LIFEDesigns’ Support Services Director, and Sandra McKamey, a Direct Service Provider (DSP), who each received awards for 15 years of service. Therese Dovenbarger and Elizabeth Christenberry, Direct Service Providers (DSPs), each received awards for 10 years of service. There were 20 people who received awards for 5 years of service and another 25 people who received awards for 2 years of service.

The mission of LIFEDesigns is to partner with people with autism and other disabilities and our communities to bring about self directed and fulfilled lives through information, education and support.  Our new name reflects our commitment to individualized supports so that people with disabilities design a life of living, working, learning, and participating in their community.

For more information about the services LIFEDesigns provides or to find out how you can help, visit or call (800) 875-9615.

CONTACT: Susan Rinne, or 800-875-9615 for more information or to schedule interviews with awards winners or staff. Pictures of the event will also available upon request or at Also, find us now on Facebook!

LIFEDesigns Annual Awards Celebration

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Dear LIFEDesigns’ Friend:

It is time to celebrate our accomplishments, envision the future, and recognize the people who have made LIFEDesigns’ goals into realities this past year.  The LIFEDesigns Annual Awards Celebration 2012 will be held at The Liberty Ballroom on Wednesday, May 23, 2012.

In addition to celebrating the merger between Options and Christole that became official January 1, 2012, we are also celebrating 30 years of service by both organizations to our communities.  The past 30 years have been successful due to the volunteers, staff, and customers who have contributed to the mission of the organizations in 2011 and have helped us form the future of LIFEDesigns.  Celebrating a year of partnering for success, the Awards Celebration is a time to recognize these volunteers, staff, and customers.  To do this, we needed your help.  You thought about those individuals who have made a difference to LIFEDesigns and nominated them

LIFEDesigns Leadership Team, a group comprised of customers, Direct Service Professionals, and other staff members have appointed a subcommittee to review the nominations and have determine which nominees shall receive the awards.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us via phone at (800) 875-9615.  You may also e-mail your questions or concerns to Suzi at or Bert at  Thanks for helping us identify the volunteers, staff, and customers who deserve some extra special attention!

We look forward to seeing you at the Awards Celebration!

April is National Autism Awareness Month


In order to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism, the Autism Society has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s. The United States recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community.

Join the Autism Society in getting involved with the autism community this April.

Put on the Puzzle! The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is the most recognized symbol of the autism community in the world. Autism prevalence is now one in every 88 children in America. Show your support for people with autism by wearing the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon – as a pin on your shirt, a magnet on your car, a badge on your blog, or even your Facebook profile picture – and educate folks on the potential of people with autism! To learn more about the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon visit To purchase the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon for your shirt, car, locker or refrigerator, click here.

Make a difference. Contact your representatives on the state and federal level and ask them to “Vote 4 Autism.” For more information about this legislation and to take action to support it, visit

Connect with your neighborhood. Many Autism Society local chapters hold special events in their communities throughout the month of April. But if you can’t find an event that suits you just right, create your own! 1Power4Autism is an online tool that makes it easy to mobilize friends and family and help make a difference.

Watch a movie. Did you know that something that seems as simple as going to the movies is not an option for many families affected by autism? The Autism Society is working with AMC Theatres to bring special-needs families Sensory Friendly Films every month. Click here for more information.