BETHEL, CT – Ability Beyond was proud Wednesday to honor U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy with the Karraker Memorial Award for his ongoing commitment to reforming the country’s mental health system.
Murphy received the honor during Ability Beyond’s Annual Autumn Mental Health Breakfast. Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi and Veasna Roeun of the Danbury Health Department were also honored with the Theresa Foss Memorial Award for their contributions to the mental health, safety and physical well-being of the people we serve.
“If we want to build healthier communities, we have to prioritize fixing our mental health system so more people, especially those with disabilities, can access the care they need,” Murphy said. “The work Ability Beyond does in Connecticut is crucial to filling the gap that currently exists, and I’m proud to work hand in hand with this organization to ensure better outcomes for people. I’m honored to receive this recognition and will continue to work diligently to make high-quality, affordable mental health care accessible for everyone.”
The Karraker Award, named in honor of Interlude founder Celine Karraker, honors an individual who has made a direct and positive impact on people with disabilities. Karraker founded Interlude, which merged with Ability Beyond in 2012 in the late 1970’s.
“I'm proud to honor three such distinguished individuals who have done so much for the disabled community, said Jane David, Ability Beyond’s Chief Executive Officer. “Each of of our recipients recognize the valuable contributions individuals with disabilities can make in the community, and share in our mission to discover, build and celebrate the ability in all people.”
The Theresa Foss Memorial was named in honor of Teresa Foss a Past-President and member of the Board of Directors of the National Charity League’s Ridgefield chapter. She gave countless hours volunteering for Interlude, now Ability Beyond, helping it develop into an organization that benefits the wider community.
“I am honored to be a recipient of this award,” said Marconi. “It means a lot to me, as does the entire mental health community. There is still so much that needs to be done, but its organizations like Ability Beyond that are working hard every day to move us forward. I’m proud to work with Ability Beyond and other organizations that do so much for individuals with disabilities.”