Richland Newhope/Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities has presented 2018 CARE awards to two local residents for their outstanding support to individuals with developmental disabilities in Richland County.
Receiving the Direct Support Professional (DSP) award was Vicki Thornsberry of Lexington. Thornsberry has been an independent provider since 2014 and currently provides supports to 15 individuals.
The person who nominated Thornsberry cited her caring heart and compassion.
“The individuals in her caseload have become her extended family,” said the nominator. “She genuinely cares for and finds joys in the successes of individuals with disabilities.”
“I think that God just put me on this path,” said Thornsberry.
Honored as this year’s recipient of the Hero with Heart award was John Caugherty of Lucas.
Caugherty has been involved with Special Olympics since 2005. For the past eight years, he coached the school-aged basketball team, winning three state championships and finishing runner-up this past season.
The person who nominated him said he’s more than a coach.
“He really tries to help these kids succeed in basketball, in school, and in life,” the nominator said. “He really pushes the kids to do their best, no matter what their special need.”
“All these kids make a better person out of me,” Caugherty said.
CARE stands for Compassion, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence. This is the first year the DSP award has been presented. The Hero with Heart award debuted in 2008.
In 2017, the Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Richland Newhope) served more than 1,500 individuals through early intervention, preschool, transition services, day services, supported employment, residential, therapy, and other family support programs.