Annually, the Fayette County Board of Developmental Disabilities recognizes individuals throughout the community who go above and beyond in their advocacy efforts for those being served by the board.
The two awards presented are in honor of the late Mrs. Martha Wagner and Dr. Robert Heiny, two of the founding members of the FCBDD. Both Mrs. Wagner and Dr. Heiny spent all of their lives in an advocacy role supporting the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities. It was personal to them, both had children in need of specialized services who continue to receive these services to this day.
Mrs. Wagner worked tirelessly with the Ohio legislature who eventually mandated the creation of county boards of developmental disabilities, creating H.C. 169 which became effective on Oct. 25, 1967. In the fall of that year, Fayette Progressive School opened in a church basement with eight children attending.
Dr. Heiny was instrumental in helping to establish Fayette Progressive Industries to assure young adults had a place to go which offered therapies and services specific to their unique needs. Being a physician, Dr. Heiny was very interested in addressing developmental needs with therapies in the areas of physical, speech and occupational therapies.
Both Mrs. Wagner and Dr. Heiny served on the FCBDD for maximum terms of 12 years each but never ceased their advocacy efforts on behalf of those with developmental disabilities.
The FCBDD has awarded the Martha Wagner Community Service Award annually for over a decade. The 2017 award goes to Harry Wright.
Harry has been a staunch supporter of causes benefitting those with DD. He volunteers his time, his talents and his passion to enhance the lives of those we serve. He has a special affection for the Special Olympians and is known as the voice of the Dragons.
In 2016, the FCBDD initiated the Dr. Robert Heiny Community Service Award and in the same year, Dr. Heiny himself became the first recipient. In 2017, the honor is awarded to Jean Doughty.
Jean has been a constant volunteer for Fayette Progressive Industries, for years serving at the Annual Spaghetti Dinner, volunteering at the Annual Thanksgiving Dinner and has become known as the “go to baker” for many other events benefiting those served by the board.