Updated: Oct 17, 2019
Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) was honored to recognize several outstanding individuals at our 3rd annual Transforming Lives Gala on September 14, 2019 at the beautiful San Diego Hilton Harbor Island. All proceeds from the evening went to TMI's Julie Casey Fund for holiday meals for our clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities in need. It was an unforgettable night!
This year, TMI was happy to recognize Jacquelynn Webster-Anderson – an Independent AFLAC Agent. Jacquelynn is an amazing partner with TMI. She provides a great service to our agency by always being willing to step up to be a sponsor at our events, but even more importantly, it’s her presence at our events that really makes her shine as an engaged community partner. She provides a tangible benefit to our clients by including them on her team, her tables, and in her presentations. We are recognizing her exemplary commitment to TMI’s mission and vision to make the world a better place for individuals with disabilities. Plus, she is a lot of fun! Thank you for everything, Jacquelynn, and congratulations on being awarded TMI’s Outstanding “Engaged” Community Partner!
For TMI’s programs to succeed it takes a community. TMI’s Temecula office is fortunate to have wonderful supports throughout the surrounding area. The Temecula Valley has a wealth of people and organizations who offer places for TMI’s clients to work, learn, and integrate into the community they live in. One site in particular has made an enormous impact in the lives of TMI’s clients and is amazing partner. The Bridge Church in Murrieta has opened its doors to TMI’s clients in countless ways, going above and beyond expectations. TMI’s clients don't just show up and are limited in their duties. Each day brings something new; it could be design and painting of theatrical sets, preparing arts and crafts for Sunday school, restocking shelves in the prize room, or interacting with all aspects of their summer camp for children. The list could continue on! The variety, the challenges, the trust, and the chances that are given are priceless. The Bridge couldn't offer anything more, which makes them the ultimate community partner.
And if you think things couldn't get any better... They do. The major reason The Bridge has become such a valued partner to TMI is the gentleman who opens the doors for TMI's clients. Pastor Jeremy Sharp from day one has greeted TMI’s clients with a smile, welcomed them in and has worked to find something new and different for everyone to experience and learn from. His kind heart, and the time that he personally takes to talk with and take interest in each client’s life, makes it a site that clients look forward to and anticipate throughout the week. Enough thanks cannot be given to Pastor Jeremy and The Bridge Church! Thank you for being our Outstanding Community Support Partner!
TMI was honored to recognize Resource Parents Araceli and Jose Trejo for their hard work and dedication to TMI's Family Support Services (FSS) Program. They have been certified resource/foster parents since 2008. During this time, have they provided care to numerous youth in need, including one whom they adopted. The Trejo's currently have three youth in placement, who require a range of behavioral and medical support. They are well-liked by others within their team and communicate in detail regarding each youth under their care. The Trejo's go above and beyond what is asked of them and are always willing to care for those who may be described as challenging by others. We can’t thank them enough for their dedication to making a difference in the lives of our clients. Congratulations to the Trejo's for being awarded Outstanding Resource Parents!
With great honor and pride, TMI was extremely excited to recognize Kim Kramer for outstanding client work performance. Kim is an incredible individual. In 2008, TMI assisted Kim with securing employment as a janitor at Camp Pendleton. To this day, Kim has become the quintessential employee. It is rare to find such a dedicated and committed individual. She has a very hard job that requires will and stamina, she out performs all on any given day. Janitorial work for Kim is hard, but she puts forth her best each and every day. Over her ten years of employment, Kim has had two really strong TMI Job Coaches that have helped pave the way for her success; Andy Palasciano, and her current coach Burton Skomal. Job Options has recognized Kim for her outstanding work and commitment to the job. As hard as it is, Kim just loves her job. She takes great pride in what needs to be done on a daily basis. Kim is just awesome and well-deserving of being awarded TMI’s Outstanding Employment Solutions Client!
In November 2016, TMI’s client, Matt, attended his first TMI CONNECT event and has served as a leader ever since. CONNECT is TMI’s client advocacy and social group. After serving on the CONNECT client committee for two years, Matt showed consistency, dedication, and love. He listened to the ideas of others and gave insightful feedback. He brought new ideas to meetings and contributed to the team. Matt has been a champion for CONNECT by encouraging others to participate and befriending newcomers. When he sees someone new at an event, he will often introduce himself and invite them to sit with him. Matt has an infectious personality and is easy to get along with. He prides himself on showing up early to events for the sole purpose of lending a hand. Matt jumps in to help with set up, attendance, and cleanup without ever being asked. He has a helpful and kind spirit and is a pleasure to be around. TMI was honored to present Matt with the award for Outstanding Client!
Sandy is near and dear to TMI as an employee, client and friend to many! Sandy hasn't let anything stop her from living a full life! She has worked at the TMI San Diego office as an Office Aide for more than 25 years! She comes to work prepared and can be counted on to give her best. You can always find Sandy on the dance floor at the TMI annual holiday party and with a big smile at their annual summer picnic. She is very independent and an inspiration to everyone she meets. Sandy lets her voice be heard and advocates for herself and her desire to be independent. Sandy Holthaus is TMI’s Outstanding Employee and Self Advocate! (Unfortunately Sandy couldn't attend our Gala, but we will honor her at our next All Staff meeting.)
Congratulations to all of our wonderful honorees!
Thank you to our community partners who are helping us to transform lives: California Coast Credit Union, Jacquelynn Webster-Anderson with Aflac, Sycuan Casino & Resort, TMI Board Secretary Alice Campbell, and TMI Board Member Jocelyn Gonzalez with Decisions in Context. Thank you also to our in-kind donors, attendees and volunteers. We couldn't do it without you!
We hope to see you at our 4th annual Transforming Lives Gala in the fall of 2020 for another unforgettable evening for a very worthwhile cause!
Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has been transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1981 and the deaf and hard of hearing since 2000. TMI strives to help our clients to realize their hopes and dreams by providing Employment Solutions, Community Living and Family Support Services throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties. To stay connected with us follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion.