On Brown Chapel Road in St. Cloud, there’s a residential community where adults with intellectual disabilities live as independently as possible while receiving support from staff, volunteers and the local community. Since 2004, Bishop Grady Villas has shown the love of Jesus to every individual despite adversity.
During this year’s Harvest Ball on Saturday, Oct. 17 at Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, Bishop Grady Villas will present two honorees with awards: Father Richard Walsh, Pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Winter Park and the St. Cloud Police Department.
Kevin Johnson, Executive Director of Bishop Grady Villas says Father Walsh’s dedication and his parish community’s assistance are valued at Bishop Grady Villas.
“Father Walsh and the St. Margaret Mary community have provided dedicated volunteers throughout the years including board members, committee members and people involved in direct service to the residents of Bishop Grady Villas,” said Johnson. “Father Walsh has been supportive of our mission since its inception and is an advocate for persons with disabilities.”
For the 3rd Annual Community Service Award, Johnson says the St. Cloud Police Department has shown a strong friendship through personal relationships with residents from Bishop Grady Villas.
“Officers have shared their time, caring and compassion through volunteer projects, meet and greets at Bishop Grady Villas and by helping our resident Kevin to participate in their Citizens Academy,” said Johnson. “Representatives from the Police Department have been advocates for both adults and children with disabilities throughout St. Cloud.”
Kevin is a resident of Bishop Grady Villas who has always thought the work of a police officer to be an interesting profession. A lifelong dream became a reality for Kevin because of the St. Cloud Police Department.
“I’ve always had the dream of being a police officer or a deputy sheriff,” said Kevin. “I became a member of the St. Cloud Police Department’s Citizens Academy in February. It was a lot of fun.”
Chief Peter Gauntlett of the St. Cloud Police Department says the comradery between both organizations can serve as an example for everyone.
“Our partnership with Bishop Grady Villas is a great example of our agency’s focus and commitment to community based policing,” said Chief Gauntlett. “Our great friendship with the staff and residents has enabled our police officers to bond with and mentor such great neighbors. The St. Cloud Police Department is truly honored to receive this award.”
The Harvest Ball will also include a silent and live auction, a special performance by the Bishop Grady Villas Chime Choir, live entertainment, dancing, and a gourmet dining experience.
Charitable dollars raised during the Harvest Ball will be used for the Residents’ Scholarship Fund which is critically important to serve individuals who need financial assistance to help cover the cost of services of Bishop Grady Villas.
Bishop Grady Villas’ Harvest Ball is open to the public. Registration and additional information is available at http://www.bidpal.net/harvestball.