17 May Hamilton Bell Honored as NJACP Community Star
On May 10, 2016, Everas Community Services client Hamilton Bell was honored as a New Jersey Association of Community Providers Community Star in Hamilton, NJ. The Seventeenth Annual STARS Awards Dinner was an evening dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and successes of individuals served and supported by NJACP member agencies.
Valerie Sellers, CEO of NJACP opened the evening with a welcome address followed by special presentations by Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Assemblyman Dan Benson, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli as well as Elizabeth Connolly and Elizabeth Shea of the Department of Human Services. Darren Blough acknowledged all the agencies and individuals who made the event possible and last but certainly not least, Terry McKeon made the presentations to the STARS recipients.
Hamilton Bell was born in 1961 in Somerville, NJ and is one of nine siblings. He has two sisters and six brothers and is proud Uncle to his niece and nephew, Antoinette and Dwayne. He spends holidays with his family at his sister’s house and looks forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas every year. He loves spending time with his family and he’ll be the first to tell you, he’s a “family man”.
Hamilton is a friendly and caring person. He has a big personality and is the life of every party- he loves a good time and his laughter is infectious. Hamilton knows all the songs on the radio from the oldies through the top 40 hits and he can ‘cut a rug’ with the best of them. Hamilton makes a grand entrance wherever he goes, introducing himself and shaking hands with everyone he meets. He always asks his friends how they and their family are doing and when you are with him, he never fails to make you smile.
In the community, Hamilton has become a fixture at the local barber shop, where he likes to spend time shooting the breeze. He loves to be out and about and since his move from New Lisbon, in 2014, Hamilton has taken advantage of all the opportunities life has to offer. From laser light shows, trips to the museum and aquarium, concerts at PNC Arts Center, and just walking the boards at the shore, Hamilton has done it all. He is a strong self-advocate and works hard to achieve his goals, including the ever challenging task of quitting smoking, which he successfully conquered as he has not had a single cigarette in over a year.
Hamilton loves living in his home where he has the opportunity to cook his own meals and make choices about how he spends his time. He loves having his own bedroom and bathroom and he gets along well with his housemates. Hamilton attends a day program where he is learning to use the computer, create and follow his own daily schedule as well as skills that will help him volunteer in the community.
Everas Community Services, Inc. is happy to provide the support Hamilton needs to live as independently as possible and participate in the activities that he chooses and enjoys. It is an honor to recognize him as an NJACP Community Star and to celebrate the opportunities that are created for people with developmental disabilities through community based services and supports.
Congratulations to Hamilton and to all the STARS Award recipients!