Governor Chris Christie Receives Betty Pendler Award from Community Options celebrating their 35 years of operation
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Community Options, Inc., a leading national non-profit supporting people with disabilities, presented Governor Chris Christie with the Betty Pendler Award in recognition of his leadership in advancing opportunities for people with disabilities at the Union League of Philadelphia. Community Options Chair Dorothy Goodwin awarded Governor Christie along with Geraldo Rivera. Rivera’s well-known exposé revealed gruesome conditions at the Willowbrook State School and helped launch the deinstitutionalization movement in the United States.
“I am deeply honored to receive the Betty Pendler Award from Community Options,” said Governor Chris Christie. “Throughout my time as Governor and beyond, I have been inspired by the resilience, strength, and spirit of individuals with disabilities. While I am humbled by this recognition, I also see it as a reminder that there is much work left to be done. I am committed to continuing my advocacy, alongside Community Options, to ensure that every American can reach their full potential.”.
“We are thrilled to honor Governor Christie with our most prestigious award,” said Robert Stack, Community Options’ founder, President and CEO. “Throughout his tenure as governor and in the years since, Governor Christie has proven himself a tireless champion for people with disabilities and their families. He was the catalyst for our expansion into Iowa and developing our innovative employment program in Arizona.”
Governor Christie successfully advocated to Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds for Community Options to manage the closure of the Glenwood Resource Center, a state-run institution in Southwest Iowa that housed 150 people with disabilities. Community Options will transition all of the residents back to the community by June of 2024.
Additionally, Governor Christie advocated for funding Community Options’ development of a Daily Plan It, an entrepreneurial business that trains and employs people with disabilities. The Daily Plan It of Arizona will provide competitive and integrated employment to people with significant disabilities in the greater Phoenix area.
This prestigious award is named in honor of Betty Pendler, who fought tirelessly for the interests of people with disabilities. Having a daughter with Down Syndrome, Betty worked tirelessly to educate the public and policymakers on the capabilities of people with disabilities. She brought a parents’ perspective into the national conversation.
About Community Options, Inc.:
For over 30 years, Community Options has developed housing and employment supports for people with disabilities – serving thousands of people from over 50 offices across 12 states. Community Options provides advocacy assistance to empower people with disabilities because all people – regardless of ability level – should live and work in the community with dignity, choice and self-determination. For more information please visit our website: www.comop.org and follow us on social media on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.