The Fairfield County Board of Developmental Disabilities this month will honor the individuals it serves and the agency's partners at an annual awards banquet.

The Fairfield County Board of Developmental Disabilities this month will honor the individuals it serves and the agency's partners at an annual awards banquet.

The fourth annual Fairfield County DD Celebration of Possibilities will be held at 6 p.m. March 29 at the Crossroads Center, 2095 W. Fair Ave., Lancaster.

The dinner event marks Developmental Disabilities Month, recognized nationally in March. It also serves as an opportunity for Fairfield DD to pay homage to those with developmental disabilities who do extraordinary work in their communities, and those who foster the agency's efforts to help people with development disabilities pursue safe, healthy lives and achieve their goals.

"This is our fourth year of doing this and it's been a pretty big event for us," said John Bosser, Fairfield DD community outreach coordinator. "Our theme is, 'A Personal Genius,' and that means that there's at least one thing that everyone is good at."

In addition to dinner at 6 p.m. and the awards banquet at 7 p.m., the program will include several musical performances, as well as an appearance by actress and author Geri Jewell, who is known for her regular appearance as "Cousin Geri" on the 1980s sitcom, "The Facts of Life."

Jewell, who has cerebral palsy, was the first person with a visible disability to appear as a regular on a television series. She is a professional comedienne, has continued her acting career for the last three decades, written books and is a regular on the lecture circuit as an advocate for people with disabilities.

"It's going to be a lot of fun," Bosser said. "(Jewell) fits perfectly in our theme."

Tickets for the Celebration of Possibilities cost $25 and can be reserved by calling Gaynor Pfeffer at either (740) 652-7220, or emailing Proceeds will help fund future Celebration of Possibilities banquets.

While Jewell figures to bring star power, Bosser said the award-winners will take center stage.

Those winners were announced on March 1 and are:

• Trent Glaze, recipient of the Deanna Kirwin Award for Individual Achievement. Glaze is a senior at Fairfield Union High School, and this school year was selected to serve as captain of the football team. In October 2011, he was voted Homecoming King. He dressed for the football team's final game of the season and scored a touchdown in his wheelchair.

• AC Equines 4H Club, Goldie Fields Spirit Award. The members of the club, ranging in age from 10 to 18, along with many adult advisors, volunteered many hours to support Fairfield DD's award-winning Special Olympics equestrian team. The 4H group worked with Fairfield DD athletes during months of scheduled practices and spent additional time each week helping prepare them for open competitions leading up to the state meet in September.

• Rockmill Rehabilitation Center, Hartung Family Pioneer Award. For more than 15 years, Rockmill has employed a person with disabilities at its Carroll facility. Over the last couple of years, it expanded opportunities by participating in the LIFEWorks internship program.

• The SMART Team, Vision Award. The SMART Team, a group of retired engineers and construction trade professionals, provides the difference between shut-ins and people with the freedom to lead a fulfilling life. Team members have designed, built and installed countless free wheelchair ramps for people with disabilities throughout Fairfield County. They're also credited with stepping in to help complete The TreeHouse at Fairfield DD's Lancaster Sensory Trail. Additionally, John Sadler, a founding SMART Team member, designed the 1,300-square-foot accessible TreeHouse along Fetters Run.

• Kathy Dennison, Distinguished Service Award. Dennison spent several years as a job coach and job developer before she was called on to supervise the opening of The Zone at Ohio University Lancaster. Now the food service operation at the regional campus serves as a training ground for people with disabilities who hope to work in the food service industry and is credited with serving as a linchpin of Fairfield DD's relationship with OU-Lancaster. She also supervises Fairfield DD's partnership with the Lancaster Festival each summer and directs the Mark Everly Classic, Fairfield DD's Special Olympics bowling program that has grown to more than 80 participants.

• Art Brate and Bob Sulick, Commitment Award. Brate, retired from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Sulick, executive director of Fairfield County Habitat for Humanity, are credited with committing countless hours to completing The TreeHouse project at the Lancaster Sensory Trail. Brate represents the Friends of the Sensory Trail, a multi-agency and community group that is developing the trail as a nonprofit entity. Sulick and Habitat have partnered with Fairfield DD on homes for people with disabilities, and represents Habitat in serving as general contractor on the TreeHouse project.

• Steve Rauch, McGhee Family Inspiration Award. Rauch for many years has volunteered as both a referee and singer of the national anthem at Special Olympics home basketball games. As president of WFCO 90.9 FM, he's provided opportunities each week to tell Fairfield DD's stories through the radio program "Putting People First." He also supported Special Olympics athletes by broadcasting regular season and post-season tournament games. Additionally, the radio station has honored players of the game during each broadcast, as well as state championship and final four teams at its annual All-Sports Banquet.

• Della Partridge, Pam Simmons-Bontrager, Jean Miller, Marvene Blume and June Hoy, Fairfield DD Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Partridge is a former teacher and principal at Forest Rose School and curriculum supervisor and intake coordinator for Fairfield DD. Simmons-Bontrager is last year's Hartung Family Pioneer Award-winner and a Fairfield DD retiree. Miller, Blume and Hoy helped develop services for children and adults with disabilities in Fairfield County and were the winners of the Hartung Family Pioneer Award in 2010.