By DAWN COBB
Special Abilities of North Texas is the 2015 Unity in Communities nonprofit of the year.
The Lewisville-based nonprofit was named the 10th recipient of the annual award. The Unity in Communities luncheon started in 2007 as an endeavor among Flower Mound, Lewisville and Highland Village to recognize outstanding organizations and showcase the services they provide to residents in southern Denton County.
Troy Greisen, president and CEO of Special Abilities of North Texas, accepted the award: “On behalf of all of the nonprofits, there is no more important place than to be right here.”
The luncheon, hosted by Independent Bank, is organized by the Flower Mound and Lewisville chambers of commerce and the Highland Village Business Association.
Greisen spoke about the importance of community inclusion for people with developmental disabilities – the same reason he was thankful for a $15,000 emergency grant provided by the CoServ Charitable Foundation last September after thieves stole the organization’s transportation as well as electronics and fund-raising donations.
“Inclusion means that you not just tolerate or accept, but you include them as people, as members of the community,” Greisen said of special needs residents. Special Needs of North Texas will celebrate the grand opening of its new location at 1511 Justin Road at 4 p.m. on Aug. 26.
The former home of a private school will now be used to provide quality care, training and support to adults with special needs.
Greisen spoke of the recent passing of a 62-year-old woman who had spent all but the last year and a half of her life in an institution yet still met each day with a smile.
“She lived life to the fullest,” he said.