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December Spotlight Business: Buffalo County Citizen Advocacy

The Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce Business & Education Committee presented its December Spotlight Business Award to Buffalo County Citizen Advocacy. The award was presented to Coordinator/Office Administrator, Sandy Randall and Board Treasurer, Cindy Cherry by committee Chair, Mark Liljehorn and Vice Chair, Angie Fransk.

Citizen Advocacy matches people with developmental/intellectual disabilities and or mental illness with interested and concerned citizens of our community. Advocates volunteer their time to the vulnerable person, with the idea of creating a long-term relationship, with support from the Citizen Advocacy Office. These relationships are independent of the human service system. The Buffalo County Citizen Advocacy program initiates a variety of types of relationships in which the advocate assumes one or more roles, such as Mentor, Spokesperson, Long term friend, Protector, Practical Assistant, Guardian, Crisis Advocate and many others.

Citizen Advocacy is not a service. Rather, it is an invitation to people who are leading full lives in our communities to get to know someone with a disability who has been or is at risk of being excluded from the community. The Kearney Citizen Advocacy program became an independent incorporated program in 1977. Throughout the years funding was provided through the Kearney United Way and the Holiday Home Tour fundraising event. Currently their funding is contracted and provided through the Disability Rights Nebraska Office out of Lincoln Nebraska. Sandy Randall is the full time Coordinator/Office administrator and Janice Coon, Marie Nguyen, Cindy Cherry, Jeff Ensz and Jerry Menke are the governing board members.

The Mission of the Buffalo County Citizen Advocacy program is to promote the protection of, and advocacy for, people who are devalued, usually due to a mental, intellectual or developmental disability. Buffalo County Citizen Advocacy is located at 3710 Central Ave. #15. For more information, call their office at (308) 234-9368.

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