Special Events

Annual Consumers Awards Luncheon

This is one of the numerous creative and innovative ideas introduced to the agency by Dr. Lucy Lang-Chappell. The concept is very simple. it provides recognition of the achievements made by consumers in the MI, DD, PSD, and DT Programs. This effort not only recognizes those consumers, but has been expanded to include the Alcoholism Sobriety Awards as well.

The Consumers Awards Luncheon is a gala celebration. The Food Services staff prEepares a sumptuous meal that is served to consumers and their relatives. Through the years, the Awards Luncheon has been held at several locations including Malcolm X College, Chicago Park District, Garfield Park Field House, and more recently the City’s Department of Aging.

Every year, two (2) consumers from different programs are selected to act as Masters of Ceremony. Beautiful gowns and suits worn by the consumers and their relatives mark the occasion. Consumers display musical, poetry, and other talents for the delight of guests and fellow consumers. A most entertaining Fashion Show highlights the event every year.

In addition to the public recognition of the milestones reached by consumers in areas as diverse as avoiding psychiatric re-hospitalization, attaining and maintaining stable housing, finding and keeping employment, gaining sobriety, regaining custody of children from DCFS, avoiding relapse, completing vocational training, competing in the D.D. Special Olympics, and other significant achievements, the consumers and their relatives receive validation of their inherent humanity and dignity, and the stigma heretofore associated with mental illness and addiction is slowly reduced.

The ceremony is always celebrated in the spring. Whether intentionally or just by coincidence, the ceremony, just Like Spring, provides a genuine lifting of the spirit and motivates consumers and relatives to continue striving for excellence, enjoying the small victories achieved in the struggle for the enhancement of the quality of life. Dr. Chappell always closes the ceremonies by sharing words of care and challenge directed to consumers, relatives, staff, and guests from different City, State, or other funding sources.

Each year, there is a different theme for the celebration. The resiliency and perseverance of the human spirit is also validated and celebrated each year.

DD Special Olympics

The Special Olympics is a nation-wide sporting event sponsored by the Special Olympics International Organization specifically for mentally challenged individuals of all ethnic groups representing their various agencies and institutions. The main purpose of this event is to facilitate social competence and self-esteem in persons who are physically and mentally challenged. Participants from the Metropolitan Area of Chicago converge for this event during spring of each year at the Alonzo Amos Staggs Field of the University of Chicago in Hyde Park. Competition for Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals include events in different track and field sports. Bobby E. Wright Olympians have been participating in these events since the spring of 1995. Thus far, our Olympians have won medals in all categories, i.e. Gold, Silver, and Bronze in a variety of events, including the 400 Meter Relay Races, 50 Meter Dash, and Softball Throw Competition.

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