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home : opinion : letters to the editor May 25, 2016

12/31/2012 9:24:00 AM
This community has a tradition of giving value

This community has a tradition of giving value
I am very honored and appreciative of receiving the Mayors Medal of Honor in Human Services.
Without sounding presumptuous, I am not surprised at this award because I have long known that this community is very good at giving value to its citizens. I am probably more aware of this having served as the director of the Cottonwood County Developmental Achievement Center for 41 years.
You see it wasn't that long ago that people with developmental disabilities were treated with somewhat lesser value than most folks in our communities. At one time they were placed in large facilities in other communities far from their family and friends and their homes.
That changed during my first few years here and those folks returned home. The folks with developmental disabilities who lived here were allowed to stay.
About that time the DAC moved from Delft into Windom and I remember more than once hearing comments like "this is where you belong" or "we're glad you're here."
We also began finding jobs around the area for our people. Never once did I feel that we were not wanted.
The DAC people began earning money, opening checking accounts, shopping in our stores and becoming a part of the fabric of this community. The DAC currently has 24 people working in 22 businesses in and around Windom.
You (this community) gave them value and we can only imagine how that makes them feel. That's why I said that this community is good at giving people value.
I've come to believe that winning is about 15% skill and maybe 85% confidence. This is a winning community because you believe in the people who live here. I thank you for giving me value.
     - Don Pankratz
         Bingham Lake

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