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Dinner advocates need for independent-living opportunities

| Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
John Altdorfer
State representative Ed Gainey Three Rivers Center for Independent Living (TRCIL) president and CEO Stan Holbrook and TRCIL board chair John J. Clark at the Westin Convention Center Hotel during the Disability Pride Dinner to benefit Three Rivers Center for Independent Living.
John Altdorfer
Honorary chair Mary Anne Papale and keynote speaker Karen Tamley at the Westin Convention Center Hotel during the Disability Pride Dinner to benefit Three Rivers Center for Independent Living.

“I see independent living as a movement. This is fighting to have a quality of life that everyone else has,” shared Three Rivers Center for Independent Living prez Stanley Holbrook.

On Aug. 14, a crowd of 135 celebrated the Disability Pride Dinner at the Westin Convention Center hotel, where the focus was not only on overcoming adversity, but also on empowering the next generation.

“These guys need a hand up, not a hand out,” said board prez John Clark.

Honorary chairwoman Mary Anne Papale, Michael Gandy Jr., emcee Christopher Moore, Dr. Kate Seelman, Bob Foley, Joan Siebart, Ralph Manning and keynote Karen Tamley were among those making their voices heard.

“There's still much work to do. The biggest thing is, we want people living in the community, not the nursing home,” shared John Tague, who has been involved with the Center for Independent Living for 18 years.

“Awareness is the biggest part. There are a lot of ways to make a difference,” added Bryan McCormick, who encouraged people to volunteer and lobby their local representatives and legislators for support.

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