Elaine Allen Presented Anne Sullivan Award by The Lions of Georgia
Each year Georgia Lions Clubs recognize individuals who have made a difference in their community for their work with disabled children. The Lions of Georgia presented Lyons resident Elaine Allen with the Anne Sullivan Award at their annual State Convention held in Dublin recently. Anne Sullivan taught Hellen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing after an illness at age 18 months, how to communicate, a feat immortalized in the 1962 movie “The Miracle Worker.” The Lyons Lions Club nominated Allen for her lifetime devotion to disabled children. She learned that caring for the disabled was her calling while still in high school, volunteering at the Toombs County Service Center. She pursued a degree in Special Education and worked as an activities instructor for the Toombs County Service Center and the Toombs County Schools as a teacher of students with mild, moderate, severe, profound, and autistic-related disabilities. Allen retired in 2018, but her services were so missed that, at the request of the school, she returned to the classroom and continues teaching special needs children today.
Outside the classroom, Allen coordinates volunteers from the community, civic clubs, churches, and other organizations to increase the involvement of individuals with disabilities in local fun events. Enriching the lives of those with special needs, she has organized Proms, Easter Egg Hunts, and Vacation Bible School classes for individuals with disabilities. She has been the Special Olympics Local Coordinator for the past 38 years.
When asked about her decades of commitment to those with disabilities, Allen replied, “It has been a joy for me to work with individuals with disabilities. The students and individuals that I work with, from children to adults, make every day fulfilling, and I feel that my work is making a positive impact and helping each individual grow, gain skills, and work towards independence.”