Regional Center for Independent Living (RCIL)
Public Relations and Development Committee Annual Report

This has been a very busy year for the RCIL Public Relations and Development Committee. The year began with an open house in January in which a large number of people dropped in to learn more about and support RCIL.
A major event was the annual awards banquet held in May at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The keynote speaker was Andrew Imparato, chief executive of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). Andrew briefed the audience about the pressing issues facing people with disabilities in our country. The event was attended by approximately 100people and received some good media coverage. Awards were presented to a variety of community organizations and individuals including Advocate of the Year Linda Burdett for her work with the Spina Bifida program at RCIL and consumer Dawn Drury. The new President's Award went to outgoing treasurer Matt Starr and a number of volunteers were recognized as well. Doug Emblidge of WOKR served as the banquet emcee.
The PR committee began a fundraising effort in the summer to raise awareness about RCIL and its mission. A very successful launch of a new RCIL T-shirt designed by Outreach Director Jean Penner at the RCIL annual picnic and a subsequently tote bags as well as T-shirts have been made available. Jean Penner and committee members Jim Leary and Sherry Shaw were at a number of fairs and festivals this summer to publicize the efforts of RCIL and to sell RCIL fundraising products.
The annual RCIL ADA anniversary picnic held at Ontario Beach Park was also a great success and was attended by over one hundred people and such dignitaries as newly elected county executive Maggie Brooks and Senator Robach. A number of area organizations and individuals were recognized for their efforts in promoting the spirit of the ADA in a wide variety of areas.
This fall RCIL hired Brenda Paine Davis to head up fundraising efforts for RCIL. Brenda has already been very busy making contacts in the community and attending workshops to help raise the profile of RCIL in the community.
Also, this fall RCIL, through the efforts of staff member Michele Olyer and Peg Gorrow, held a fundfaising Tupperware party which raised money for RCIL.
Communications to membership and the community at large are continuing via the RCIL newsletter which comes out several times a year. The committee is in the process of putting together an RCIL e-mail news list to keep membership and other interested parties informed about activities at RCIL and also advocacy opportunities related to independent living and the disabled. The Rochester Disabled listserv moderated by board member Teresa Carroll continues to be very active and a great source of local, state and national information pertinent to a wide range of issues affecting the disabled.
The Public Relations and Development Committee meets every third Wednesday of the month from 3:30 to 4:30 at RCIL and the meetings are open to all. The staff liaison is Jean Penner and the board of director co-chairs are Mary Wilson and Cathy Alfieri.