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Victoria Advocate to receive distinguished Volunteer Service Award

June 3, 2011 at 1:03 a.m.
Updated June 4, 2011 at 1:04 a.m.


For more than 40 years, Gulf Bend Center has been providing quality mental health and developmental disability services to residents of the Crossroads Region. The Center is one of 39 community mental health and intellectual developmental disability centers located in Texas serving all of the 254 counties in Texas.

Gulf Bend Center is a member of the Texas Council of Community Centers, a trade organization whose purpose is to serve as an organization through which community centers like Gulf Bend Center can work together as a public system serving Texans with mental illness and intellectual developmental disabilities. By this work, community centers can expand and improve the quality of their services and their capacity to meet the needs of their consumers, while at the same time providing accountability to the counties they serve and the multiple funding sources that support their services.

During the month of June, the Texas Council of Community Centers will sponsor its annual staff and trustee training conference in Houston. Each year during this annual training conference, the Texas Council of Community Centers presents the Frank M. Adams Award for Outstanding Volunteer Services. The award is presented in three categories, including the Outstanding Individual Volunteer Service Award, the Outstanding Community Volunteer Service Award and the Outstanding Media Volunteer Service Award. This distinguished award is in honor of the late Frank M. Adams who exemplified service that enhanced and enriched the quality of life for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental illness. Adams distinguished himself as an individual who loved, cared and showed compassion for these individuals and their families.

This year the Frank M. Adams Award for Outstanding Media Volunteer Services is being presented to the Victoria Advocate for exceptional print of electronic media coverage on behalf of individuals with mental illness and intellectual developmental disabilities. Chris Cobler, editor of the Victoria Advocate, will be present to accept the award.

Gulf Bend Center was honored to have the opportunity to nominate the Victoria Advocate for this distinguished award for its consistent and responsible journalism relating to Gulf Bend Center's mission. In 2010, The Victoria Advocate provided 1,240 column inches of news articles that addressed mental illness and intellectual developmental disabilities. All of the articles were consistently and voluntarily published with accuracy, and located in prime space including guest editorial columns, editorial comments and front-page headlines. This level of coverage is consistent with the level of coverage provided by the Victoria Advocate over the past 10 years clearly indicating their commitment to informing the community about the importance of these issues.

Thanks to the Victoria Advocate's carefully researched and intelligently written articles and commentary the dialogue about these important issues has stayed alive in the Crossroads Region. This results in increased awareness, growing community involvement and assisting in informing decision makers of the need to continue to invest in treatment in order to provide the greatest return on investment in recovered human lives and savings to our community. This was especially important as Texas prepared for and convened the 82nd Legislative Session in January 2011.

The Victoria Advocate is indeed a champion for improved mental health and intellectual developmental disability services in the Crossroads Region and in Texas.

Don Polzin is the executive director of the Gulf Bend Center in Victoria.

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