December 2009: Bill Lynch of Keene has received the MDS Dennis DiTullio Citizen of Honor Award, with very special recognition of Lifetime Achievement for his work over the past 25 years. This award recognizes his enthusiastic support, dedication and tireless work in assisting individuals and families with developmental and other disabilities.
Bill Lynch was honored on December 8th at a special ceremony at Papagallo’s Restaurant in Keene. In addition to proclamations from the New Hampshire House, Senate and from Governor Lynch, Dennis DiTullio, MDS’s first Citizen of Honor, presented this very special lifetime achievement award to him.
Bill’s efforts on behalf of MDS families began more than a dozen years ago when he found out about a four-year old girl with complicated disabilities who had survived a stroke but still struggled with limited mobility and near-blindness. The young child was confined to a small area of her house where she could use her pony walker.
Bill wanted to find a way to allow that little girl a breath of fresh air and sunshine, so he went out into the community on behalf of MDS and found a group of folks willing to donate resources, time and materials to build a special roofed deck for the family.
“It was simple. I saw a need, a critical need, for things that don’t fit the usual guidelines set by the State and the Feds,” Bill explains. “I found out there were people out there who were suffering and barely making do because they couldn’t get something as simple as an adaptive wheelchair or a special lift to help move from wheelchair to bed or van.”
From that project, the MDS 600 Club was born. Bill’s efforts blossomed over the next dozen years. Bill and Dennis DiTullio together have raised tens of thousands of dollars for critical projects like this one, providing equipment, home modifications, and other items not covered by Medicaid.
“It’s particularly exciting for us to be able to give this award to Bill Lynch, as part of our 25th anniversary celebration,” says Alan Greene, Executive Director of Monadnock Developmental Services. “This is a man who has played such an important role in the lives of people with disabilities here in the region.”
Dennis DiTullio agrees: “Bill was the force behind much of the fundraising and development work that has been done for families over the past 15 years. He has always been there, raising funds for special projects, creating the 600 Club, even masterminding the Citizen of Honor award itself.” Dennis exclaims: “Bill Lynch is the epitome of the MDS Citizen of Honor, and I’m so proud to be able to present this Lifetime Achievement Award to him.”
Every year Monadnock Developmental Services honors an outstanding member of the Monadnock community with its Citizen of Honor Award. Dennis DiTullio, who lives in Keene, received the first award in 2006 at which time he was doubly honored by having the award named after him. In 2007 Cameron Tease of Harrisville was honored as MDS Citizen of Honor, and the employees of Kennedy Information in Peterborough were recognized in 2008. There are many families and individuals in the Monadnock region who have directly benefited from the creative thinking and hard work of Bill Lynch, and from his generosity.