Steve Bragdon, Citizen of HonorMonadnock Developmental Services has presented two distinguished service awards to three local leaders – Stephen Bragdon and Suzanne and Larry Butcher – at a special recognition event on November 7 at the Hannah Grimes Center in Keene.

Stephen Bragdon received the Dennis DiTullio Citizen of Honor Award in recognition of his passion and enthusiastic support for people with disabilities and his unselfish service to the community. Steve has been practicing law in the Keene area for more  than 40 years. His commitment to this community has been substantial. He served as Board Member and Chair for the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, the Keene Industrial Development Committee, the Keene Downtown Housing Corporation, and the Keene Family YMCA. He currently serves on the Monadnock Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Keene Downtown Housing Corporation boards.

At MDS, Steve was a Board member for 11 years, serving as its President from 1997 to 2000. Over the years, he has quietly but effectively lent guidance, insight, and wisdom to MDS when the organization refined and expanded its services with a full commitment to quality. His commitment to the organization and the people it serves continues long after his official capacity as a Board member. He has provided support, dedication, and tireless work in assisting individuals with developmental disabilities.

Suzanne Butcher, Family Advocate AwardSuzanne and Larry Butcher of Keene have received the Manfredo Torelli Family Advocacy Award for their commitment and dedication to people with developmental disabilities and their unselfish service to families in our community.

The Butchers’ commitment to community is longstanding. Both Suzanne and Larry served our nation as Foreign Service Officers with the U.S. Department of State for almost 30 years. They are active members of the Keene Unitarian Universalist Church, serving on various committees that further social justice and environmental defense. Larry served as President of the Board of KUUC.

Suzanne served in the New Hampshire House of Representatives representing Keene from 2004 to 2010, working to create bills to establish the purpose and policy of the state's Developmental Disability services. Larry has testified many times to budget committees about the needs of people with developmental disabilities, at the same time organizing and supporting other parents to help them speak to legislators about their needs.Larry Butcher, Family Advocate Award

Drawing on their own experiences advocating for their son, Galen, and helping him learn to advocate for himself, Suzanne and Larry have spent many years advocating for MDS families, helping them find resources, connections, and quality services. Larry served as Co-Chair of the MDS Family Council and Suzanne as a member of the MDS Board. They have dedicated twenty years here working on behalf of families who have children or siblings of any age who experience developmental and related disabilities.

These committed citizens’ impact on our community is immeasurable, and MDS is honored to showcase their roles in the work of helping people with developmental and related disabilities live, work, and go to school in our communities.