Howard Center honors Whit Smith with 2017 Help is Here Award

-A A +A
Mon, 11/20/2017 - 9:41am -- Denise Sortor

Howard Center recently celebrated Whit Smith (Mickenberg, Dunn, Lachs & Smith, PLC) as the 2017 Help is Here award recipient at its annual Help is Here Award Celebration. The award honors an individual whose contributions personify Howard Center’s mission and demonstrate a passion for those served by the organization. The event was hosted by Howard Center board member, Mike Simoneau.

Smith was selected because of the significant legal support he has provided to organizations that serve individuals with disabilities and their families and those with limited resources. Throughout his career, Whit has advised numerous health care and community mental health and developmental service providers in Vermont.

Bob Bick, Howard Center CEO, noted, “Whit has been a valuable legal resource and support for Howard Center and so many other social service organizations. He has served as a moral compass of honor and compassion, and we are so very pleased to be presenting him with this year’s Help is Here Award.”

Over 125 people attended the second annual Help is Here Award celebration at the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education at the Shelburne Museum. Last year’s recipient, Lisa Steele, was joined by Bob Bick, Joel Cook (Vermont NEA, retired), and Alison Calderara (Community Health Centers of Burlington) to present the award. In accepting the award, Smith commented on Howard Center’s impact in the community and said, “I am honored to be recognized by an organization that has such a positive impact on our community. Everyday their staff is committed to helping individuals, adults, and families address the challenges they face.”

In presenting the award, Lisa Steele praised Smith, saying, “He has dedicated his life’s work to helping those most in need by providing legal support and counsel to numerous individuals and organizations. His values and integrity speak for themselves. He’s an example to all of us.”

Sponsors for the event include presenting sponsor VELCO with supporting sponsors Geri Reilly Real Estate, Four Winds Consulting, W.B. Mason, and the United Way of Northwest Vermont. Additional support was provided by Community Bank, Morway’s Moving and Storage, SymQuest, Union Bank, Vermont Community Access Media, and Vermont Moving and Storage.

Last year, Howard Center helped 16,000 people in over 60 locations and six counties with their mental health needs, substance use conditions, and developmental disabilities. Howard Center’s 24/7/365 mobile crisis service, First Call for Chittenden County, relies on one team and one number, 802-488-7777, to meet the needs of Chittenden County children, adults, and families in crisis. Howard Center is a funded agency of the United Way of Northwest Vermont. Help is here