Elaine Kornitzky receives Charlie Higgins Award last week at Alabama Easter Seals Award luncheon

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Special to the
Opelika Observer

Elaine Kornitzky retired from the Easter Seals Achievement Center on July 27 after 14 years of employment.
Kornitzky was recently honored for service by receiving the Charlie Higgins Award, whose namesake was a former Easter Seals president. Serving from 1974-1986, Higgins’s work and contributions to further the organization’s work were commemorated in this award.
Kornitzky held several different positions during her time with the Achievement Center: job developer, job readiness teacher, program manager, program coordinator and coordinator of vocational services.
She is surely missed as a fellow employee, but her absence in the lives of the consumers and work center employees will create the biggest void. Along with vocational guidance, through removing barriers, she has been responsible for making the non working lives of those we serve easier so they have the best chance of being successful at work.
Known for her empathetic manner, people were comfortable coming to Kornitzky because they felt she was easily approachable and they knew she cared deeply for them. She took time to really listen to the person and went to great lengths at times to procure the needed resources for them. If not for her, many of the organization’s consumers who have been successful in their employment would not have been because their extenuating circumstances would have created obstacles too difficult to overcome.
Examples of personal matters Kornitzky addressed on a daily basis are doctor’s appointments, housing, medication matters, child care, budgeting, social security questions, medication management, as well as many other issues that arose. She had such concern for their well being that she donated money every year to our special needs fund so they could have help with such things as utility bills, paying off fines, car repairs and clothing.
Kornitzky has most definitely exemplified leadership through her giving and nurturing nature, service provision, program development, and advocacy for those she served.

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