Western Tidewater Community Services Board held an appreciation day for consumers Wednesday. Kevin Mac, who kept them all entertained with his vocals and guitar, poses for a photo with Johnny Spice, Jennifer White, a peer support specialist with the board, Richard Bowden, Kenny Frances and John Wilcox.
Western Tidewater Community Services Board held an appreciation day for consumers Wednesday. Kevin Mac, who kept them all entertained with his vocals and guitar, poses for a photo with Johnny Spice, Jennifer White, a peer support specialist with the board, Richard Bowden, Kenny Frances and John Wilcox.

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WTCSB shows appreciation

Published 9:55pm Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Western Tidewater Community Services Board showed its appreciation to folks who use its services with music, games, food and fun.

Consumer Appreciation Day took place at the board’s Godwin Boulevard location Wednesday, outside in the parking lot.

“They have entrusted us with their health care and their support needs,” said Demetrios Peratsakis, the board’s executive director. “We appreciate that, and we appreciate the opportunity to work with them collaboratively.”

The event included live music, a talent show, horseshoes and cornhole games, basketball contests, arts and crafts, and bingo.

Other activities included cards, Wii, and “last but not least, Dance with the Stars,” said Nickelle Baker, the board’s child and adolescent clinical services manager.

Johnny Spice of Smithfield, one of the estimated over 2,000 individuals from Western Tidewater receiving board services and support, especially enjoyed the event’s musical component.

“I’m loving it,” he said, adding it was a chance to interact with friends. “We try not to be insulated; we try to be involved with people.”

John Wilcox said the board has helped him for 13 years. “It’s been a great privilege to be here, for me,” he said. “I feel good about today.”

The board provides services and support for adult and children with mental health issues and intellectual disabilities, said Sheila Nickens, supervisor of the board’s center in Franklin.

“It’s our way to give back to them, to show them that we care for them and support them,” she said of the appreciation day.

“We don’t care what the disability is. We don’t see any color. We treat them as individuals.”

Board chair Pat Clark, whose daughter has benefited from their services, said board staff are committed to their work.

“It’s almost like they were called to do it, just like preachers are called to preach,” he said.

“A lot of the time, there’s not that much credit given to the staff. … I have gotten to know many of them over the years.”

Amy Lehman, another board member, said, “Today is a phenomenal day, watching them get up on the stage, and everybody clapping for them.”

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