Nov. 9, 2017

Volunteer, staff, family and community partner winners also named

Five area organizations and individuals were honored this morning with Difference Maker awards from Damar Services, a nonprofit organization that serves children and adults with developmental disabilities and autism.

Awarded to individuals and an organization making a difference in the lives of people living with developmental disabilities, the 2017 Difference Maker awards were given to:

  • Hendricks Regional Health, Remarkable Corporate Partner
  • Cathleen Graham of IARCA, Remarkable Community Partner
  • Dennis Garrity, Remarkable Volunteer
  • The Hovey family, Remarkable Damar Family
  • Jasmin Oliver, Remarkable Team Member

“The honorees have made life better for children and adults with developmental disabilities by delivering what we call ‘the Damar Difference,’” said Jim Dalton, president and CEO of Damar Services. “That means going the extra mile, whether by providing extra care, reaching beyond what’s expected or offering solutions where none seemed to exist. This happens every day at Damar because of the people we call Difference Makers.”

Hendricks Regional Health, Remarkable Corporate Partner
For Damar, a successful corporate partnership includes three things: longevity of service, volunteer engagement by the partner’s employees, and financial support. Hendricks Regional Health has shined in all three areas for 15 years. A highlight of the Hendricks Regional Health’s 2017 involvement came last summer, when employees, led by HRH Business and Community Relations Manager Adam Scott, provided hours of volunteer service for the Damar Games.

Cathleen Graham, Remarkable Community Partner
Efforts to improve the lives of people living with developmental disabilities could not succeed without strong community advocates. Cathy Graham, executive director of the Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy (IARCA), has provided incredible leadership. She’s made a difference behind the scenes in the lives of countless children, especially when those children have been able to return to their families, schools and communities with treated and stabilized behaviors.

Dennis Garrity, Remarkable Volunteer
This year marks the fortieth “Elvis Concert” that Greenwood Realtor Dennis Garrity has put on for Damar. The special Christmas concert features Dennis as an Elvis impersonator, complete with the rhinestone suit, slicked-back hair and velvety voice. Damar’s gym is filled with music and dancing, and the event is talked about all year. Elvis might be The King of Rock and Roll, but Garrity is a legend at Damar.

The Hovey Family, Remarkable Damar Family
Most families would find it difficult to imagine the challenges facing a family when a child has a developmental disability. They might find it even harder to imagine being able to rally the relentless hope and perseverance that, sometimes, can help that child grow into a bright and energetic person. The Hovey Family knows that journey well: Their son Matt has come a long way and is now taking college classes … classes that he pays for in part by selling a joke book he wrote titled “1000 One-Liners.”

Jasmin Oliver, Remarkable Damar Team Member
Jasmin Oliver joined the Damar team as a staff member delivering direct care to individuals served by Damar. Six years later, the 30-year-old Warren Central High School graduate has worked her way up to a position as Resource Team Director, supervising 24 team members. Her colleagues say she has remarkable leadership skills and is always positive. “Every day, your attitude dictates your day,” is one of her mantras.

About Damar Services, Inc.
For 50 years, Damar Services has been a leader in providing services to children and adults challenged by autism and intellectual, developmental and behavioral disabilities. From its main campus on Indianapolis’ southwest side, a northeast side clinic and other locations across the state, Damar offers residential and community-based treatment, outpatient behavioral health services and ABA Autism Services by Damar. In addition, Damar operates two schools and provides foster care services. For more information, visit

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Media contact: Jen Thomas, 317-441-2487,