Sen. Charles Colgan Named Recipient of Distinguished Leadership Award

Manassas, VA – Senator Charles J. Colgan has been selected by the Coalition for Mentally Disabled Citizens of Northern Virginia as the recipient of its 2003 Distinguished Leadership Award. The award recognizes demonstrated leadership by a Northern VA county, state or city official in improving and increasing services for individuals with mental disabilities. Sen. Colgan was selected to receive the award based on his thirty-plus year career of service to Prince William County and the State of VA during which time he has been a constant advocate of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Programs that provide vital support to some of our state’s most disadvantaged citizens. His work as a member of the Senate Budget Conference Committee for twelve years has included the establishment of numerous programs and the procurement of funds that provide employment for people with disabilities. In 1995 Sen. Colgan submitted a budget amendment that led to the creation of the Long Term Employment Support Services (LTESS) program, which has grown to provide employment support to 1,850 Virginians with disabilities on its current annual budget of $4.275 million. During the State’s recent budget crisis, he was instrumental in providing budget amendments that averted a potentially disastrous reduction in funding for human services.
Asked to comment on the award, Rex Parr, President and CEO of Didlake, Inc. said, “As leader of an organization who mission is to provide opportunities for people with disabilities, I see people literally every day who are able to go to work and participate in their communities as a direct result of Sen. Colgan’s efforts. For thirty years he has spoken for citizens who might otherwise not have a voice. I can think of no one more deserving of the designation Distinguished Leader”.
The Distinguished Leadership Award will be formally presented to Senator Colgan at the Coalition’s Legislative Breakfast on December 5 in Fairfax, VA.
Betty Dean