Community Access Unlimited last week honored Elaine E. Katz of the Kessler Foundation, attorney Stephen Hehl of the law firm Hehl and Hehl and community organizer Arthur “Skip” Winter at the agency’s Annual Gala Dinner Dance, held at the Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott.

CAU is a Union County-based, statewide nonprofit that strives to integrate people with disabilities and at-risk youth into the general community through comprehensive supports. Each year the agency honors community partners who play key roles in helping CAU fulfill its missions and support its members.

Katz was honored with the Humanitarian of the Year Award. She is senior vice president, grants and communications at the Kessler Foundation, which supports people with disabilities by conducting groundbreaking rehabilitation and disability employment research and funding innovative initiatives to provide people with disabilities access to job opportunities. During her tenure at the foundation, Kessler has awarded more than $43.8 million in grant support to national and community-based employment programs, including at CAU.

Sign Up for Elizabeth Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

“I am very humbled and grateful to be honored, especially in October, which is National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” she said. “Our focus is on employment for people with disabilities and our support from Kessler to Community Access Unlimited is enabling young people with disabilities to move from school to meaningful employment. Community Access is a very progressive and innovative organization.”

Hehl was honored with the Public Leadership Award. He is a founding partner of Hehl and Hehl and specializes in land use and development, zoning and planning law, as well as commercial litigation and complex real estate and business transactions. During his 25-year association with CAU, Hehl has been instrumental in assisting the agency with the acquisition and development of properties for housing and mixed-use occupancy.

“This award is a reflection back on Community Access Unlimited,” he said. “Helping to support CAU and its members is what this is all about.”

Winter was honored with the Ira Geller Award for volunteerism. He is an elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Cranford and a member of the Steering Committee of the Union County Interfaith Coordinating Council and plays a key role in organizing the council’s annual Union County Day of Prayer, which each year which draws hundreds to an evening of inclusion and hope. His association with CAU began in 1986 when he served with the United Way of Cranford and coordinated funding for the agency.

“I enjoy all the volunteer work I do, not only with Community Access and the Interfaith Coordinating Council but with other organizations I support,” he said. “I enjoy meeting all the people who form the community of volunteers.”

State Senator Joseph Cryan attended the gala, as he does every year.

“”I’m here because of the great work Community Access does and because of this year, like every year, the great compliment of honorees,” he said. “Community Access defines what a community organization should be, helping hands, the right priority and uniting those who need their support.”

To learn more about CAU, visit www.caunj.org or follow the agency on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Community Access Unlimited

Community Access Unlimited (CAU), celebrating its 40th year in 2019, supports people with special needs in achieving real lives in the community. CAU gives a voice to adults and youth who traditionally have little power in society, assisting its members with housing, life skills, employment, money management, socialization and civic activities. CAU also supports opportunities for advocacy through training in assertiveness, decision-making and civil rights. Currently serving more than 5,000 individuals and families, CAU continues to grow each year. For more information about CAU and its services, contact us by phone at 908.354.3040, info@caunj.org or by mail at 80 West Grand Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202.