Tyrone McKnight Wins Eddie Mooney Award at Annual Gala

The 16th Annual Eddie Mooney Awards Presentation was held before a packed house at the Roy E. Campbell Civic Center on March 6 where the coveted Eddie Mooney Award for Courage and Leadership was presented to Tyrone McKnight. The annual event celebrates the contributions that people with disabilities make to our community. It has become a celebration that brings people together from across the county for dinner, entertainment, and awards.

McKnight was recognized for the courage he demonstrates in the face of daunting obstacles and the inspiring attitude with which he faces his challenges.

The “Eddie Mooney Award” is named in honor of Eddie Mooney, a beloved and admired man who inspired others as he triumphed over the disability he faced.

Other Award Winners:

The Lucille Flint “Volunteer of the Year Award” recognizes the outstanding volunteer with The Arc for the preceding year and was presented to John Collette. John’s volunteerism with The Arc’s Day Services, Adult Basic Education classes, and work with hearing impaired individuals, provided invaluable support to Arc’s paid staff while his one-on-one efforts with a hearing impaired protégé became the critical link to his new home in Palatka.


Also receiving awards for “Excellence in Employment” were Raymond “Buck” Riggs for his 32 years of employment with Beck’s Ford, and Craig Wonder, for his 25 years of employment with Winn Dixie and Lowe’s.

Recognizing the many ways people with disabilities give back to our community, the “Community Contributions Award” went to Dan Alliot, whose countless hours as staff assistant at the agency’s Palm Avenue Center have made him an integral part of the service and a valued member of The Arc family.

Entertainment for the event was provided by “Outta Sight”, a musical ensemble and perennial favorite from the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. The evening’s event was produced by a committee of community volunteers, headed this year by Wayne and Julie McClain.

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The Arc of Putnam County provides advocacy, individually tailored living environments, meaningful day activities, work training, employment services and support to residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome and spina bifida.