In Honor of National Volunteer Month, Achieva would like to commend former Awards of Excellence (AOE) award recipient, Clara DeNardis for her life-long dedication to volunteer work on behalf of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Clara’s passion for volunteerism derived from the devotion she had for her brother.
She and her sister Eda began attending meetings with other families and were warmly welcomed by the many parents and adults that were also faithful to supporting those with I/DD. Clara met Sara Sattler and her husband Leo, just one of several people who started what is now known as Achieva.
Clara’s involvement was immediate. She started Easter Egg Hunts in Schenley Park and Christmas holiday parties for the people that received support from Achieva. She was also involved with the Brashear Center for overnight camping, day camps at local churches, and other recreation opportunities which her brother loved attending.
She became a Board of Trustee Secretary for several terms at Achieva and also served on the Membership Committee where she arranged for guest speakers.
Clara started writing and researching articles for the Allegheny Story (Achieva’s first newsletter). She built up a rapport with the local printer and ironically, the printer left the business to return to school and became a Special Education Teacher!
Achieva is appreciative of Clara’s dedication to volunteerism, which has expanded decades, as well as her ongoing support as a generous donor.