Senator John J. Flanagan (2nd Senate District) recently honored Mr. Willie Mackey of Nesconset as his 2006 Senate Achiever honoree in Albany. Mr. Mackey was introduced to the entire New York State Senate Chamber and presented with an Achiever's Award and a Senate Proclamation.
Mr. Mackey is a man who has overcome tremendous adversity in his life. Blind since birth due to bilateral cataracts and diagnosed at age two with Down’s Syndrome and Severe Mental Retardation, Mr. Mackey has grown from someone who was socially isolated and dependent on others to an independent member of his community. He is now able to independently negotiate his home and work environment and assists others with visual disabilities to do the same.
An active and productive community member, Mr. Mackey participates in activities such as delivering meals to homebound community residents, the Adopt-a-Highway Program, stocking shelves at a local food pantry, cleanup and flower planting at the neighborhood ambulance company, town beach cleanups and volunteering at the animal shelter.
He enjoys bowling, working out at the neighborhood gym, going to the library and shopping. He has made many friends with local store owners who enjoy and look forward to his visits. He is well loved and respected by his peers, staff and neighbors.
The New York State Senate Achievers' Awards are presented each year in conjunction with Senate Disability Awareness Day, an annual event sponsored by the New York State Senate to raise public awareness of the efforts and accomplishments of citizens with physical disabilities. Now in its 26th year, the Annual Disabilities Awareness Day Awards Ceremony organized by the Senate, recognizes an individual’s ability to overcome personal as well as physical challenges, and honors their accomplishments on behalf of themselves and their community.
"This ceremony and this day are a great reminder of the accomplishments of those in our community who have overcome great obstacles. Mr. Mackey provides help to those in his community and is a valued member of the Nesconset community," stated Senator Flanagan. "I am honored to be able to recognize his achievements and to publicly acknowledge his contributions to his fellow Long Islanders."