Groups honor United Ability David Barry’s impact on community, with toys and tacky sweaters

United Ability
David Barry winner of the Ann Halpern Service Award (Cindy Martin/Bham Now)

When the local chapters of the American Advertising Federation (AAF-Birmingham) and Public Relation Society of America hold a holiday party honoring one of their most cherished members, you know it is going to be both fun and meaningful.

On December 7th at Cahaba Brewing, United Ability’s David Barry was awarded The Ann Halpern Service Award, an honor that recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exceptional social responsibility in the community and exceptional service to AAF-Birmingham.

Dedicated to United Ability

In lieu of a stuffy award ceremony, the groups raised a glass to celebrate Barry, wearing tacky holiday sweaters and collecting toys and donations for the organization he has dedicated his life to — United Ability.

The impact Barry has made on the community is best summed up by AAF’s President Dan Haun presentation of the The Ann Halpern Service Award:

“There is no greater profession than one in which you can directly impact the lives of those in your community. This individual has poured his blood, sweat and tears into his work with United Ability.

His tireless spirit and kindness has helped empower individuals with disabilities to live full and meaningful lives. I’ve personally seen the lives he has changed through Journey of HOPE, through the champions campaign, through United Ability Day through the United Ability Foundation, by creating a license specialty tag with the Alabama DMV, through “the Giving Is Good summer volunteer programs” and countless other programs and initiatives. 

I am excited that AAF Birmingham will partner with United Ability this year. Please join me in congratulating Past President David Barry from United Ability for the Ann Halpern Service Award!”

Toys and Tacky Sweaters

Haun and members of AAF-Alabama have already made good on their promise to dedicate the upcoming year to United Ability, beginning with the holiday party.

Joined by PRSA — party-goers wore tacky sweaters (won by LaShana Sorrell), held a toy drive for United Ability’s kids and families and conducted a traditional art auction and raffle.

More importantly, the advertising and public relations community got to learn about the remarkable work of United Ability from their staff who were on hand — and have some fun too.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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