KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
February 13, 2020
By Jennifer Miko
The Arc of Katy has selected Katy Christian Ministries and Katy Wolf Pack Special Olympics team leaders Don Wolf and Sandi Dancel as their 2020 Katy Area Hometown Heroes. They will be honored in April at The Arc of Katy’s annual gala.
Pictured left to right: Deysi Crespo, KCM, Don Wolf, and Sandi Dancel, Katy Wolf Pack Special Olympics team leaders.
Since 2018, The Arc of Katy has been honoring heroes in the Katy community, highlighting people or organizations who help make Katy a great place to live and offer support to program participants and their families. Hometown Heroes recipients are selected from nominations submitted by Katy-area citizens.
Both Katy Christian Ministries (KCM) and Katy Wolf Pack’s Wolf and Dancel were selected by a group of Katy-area citizens from among nominations submitted to The Arc of Katy.
At the gala this April, KCM will be honored as the Hometown Hero for A Great Place to Live. The organization was selected for the support it provides to nearly 13,000 local people annually through 20 programs that make up the organization’s four core service streams: social services, food pantry, crisis center and resale store.
Serving the Katy Community
Katy Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization, has been serving the Katy community since 1984. For decades, KCM has offered assistance with social services, domestic abuse, and provided food for those in need.
“Many people have the misconception that Katy does not have need for services like those offered by KCM,” says KCM executive director Deysi Crespo. “However, the need is here and prevalent, and there is no better way to serve than to help those in our own back yard who may be going through various hardships.”
KCM has grown to meet the needs of residents with a crisis hotline, counseling, food fairs, school supplies, job readiness, health benefits and more. The organization utilizes 91 cents out of every dollar to directly support its programs.
Click here to read Katy Magazine’s article about the leaders of KCM.
Katy Wolf Pack Led by Two Heroes
Don Wolf and Sandi Dancel were selected as the Katy Area Hometown Heroes for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD).
“How could you not love working with people with I/DD?” says Dancel. “Every day is an adventure that is filled with honesty, love, laughter and learning.”
Wolf and Dancel both taught special education and worked different jobs that benefit and support individuals with I/DD. For 21 years, they have led the Katy Wolf Pack Special Olympics program. Over that time, the Katy Wolf Pack has become the state’s largest Special Olympics team with around 250 athletes.
“My favorite thing about working with the individuals with I/DD is being able to put a smile on their faces,” says Wolf.
“You learn not to put limitations because our participants constantly surprise you with what they accomplish,” says Dancel.
On behalf of Katy Wolf Pack, Wolf also served as a torch bearer for the 2002 Olympic Torch Relay Team.
“I would encourage others to treat those with I/DD like they would treat anyone else because I prefer to see differing abilities instead of disabilities,” says Wolf.
Heroes Among Us
Previous Hometown Heroes honored by The Arc of Katy include: Katy ISD’s Audrey Bivens and Bass Pro Shops in 2018; and Camp Journey owner Suzette Coates and Chick fil-A franchise owner/operator Rusty Wylie in 2019.
Funds generated from The Arc of Katy gala will support ongoing delivery of high quality, safe, affordable programs that provide skills development, social enrichment and community service activities for adults and teens with I/DD. As the Katy Area community and special needs programs in area schools grow, additional funding is needed to expand services and resources for more youth and adults with I/DD and their families.
For more information about The Arc of Katy 2020 Gala, on April 3 at the Omni Houston Hotel at Westside, and opportunities for sponsoring, underwriting, donating auction items or attending, visit the event website here.
The Arc of Katy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to provide opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) that enable each person to be included as a respected and active member of their community throughout their lifetime.