Charles "Chuck" Schroeder was presented the award for his tireless efforts as director of Putnam County Comprehensive Services, and for his community involvement, particularly in the area of organized softball.
"I was thoroughly surprised," Schroeder said following the event. "I didn't realize it until he (Welker) made reference to people with disabilities."
It was then that Schroeder realized his sisters and staff from PCCS were in the audience to see him accept the award.
Among the tributes given about Schroeder in the letter supporting his nomination were recognition of his assistance to people with disabilities.
"He's never condescending," one person wrote, "and he values everyone."
Originally from Jasper, Schroeder moved to Putnam County in 1972, and it wasn't long before he became involved in the area softball scene.
"I remember the first year, I was sitting at the softball field and wanting to get involved, and just came up and asked me," he recalled.
"And he's never left the field," his wife Ruth added.
But seriously, that kind of community openness is what Schroeder said has made his job easier through the years, in helping his clients find employment as well as housing and placement in the community.
"The community and the support of everything I've done and everything I've been involved in, it's just a great community to live in," Schroeder said.