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Columbia's founder, wife lauded for work with disabled


Columbia founder James W. Rouse and his wife, Patty, are being honored with the Association for Retarded Citizens of Howard County's Celebrating Community award for their work with people who have disabilities.

The award was announced last week in advance of the group's annual convention, which takes place at Turf Valley Country Club in Ellicott City this weekend. The convention also includes workshops on such subjects as cultural diversity and the history of Medicaid.

"We want to award them for the work they've done over their life to build an inclusive community," said Carol Beatty, executive director of the county's group. "We are recognizing his dream for Columbia to be a place for people to live, work and play."

Mr. and Mrs. Rouse founded the Enterprise Foundation, a national housing foundation, in 1981. The foundation is a national nonprofit group that works with about 300 neighborhood groups to produce fit and affordable housing for low-income people in more than 100 areas across the country, Association for Retarded Citizens organizers said.

Ms. Beatty said the work the Rouses have done with people who have disabilities "teaches us all how to live together, work together and build a community."

Georgiana Blackburn, an administrative assistant with the group, said Mr. Rouse has served the community by making those with disabilities welcome in his positions as a philanthropist, advocate for the poor, urban planner and retail marketplace director.

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