By Debbie Davies, The Arc CEO
Saturday, as you’ll recall, was the worst weather day of the season- on the Ventnor boardwalk it was very rainy, very windy, and sleeting. And yet, not surprisingly the Step Up for The Arc walk was great fun! Yes, we at The Arc know how to have a good time under ANY condition. I want to thank just some of the people who helped make our 9th annual walk-a-thon such a fantastic – and fruitful – event. First and foremost, I’d like to thank our sponsors and the more than 200 walkers who raised money, bringing in almost $22,000 to benefit our recreation, family support and case management services that are vital to hundreds of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families right here in Atlantic County.
Next, I want to thank Beth Ann for her enthusiastic emails the days before the walk assuring us that if the weather was bad we’d just have a dance party all morning. And to Kathy, Father Joe, Fred and Richie of Holy Trinity Parish for letting us use the St. James Hall that made the dance party possible and for setting it all up for us.
Team Dina was a big highlight of the day. Not only did they raise more than $5600, but all of them were wearing pink t-shirts with Dina’s picture on them- and if the wearer had a photo with Dina that was the photo on the shirt! The Scoppas and their friends did an awesome job to keep Dina’s memory alive and raise money to help more people have the great Arc experiences that she had.
We got some great pictures thanks to our new friend Peter,a Ventnor resident who volunteered his time and talent to create a whole album of photos for us, which you can see here.
Other thank yous go to Lite Rock 96.9 WFPG and Katie, Marissa and Erin from Tilton Fitness who got us off to a good start, DJ Howard Minnichbach who kept everyone moving all morning and Ginny, our face painter, who accommodated all of the children’s wishes with beautiful designs. (Watch a video of Tilton Fitness’s warm-up to “Electric Avenue” right here)
Our volunteers were great as always and pitched in to make the whole thing look easy by seeing what needed to be done and just doing it. We appreciate Lynn, Sue, Laura, Carol, Jen, Rose and Annette for helping with registration, and Sheldon Bank for bringing and preparing much of the food, and Mike Thomas of the Galloway Elks Lodge for donating bagels, fruit and juice.
And a special thanks to Donna Buzby with team Capaldi Reynolds who peeled off from her team to walk with me, motivating me to walk the whole route!
The energy and the number of people in the room on Saturday despite the bad weather just goes to show how dedicated our friends, staff, volunteers, service recipients and others are to our mission. But this event is about more than The Arc. It’s about celebrating the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and helping to create more opportunities for them to live full lives, with opportunity, dignity and respect. Whether you are affiliated with The Arc or just a proud friend or family member of someone with special needs, or simply a community member who believes in our mission – we hope you will join us at next year’s walk, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 27, 2012 at St. James Hall in Ventnor. To be sure you’re on our list, please click the link below to subscribe to our emails (we send approximately 3 to 4 emails per month). We hope to see you next year!!