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NYSARC Grant Provides Diverse Recreational Opportunities
From a prom-style semiformal to an 8-week dance program, Halloween costume party, and a production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," members of The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming's Enrichment and Recreation programs spent the season exploring new avenues of fun with financial help from NYSARC Trust Services.
NYSARC Trust Services is part of The Arc's state organization. In 2012, its Trustees authorized a state-wide distribution of $250,000 in restricted grants for the exclusive purpose of funding new Chapter recreational opportunities. The Livingston-Wyoming Chapter's share was $5,000.
"The grant from NYSARC Trust Services has helped to fund a whole slate of opportunities for consumers," says Cathy Sullivan, The Arc's Day, Community and Intake Services Coordinator. "Many of the folks didn't have the opportunity to do things like these when they were in high school. Now, they've been able to take part in dances, plays, and other activities with their friends and peers."
The Arc is a private, not-for-profit agency with various programs to benefit people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. According to Ms. Sullivan, the NYSARC grant-funded recreational activities were open to a wide variety of consumers, including those who reside in Arc-operated homes and those who live independently in the community.
The events kicked off with "Treasure the Night," a semiformal dance held Saturday, June 16 at the Moose Lodge in Dansville, NY. More than 110 consumers attended the dance at no cost. Each attendee received a corsage or boutonniere, and a framed photo from the event. Other highlights included catered food and music provided by a local disc jockey.
For consumers interested in the musical arts, The Arc's Enrichment Program offered an 8-week dance program that culminated in a performance at the Mount Morris Dam Visitors Center on Wednesday, August 22. The Arc troupe performed interpretations of songs by Michael Jackson, Brooks and Dunn, Van McCoy, and Lady Gaga.
On Saturday, October 27, about 160 consumers headed back to the Dansville Moose Lodge for Arc Recreation's "spooktacular" Halloween costume bash. Grant funding helped with costs associated with renting the hall, providing food, and paying the DJ.
Capping off the use of grant funding in dramatic fashion were two Saturday, November 17 performances of "A Christmas Carol" that played to standing-room-only crowds at Theatre 101 in Mount Morris, NY. The cast featured more than 20 Arc consumers in large and small roles.
"The play was something special — and not just for the consumers, but also for all of the parents and other family members in the audience," Ms. Sullivan says. "For many in attendance, it was their first opportunity to see their son or daughter on the stage. It was very meaningful."
About NYSARC Trust Services
The Trustees of the NYSARC Trusts provided The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming a $5,000 grant to provide new recreational opportunities for Chapter consumers. The Chapter used this grant to hold a dance, Halloween party, 8-week dance program, and performance of "A Christmas Carol." The NYSARC Trusts administer supplemental needs trusts that enable disabled persons to remain in their home and community and retain their Medicaid eligible services. The Trustees utilize remainder funds to benefit other persons with disabilities including unfunded Chapter guardianship as provided by statute. During the last year the Trustees have granted over $900,000 to support Chapter Guardianship and $250,000 in recreational grants for the benefit of Chapter consumers. Information on how you may benefit from a NYSARC Trust is available by calling 518-439-8323 or 1-800-735-8924 or at www.nysarctrustservices.org.