The Speak Out! Celebration Will be Here Before You Know It!

 March 25th Noon to 3:00 PM

It is time!  Our signature event held every March is when we celebrate achievement with a spectacular lunch in a beautiful setting, complete with live music, three talks from consumers telling about their lives and how they have overcome obstacles to achieve, and of course...dancing to today's top tunes.
You can do it!  You can come!  Just $18. per person, and here is what you get:
  • Choose from four different luncheon selections.
  • A wonderful hot soup by the hotel's amazing chef and dinner rolls.
  • Delicious, tasty dessert.
  • Your choice of beverages.
  • Live "dinner music" from Elizabethtown College's Honey Mustard Duet  .

  • Three speakers who have worked hard to achieve goals in their lives-they did it!  And they share their success and inspiration with you.
  • A beautiful setting with nice table cloths and table linens, beautiful centerpieces, chocolates--just a splendid time!
  • DJ Dan Coppens plays your favorite dance hits.
  • NEW THIS YEAR!  You will be able to see the traveling art show, "Our Art, Our Voice!"  This visually motivating exhibition, with over 80 works of art by artists with Special Needs, will be on display in the Hotel's Lobby, and is our 44th Annual Exhibition.
  • ALSO NEW THIS YEAR!  New Location.   Speak Out! Is now at The Central Hotel/Best Western, located just off Union Deposit Road at 800 East Park Drive.  (
To register, please return the registration card we sent you with payment in full. We do not accept reservations at the door.  We must have reservations from you by March 22nd. 

If you did not receive a registration card, please call us (717.920.2727) and we will send you one. 
Return the card with payment ($18.00 per person).

If you don't want to send in a card, you can come by the office and register in person, or you can call and register over the telephone if you have a credit card.

DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS:  4:00 PM on March 22nd. 

Our Art, Our Voice! Traveling Art Exhibition Closes at Gamut Theatre,
Opens at Susquehanna Art Museum and Best Western/Central Hotel

March 2 through March 19th:  
Selected Pieces will be on display at The Susquehanna Art Museum, 1401 N 3rd St. Harrisburg, PA 17102  (717) 233-8668
March 20 through March 25th:  
The Central Hotel, Harrisburg (Best Western Premier). 
800 East Park Drive, PA 17111  (717) 561-2800

ART SHOW RECEPTION: No Charge!  Join The Honorable Thomas L. Mehaffie III,  Pennsylvania Representative from the 106th District, plus some of the judges who were on the 44th Annual Our Art, Our Voice! Judges' Jury, other artists, and supporters of our art at the Art Show Reception!  

No charge, but you MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE:  To register, call 717-920-2727 or Email:  

We will need the name and contact information for each person attending.  6:30  to 7:30 PM at 
The Central Hotel/ Best Western, 800 East Park Drive, Harrisburg.

We Welcome Sylvia, Our Newest Volunteer!

Meet Sylvia, recently named  Volunteer of the Year  in Penbrook.  

After our President spoke at a Volunteer Awards Banquet recently, Sylvia came up to him and said, "I would like to help you with your mission at The Arc." And, now, here is Sylvia, hard at work sending out invitations to our annual signature event, the Speak Out! Celebration. 

If you have not received your invitation by the end of February, please call 717-920-2727 and ask for Barbara.

Craig's Corner
A Message from our President and CEO

The week of February 5th was a remarkable one from three perspectives, the first having nothing to do with our Arc or our constituents directly, but certainly noteworthy.

The first remarkable happening was what many around the world witnessed on television and the Internet--the world's largest rocket in history took off from Cape Canaveral: The Falcon Heavy. Twenty stories tall and 
powered by side boosters, rockets themselves, which came back to Earth eight minutes after liftoff, smoothly settling down one second apart--it looked like something from science fiction.

More intriguing, though, was the President of Space-X, Elon Musk's placement of a bright red Tesla Roadster inside the rocket as a demonstration of its ability to lift heavy weight into the outer reaches of our solar system. Sitting in the driver's seat was a manikin named "STAR MAN" in a space suit listening to a repeat loop of a rock song about space. Pasted to the dashboard was a sign saying, "Don't Panic", etched into the car's computer board were the words, "Made by humans on Earth." As the manikin "looked" into its rear view mirror, it saw the blue disc of Earth getting smaller and smaller as it sped beyond our skies. A remarkable "first of its kind event."

Then, that same week another remarkable "first of its kind event": The Gerber Products Company proclaimed a young boy with Down syndrome as its Gerber Baby of the Year. In the 90-year history of the company's proclamation of "Baby of the Year", never has a child with Special Needs been selected. And, the youngster is gregarious, outgoing, and sure to make his mark in the world--just like Elon Musk's rocket--he is off to a grand start. And also like so many with Down syndrome--those who have launched careers, those who have purchased their own homes, married, started families--who knows if this beautiful baby could one day be an astronaut on one of Space X's flights: Anything is possible. 

Also noteworthy, the week of February 5th saw a new budget proposed by Pennsylvania's governor, many parts of which are favorable to the ID/D community. A new waiver is launched in the budget, as well as new initiatives to whittle down the emergency slots on the "Waiting List." Unlike the rocket, progress here is slow, but our Arc, other Arcs around the state, and The Arc of Pennsylvania have long advocated for steady progress. If you would like to join our march for advocacy please be sure to let either me or our Advocate, Kathy Gingrich, know.   We can both be reached at 717.920.2727.

Finally, speaking of reaching for the sky, all our readers should soon have an invitation in the mail to our upcoming Speak Out! Celebration, where we will have three self advocates speaking about the challenges in their lives, how they worked to overcome those, and what they have achieved. Their overall message is, "If I did it, you can too!" The Speak Out! Celebration is our signature event, which is produced with support from the MH/ID Unit of the Office of Developmental Programs. We hope we can see you there to enjoy a wonderful Sunday afternoon lunch with live "dinner music" provided by Elizabethtown College, dancing afterward provided by DJ Dan Coppens, a delicious multi-course luncheon, and self-advocating speakers. The subsidized cost is only $18.00 per person.

If you have not received an invitation in the mail by the end of February, and you want to come, please be sure to call 717.920.2727 and ask for Barbara Bressler, who will take your reservation information. Bring your family and friends. For those in a residential setting, encourage everyone to come! Fun, celebration, advocacy, achievement!   Like Star Man, achievement is possible when you dream big!

Join our new program!  
We meet every Tuesday evening at 6:30 for one hour for you to spend time with artists and craftsmen in the community who come to The Arc to provide a special creative time just for you!

You will learn to make many kinds of arts and crafts, you can explore your interests in everything from painting to creating beautiful objects with ordinary, every day objects. Just look at this beautiful paper flower--would you guess it was crafted from nothing more than a coffee filter?

Amaze your friends and family with what you can do!

  • Make new friends!
  • Learn new skills!
  • Most important: Have fun!

You can bring your aide or others who help you if you like. 
Arc Expression is made possible by VOLUNTEERS who donate their time and materials to The Arc of Dauphin County, which means no charge to you. But, you do have to register.

To register: CALL TODAY: 717-920-2727 or send an e-mail to

You can have fun expressing yourself, too! Call us.

Extend MFP! Please Help

Join advocates across the country to ask Congress to protect an important program called Money Follows the Person (MFP), that has helped more than 75,000 people with disabilities and seniors move out of nursing homes and institutions.

MFP expired September 30, 2016, and states are running out of funding.  As a result, states are scaling back their programs and reducing dedicated staff and crucial resources. Last year was the first time that the number of people transitioned to the community declined. Here at The Arc of Dauphin County, we are strong advocates of inclusion in the community. Without action NOW, the states will lose momentum and more people will be stuck in institutions.

Here's how you can help: Community Integration is a pillar of our Arc's work, and we hope you can be an advocate:
  1. Use this link to call your Senators today!   
  2. Share your story - tell us why community living is important to you or a loved one.     
  3. Go to Town Hall events hosted by your Members of Congress and ask them to support the extension on the Money Follows the Person program, that helps people with disabilities live in their communities - and saves Medicaid dollars.

~Thank you for your advocacy!



In less than a year, the PA ABLE Savings Program (PA ABLE) has become one of the fastest growing ABLE plans in the nation and is now helping more than 1,000 people save for their future.

Below are some milestones that PA ABLE reached and other targeted dates your Arc of Dauphin County achieved because of your help and support.

April 2017 - PA ABLE launches with a kickoff event at the Pennsylvania State Capitol. State Treasurer Joe Torsella and United States Senator Robert Casey, who helped pass the federal legislation to create ABLE accounts, speak to a packed rotunda!

August 2017 - PA ABLE surpasses $1 million in assets.

September 2017 - More than 200 friends and partners join Treasurer Torsella at a PA ABLE community event in Pittsburgh.

October 2017 - The Arc of Pennsylvania, in partnership with MH/ID and the CMU, hosted the Achieva Trust for two workshops for over 90 people. The workshop focused on special needs trusts and the PA ABLE program.

November 2017 - Governor Tom Wolf signs legislation making PA ABLE contributions PA state income tax deductible.

November 2017 - The Arc of Dauphin County launched a series of Lunch and Learn Programs plus regular newsletter articles on special needs finances in a variety of categories. Those programs continue throughout 2018 and are planned into 2019.

December 2017 - PA ABLE closes out 2017 with its best week -- $482,000 in contributions! -- as people contributed before the end of the tax year.

January 2018 - The 1,000th account is opened and PA ABLE assets top $5 million!

As an account owner, advocate, partner, or friend, you have as much to celebrate as we do. Your continued support is helping to make the PA ABLE Savings Program one of the best in the nation, and for that, the PA ABLE Savings Program thanks you.

Learn More:

Come join our fun and engaging summer day camp program.  We provide a variety of activities as well as social and recreational experiences to participants.

Respite Day Camp is coming soon:  July for certain and possibly other months.  We will be sending out details in March.

Upcoming Events

March 2, 2018

First Friday Dance

Hosted by:  The Arc of Dauphin County
Location: The Arc of Dauphin County , 2569 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA
Time:  5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Fee:   $5  

March 6, 13, 27 2018

Arc Expression: Express Your Inner Artisan

Hosted by:  The Arc of Dauphin County
Location: The Arc of Dauphin County, 2569 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA
Time:  6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Fee :  Free

Note:  There will be no class on March 20 due to the Art Show Reception.

March 25, 2018

Speak Out! Celebration

The celebration will be held at The Central Hotel/Premier Best Western, 800 East Park Drive on March 25th.  Dinner, Dancing, Special Live Music, and Uplifting Program.  Note the new location!

Time:  Noon - 3:30 P.M.

Tickets:  $18 per person to be paid in advance.  Call Barb at 717.920.2727 or e-mail

May 19, 2018

Highmark Walk

Come support The Arc of Dauphin County on the annual Highmark Walk.  You can walk or you can be a "virtual walker".  More details coming soon.

Hosted by: 
HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, 1 HACC Drive, Harrisburg, PA.  
Disabled parking is located in parking lot E-4 on the HACC campus. The activity area for the walk is located in lot E-5. 
Registration: 7:45 AM.  The 5K Walk begins at 9:00 AM. 
The One-Mile Fun Walk begins at 9:15 AM.


Do you like organization?  The Arc of Dauphin County seeks energized, "want to make the world a better place" volunteers to help us with our new FOA (Friends of The Arc) program, filing, organizing our many closets of supplies, materials and other projects.  Even one day a month would be wonderful help!  Call Barb Bressler at 717.920.2727.

Your place to socialize and enjoy the music is The Arc of Dauphin County.  For nearly a decade we have been offering "First Friday Dances" complete with a DJ spinning your favorite tunes.  $5.00 covers entrance and hot dogs, cookies, soda, etc. (free to Charter Members of The Arc of Dauphin County). No reservation required.

The Arc of Dauphin County is Hiring!  E-mail to find out about any of the following opportunities:

CONSULTANT in the Positive Behavior Support Department.  A Bachelor's degree and certification/training in ABA techniques are requirements for this full-time temporary opportunity.
RESPITE CARE COUNSELOR - seeking one part-time person to provide support in our Respite program.  

Help support our friends with disabilities through our advocacy, education, consumer programs, life in the community/inclusion, and so much more!  Your gift ensures our non-profit can continue to provide the best services possible.  Our new Respite Center, now open and operating, will also benefit from your generosity.  Please e-mail Craig George at , or call the main switchboard at 717.920.2727.

If you are thinking long term, so are we!  Planning for the future, The Arc of Dauphin County will soon launch a Planned Giving program, which will allow our supporters who own a house or other real estate, who have paid up life insurance policies, or who would like to contribute to a trust or an Arc Endowment, as well as many other planned gift vehicles, to think long term with us.  Did you know without proper planning, the largest benefactor of your estate will be Uncle Sam?  Many planned gifts pass outside of probate from you to your loved ones and other beneficiaries, such as The Arc of Dauphin County.  For a confidential consultation, please e-mail Craig George at or call the main switchboard at 717.920.2727.

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