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A Message from the The Arc of Chester County Board President, Stephen Potts
Hello Friend,

I hope this newsletter finds you, your family, and friends healthy and safe. It feels like yesterday that I was installed as the Board President of The Arc of Chester County, yet here we are closing the fiscal year and I will end my term in a few short weeks. It has been an unusual year to serve as President of a non-profit during a pandemic, with orders to close down our county and country, coupled with the recent and ongoing protests, as we struggle to come to terms with the social injustice in our country.

Despite these unusual times, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to serve in this role and work with all of you, and the dedicated team of frontline hero’s who work at The Arc. There have been many accomplishments that we should all feel proud, including how we came together to manage this pandemic. Our work is not done, but this year has shown us that we are a strong and dedicated team, and when the going gets tough, The Arc family gets going! The Arc has been my family for as long as I can remember and one I've come to know as brave, fair, honest, and strong. Those attributes were never so true as our recent virtual Walk/Run fundraiser event, where our community rallied together and helped raise nearly $95,000, to keep our programs and essential services flowing through this COVID crisis. You can read more in the newsletter feature story.

I look forward to working with all of you as I continue to serve on the Board as the Immediate Past President. I would like to thank my fellow board members for their dedicated and loyal service, and give special thanks to Jeanne Meikrantz, for her leadership of The Arc. I am in awe of her energy, reasoned decision-making, and devotion to The Arc. I cannot imagine a better Executive Director to guide this wonderful organization forward along with her dedicated staff. Recently, we honored Lorin Forcine, winner of the 2020 Arc of Chester County Employee of the Year, who embodies the true spirit of dedication and generosity. We've included a spotlight on Lorin for you to enjoy below.

As always, thank you for all of the support you've given me as President and the opportunity to serve. I look forward to when The Arc can welcome us back into the building and we can be together again. Until then, be well and whether it be in-person or virtually, I'll see you Around The Arc .

Thank you,
Stephen Potts
Arc of Chester County Board President
The Arc of Chester County Virtual Walk & Run Raises $95k for People with Disabilities

Community Rallies for The Arc in Mass Showing of Support, Keeps Vital and Essential Services Flowing During Pandemic

P ictured Left: The adorable Walk/Run Team Captain MAGGIE, representing TEAM RADIO
at the May 17th Arc Bubble Walk, Run & Fun virtual event. TEAM RADIO won the prize
for Most Money Raised, sharing the honor
with fellow walkers/fundraisers, Team
Against All Odds!

--200 walkers and runners rallied on Sunday, May 17th and set out at 9 AM from their own neighborhoods, walking and running separately but united for The Arc. Participation included walkers and runners from all over Pennsylvania, the state of Delaware, and as far reaching as Massachusetts.

Many walkers and runners formed fundraising teams to raise additional dollars for The Arc. The combined effort of individual donors, local organizations, and corporate sponsors reinforced the power of community. Event proceeds and corporate sponsorship will aid as a lifeline to keep The Arc’s vital and essential services flowing for those in need of The Arc’s support. Donations continue to come in post event, with a new goal set of $100,000 to reach by fiscal year end, June 30 th .

“We are humbled and incredibly grateful for the outpouring of community support,” said Jeanne Meikrantz, Executive Director of The Arc of Chester County. “With the support of CTDI and the rest of the generous sponsors and loyal supporters, we can make sure no one is left behind especially during this pandemic. Now more than ever, families, children, and adults with disabilities and their families are relying on our supports and services.”
 
Last year, the physical event was held at West Goshen Community Park in West Chester. Adults and kids alike, walked through bubble stations along a one-mile course or ran a 5k through adjacent neighborhoods. The 2020 virtual Walk & Run extended The Arc’s reach allowing for people to get involved outside Chester County and walk or run at a course of their choosing. “It was incredible to see the virtual show of support on May 17 th ,” added Stephen Potts, Board President of The Arc of Chester County. “Walkers and runners shared photos on social media as they set out with loved ones from all over- neighborhoods, parks, trails, sports fields, and nature preserves. The Arc Walk, Run & Fun event was an opportunity to be a champion for children and adults with disabilities and it also made us feel more connected to one another during COVID,” added Potts. 
 
The Arc provides a lifetime continuum of services in Chester County and the surrounding area, to 3,000 individuals and families a year. Proceeds from The Arc Bubble Walk, Run & Fun event will support The Arc of Chester County’s programs and services, which include Advocacy, Children’s Early Learning, Family Support Services, Employment, and Transportation.      
Pictured Above: TEAM OLIVIA sporting their fabulous, custom-made tees, as they walked strong on May 17th for The Arc Bubble Walk, Run & Fun virtual fundraiser event. The team's creative efforts won Best Costume, shared with fellow prize winner, Deb Landers.
SPOTLIGHT: Lorin Forcine, The Arc of Chester County 2020 Employee of the Year!
Pictured Above: Arc of Chester County Employee, Lorin Forcine (left) receiving the Employee of the Year award from Arc Executive Director, Jeanne Meikrantz (right).

The Arc of Chester County created an Employee of the Year award, in memory and honor of Rosanna Basilio Tavoni, a former Arc advocate and employee. Throughout Rosanna’s career at The Arc, she demonstrated a desire to grow, learn, and utilize her skills with enthusiasm and compassion. Each year, The Arc selects an employee who exemplifies those same qualities and humbles us with their spirit and kindness. This year, The Arc of Chester County Preschool Teacher, Lorin Forcine, is the Employee of the Year!

Lorin has worked for The Arc since 1998 and is a dedicated teacher, thoughtful and caring peer, and a natural leader. She has demonstrated courage, patience, compassion, and dedication to The Arc through her 22 years of service, evident by her daily acts of kindness and excellence. Lorin is described by her peers as "a person you can always rely on to bring calm to a situation." She works with a steady hand and a big heart.

Lorin, otherwise known as Ms. Lorin, is beloved by our Preschool community. She is never one to complain even when facing the most challenging of situations. She is also known for her honesty and performs her work at the highest quality, with great integrity. These are qualities that The Arc holds dear and looks for in potential employees.

Lorin has supported The Arc of Chester County in countless ways and to list them all would require a novella. She is a team player and always willing to help, witnessed by the “cheer” she performed with friend Kelly, to keep families feeling connected during this pandemic. Lorin's positivity has brought hope to many families who aren't shy about expressing their mutual love and admiration. Congratulations to Lorin for her Employee of the Year recognition and for showing us through actions, that one person can make a difference in a multitude of lives.

Virtual Annual Meeting
2020-2021 Arc Board Member Induction
  Over 30 Arc of Chester County board members, staff, and friends, gathered virtually on June 17th, for the annual meeting and board induction ceremony. Traditionally, the meeting also includes an awards presentation, which has been postponed to early fall due to the Coronavirus epidemic.

Stephen Potts , current Arc of Chester County Board President, delivered heart-warming remarks about his experience and reminisced about the one-year commitment, concluding June 30. Immediate Board Past President,
Paul Cardell , officiated the inductions of The 2020-2021 Arc of Chester County Board Members and their respective terms, effective July 1st:

Officers:
Matthew Holliday: President/One Year Term
Adam Lamb: First Vice President/One Year Term
Paige Meacham: Second Vice President/One Year Term
Jessica Straghan: Treasurer/One Year Term
Sonal Gandhi: Secretary/One Year term
Stephen Potts: Immediate Past President/One Year Term

Directors:
Jennifer Wilson: Second One Year Term
Tom Beckett: Second One Year Term
Lisa Albany: First Three Year Term
Victoria Burns First Three Year Term
Karen Hayes: First Three Year Term, new board member
Erica Cline Reading: First Three Year Term
Jessica Straghan: First Three Year Term
Dan Wesolowski: First Three Year Term
Jonathan Light: Second Three Year Term
Paul Cardell: Third Three Year Term

Paul Cardell welcomed the newly elected governance committee and Board President, Matthew Holliday, to The Arc of Chester County 2020-2021 Board of Directors. The Board Officers and Directors took a pledge to honor their roles and uphold characteristics of courage, patience, time, service, and support. Paul also introduced and thanked the board members whose terms continue: Mary-Ellen Allen, Pat Biswanger, Ashley Fox and Robert Siegel.

Arc of Chester County Executive Director, J eanne Meikrantz closed the meeting with well wishes to both old and new Board members. Jeanne commended all those who serve the mission, on their dedication and efforts in successfully keeping The Arc operational and safe during the pandemic.

Congratulations to the 2020-2021 Arc of Chester County Board! 
COVID-19 Operations & Planning
The Arc of Chester County continues to closely monitor the changing and evolving information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We are working around the clock to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all those we serve in The Arc community. Our Program Directors are working with their teams to continue offering the uninterrupted services and assistance our population relies on, especially those with disabilities.

The Arc is working on creating a re-entry plan to welcome our community back to The Arc once given the green light by Governor Tom Wolf. In the interim, we will continue to keep many of our programs and essential services accessible, and our agency operational, as we have done successfully over these last three months.

In general, many of our services have been able to continue during the COVID crisis in alternative formats. We have remained operational as an essential business during this pandemic and continue to provide face to face services like other frontline workers in the health care industry. Some programs and services did require closing, following government directives and for safety reasons such as Transportation to and from adult day programs and Recreation activities/outings.

The Arc of Chester County continues to be a voice at the table with our legislators to advocate for COVID relief and the individuals we support. We have maximized the minimal benefits we are eligible for and have aggressively sought other sources to supplement the loss in revenue, our increased costs, and to remain operational as an essential human services organization.

We welcome your thoughts and concerns and look forward to when we can reopen our doors and welcome you back with open arms. Stay healthy and
in touch!
The mission of The Arc of Chester County is to advocate, educate and provide services to empower individuals with disabilities and their families to enhance the quality of their lives.  The official registration and financial information of The Arc of Chester County may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free within Pennsylvania 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement. The Arc of Chester County is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization—contributions to which are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

 The Arc of Chester County is affiliated with The Arc of Pennsylvania, The Arc of The United States, and The United Way.
Phone: 610-696-8090
900 Lawrence Drive
West Chester, PA 19380
Fax: 610-696-8300