"Original art is pouring through our front door!" Barbara Bressler, The Arc of Dauphin County's  receptionist exclaimed this week as entries for the 44th annual Our Art, Our Voice art show come in to be readied for the exhibition.

"This year, we are doing something entirely different," said Ken Seeger, Director of Consumer Programs.  "Instead of the exhibition being at only one location, it is going to move around to numerous locations in order to give the art and our wonderful artists maximum exposure," he added.

Art is being submitted by anyone with Special Needs, and will be displayed throughout the region.  "We are particularly proud of the new art display panels we received," said Matthew George, Director of Lands and Facilities, who is responsible for the care and erection of the display.  "They are designed so that if a venue wants the exhibition very close to a wall, they can go as close as six inches. They can also stand alone in numerous configurations, so they are very versatile, which is what we need since the show will be traveling to many locations and will be displayed in many different situations throughout the MidState," he said.

Currently, several venues have signed up to host the exhibition, and several more are jockeying around dates in order to create an exhibition calendar.  A special e-mail "mailing" will soon go out to our entire database announcing the various locations and the dates in which the exhibition will appear.

Artists can still submit entries!  Our deadline has been pushed back to October 31st;  artists may submit up to four entries each.  Please call the office at 717-920-2727 and ask for Barb Bressler to get an entry packet, or you can download one from our Website at www.arcofdc.org.

Our Art, Our Lives is a juried show, which will be judged by a panel of judges before the exhibition opens. Prizes will be awarded in three age categories.  

Prizes include First Place, Second Place, and Honorable Mention, and Merit Award in each category, Best of Show across all categories, and two unusual awards:  One is an "People's Award" made by vote through a ballot system at each venue.  The award is by venue, so if the exhibition is at five different places, there will be five such awards.  Finally, there will also be a Social Media Award, which will allow the public to vote on their favorite entry by Facebook.  There will be signage at the exhibition telling the viewing public how to vote in both the People's Award and the Social Media Award.  

News From Respite Camp

Our brand new Respite Camp is continuing to receive rave reviews for its beauty, cleanliness, style, look and feel...but most important, the litany of wonderful activities available to those attending the Respite Camp. Each Saturday is filled with activities out in the community. We have also received most positive remarks about our Respite Center Staff, and the delicious food Joe Martin or his helpers prepare!

"Joe is a remarkable guy," said Craig George, Arc President. "He is very organized, and is charismatic-all the Respite Camp attendees really look up to him. He's a natural leader and a lot of fun-but also laser focused on taking exemplary care of our campers and their needs," he said.

Also receiving acclaim is the rest of the Respite Center staff. "Working with Joe, we have Ruth, Jennifer, Kenia, Kamice and Francesca; there is always staff on duty, around the clock," said Ken Seeger, Director of Consumer Programs.

The Respite Camp is booked out in advance for some time, but there are available slots for someone wishing to attend a weekend Respite Camp according to Joe, "Our next months with available slots are January and February," he said. "Building the new Respite Center Camp was over a year and half of hard work, and very long hours but in the end, very well worth all the effort by many, many people," he added.

Joe Martin wanted to celebrate the birthday of a consumer last weekend.  
Here Joe holds Brian's cake so he can blow out the candles.

Craig's Corner: Birthdays, Art Shows, and Campaign for Best Lives 
A Message from our President and CEO

A birthday is coming in a little over two months!  The Arc of Dauphin County will turn 65 years old as of January 2018. 

Photo by Barbar Spurber
Imagine!  Think of all the families and individuals that have been served these past 65 years.  Currently over 1,000 individuals and families are being served in some way by The Arc of Dauphin County every year.  That is really something for our agency.  And, that is certainly a lot more folks than were served back in 1953, but with growth happening year after year, our board and the team here at The Arc of Dauphin County work hard every day to enhance the quality of life and community integration for individuals with special needs.  That's our mission, and we're sticking to it for the next 65 years! (It'll go by fast). 

SNEAK PREVIEW: Here is a sneak preview of our new seal, which celebrates our birthday. You will see this quite often in 2018! At some point this spring, we expect to have an open house to serve two purposes: (1) Celebrate our Sapphire Anniversary (65 years) and (2) Celebrate the Grand Opening of our new Respite Center. Stay tuned to our newsletter, and we'll let you know the details as we get closer to the celebration.  

Elsewhere in this edition, please read about our 44th Annual Art Show! (Yes, when you've been around for 65 years, you can have a long running event that stretches out over the decades!) Every day new art is brought to us for the show, and we are going to have a terrific art show leading up to our 65th anniversary. Someone in downtown Harrisburg told me, "What a dynamic title! How powerful! That title says it all, doesn't it?" The title of our art show: OUR ART, OUR VOICE!  

Our Annual Appeal Campaign will kick off in November. Last year was one of our most successful years ever thanks to our dedicated band of family, friends, and acquaintances who want to see The Arc of Dauphin County stay strong, stay relevant, and to make new headway into service programs for our consumers. We can't begin to thank our supporters enough; they are loyal, dedicated and committed to serving our consumers. With respect to our 65 years, we expect this year's annual appeal, called THE CAMPAIGN FOR BEST LIVES, to propel us into the future.  

Finally, I cannot sign off without thanking our host of family, friends, Arc Team members, Arc board members, sponsors and players for making our 2nd Annual Million Dollar Golf Outing a huge success. We not only are already planning the 3rd Annual on September 17, 2018 at Deer Valley, we have ALREADY SIGNED UP THE FIRST FOURSOME. Our foursomes play to support our consumers, and in 2018 we want to see at least 25 foursomes! Who will be the second foursome to sign up?   

30th Anniversary of Pennhurst Closing
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Pennhurst State School and Hospital closing.

Located outside Philadelphia, Pennhurst was established in 1908 as an institutional home for people with developmental disabilities.  The grounds included a total of 17 buildings interconnected by underground tunnels,  a farm, and stables; t hese made Pennhurst completely self-reliant.

Over decades many scandals brought to light issues of mistreatment, violence, and neglect toward the resident population.  In 1968 reporter Bill Baldini was able to bring cameras into Pennhurst as part of an investigation; the result was the five-part documentary Suffer The Little Children, which revealed for the first time to the public the conditions inside the institution.  

The televised program shook its audience to the core; Pennhurst became the focus for a human right movement that culminated in 1977 with the U.S. District Court ruling that Pennhurst violated the civil rights of the residents,  and that people with developmental disabilities have the right to live in the community.

The institution was officially closed in 1987.  Today the Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance is in the process of preserving some of the buildings and grounds to create a museum that bears testament to the past, the difficult living conditions of the more than 10,000 residents over eighty years, and their inextricable connections to the movement for the rights of people with disabilities.

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania will mark the 30th anniversary of the closing with a panel discussion and display about the history of Pennhurst and the progress of advocacy since then.  The event hours are 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

For more information and to RSVP, visit the Pennsylvania Historical Society website.

The Arc Has a New Van

Some of our consumers and their leaders who are in The Arc's Super Six program get ready to head out on an adventure in the community!

Dauphin County's ID system recognized the need that individuals had for transportation and provided dollars to The Arc of Dauphin County to purchase a van.  Now, The Arc of Dauphin County has a new white Ford van fully equipped with a new wheel chair lift, which is safe and secure.  The van greatly expands our capabilities to serve our consumers, and they are as proud of it as we are!  

Open Enrollment for ACA Starts in Just Six Days!

This year the enrollment period will be half as long than in years past and part of the resources for in-person assistance and advertising have been cut. This means there are high chances that the people who need the coverage the most will miss the open enrollment time window.

It is up to all of us to spread the information among our families and neighbors to let them know how to get covered.

For states participating in the Federal Marketplace Open Enrollment begins November 1 and runs through December 15, 2017. If you don't have health insurance through your job, Medicare, Medicaid, or another source you can find it through the Marketplace.

Coverage for plans sold during Open Enrollment starts January 1, 2018.

You can apply for coverage in the way that's most convenient for you:
  • Online att htps://www.healthcare.gov
  • By phone at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325)
  • With in-person help
  • With a paper application
After December 15, you can enroll for a 2018 health insurance plan only if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. You can find out if you qualify at https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/special-enrollment-period/.  

Save The Date!!

We have some very important opportunities coming up that you don't want to miss!   

NOVEMBER THROUGH JANUARY:  The Campaign for Best Lives, our annual appeal.  This is the time of the year you can make a supporting gift to The Arc, receive a tax credit letter, and know that your gift has directly supported our consumers.
JANUARY:  (Date and time to be announced---probably will be offered at two different times):  A neurologist and others will present new ways of dealing with seizures in those with special needs.  This will certainly be a "lunch & learn" that parents, guardians, care givers, group home owners and group home managers and other staff will definitely want to attend.  Keep watching for the January date!
FEBRUARY:  Our annual Valentine's Dinner & Dance, a great social experience for those with special needs.  We'll announce the exact date very soon so you can start planning.
MARCH:  Speak Out! Celebration will be held at the Premier Best Western, 800 East Park Drive on March 25th.  Dinner, Dancing, Special Live Music, and Uplifting Program.  Note the new location!
EACH MONTH, FIRST FRIDAY:  Don't forget our First Friday of the Month Dances!  The Arc of Dauphin County Community Room, live DJ, great food, music and friends.  5:30 to 7:30.  Two hours of pure fun and networking with new and old friends!

Each year, your professional team at The Arc of Dauphin County works to help another charity at Christmas time. We work to provide a Christmas gift to someone in need.  This is an internal campaign with our staff, but we invite others to join us as well.
At our October "all hands" staff meeting, we voted to provide Christmas gifts for residents at the Robert M. Jackson Veterans Center, and we elected the newest member of our staff, Celeste Martin, to head the effort.  
The Robert M. Jackson Veterans Center, Inc. (RMJVC, Inc,) is a non-profit 501 c (3) organization
founded in 2010 by Mr. Robert M. Jackson.  The Center's mission is to assist homeless veterans in need of services and to develop a resilient, self-sufficient lifestyle essential to succeeding in today's environment.  Mr. Jackson has been a vibrant and highly influential role model in the Greater Harrisburg Community for over 35 years.
A U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, Mr. Jackson led a battalion in the Vietnam conflict; he received two Meritorious Mass Navy Commendations with less than two years in the corps.  He was awarded numerous other medals during his career.  The Veteran Center works to honor those who defended our country but never received the proper recognition for their service.  Another objective is to improve their quality of life.
The residence is an 18-bed facility consisting of private furnished rooms at an affordable cost, an elevator to provide accessibility throughout the building including a laundry facility and full kitchen.  Five men's rest rooms and one lady's rest rooms are available.  Residents may stay as long or short as they please.
The Arc's Christmas drive for the Robert M. Jackson Veterans Center is to provide the Center's residents gift cards to stores that provide necessities the veterans might need, and which are located on accessible bus routes.  We are collecting gift cards (or cash donations to use to purchase gift cards) to Wal-Mart and Target.  To contribute to the drive, please contact Celeste Martin at cmartin@arcofdc.org or call 717.920.2727 ext.102.

Upcoming Events

Our Art, Our Voice! Art Show Deadline

October 31, 2017

Deadline for our Art Show. Have your art turned in with entry form by 4:00 PM this date!

November 3, 2017

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  


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 assets.  Even one day a month would be wonderful help!  Call Barb Bressler at 717.920.2727.

The "penthouse" level of our Respite Center Building (RCB) is becoming our Archive.  This beautiful space has its own independent heating and cooling system, it is very, very quiet on this floor, and you would be working on your own schedule to organize seven years of records.  The Archive will be divided into seven departments, and over time, the Archivist of The Arc will get all seven departments organized and searchable.  The Archivist candidate will need to pass FBI background checks, and other background checks.  Must also be able to lift a "banker's box" of files, and able to climb two flights of stairs to reach the Archive.  This is a very special volunteer opportunity for a very special person, and will remain open until filled.  For more information, please contact Craig George at cgeorge@arcofdc.org , and specify in the subject line: ARCHIVES.

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)

The Arc of Dauphin County is Hiring!  E-mail  hr@arcofdc.org 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.  

We also have the following unpaid internship available:

ADVANCEMENT ASSISTANT - responsible for assisting the organization in the development and implementation of its marketing, business development (fundraising, grant research and writing, etc.), and public relations plans

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, which will open after the first of the year, will also benefit from your generosity.  Please e-mail Craig George at   cgeorge@arcofdc.org , 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 cgeorge@arcofdc.org or call the main switchboard at 717.920.2727.

Visit us at www.arcofdc.org.