Craig's Corner
A Message from our Executive Director

Looking ahead to 2017, all nonprofits, with support from foundations, private donors and corporate sponsors, will have their work cut out for them: Replacing cut governmental services, helping the most vulnerable navigate the altered landscape, calling out and guarding against violations of individual rights, and ensuring that their constituents' needs are met or surpassed.  Whew!  A tall order, but The Arc of Dauphin County is doing just that, thanks to all the wonderful support our donors to The Campaign for Best Lives have made, plus all the many other donors who plan to contribute to our annual appeal by year's end.
In funds raised, we are about 1/5 of the way through our $50,000 campaign.  I know that many of our friends have given sacrificially to the success of the Campaign, and to these folks, we say "Bless you for your support."  Every day, here at The Arc, we are "blown away" by generosity extended to the community we serve.
That generosity comes in many forms.  The construction company that is helping us rebuild our Respite Center, Pyramid Construction of Camp Hill, PA has waived many fees that would normally have been charged to us.  "It is the right thing to do," our Project Manager, Dan Gibson, told me.
We have fans of The Arc of Dauphin County supporting the Campaign from as far away as Philadelphia, Reading, State College, and even other states.  People everywhere are resonating with the unique mission of Dauphin County's Arc, and they want to ensure we succeed in helping the community we serve succeed beyond everyone's expectations.
1/5 Down, 4/5 to Go!

The Campaign for Best Lives has brought in 1/5 of the $50,000 goal; we still need to bring in 4/5 of the total.  If you haven't contacted us yet, please know that all gifts to the Campaign are used 100% for programs and services, and this year focuses on the wonderful work of our Advocacy program as well as other Arc programs.
Did you know that you can call us directly to contribute, or you can send in a check by mail, but that the most effective way to contribute is to go to our Website, click on "Donate Now" and set up your own mini campaign?  This is called Peer To Peer donating, and your own campaign can have your own unique and creative title (our Chairman of the Board, Jan Lewis, named her campaign "Arc Angels", for example).  You set up your own "page", then invite friends, colleagues and co-workers to visit your private page, where they can make individual contributions.  As one donor told me, "I could give $50, and then on my Peer To Peer page, have my own little campaign where people I know all give $50 too.  If I have ten friends give $50, we've suddenly given a total of $550 - that is a long way from the $50 I donated."
So please do consider a tax deductible gift to The Arc of Dauphin County this year, and if you can, reach new heights with your own Peer To Peer campaign.  We are always curious as to who will have the most creative name for their campaign!  Regardless of what you want to do, it is very easy to contribute to The Campaign for Best Lives.  For more information, or help setting up your Peer To Peer network, please call Sam Primak, our Director of Advancement, at 717.920.2727.
Joy to All!
This year's Breakfast with Santa a huge success

Holiday spirit and excitement filled the Colonial Lounge on the morning of December 3rd.  The restaurant's doors opened at 9 a.m., and as attendees arrived, they were treated to a hearty
Santa hugs an admirer.
breakfast, with everything from bacon and eggs to sausage and pancakes.  Consumers and children were curiously eyeing the seemingly endless rows of presents lining a nearby table, wondering what gifts were in store for them.  Holiday music played cheerfully in the background as the dining room began to fill.  The delicious breakfast, expertly prepared and served by staff at the Colonial Lounge, was a hit with the group, but it was not enough of a distraction to prevent many from glancing repeatedly at Santa's throne, which sat empty.  He had not arrived, and the anticipation was high.

Finally, just before 10 a.m., word began to spread that Santa was spotted nearby.  Soon enough, he burst through the door with a jolly and boisterous greeting that would put a smile on anyone's face.  Children screamed with joy and laughed.  Santa had arrived!  Mrs. Claus and a friendly elf were also on hand to assist old Kris Kringle.

One by one, they called the names of consumers and children.  Every person on the list had the chance to whisper his or her Christmas wishes to Santa, take a photo with him and receive gifts, which did not disappoint.  After all names had been called, Santa led the crowd as they sang a rowdy rendition of "Jingle Bells".  He then said his goodbyes and rushed back to the North Pole.  Breakfast with Santa ended as a great success.

Santa and Mrs. Claus lead a sing along!
"I could not have been happier with this event.  The Colonial Lounge and Bo Vires, who played Santa, put so much effort into making this a truly enjoyable experience for all," said Sam Primak, Director of Advancement at The Arc.  "They provided a great breakfast, and they secured a number of donations that allowed them to give out substantial gifts.  We cannot thank them enough."

"I look forward to partnering and doing this again next year," said Craig George, Executive Director of The Arc. "This year's event was a great triumph, but my hope is that we can make it even bigger next year!"

Back 2 School
The Arc participates in program to help students in need

Since August 2016, The Arc of Dauphin County has been partnering with Penbrook Borough on a program that provides school materials to disadvantaged students in elementary, middle and high school.  Known as Back 2 School, the program's purpose is to solicit donations of school supplies from the community.  These supplies are then collected and presented to students throughout Penbrook in need of such materials.  This year, members of The Arc's Super Six program and Aktion
Left to Right: Ken Seeger, Joe Martin and Gay Bowman of The Arc help stuff backpacks as part of the Back 2 School program.
Club volunteered their time and efforts to collect donations.  These donations, along with many from The Arc's employees, Board of Directors and affiliated groups, such as The Arc's Crocheting Club, made it possible for The Arc to stuff eight backpacks full of supplies for elementary school students and five backpacks for middle school or high school students.
"The Back 2 School program is a collaborative effort, and to see our staff, board and members of our programs donate these supplies and their time demonstrates how The Arc brings people together for a great cause," said Joe Martin, a Consumer Program Specialist who works with Super Six and Aktion Club.
The 13 backpacks will be presented to Penbrook Borough later in December, but the partnership will not end there.  Back 2 School generated such a large response that The Arc decided it will continue to collect school supplies and donations until the end of June 2017.  Penbrook Borough will then present the materials to students during their National Night Out celebration on August 1.
School supplies that can be donated include, but are not limited to, book bags, composition books, pens, pencils, folders, rulers, staplers with staples, and paper clips.  For more information on the Back 2 School program and a complete list of accepted donations, please contact Barb Bressler at or call our main switchboard at 717.920.2727.

Bryant Cummings of the Grainger Foundation (left) presents a donation to Sam Primak of The Arc.
Grainger Foundation Donates $5,000 to The Arc of Dauphin County

The Arc of Dauphin County is the recipient of a $5,000 donation from the Grainger Foundation.  Donated as part of The Campaign for Best Lives, The Arc plans to use the funds for the respite program, which will re-launch upon completion of the new Respite Center.  The Grainger Foundation, of Lake Forest, Illinois, is associated with W.W. Grainger Inc., which is a broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products.

Help Support The Arc of Dauphin County and United Way of the Capital Region!

With 2016 coming to a close, United Way of the Capital Region is in the midst of its year-end giving campaign.  Your gift to the United Way will significantly help to improve lives in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry Counties.


But...did you know that, through this campaign, you are able to direct your gift to The Arc of Dauphin County?  This is possible thanks to our status as a United Way program partner!  To direct your gift to us, simply enter UWCR Code 7004 and Federal Tax ID number 23-1508343 as you complete your hard-copy or online United Way of the Capital Region pledge form.  You will also need to include our organization name and our address (2569 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA 17103).  Your generous support will have a positive impact on the community The Arc and United Way serves!  Thank you!
Save the Date!
Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community 2017

The Arc of Dauphin County is once again participating in the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community presented by Highmark Blue Shield on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at HACC's Harrisburg Campus.
The Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community is a fundraiser that benefits local health and human services agencies, such as The Arc of Dauphin County.
Highmark Blue Shield underwrites the cost of the walk so that 100 percent of the money raised by walkers goes directly to the 48 participating organizations.
This walk is always great fun for all participants.  Mark May 20, 2017 on your calendar, and start gathering friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers to walk with you to ensure a healthier community.
For more information, visit

A Sweet Treat from The Arc's EITC Culinary Program

This month, we are featuring a recipe straight from our Culinary Program, which is made possible through our Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program.  During the 2016-2017 school year, we are working with the Central Dauphin and Susquenita School Districts to provide basic culinary training to participating students.  "This training and support really ensures skill development towards independence.  We want participating students to gain domestic skills that are essential in managing daily living," said Gay Bowman, Consumer Programs Specialist.  Bowman plans and coordinates the EITC Culinary Program, and in this month's issue of The Arc of Dauphin County News, we are sharing a recipe perfect for the holidays.

No-Bake Christmas Tree Cookies christmas_tree_red_gold.jpg

Prep Time: 20 minutes

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Green food coloring
  • ¾ cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Colored sugar
  1. In a large pot, melt butter. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir icing sugar and milk. Mix in coconut, vanilla extract and food coloring to make mixture green.
  3. Shape into small balls. Using the tips of your fingers, gently squeeze one side of the ball until it looks like a cone. If you see any that you want to reshape, they can be easily reshaped at room temperature.
  4. Put uncovered on a baking sheet to set in the fridge for 2-3 hours or the freezer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. In a small pot, melt chocolate, 1 teaspoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of milk over low heat, stirring until smooth. Dip the tops of the cookies in the white chocolate to look like snow. Sprinkle with colored sugar.
  6. Set in the fridge or freezer to set before storing in an air tight container.

Upcoming Events

January 6, 2017
Young Adult First Friday Dance
Hosted by:  The Arc of Dauphin County
Join us for fun, food, and friendship at The Arc of Dauphin County, and hear the DJ play your favorite music!
Location:  The Arc of Dauphin County, Harsco Center, 2569 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA
Time:  5:30 - 7:30 PM
Cost:  $5.00 per person - includes food and drinks

Do you like organization?  We seek 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.
Volunteer to help refinish wooden bedroom furniture for new Respite Center.  You would be working with Arc staff and spending about a day first smoothing out the wooden bed frames and end tables with fine grit sandpaper or steel wool.  Next, after cleaning off sanding dust, we will apply a finish.  If you like working with wood, this is a perfect place to lend a hand for a great cause!  For more information, please contact Ashley Carter by email at or call the main switchboard at 717.920.2727. 
The "penthouse" level of our Respite Center Building (RCB) is becoming our archives.  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 Archives 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 Archives.  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 , 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.
The Arc of Dauphin County is Hiring!  E-mail Ashley Carter at to find out about any of the following opportunities:
CONSULTANT in the Positive Behavior Support Department.  We would prefer at least a Bachelor's degree.  This opportunity is part time, with potential to grow to full time.  LEBANON AREA candidates are especially sought.
EMPLOYMENT SPECIALIST in the Pre-Employment Transition program of our Consumer Programs Department.  Bachelor's degree preferred.
TRANSITION INSTRUCTOR - seeking four part time persons to work in transition from school to work programs.  
After the first of the year, we are forming a care giver's group, the ideal place to network with other care givers, parents, and maybe picking up some helpful hints, ideas, support from your peers!  All this with the addition of a light dinner, and perhaps a recognized speaker who could also provide helpful information and most important: Inspiration!  E-mail Joe Martin at , or call our main switchboard at 717.920.2727.
Help support our friends with disabilities through our advocacy, education, consumer programs, cultural and 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 Sam Primak 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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