BREAKING NEWS: Boscov's Department Store Makes Major Donation to The Arc of Dauphin County! 

When Jim Boscov, President and CEO of Boscov's
Jim Boscov
Department Stores, learned that our Arc Respite Center did not have mattresses and box springs for overnight respites, he did not hesitate to step forward with a major gift to The Arc of Dauphin County.

"We are thrilled to be able to help our community by supporting those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  We also know of the stress and hardship on families providing full time care for their loved ones, thus the importance of an overnight respite.  We see this as a substantial need and we want to contribute to strengthening our community in this way," said Jim Boscov.

Informing Arc staff and constituents of the Boscov Gift, which will completely outfit the bedrooms with mattresses and box springs from Boscov's Department Stores, Craig George, Executive Director; Ken Seeger, Director of Consumer Programs; Sam Primak, Director of Advancement; and Jan Lewis, Chairman of the Board, issued this joint statement: "The Arc of Dauphin County only works when community leaders and business leaders throughout Central Pennsylvania are engaged and working with us to achieve our mission of enhancing the quality of life and community integration for individuals with special needs.  Jim Boscov and his staff realize this as evidenced by their generosity and support.  We could not have opened our refurbished and upgraded Respite Camp Center had it not been for Jim, who not only has our gratitude, but the appreciation of families and consumers who will make use of the Respite Center."

The Respite Camp Center will open the latter part of March and will feature activities for consumers to be out in the community.  The evening meal will be prepared in the new kitchen, comfortable living room amenities will create a space for comfort, security and quiet.  The Respite Camp Center includes a conversation nook, education areas, sturdy furniture, and thanks to this gift, comfortable bedrooms outfitted with Boscov mattresses and box springs.

The Respite Camp Center has several sponsorship opportunities available, all of which ensure the success of the Center.  You or a group of like-minded friends can become a sponsor.  Click HERE to learn how.

The Hunt is On!
The Arc of Dauphin County seeking donations for new Respite Center

Artist's rendering of The Arc of Dauphin County's Respite Center
Great news!  Since we last sent out an e-mail soliciting donations to our soon-to-open Respite Center, we have had a terrific response from folks who want to help.  We have had crock pots, towels, coffee pots, and many supplies pouring in.  Thank you to all who have helped.
Today, our list is half as long as it once was.  We are down to the last items.  Do you have or know of a source for anything on our present wish list?
  We are hunting for...
Bedding and Linens
  • 14 white fitted twin bottom sheets
  • 14 white twin top sheets
  • 2 single white queen top sheets
  • 2 single white fitted queen bottom sheets  
  • 18 twin bed spreads or duvets
  • 18 twin mattress pads
  • 2 queen bed spreads or duvets
  • 2 queen mattress pads
  • 8 pillows
  • 14 pillow cases
  • 18 twin blankets
  • 2 queen blankets
  • 4 shower curtains

Kitchen Needs

  • 4 hot pads for handling hot dishes from oven - hand size
  • Microwave

Furniture Needs

  • 8 matching chairs for dining tables - wooden or leather/vinyl upholstery or marine fabric
  • 1 desk for manager's office
  • 1 file cabinet (any number of drawers, vertical or lateral) for manager's office
  • 4 night stands (tables) WE HAVE SECURED TWO, WE JUST NEED TWO MORE
  • 4 chairs (similar to "living room chairs") - wood, leather, man-made leather-like material, etc. or marine grade fabric
  • 1 sofa (full size, not love seat) - must be wood, man-made leather-like material, marine grade fabric, vinyl, etc.
  • Entertainment center (approximately 42Wx25Hx16D)

Electronic Needs

  • Laptop or iPad
  • 2 surge protector power strips

Specialty Needs

  • 2 mission-style ceiling fixtures (call Craig George at 717.920.2727 for specifics)
  • 250 square feet of "stained glass window film"**
  • 150 square feet of "Walk Off Mat" (2x2' squares)
  • 5 window treatments (valance, curtain, etc.) - call Craig George at 717.920.2727 for specifics

**Preferably a mission/arts and crafts style but "etched glass" and other designs are also acceptable

  1. We will provide an IRS tax deduction letter for your convenience.
  2. We cannot accept items that are inoperable, worn, torn, distressed, or faded.
  3. Your donation can make a real difference as we help the families of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Your generosity helps tell others how important our mission is!
  4. We have a list of specialty naming  and sponsorship opportunities available.  All donors naming or sponsoring an item will be recognized on an interactive donor wall.  Call Sam Primak at 717.920.2727 for more details or click here.
Craig's Corner
A Message from our Executive Director

Here at The Arc of Dauphin County, we are evaluating the proposed budget by Pennsylvania's governor.  These budgets matter dearly to The Arc.  We champion funding to facilitate the removal of consumers from the "wait list", and we endorse additional funding to support the services we provide now or shall provide in the future.
Governor Wolf has unveiled his 2017-18 budget proposal before a joint session of the House and Senate.  What the Governor proposes and what eventually becomes the actual budget can vary.  According to Maureen Cronin, Executive Director of The Arc of Pennsylvania, " This is the most forward-thinking budget for people with disabilities in at least a decade, and it is clear the Governor heard the concerns of people with disabilities, families and advocates."
The budget contains $2 billion in savings and $1 billion in new revenue to bring the budget into balance.  A structural reform combines the departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Aging and Health and Human Services.  The amalgamation of these agencies will be one single agency: The Department of Health and Human Services.  This merger is projected to save the Commonwealth $90 million annually.

A few features of the proposed budget for ID/A (intellectual disability and autism) include:
  • $230,000 in the ID Community Base Program to provide targeted services management state plan services to 455 individuals on the waiting list 
  • $782,000 in Autism Intervention and Services to provide targeted services management state plan services to 1,545 individuals on the waiting list
  • $54.7 million to provide for rate increases from the renewal of the waiver program 
  • $109.7 million to provide for increases in utilization and costs
  • $15.4 million for the Community Living Waiver to create a new program for family caregivers to ensure 1,000 individuals currently on the waiting list can continue to live at home
  • $8.5 million to expand services for individuals with disabilities to provide home and community-based services for 820 students graduating from special education - a figure that is projected to cover every such student this coming year
  • Funding to begin to transition individuals from the Hamburg State Center to home and community-based services
  • $9.3 million for new community participation services from the renewal of the waiver program
  • $642,000 in Autism Intervention and Services for home and community-based services for 50 additional adults with autism spectrum disorder
Speak Out!
The 33rd Annual Speak Out! Celebration

The Arc of Dauphin County will be hosting its 33rd Annual Speak Out! Celebration on Sunday, March 26, 2017 from 12:00 to 3:30 PM in the Pennsylvania Ballroom at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey Hotel.
Offered as a celebration of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, The Arc's Speak Out! event provides the opportunity to recognize the talents, skills and abilities of individuals with disabilities.  It also allows individuals who have found their voice to share that voice with others.
"Speak Out is an extremely popular event.  Our consumers look forward to attending every year," said Sam Primak, Director of Advancement. 

"This year, we have two very special speakers who will be sharing their life experiences and successes at our celebration.  We also have some great entertainment lined up, including performances from the Moutarde au Miel Trio, which is a trio of musicians from Elizabethtown College.  It will be a great time!" said Primak.
Registration is required, and the cost to attend is $15 per person.  For more information, please contact Sam Primak by phone at 717.920.2727 or by email at
Fun at the Valentine Couples' Dinner and Dance!

2017 Valentine Couples' Dinner and Dance Attendees
The Arc of Dauphin County held its annual Valentine Couples' Dinner and Dance on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at the Harsco Center.
The couples enjoyed an evening that started with dinner and ended with dessert and dancing.

"We've been offering the Valentine Couples' Dinner and Dance for many years now," said Ken Seeger, Director of Consumer Programs.  "We know how much some of our consumers look forward to the event, so we always do our absolute best to make it a special evening for them."

"We decorated the dining area and tried to create a nice atmosphere for the evening.  We also prepared dinner for everyone attending, and I think it was a great success.  Everyone was having a blast," said Joe Martin, Consumer Programs Specialist.
The Arc's Valentine's Day tradition is expected to continue for many years to come.  "We're already looking forward to next year," said Seeger.

Online Registration is Now Open!
Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community 2017

Online registration for the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community is now open!  The walk, which is presented by Highmark Blue Shield, will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at HACC's Harrisburg Campus.
This fundraiser benefits local health and human services agencies, such as The Arc of Dauphin County.  100 percent of the money raised by walkers goes directly to support our mission to enhance quality of life and community integration for individuals with special needs.  This year, our fundraising goal is $10,000!

Register now at to join the 5K or One-Mile Fun Walk and raise funds to support The Arc of Dauphin County.

To access our fundraising page directly, please click here.

On the day of the walk, registration is scheduled to begin at 7:45 am. The 5K walk will start at 9 am, and the one-mile fun walk will begin at 9:15 am.
For more information, call Sam Primak, Director of Advancement, at 717.920.2727.

Federal Special Education Website Goes Dark
From Disability Scoop, Article by Michelle Diament

A federal website focused on special education was down, but officials said the issue should be no cause for alarm.  The U.S. Department of Education's website about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) returned an error.  However, agency officials said the issue is nothing more than a technical glitch that is being addressed.  "We were made aware of the problem and we are actively working to resolve.  There have been server issues relating to this going back to at least January 27," a department spokesman who did not wish to be named said.  "We're actively working to resolve it right now and hope to have the site up and running."
"The server for was managed by a contractor and not part of the main, which is why the rest of the main site and content relating to IDEA on the main site was not impacted," an agency spokesman told Disability Scoop.  "We are looking at long term solutions, since the server routinely had problems dating back at least two weeks."
Click here to read the complete article.

New Pennsylvania Legislation Helps Parents of Adult Children with Disabilities

Harrisburg legislation allowing parents or guardians with adult children in their care to receive disability license plates was recently signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf.  Act 55 of 2016 provides access to vehicle disability license plates to parents, including adoptive parents or foster parents, of adult children in their care who qualify for a disability license plate.  
Many state senators and representatives, recognizing the challenges that parents of adult children living with disabilities face, support the legislation.
"This is one small step that will surely lessen the burdens parents face on a daily basis and will go a long way toward living as independently as practicable," said State Representative Ron Marsico (R - Lower Paxton).  "I am pleased that this Act was signed into law."

Special Education Conferences Announced
Information on Dates and Registrations

The Arc of Cumberland and Perry Counties, also known as CPARC, has announced its 19th annual "Journey Through Special Education" Conference, which will be held on March 25, 2017 from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM at The Park Inn in Mechanicsburg, PA.  Parents, special and general education professionals, administrators, paraprofessionals, mental health and intellectual and developmental disabilities staff, therapists, social workers, advocates, and all others interested in the support and education of students with special learning needs are welcome to attend.  Space is limited to the first 250 registrants.  For information on how to register and a complete conference schedule, visit

The Pennsylvania Department of Education's Bureau of Special Education has also announced pre-registration for its annual Special Education Conference, which will be held from March 8 through March 10, 2017 at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center.  This statewide conference offers an opportunity to learn and engage with nationally-recognized presenters, as well as colleagues from across the state, highlighting effective instructional strategies and interventions designed to make an educational difference for all students.  For more information, visit
Upcoming Events

March 3, 2017
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
March 26, 2017
The 33rd Annual Speak Out! Celebration

Hosted by:  The Arc of Dauphin County

Join us as we celebrate Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and recognize the talents and skills of individuals with disabilities.

Location:  Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey Hotel, 4650 Lindle Road, Harrisburg, PA

Time:  12:00 - 3:30 PM

Cost:  $15.00 per person - includes lunch

May 20, 2017
Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community

Hosted by:  Highmark Blue Shield

Support The Arc of Dauphin County and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by participating in the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community!  This fundraiser benefits local health and human services agencies, and 100 percent of the money raised by walkers goes directly to participating organizations.

Location:  HACC Harrisburg Campus, 1 HACC Drive, Harrisburg, PA

Time:  Registration begins at 7:45 AM, the 5K walk begins at 9:00 AM, and the one-mile fun walk begins at 9:15 AM.


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 our new Respite Center.  You would be working with Arc staff and spending about a day 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 e-mail at or call the main switchboard 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 , 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:
RESPITE CARE COUNSELOR - seeking two part-time persons to provide support in our Respite program.  
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, 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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