Jack LaDouce, a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 101 has made a generous contribution of his time and skills in the form of a bocce ball court at The Arc of Schuyler, a not for profit organization that provides supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
LaDouce, 17, whose aunt receives services through The Arc approached the agency in February about an Eagle Scout Service project that would allow him to have a positive impact on people with disabilities. With a major focus on health and wellness opportunities, The Arc suggested the installation of a bocce ball court, which would allow people with disabilities, including people who use wheelchairs to enjoy physical activity outdoors.
“I was looking to do something that involved construction and my mom was really excited that I was working with The Arc since they have done so much for my aunt,” LaDouce said.
As soon as the ground thawed, LaDouce set to work on his project – a 5’ x 20’ bocce ball court complete with an oyster shell surface and drainage system to help maintain the court. The project required LaDouce to propose a written plan for scout board approval, then to enlist the help of friends from his troop and obtain donated supplies and the services of an excavator.
In just ten days, LaDouce had the bocce ball court assembled and ready for play at The Arc’s 210 12th Street property under the shade of a tree, near a picnic table where people can enjoy their lunch and play a game of bocce.
“Construction is my hobby and I’ve done small projects, but this is one of the bigger things I’ve built. I was really happy to see it all done,” LaDouce said. “It came out just the way I wanted it to.”
Carole Sullivan, The Arc’s Assistant Director of Day Services has been LaDouce’s project liaison at The Arc. “We have been so impressed by Jack. He’s mature beyond his years, so organized, committed, and a hard worker,” Sullivan said. “We’ve been very lucky to get him and his friends and family involved with The Arc and we look forward to a continued relationship with the Boy Scouts and local youth.”
LaDouce’s Scout Leader, Dan Carpenter has been impressed by LaDouce too. “Jack has always been an exemplary scout,” Carpenter said. “He’s excelled in school, track, swimming, and now he’s following in his brother’s footsteps to Annapolis, Maryland.”
LaDouce graduates in the top 10 of his class from Elmira High School this month and will join the United States Naval Academy in July. He plans to serve as a Navy officer and pursue a Bachelor’s Degree.
Carpenter reports that LaDouce received his Eagle Scout rank, the highest advancement rank in scouting in May. With LaDouce’s encouragement, a fellow scout will continue working with The Arc to enhance the bocce court area by adding a cement pad this summer. The cement will make the court more accessible to people using wheelchairs.
“Before I met the staff and people at The Arc I didn’t know much about it other than it was a place where people like my aunt could go to work, volunteer, and take classes. My family is really thankful for all The Arc does.”
The Arc is seeking volunteer assistance to expand its outdoor recreation space. Please call 607.535.6934 if you are interested in voluneering for The Arc.
The Arc of Schuyler hosts its Annual Meeting and Member Reception on May 21, 5 – 6:30 PM at Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. Members of the public are welcome to attend.
The Arc will present its first Partner in Health Award to Cargill, Inc. in Watkins Glen, NY for its generous support of Health and Wellness Committee initiatives that engage people with developmental disabilities. People with disabilities statistically are more prone to obesity and correlated health problems. Through Cargill’s grant program, they aided advancement of The Arc’s Eat Smart and Move More objectives by sponsoring opportunities such as Zumba classes, nutrition trainings for staff and people receiving services, and in-home demonstrations of healthy meal planning and cooking.
The Arc will also recognize Watkins Glen International with its Business Partner of the Year Award. Watkins Glen International is the title sponsor and host of The Arc’s newest fundraiser, The Arc Grand Prix Run at Watkins Glen International. Over the past two years the event has raised more than $20,000 in support of The Arc’s programs and has helped to broaden awareness of the needs of people with developmental disabilities, including autism, in the Schuyler County community.
Watkins-Montour Rotary Club will receive The Arc’s Community Partner of the Year Award. The civic service club has been a longtime sponsor of The Arc’s annual holiday party for people receiving supports and their families. Club members provide volunteer help for this annual celebration and other Arc events throughout the year.
The Arc’s annual Direct Support Professional Excellence Award will be presented to Patrick Pritchard of Elmira, an 11 year employee of The Arc. Pritchard is being recognized for his demonstrated leadership, creativity, and dedication to providing quality supports to people with developmental disabilities.
The awards ceremony will be preceded by a short business meeting for the organization’s membership to elect directors and officers for the upcoming year.
The Arc of Schuyler’s 2014 Annual Report is now available on the agency’s new website, arcofschuyler.org.
The Arc of Schuyler is a family based not-for-profit organization that provides residential, vocational, day support, job training, service coordination, advocacy and other support to people with developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc is currently conducting its Annual Membership and Fund Drive. To make a donation and become a member or for more information, visit arcofschuyler.org or call 607.535.6934.
The Arc of Schuyler Board of Directors Board President, Michael Stamp announced the nonprofit organization has begun an annual membership and fund drive to support people with disabilities.
The campaign will recruit new members and renew commitments from current members. The Arc is hoping to increase its membership in 2015.
Through membership, community members become advocates for people with developmental and other disabilities.
Partnerships with NYSARC, Inc. and The Arc of the United States allow The Arc of Schuyler to advocate for legislative issues at the state and federal levels. Memberships numbers strengthen the agency's voice within NYSARC and The Arc with issues such as housing, education, and transportating and maintaining funding for services for people with disabilities and their families.
"Our most important appeal of each year is our membership campaign," said Stamp. "Please join us and help us to support our mission to enable people with disabilities and others in the community to lead lives of purpose and to reach their fullest potential. I am asking the community and The Arc of Schuyler family to renew their memberships or to become members for the first time. Membership matters and it will make a difference for families and impact lives in many ways."
Those interested in becoming a member may simply make a donation to The Arc of Schuyler online by clicking the 'Donate' button below or mailing a donation to: The Arc of Schuyler, 203 12th Street, Watkins Glen, NY 14891.
The Arc of Schuyler offers shredding services, open to the public* every Monday from 9:30 - 11:30 AM at The Arc of Schuyler, 203 12th Street in Watkins Glen. A donation to The Arc of Schuyler is optional, but appreciated. Click the image at left for PDF flyer to print. Please Note: Our next shred day will be July 20 and will continue every Monday after.
Customers may bring approved items for free, quick, and confidential shredding while they wait. Approved items include: copy paper, pamphlets, brochures, envelopes, letters, ledgers, medical records, tax forms, bank statements, and junk mail. Items that cannot be shredded include: carbon paper, waxed paper, catalogs, magazines, napkins/cups, 3-ring binders, plastic materials, food or candy wrappers, and CDs or DVDs. Shredded paper materials will be recycled.
Shredding Day is a community service project organized and completed by staff and people receiving supports through The Arc of Schuyler.
*We request no more than 2 boxes per person and no commercial shredding. There is a charge for businesses. Businesses can call 607.535.6934 for assistance and pricing.
New signage, a redesigned website and printed materials are some recent changes that can be seen at The Arc (pronounced “ark”) of Schuyler, a nonprofit organization that has been providing supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families for 37 years.
The Arc of Schuyler is headquartered in Watkins Glen, NY, but services are provided throughout the county. The changes are both practical and philosophical.
“We want people to understand our affiliation with The Arc of the US, a nationally recognized organization that is made up of a network of nearly 700 state and local chapters across the country”, said Jeannette Frank, Executive Director of The Arc of Schuyler. "Marketing for nonprofits is no different than marketing for any other organization. Brands are important and help people identify with products and organizations. Nationally, The Arc worked with all of its affiliates to come up with one recognizable logo and message and Schuyler is updating all of our public presence to recognize that brand,” said Frank.
The reference to The Arc vs ARC has some more important philosophical reasons that go beyond ''political correctness”. The Arc of the US website explains why the name change from “ARC” to “The Arc” matters.
“We as an organization have been sensitive to the impact of terminology on our constituency and have adapted accordingly. As the words 'retardation' and 'retarded' became pejorative, derogatory and demeaning in usage, the organization changed its name to 'The Arc.' Today, the term 'mental retardation' remains the terminology used in the medical field and referenced in many state and federal laws. However, 'intellectual disability' and 'developmental disability' are making their presence known, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure they're adopted more broadly. We strongly believe the only 'r-word' that should be used when referring to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is “Respect”.”
A broad range of resources is available to the general public through The Arc’s website. The Autism NOW Center (autismnow.org) contains up to date information for people with autism and their families. Information for educators, siblings, self-advocates, the legal and medical community and others is available through The Arc covering topics such as public policy, future planning, heath, research and resources.”
The Arc of Schuyler provides supports to over 200 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The organization also operates Glen Industries, Seneca Shine Auto Detailing, Franklin Street Gallery, and Schuyler County Transit. For more information about The Arc of Schuyler, visit the new website at www.arcofschuyler.org or you can find The Arc of Schuyler on Facebook and Twitter.
Throughout the month of April, The Arc of Schuyler coordinated an agency wide pet supply drive to benefit the Humane Society of Schuyler County in support of the NYSARC Gives Back Project 2015.
The Arc collected pet food and treats, blankets, pet toys, collars, dog clothing, and other supplies. Members of the community also generously contributed to the collection. Mike (left) and Connor (right) (pictured with support staff Janet Osborn) are animal lovers who were eager to represent The Arc by delivering the donations to the Humane Society.
Mike and Connor took a tour of the new Humane Society bulding with Director, Georgie Taylor and met a number of pets available for adoption.
People receiving supports through The Arc volunteer at local non profit organizations such as Office for the Aging, local food pantries and community gardens, Watkins Glen Library, Seneca View Skilled Nursing, and others througout the year. If you are a non profit seeking volunteers, contact us at 607.535.6934.
This story is one of many examples of how chapters of NYSARC, Inc and the people they support give back to their local communties. For more examples, click here.
Click the image above to read our Annual Membership and Fund Drive 2015 Appeal