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Author: Campaignium

No Limits Returns in 2021

The Arc’s No Limits Summer Camp staff celebrated another successful year of camp. In 2020, our Education and Recreation Department made the tough decision to cancel No Limits due to the coronavirus. This year, with modifications and a smaller group of campers, the summer camp was able to be held, once again.

No Limits is a fun, safe place for children and young adults ages 6-21 with developmental disabilities to participate in activities that promote the educational and recreational interests of each camper. We create and adapt activities so each camper can participate. From swimming to playing sports, creating crafts and even performing in their very own talent show. We believe anyone can do anything. No Limits creates an incredible summer experience for kids and young adults with disabilities. We believe everyone is limitless – hence the name.

This year, No Limits hosted 42 kids during two sessions of camp in June and July. Staff coordinated a full schedule of activities for the campers including daily field trips, swimming, crafts, dance parties, talent shows and more! In fact, our campers went on 38 field trips during the duration of the entire camp. That’s a one field trip, every day for 8 weeks!

We would like to thank all of our wonderful directors and camp staff for providing a fun, safe and eventful experience for all our campers! We would also like to thank our wonderful community partners for enhancing the campers experiences: Fun Acre, Miracle Field, Studio Fitness, Springfield Lake, Springfield Gymnastics, Enterprise Lanes, Botanical Gardens, Rutledge Wilson, Dickerson Park Zoo, Rivercut Golf Course, Doling Park, WOLF School, Bois D’ Arc Pond, Discovery Center, Wild Animal Safari, Logan-Rogersville Fire Department, Firehouse Pottery, Springfield Little Theater, Phelps Grove Park, The Nature Center, Wonders of Wildlife, Jump Mania, The OC Ozark and Republic Aquatics.

Celebrating summer

The Arc’s Summer Work Experience Program is a six-week employment program designed to support high school students with disabilities during their transition from high school to the workforce.  This experience provides opportunities to learn and practice work and soft skills that they will need to support their independence and employment goals into adulthood. They work with a job coach and earn a competitive wage during the length of the program. This year, we had a total of seven summer work sites and 25 students participate in our Springfield, Monett, and Joplin divisions. This program would not be successful without our amazing inclusive partner sites that choose to give students with disabilities the opportunity to contribute and fill a position they have for their business in this part-time summer job program.

Pictured are from our Springfield sites at Dickerson Park Zoo, NoBaked Cookie Dough, Millsap Farms and Dogwood Ranch (Rogersville).

The ladies of Summer Hill

Moving can be difficult for anyone, but especially if happens rather suddenly. Since the 1970’s, three ladies lived together in a group home in Kansas City. When The Arc was contacted about their previous provider retiring and closing their business, the team jumped into action. The Director of our Monett office, Sarah Meredith, and Vice President of Program Services, Clay McGranahan, met with the provider, the ladies at their home in Kansas City and their guardians to discuss the possibility of moving to a home in Cassville. The ladies and their guardians received a virtual tour of the home (due to COVID) and they fell in love with it!

To ensure the new home was ready for the ladies, items requiring repair were identified and decorations, furniture and other household needs were purchased. Once the home was ready, everyone packed up and moved to Cassville. Since the move, the ladies have been thriving! The Cassville community has embraced the ladies and they have made their new house a home in Cassville.

A fourth individual, Sara, now lives in the home as well. She came to The Arc as emergency respite due to COVID with her previous roommates. Initially, she was going live at Summer Hill for a month and then

relocate to another home in Bolivar. However, she liked her new home so much, she decided to stay. Now Sara attends day program, is developing new friendships and is thriving in her new home.

Sharroll, one of the original three, has blossomed as well. She vocalizes more and likes to laugh and joke with her staff. Staff members call her the “mother hen” because she checks on her roommates throughout the day.

“When the weather is nice, you will see the ladies rocking in a row of chairs on the front porch of Summer Hill,” stated Sarah Meredith. “They are an absolute joy and we are so thankful we were chosen to support them.”

“It is a great story of opportunity meeting preparation and the Monett team making this happen quickly,” said Clay McGranahan. “It was a great team effort. I’m very thankful for the Monett team and Sarah’s leadership and response. “

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The Arc hosts our 18th Annual Monett Charity Golf Tournament

On Friday, May 7, The Arc of the Ozarks hosted our annual Monett Charity Golf Tournament at Windmill Ridge Golf course. It is hard to believe that this was our 18th year hosting this community supported event. It was a great day of golfing and fun for everyone involved!

Twenty teams came out to help raise funds for individuals supported by The Arc in Barry and Lawrence counties. Proceeds will be put toward the cost of a kitchen renovation project at our Monett office. The project is designed to provide greater access for cooking and nutrition education for people with disabilities. The kitchen will also provide additional opportunities for the people we support to practice and learn skills that promote independence. Once complete, the kitchen will be open to the community as it will be available for anyone to reserve and utilize.

Golfers started the day by enjoying a boxed lunch provided by Roccos Pizza in Monett. Our President, Mike Powers, welcomed the teams and thanked them for their continued support of this longstanding Monett tradition. Raffles, prizes, games and fun were a bonus to enjoying 18 holes of golf spent with teammates, friends and family.

$6,100 was raised to benefit individuals served by The Arc in Barry and Lawrence counties.

This would not have been possible without the amazing support from our sponsors and community partners that came out to help make this tournament a success: Freedom Bank (Willard and Monett branches), Marshal & McClennan Agency, First State Bank, Liberty Utilities, Shelter Insurance-Andy Brandt Agency, Nestleroad & Robert Optometrists, Xcel Business Service, KPM CPS’s & Advisors, Monett Coast to Coast, Defender Publishing, CPA Group, Sater Pharmacy, Missouri Farm Bureau and Discount Glass.

We could not have done it without you. Thank you!

Rainy fishing tournament nets big results

Anglers from Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and even Illinois took to Table Rock Lake on Saturday, April 24th in hopes of reeling in the biggest bass at our 3rd annual Open Buddy Bass fishing tournament. The proceeds benefit individuals we serve at The Arc of the Ozarks to fund unmet medical, dental, and personal needs. The morning started out rainy but that did not stop our participants. Boaters launched out early and ended with weigh-in and lunch around 3:30 where we identified the biggest bass at a whopping 4.96 lbs We would like to congratulate all the winners and want to offer our sincere thanks to all the participants who came out and supported The Arc.

This event would not have been possible without our generous sponsors at Central Bank of the Ozarks, Marsh & McClennan Agency, Arvest Bank, At Home Real Estate, Hearo, WON Communications, Ash Grove Dump Trucking, and Boat Floater Industries. We cannot say thank you enough for their continued support and dedication to the individuals we serve with disabilities.

Thanks to everyone who participated and volunteered at the tournament. Despite a pandemic, the rain and the wind, the event was a huge success. A special thank you to Glenn Rosser for all his help and guidance in pulling off another wonderful tournament! “We hope to see everyone back along with some new faces as we raise money for all those unmet needs of those we serve,” stated Ross Tracy, Director of Residential Services.

“It is very important to take care of those that have a need, and this tournament does that. Thanks to all those that came out to support and help us meet an important need for people with disabilities that are served by The Arc,” Glenn Rosser, owner of Anglers Obsession Guide Service and volunteer coordinator of event logistics. “All the sportsmen and women that came out to show their support are greatly appreciated.”

Results listed below:

1st Place – Jeff Barrickman & Cole Findley Boat #57: Weight 17.07lbs

2nd Place – Jeremy Ealy & Mike Sutherland Boat #42: Weight 16.03

3rd Place – Chris Bartels & Logan Bartels Boat #16: Weight 15.20

4th Place – Brad Bacon & Brandon Dugan Boat #18: Weight 15.20

5th Place – David Rice Boat #34 Weight: 14.57

Big Bass – Mike Heine Boat #4 Weight: 4.96

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Internal leadership program pivots during COVID – inaugural class graduates

Author – Frank Ortman – Director of Training and Staff Development

While the end of 2020 was a welcome relief for most, it was also a time of celebration for others.  The inaugural class of Growth Academy participated in their final session and successfully completed the program.  The 15 graduates from Growth Academy 2020 hail from across The Arc including Residential, CounterPoint, Renovations, Rivendale, Monett, Administration, Community Connections and Joplin.  The internal leadership and development program includes monthly sessions on a litany of subjects ranging from Clifton Strengths Exploration to advocacy and resources for management and employees. 

Growth Academy is a challenging program that asks for dedication and passion from those that participate.  However, when the year started, none of us could have anticipated what was to come.  A global pandemic that halted all in-person trainings at The Arc and threatened the continuation and completion of Growth Academy.  Thankfully, the quick thinking and resourcefulness of Candece Hite, the program’s manager, allowed for everyone to stay connected and adapt to a virtual learning environment.  The participants persevered and continued to stay engaged with monthly sessions conducted virtually or in person at the host site Efactory.

The best laid plans for a monumental graduation ceremony were unceremoniously interrupted by the continuation of the pandemic.  Again, Candece Hite was able to use her unmatched skill to create a personalized graduation experience that included invitations to their Direct Supervisor and Program Director.  It is not what all of us involved in the program imagined at the start of 2020, but 2020 was an unimaginable year.  The dedication, passion and perseverance shown by all who participated in Growth Academy this year made clear that they were meant to be chosen and all have bright futures ahead.

Growth Academy 2021 is on the horizon with participant announcements soon to follow.  A new reality meets us, but the community and support created by Growth Academy 2020 has paved the way for limitless possibilities for the participants of Growth Academy 2021.

*Please note: some pictures were taken before COVID-19.

Connecting with our candidates and elected officials

Disability voters make up ¼ of the voting population, but candidates often overlook important disability issues. The Arc partnered with Easter Seals Midwest and hosted a series of Disability Issues Briefing Sessions across our service areas. The purpose was to reach out to candidates and incumbents to share information on the challenges that the disability community faces every day in Missouri. We appreciate the opportunity to connect and meet candidates that are now incoming legislators, and we look forward to working with them when session begins January 6, 2021.

Other outreach includes masked and socially distanced visits to tour our Elfindale campus as an introduction with candidates. We also held virtual meetings as an opportunity to connect and educate our elected officials of ways they can help us continue to serve our clients while making The Arc available as a resource to their offices.

Advocacy matters and will continue to be a priority in 2021. However, it may have a different look or feel due to limitations for in-person contact. This will be an opportunity for advocates to get creative in finding meaningful ways to engage, connect, and share our message.

We would like to thank all the state and federal elected officials and

candidates that took time to listen and learn more about The Arc through

our fall outreach. Thank You!

  • Representative Crystal Quade

  • Representative Elect Betsy Fogle

  • Representative Elect Alex Riley

  • Representative Elect Bill Owen

  • Representative Elect Bishop Davidson

  • Candidate Darlene Graham

  • Representative Cody Smith

  • Candidate Marvin Manring

  • Representative Bob Bromley

  • Representative Lane Roberts

  • Congressman Long’s office: Mike Ussery

  • Senator Hawley’s office: Clayton Campbell

We wish you all the best in 2021!

Thank you, JMARK

Anna Belle and Sherri are two amazing ladies who will benefit from JMARK employee contributions in 2021. Several years ago, JMARK wanted to sponsor individuals in our Residential program for a year, helping to pay for activities and personal needs, aiding in quality of life.

Anna Belle lives in Bolivar and has an amazing outlook on life and is a real jokester. She is looking forward to a year of Springfield Cardinal baseball games, Branson shows, a trip to Silver Dollar City and eating out at her favorite restaurant, Mexican Villa.

Sherri is the life of any party. She is ornery, cantankerous and has never met a stranger. She will get to enjoy going out in the community, shopping at Five Below and adding to her watch collection.

JMARK has been a tremendous partner for The Arc and has provided countless memories for handfuls of individuals we support. Thank you again, JMARK for intentionally investing to make the lives of individuals we support richer.