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The Arc recognizes employees with Puttin’ on the Ritz themed Employee Appreciation Night

The Arc of the Ozarks held its annual Employee Appreciation Night on Friday, March 8th and honored 307 employees for their years of service and special achievements.

The night’s theme was Putting on the Ritz – a classic 20’s theme. Employees dressed in Gatsby attire including flapper dresses, feathers and suspenders. The crowd was entertained by the Wings of Swing Big Band throughout the evening.

Some highlights of the evening included an awards ceremony in which The Arc recognized employees of the year; Dan Springston – Monett Division, Marcel Johnson – Joplin Division and Angie Perryman of the Springfield Division. Employees that have been with the organization for one, five, ten, fifteen and twenty years were also recognized.

The evening featured casino style table games, a costume contest and a fun photo booth. A silent film starting Assistant Director of our Monett Division Victor Marchlawski and Ross Tracy, Director of Residential Services entertained the crowd.

“While the purpose of this event is to honor employees, who have met milestones and who have gone above and beyond, we feel the events gives us a chance to show our appreciation to all of our employees,” said Executive Administrative Assistant and coordinator of the event, Missy Young. “The Employee Relations Committee that represents all departments throughout the agency works hard to provide an event everyone can enjoy.”

Hunt & Fish Outdoor Show draws crowd to support No Limits Summer Camp Program for children with disabilities

From turkey calls, sitting in a Spyder, and learning to cook in a Dutch oven, it was an outdoorsmen’s paradise at the 11th Annual Hunt & Fish Outdoor Show at the Springfield Expo Center held on February 9th and 10th.

There were over 100 booth exhibits inside the Hunt & Fish Outdoor Show, including a bounce house and RONZO the Clown for the kids.

The annual show is put on to raise funds for our Education & Recreation No Limits Summer Camp Program. This program provides children and young adults with a summer of fun and therapeutic activities.

When the doors opened each day, outdoor enthusiasts from all over were able to enjoy seminars given by experts such as Matt Drury of Drury Outdoors and Shawn Luchtel of Heartland Bowhunter, a pop-up archery tournament, moonshine samples and more.

On Saturday evening, a banquet hosted by Quest Hunt Co. awarding the top 20 deer harvested in four states was held at the Old Glass Place. Directly following the banquet, country music artist, Heath Sanders, took the stage.

Sponsors for the event included: Central Bank and Central Trust, J.W. Terrill, Eco Solutions, Midwest Archery, Earth Outdoor Store, Hufft Land Services, Eagle Pro Land Co., Rapid Roberts, Fish Tails, Coleman Factory Outlet, Shock Effect, Pinnacle Sign Group, Renewal by Anderson, Tractor Barn and O’Bannon Bank.

 “Each year, we try to incorporate new elements into the show. We had great feedback from vendors and guests and are excited to start the planning for next year”, stated Danielle Wise, Director of Development.

Mark your calendars for next year’s show happening on February 8th and 9th.

Direct Support Staff Once Again Defeat Management Staff in the Second Annual Arc Gives Basketball Game

Four teams came together for a game of hoops on Friday, January 18 to build employee morale and raise funds for The Arc Gives Employee Campaign. The Semi-Pro themed game was heated with intense competition. The event played out inside the Pythian building’s gym, where teams made of direct support staff went head to head with management staff.

This was the second year the event was held by The Arc Gives employee campaign. Next year, the committee is looking at a tournament style basketball game. Tickets were sold for $5 and attendees were invited to purchase concessions from the Aktion Club. During half-time, the audience was entertained by a dance put together by our Education and Recreation Department.

Overall, the employee campaign raised just under $31,000 to be split between ISL Start -Up Fund and our Education and Recreation department.

In the end, the Direct Support Team once again defeated the Management team in a score of 69-68.

Residential Spreading Holiday Cheer

Once again, our Residential Department spread the holiday cheer to make our client’s Christmas season more jolly.

On December 7th,  several members of the Residential team showed up early to the Christ Episcopal Church to help set-up for the annual Residential Christmas Party for clients. This was the fourth year the church donated the space for the occasion.

The room was filled with Christmas decorations such as a Christmas tree adorn with lights, tablecloths of red and green and centerpieces. There was even Christmas music playing throughout the space to set the festive mood. This event would not be made possible without many generous donors. The food, gifts and decorations are all contributions from community members and businesses.

The Residential Department has been doing this party for years. The Residential clients come and have a delicious meal, see Santa Claus and receive gifts. One very special gift that was given were photos of each of the clients with Santa Claus from the previous year.

There was no shortage of Christmas spirit and joy at this event. Thank you to those that donated to help make this happen!

Christmas Extravaganza brings holiday cheer and raises record funds for Rivendale

On Wednesday, December 5th, The Arc of the Ozarks held the 23rd Annual Christmas Extravaganza. This event is a dinner gala with silent and live auctions. All the proceeds from this fundraising event go to Rivendale. Rivendale is an alternative school setting for children with learning difficulties or autism. Rivendale’s child-centered approach focuses on fostering positive emotional growth, increasing academic, language, and behavioral competencies, and enhancing each student’s natural strengths.

The 220 individuals attending Christmas Extravaganza enjoyed a delicious meal. Entertainment was provided by Shaun Munday Wings of Swing Big Band. The evening was held at the Bass Pro White River Conference Center with David Oliver as the emcee. This year, the auction was mobile friendly, utilizing an online bidding platform called BidPal. Individuals placed bids through their phones and individuals who could not attend the event were able to bid. The auction included over 100 silent auction packages from businesses around the Ozarks and 12 live auction items including jewelry from Maxon’s Diamond Merchants, a getaway to St. Lucia and a Springfield Date Night package with tickets to Lion King at Juanita K. Hammons in March. The silent and live auction alone raised over $18,000 adding to the final total of $40,000 raised for the students of Rivendale.

The night also honored several special groups of people who help to make our community better, the Community Partner of the Year and Guardian of the Year. The Arc Community Partner of 2018 was Dickerson Park Zoo for their work with The Arc’s employment Summer Work Program. Jessica Penrose was honored as the Guardian of the Year for all of the support and guidance she provided our staff and clients as Public Administrator for Greene County. 

Guests enjoyed a night of holiday celebration for a good cause. Thank you to Family Pharmacy and Mercy Health as well as all of our table sponsors and donors that made this event successful. The 24th Annual Christmas Extravaganza is set for Friday, December 6, 2019.  

Wings for Autism® lands at Springfield-Branson National Airport

September 29th, The Arc of the Ozarks, Allegiant Airlines and The Arc of the United States co-hosted a Wings for Autism® event at the Springfield-Branson National Airport. This event is being held in partnership with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Reliable Chevrolet and Theracare. Wings for Autism®/Wings for All® program is an airport “rehearsal” created to alleviate some of the stress that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families experience when traveling by air.

At arrival, participants received carry on bags with Wings for Autism shirts, snacks and goodies. They then got in line for a boarding pass. Once the boarding pass was received, the participants went through TSA to finally board the aircraft. Once onboard, many participants were able to see the cockpit. The flight attendants went through normal flight procedures before the participants were dismissed for a reception of Chick-fil-A and cake.

“We are so thankful as parents to be given the opportunity to practice boarding a plane,” stated Andrea, parent of participant. “We could not have asked for kinder staff through the whole process.”

This event is open to all individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Springfield area and beyond who seek a safe but realistic experience of travelling through a busy airport. More than 54 participants and their parents/guardians from the greater Springfield attended the event. 

“We are so excited for the success of this event,” stated Angie Perryman, Family Advocate and event coordinator. “If one family can go on a vacation because of this rehearsal event, it was all worth it. We will be making this an annual event.”

Donation Opens Pathway to Art

Becky loves owls. In fact, she not only has just one or two…but MANY in her collection. When you enter her home and visit her bedroom and bathroom, you will be sure to find owls of all shapes and sizes.

When Becky made a trip this last month to the local pottery store to paint, it was no surprise she chose an owl.  The staff who went with Becky to paint mentioned how quiet and cathartic painting was for Becky and that she spent a lot of time focusing on making her owl beautiful.

Thank you to Becky’s friends at J-Mark for making it possible for her to add to her collection.


Family Advocate Receives Surprise Recognition

Angie Perryman, a family advocate for The Arc of the Ozarks received the Human Service Provider Advocacy Award from The Arc of Missouri at the 5th Annual Educational Summit yesterday. Angie has been employed with The Arc of the Ozarks for six years.

In her time with The Arc, she has developed numerous programs to aid individuals with disabilities. One program is called Project STIR (Steps Towards Independence and Responsibility). Project STIR is a training program designed to provide individuals with the tools to advocate for themselves, mobilize others in advocacy and gain leadership experiences. She is also the Co-Founder of Ozarks Inclusion Partnership, a community group created to educate and develop relationships with organizations and businesses in the Ozarks about the benefits of the inclusion of individuals with disabilities to enhance the quality of their life and the community as a whole.

“Angie lives out the mission of The Arc of the Ozarks daily. She strives to enhance the lives of the individuals we serve and inspires us all,” stated Tiara Slack, Vice-President of Quality Management.

An advocate seeks to ensure that people, particularly those who are most vulnerable in society, can have their voice heard on issues that are important to them, and defend and safeguard their rights, or the rights of others.

Sporting Clays Shoot on Target

On Saturday, August 18th, walking through Ozark Shooters sounded like a bag of popcorn turning in a microwave.

The pops and countless yelps of “pull!” could be heard all around the grounds. More than 130 people pulled into Ozark Shooters located at 759 US-65, for the annual Sporting Clays Shoot, benefiting The Arc of the Ozarks.

The tournament is put on to help raise funds for The Arc’s ISL (Individual Supporting Living) Start-Up fund. Specifically, this fund aids with items that include: deposits on new apartments, furniture and various moving expenses. It was a record year with 130 shooters and close to $11,000 raised for the ISL Start-Up Fund.

The ISL Start-Up Fund is essential for our clients moving into their own homes to get a fresh start, stated Mike Powers, President/CEO. “We are appreciative of all the individuals and businesses that support this event year after year.”

After the morning of shooting, everyone was treated to lunch. However, the fun didn’t end after eating. While the Ozark Shooters staff was tallying up the scores, door prizes were drawn for items such as Bass Pro gift cards, a thermal tote, t-shirts and outdoor gadgets.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners from each flight won prizes as well. To see a list of the scores from the day, CLICK HERE.

The fundraising event couldn’t be possible without our presenting sponsor, Commerce Trust, as well as the many sponsors and partners that contributed funds and shooters for the event.

Mark your calendars for next year’s event taking place on August 17, 2019. Contact The Arc at 417-864-7887 for more information on the ISL Start-Up fund or other services provided. 

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Thanks to Jackie’s friends at J-Mark, she was able to have a memorable experience with her friends. Nothing screams FUN more than enjoying wildlife, all while in the comfort of a car with your best friend next to you. Recently, Jackie and her friends took a trip to the Wild Animal Safari in Strafford. With a little help, Jackie was able to touch some of the amazing animals on the drive-thru safari. If that was not fun enough, how about a trip to Hard Luck Diner in Branson? Jackie’s idea of fun could also easily be defined by a meal out with burgers, fries and milkshakes as the waitress sang tableside to the group.  Again, Jackie’s trips would not have been possible without the support of her friends at J-Mark. Thank you for another wonderful month of giving!