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Jackie Has a Day of Pampering

Jackie could absolutely be described as a girly girl. She loves to have her nails, hair and makeup done at home almost every single day. There are often days she asks to have her makeup done two and three times! Being able to be professionally pampered is not something Jackie is able to do.

Because of an amazing gift by the JMark company, Jackie was able to spend a full day at the spa. She was able to get a condition and style for her hair, a pedicure for her toes (she giggled the entire time), a manicure for her hands, a facial and her makeup done. While it may sound like a typical “girls day”, it meant much more to Jackie.

Jackie spent the entire day being pampered by ladies who loved spending time with her as much as she did receiving the services. Jackie had a wonderful time and made some new friends while she was at it. She is always the life of the party and brings a smile to everyone she encounters.

After her day of beauty, she went out to eat and show off her new look. This was a wonderful day for all of those involved. We are deeply grateful that Jackie was given this opportunity.

JMARK Staff Help Make Lasting Memories

Every girl wants to look their best for dates and Becky is no different. Becky was excited about “looking hot” for the Sweetheart Dance. The Sweetheart Dance is put on by the Education and Recreation Department and is fun night where individuals can come and dance the night away with friends. Staff helped Becky go shopping for a new dress, shoes and other needed items for the night. Becky enjoyed trying on six dresses before finding the “perfect one.” She then got prepped with hair, makeup and getting her nails done. This day was all about Becky. Becky arrived at the dance feeling like a princess, ready to dance and spend time with a special friend.

Some members of the local I.T. support business, JMARK, helped make this possible by making a donation. Thank you for helping to make this memory extra special for Becky!


The Arc of the Ozarks Recognizes Employees with 80’s Themed Employee Appreciation Night

The Arc of the Ozarks held its annual Employee Appreciation Night last Friday, March 2 and honored more than 293 employees for their continuous years of service and special achievements.

The night’s theme was inspired and crafted around 80’s nostalgia. Many of The Arc staff members attended the evening dressed in their best 80’s gear and danced to the 80’s tunes provided by Springfield’s popular band Machine Gun Symphony.

Some highlights of the evening included an awards ceremony in which The Arc recognized employees of the year: Justin Springston – Monett, Bill Stevens – Joplin and Rebecca Tuter – Springfield, as well as the employees that have been with the organization for one, five, ten, fifteen, twenty and twenty-five years.

The evening also featured an arcade, an interactive Pac-Man game and a costume contest. A special appearance was made by MC Hammer and Dale Earnhardt, impersonated by our Executive Vice President and Vice President of Finance.   

“While the purpose of this event is to honor employees who have met milestones and who have gone above and beyond, I feel the event 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 event committee that represents all departments throughout the agency, works hard to provide a time everyone can enjoy.”  

Thank you to everyone that was able to come out to the fun-filled evening.


10th Annual Hunt & Fish Outdoor Show Raises Funding for No Limits Summer Camp

The 10th Annual Hunt & Fish Outdoor Show took place February 9th and 10th at the Springfield Expo Center. The event featured over 100 vendors as well as boats, a bounce house and kid’s activities such as a Daisy Air Rifle Trailer, a trout pond and more. A new element was added this year of moonshine, whiskey and barbecue tastings from Countryside Barbecue, Bubba’s Barbecue, Missouri Ridge Distillery, Crown Valley Distillery, Bub’s Distillery. The show also had a great seminar line up of numerous outdoor topics including bass and crappie fishing, Dutch oven cooking and deer hunting.

All proceeds from the event benefited our No Limits Summer Camp. This program provides a summer of therapeutic and fun activities for children with developmental disabilities.  

Mountain Springs Trout Pond has been a main attraction at this event each year. “Kids can come out and try to catch their first fish. We had a lot of big smiles when they finally caught those trout,” stated Johnny, owner of Mountain Springs Trout Pond. 

This event is only made possible by the many sponsors and volunteers that donate time and money to help make this show successful year after year. The Arc would like to extend a special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor; Central Bank and Central Trust Investment Company.

Plans for the 11th Annual Hunt & Fish Outdoor Show are set for February 8th and 9th, 2019. For more information about next year, contact Danielle Wise at 417-874-1955 or by email at [email protected].

A Note from Lieutenant Mark Phillips

At The Arc of the Ozarks, the individuals we serve are family. Our staff work tirelessly to ensure they receive the best quality of life possible. Unfortunately, there are times when our staff face the loss of a beloved client. Our mission at The Arc of the Ozarks is to serve individuals with disabilities in directing their own lives as valued members of the community. Please read the letter below from Mark Phillips, a Lieutenant with Springfield Fire Department and his recent interaction with our staff during a very difficult day. We say often within our organization that we have the best employees. Thank you to Lieutenant Phillips and his crew for the highest possible compliment of our staff. The Arc has served this client for 23 years, since 1994.

My name is Mark Phillips and I’m a lieutenant with the Springfield Fire Department. On 01-12-2018 my crew (Engine 2) was dispatched to an Arc residence where a resident had stopped breathing due to terminal illnesses. Upon entering the home we contacted the supervisor, Sasha Pence, who fully explained the situation and provided a valid DNR to us. Ms. Pence was very well organized and professional, supplying us with all necessary paperwork. We proceeded to the bedroom and checked the patient to confirm she had passed and I immediately noticed the ladies in the room that surrounded her bed. All of them were in tears and were holding her. My first inclination was that these were family members and they were there to say goodbye, however, Sasha later told me these were Arc staff members that had been with her most of the week, by her bed. Sasha also made sure to state that they were not just staff, BUT they were her family as well. The love and care in this room was thick and I was touched. Sad to say, few things phase me anymore in this business but this most definitely did. I know that if the lady that had passed was one of my family members, I would have been proud to have your staff take care of her. Even though there was extreme sadness present, the scene was somehow beautiful and uplifting. Please let your staff know that we, as a crew, were moved by this unfortunate but extremely heartening event.

Thank you to you and your staff,

Mark Phillips

Lieutenant – Engine 2B




Six Individuals Graduate from Project STIR

The Arc held the first Project Stir graduation this afternoon. 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. We had six individuals who attended the 16 weeks of classes and completed all the requirements.

With the completion of Project STIR, two of our individuals will help to teach the next sessions of classes to their peers and one individual will be serving on the Human Rights Committee for The Arc this year. The whole class helped to design the “My Rights” document that individuals sign annually.

“We want the people that we serve to know their rights and to know that can be heard,” stated Angie Perryman, Family Advocate. “It was an extremely successful year and our individuals grew in many ways. We are excited for the next session.”

The Courageous Church hosts 3rd Annual Holiday Celebration for The Arc Clients

On Tuesday, December 19, The Courageous Church in Springfield held the 3rd Annual Holiday Celebration for 200 of The Arc clients. This come and go event had a band, dancing, crafts, treats and a hot chocolate bar. The church gathered 40 volunteers from the congregation to help facilitate this event. Clients had a wonderful time meeting new friends, participating in karaoke and seeing Santa Claus. All guests received a jingle bell necklace, picture with Santa and a stocking full of goodies.

Thank you to The Courageous Church for your continued support of our clients!

The Arc Spends a Chilly, Fun Day at the Springfield Christmas Parade

Christmas Parade.jpg

On Saturday, December 4, a few of our day program members and recruiters for the Arc braved the chilly weather and participated in the annual Christmas Parade in Springfield. Not only did the individuals participate the day of, they had been working on creating a perfect float for the occasion.

The theme of the float was Twas the Night Before Christmas featuring festive decorations resembling that of a home decorated for the holidays. Our very own Director of Human Resources dressed the part of Santa Claus and waved to the crowd of spectators.

Our clients had a great time both decorating the float, as well as participating in the parade by riding the float and handing out candy to the children in the crowd.

A big thank you to those that attended the parade this year!

22nd Annual Christmas Extravaganza Brings Holiday Cheer

On Wednesday, December 6th, The Arc of the Ozarks held the 22nd Annual Christmas Extravaganza. This event is a dinner gala with silent and live auctions. All the proceeds from this fundraising event go to the 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 lovely meal and wine. Entertainment was provided by the Wings of Swing Big Band. The evening was held at the Bass Pro White River Conference Center with Ned Reynolds as the emcee. The auction included 90 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 Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. The silent and live auction alone raised over $13,000 adding to the final total of $31,000 raised for the students of Rivendale.

The night also honored several special groups of people who help to make our community better. Bill and Betty Stone, a past President and his wife were honored for their tireless efforts to grow The Arc of the Ozarks from the beginning stages. The Community Partner of the Year and Guardian of the Year were also honored at this event. The Arc Community Partner of 2017 was Incredible Pizza for their work on the new Incredible Buddies Program, a sensory friendly program for children to enjoy all Incredible Pizza has to offer. Nancy Wilson was honored as the Guardian of the Year for all of the support she offers the staff that care for her uncle.

Guests enjoyed a night of holiday celebration for a good cause. Thank you to all of our sponsors and donors that made this event successful. The 23rd Annual Christmas Extravaganza is set for Wednesday, December 5, 2018. 

Our Daughter’s Journey


We wished to send this letter to document the success story about our daughter Jessie. The Arc provided guidance and support to enable her to live a totally independent life, both from the skills she learned and the skills we as parents learned, both of which were equally important.

Jessie’s childhood was dominated by a seizure condition that was uncontrolled for many years. She had up to 10 hours a day of seizure time (with multiple types of seizures), and no medication that worked to control them.  This continued until she was 14 when a breakthrough occured and the seizures became controlled.

She had no memory of her childhood, and was literally beginning all over again at that time. She had a few basic skills such as feeding herself and some minimal dressing abilities.

At about 16, we found The Arc, and she began receiving Community Connections 1:1 services to take her out into the community.  She had very limited social skills, and had not been able to enjoy community involvement for most of her life.  The Arc enabled us to see ways in which we could foster independence, and we watched her grow and develop in ways we did not expect.

When she was 19, she moved into an apartment with staff support, and began working with Employment Services on getting a job.  The first job she secured was with Transport Graphics.  She was still unfocused and unable to safely cross a street by herself.  Using a note from her physician, Employment Solutions secured her transportation which allowed her to take a cab rather than the bus.  She was very proud of her job and worked there 2 years.

With each passing year, she became more and more adept at caring for herself independently at home and in the community.  Six years ago, she again worked with Employment Solutions towards one of her dream jobs – caring for animals.  She volunteered at CARE, and ultimately earned a part time job at Animal Care Center boarding kennel as a kennel tech. This year, she was able to secure another part time job independently using the skills she had learned from Employment Solutions. This job is at Art Inspired, which was her other dream job – to be an artist.  She works assisting teaching art classes, making cards/candles and selling her own individual art work. She now exhibits work at every First Friday Art Walk downtown

At 36, Jessie lives on her own and does the following totally independently:

  • Household cleaning, cooking, and shopping
  • Managing her finances, including checking, saving accounts, and online banking
  • Social life (all of her friends are ones she has made outside the system, including all ages and lifestyles). She went camping in Louisiana this year with friends.
  •  Transportation on the public bus system

Because Jessie has realized how important the skills she has are to her independence, she volunteers to come into classes for individuals as a guest speaker to talk about working towards goals, and how to reach them. She tries to be a role model for others.

To us as parents, the life she lives now is so incredible.  During the height of the seizure times, she could not even find the bathroom by herself, so we didn’t even know we could dream of this life. We are are totally convinced that this would not have happened without the guidance from The Arc of the Ozarks.

Melissa and Rick