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Aktion Club of Gloucester County is a community service organization sponsored by The Arc Gloucester and Kiwanis Club of Greater Woodbury. Aktion Club is designed to inspire adults with developmental disabilities to take leadership roles and make a difference in the community. Club members give back by conducting fundraisers and carrying out service projects; being part of a club improves self-esteem!

 

Aktion Club of Gloucester County was established in 2011 and received its Charter from Kiwanis in 2012. Since then members have participated in various service projects including: Operation USO to collect donations for the troops, creating holiday greetings for residents of local assisted living facilities, collecting food donations for the local food banks and animal shelters, a winter coat drive, and much more! One of the most recent campaigns was the winter coat drive, 308 coats were collected for men, women, and children in the South Jersey area distributed by the People for People Foundation. Aktion Club also supports Kiwanis Internationals Eliminate Campaigns, focused on eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus around the world. Beginning in 2013 Aktion Club has collected $145 to date, which protects about 80 mothers and children. The organization isn't all work though! Every year, Aktion Club holds their annual Charter Night where members get together to celebrate their job well done for assisting and supporting organizations through donations, fundraisers, and service projects. It's also a time to look back on the incredible connections they've made within their community and beyond! 

 
 

Most recently, Aktion club met for their monthly meeting and celebrated the 308 coats they were able to collect, but first it was time to get down to business! On this particular afternoon their agenda was to start with guest speaker Dottie Morton, a representative from the Hearts United Against Cancer organization concerning their current service drive. All members were engaged in conversation learning about the organizations volunteers, the type of bundles they create, and the delivery process to over 19 hospitals in the South Jersey Area. As business wrapped up it was time to celebrate their accomplishment of donating 308 coats! With over 20 members in attendance, six pizzas, and six sodas the celebration was under way!

 

Currently, Aktion Club is collecting items for Hearts United Against Cancer, an all-volunteer organization that delivers Care & Comfort Bundles to local and national Cancer Hero's of all ages. You can get involved by donating one of the many items needed to help fulfill these requests by June 22, 2018! Aktion Club specifically is collecting: Reusable water bottles, books (new/gently used), hand sanitizer, toothpaste and toothbrushes, journals, note cards and list pads, body lotion and soap, nail care items, socks, hard/tart candy, gum, word search books, coloring books, crayons and colored pencils. Drop boxes can be found at Franklinville ATS, Woodbury ATS, The Arc Gloucester Admin Office in Woodbury, Morris Graphics in Woodbury, Gibbstown ATS, and The Arc Bakery in Turnersville. 

 

To stay up to date with the ongoings in Aktion Club, please look for Aktion Club's new Facebook page coming soon! Events, donation drives, service projects, and meetings will all be shared on the Facebook page. New members are welcome, spots are open to any young adult with a disability living in Gloucester County area. Aktion Club's next meeting is Friday, June 8, from 12:30 – 1:30 pm. For any questions or further information please feel free to contact Brenda Powell, The Arc Gloucester Assistant Executive Director/Aktion Club Adviser at 856-848-8648 ext. 127 or bpowell@thearcgloucester.net.

 

Aktion Club is Coming Soon to Facebook!

 

 

  

As guests arrived to Auletto Caterers for our 61st anniversary Gala the brick pathway into a vintage wine cellar was lined with blossoming fruittrees, fanning peacocks, and a gorgeous sunset view of Almonesson Lake. Amidst the beautiful spring evening, highly anticipated meal, and fabulous live band, our guests, award winners, and sponsors were guaranteed to have a memorable night under the stars.

6 p.m. hit and cocktail hour began while scrumptious horderves were served and the Juliano Brothers Band serenaded us into the evening. The room was lined with 25 remarkable baskets donated by friends and supportersthroughout the community. As guests walked around dropping tickets into their most favorite baskets they had the opportunity to choose from thrilling toys for children, pieces for pet lovers, essentials for any handyman (or women), beautiful paintings, designer bags, Phillies tickets, date night gift cards, and a beach bums must haves! Over hundredsof tickets were sold and the 50/50 was getting increasingly higher!

Throughout cocktail hour guests chatted joyfully with one another and they had the profound privilege to meet V.I.P.  guests Kate Lanphear, Creative Director from Marie Claire Magazine, and Matt Yoder, Account Executive from the Philadelphia 76ers! After many handshakes, hugs, and pictures had been exchanged it was suddenly time for the program to begin! 

Freeholder Jim Jefferson introduced us into the program with inspirational quotes reminding everyone just why we were all attending this evening. Freeholder Jefferson welcomed self-advocate Michael Evans to the stage to accept the 2018 Freeholder Proclamation in recognition of Developmental Disabilities Awareness month. After a heartfelt round of applause, Jim Donovan, co-anchor of CBS 3's Eyewitness News This Morning and Eyewitness News at Noon, took the stage as our keynote speaker. He captured the guest’s attention with his kind words about the essential purpose every self-advocate holds within our organization and the valuable diversity and uniqueness The Arc Gloucester has established within Gloucester County. Our beloved self-advocate Susan Dever and Executive Director AnaRivera then welcomed us into the evening.

Ms. Rivera welcomed Board President David Contino to the stage to announce our award winner and honoree for the evening! Self-advocate James Storti received the Dave Ravel Memorial Award for 2018.Mr. Storti is a very pleasant outspoken individual that we are proud to have represent The Arc Gloucester at many events. He loves learning, enjoys new experiences, and is also an extremely hard worker. Mr. Storti has dedicated a lot of his time to The Arc Gloucester’s program and is perceived as a man with a heart of gold! Following Mr. Storti's award, Mr. Contino honored the Stephanie B. Furrer Foundation on behalf of The Arc Gloucester. The Stephanie B. Furrer Foundation honors Stephanie Furrer, a wonderful self-advocate and extreme enthusiast for The Arc Gloucester’s Camp Sun ‘N Fun. This foundation dedicates it’s time to helping countless people enjoy their time at Camp Sun ‘N Fun by sponsoring multiple fundraisers throughout the year. The Arc Gloucester is lucky to have such a caring group of people committed to meeting the needs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities enjoy their independence.

The highly anticipated dinner was served!  As guests began to finish their meal and enter the dance floor the band made a special announcement, self-advocates Harry and Irene were celebrating birthdays that night! The room filled with smiles and applause as the band led singing Happy Birthday to our birthday guests!

After a bit of dancing it was time to call the winners! Ticket numbers were called for each basket and our prize winners eagerly claimed their exciting new possessions! Among all the prizes and activities, LaVerne Ziegenfuss painted a beautiful landscape painting from start to finish. The winning 50/50 ticket holder left with the beautiful piece of art! During the silent auction, guests had the opportunity to bid on some terrific items, including jewelery, artwork, sports memorabilia, a basket of cheer, vacation get-a-ways, and more!!

With our generous sponsors, participants, and donors from CBS 3Holman Enterprise, The Corrigan Family, and many more, all of our guests and star self-advocates were able to dance the night away under the stars!

Are you ready for Halloween?

We sure are! Over the last week or so, we have been pouring through different articles to find the best Halloween safety tips for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. All of the stimulation and sights can be overwhelming, and we want to help you have the best Halloween yet!

We've also added a few tips for people giving out candy!

1. Stay away from costumes with elaborate pieces

Costumes with big, gaudy masks, wigs, shoes and hats may be cumbersome and frustrating to individuals with I&DD. Try costumes with face paint (hypo-allergenic makeup is best) or costumes that don't require big pieces. 

2. Make sure all dress-up shoes fit well.

It goes without saying, if you're going to be walking in a pair of shoes all night, they should fit your feet well. For individuals who may have mobility struggles, it is even more important that footwear be properly fitted. This prevents unnecessary tripping hazards!

3. It gets dark early this time of year...shine bright!

Take a moment to mourn the loss of 8:45 pm sunsets.......

Okay, enough! It's fall, the best time of year! That means it gets dark around 7 pm. With that in mind, it is important to wear reflective gear or bring flashlights to be visible to cars. Some suggestions: reflective vests, headlamps with led lights, flashlights, glowsticks, reflective trick or treating bags...etc.

 

4. Help your loved one become familiar with the houses/route for trick-or-treating.

If you are going to be trick or treating in a new area, or if your loved one is prone to feeling overwhelmed in stimulating situations, take a few walks on the trick or treat route. Plan out some quiet places you can go if your loved one needs a minute to relax. Familiarize them with colorful doors or decorations they will see on Halloween night. The more prepared they are, the better their night will be. 

5. Adding to that, "Dress Rehearsals" with costumes can add to preparedness!

This isn't just for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Practicing getting in and out of your costume, walking around in it and familiarizing yourself with how it will feel on your body helps to ensure a good Halloween night. 

Some individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have sensory issues that may be triggered with costume fabrics and materials. It is best to figure this out before the big day!

Additionally, for children or adults who are in wheelchairs, a dress rehearsal will ensure the costume doesnt get caught in the wheels as you are trick or treating!

6. For those giving out candy, walk out to meet trick or treaters in wheelchairs!

Individuals with wheelchairs can't make it up steps and driveways at times. They should not feel they are missing out on the delicious candy. Walk out of your house and meet them at the sidewalk! Include them in the same experience those without disabilities are having. 

7. Use common sense.

This goes for all people, not just those with disabilities...follow common sense safety tips! Abide by the curfew, look both wys before crossing the street, don't knock on doors of dark homes, stay in a lit area and be smart! Stay with a buddy!

 

If you follow all of these safety tips, you are sure to have a great Halloween. We can't wait to see all your costumes and hear about all the candy you got! Happy Halloween, all!

 

New Location, Some New Faces, Same Great Golf Tournament!

Excitement was in the air as golfers arrived at Scotland Run Golf Club on Wednesday, September 27th. A new location brought with it the promise of a refreshed golf tournament.


Greeter Anthony Laube welcomed our golfers as they climbed the steps to registration. In a pleasant mixture of both new and familiar golfers, the golf tournament began to fill up.

Golfers purchased bundles with mulligans and chances for prizes and picked up their cooler, moving from registration to the warm up area, participants practiced their putts.

The air was buzzing with happy golfers, thrilled to have a day out of the office.

At 11:30, golfers dined on fresh sandwiches, chips and warm cookies. We wouldn’t have golfers begin on empty stomachs, after all! 

And, they’re off!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our tournament began as Michael Jones sang the National Anthem in a warm, beautiful voice.

Golfers “started their engines,” and were brought to their assigned holes. Ready to get started, golfers happily waved to the camera. The golf tournament was officially underway!

 

The Course and the Refreshments (the best part)

 
Golfers circled through the course and were treated to complimentary beverages. The cool refreshments helped to hydrate the hard-at-work participants during a humid day. 
 
As the refreshing, cool breeze blew through the course, the volunteer hole watchers dutifully ensured fair play. Volunteers also monitored our contest holes, Longest Drive and Closest to the Pin. (Longest Drive winner: Matt Jakubowski, of Arthur J. Gallagher; Closest to the Pin: Bob Kern, of Mutual of America) 

 

And now, Dinner (maybe this was the best part)!

Upon finishing play, golfers trickled into the gorgeous banquet room for dinner and awards. The cash bar opened at 5:30, and participants sipped tasty cocktails as they discussed their relaxing day.

50/50 sales circulated the room, with generous guests purchasing tickets at a total of $754 in just an hour! Our prize was split at $377.00 each.

All of our Silent Auction items incited a bidding war, and the winners went home extremely happy. Baskets included a packed NFL Films prize complete with a four person tour of the facility, a generous Scotland Run Foursome with golf paraphernalia and The Arc Gloucester Apparel, an exquisite Paul Stankard paperweight with a studio tour for two and a prized signed Magic Johnson Olympic Jersey. The Philadelphia Union also donated sideline seats for four and a long-sleeve jersey signed by the entire team.

The buffet-style barbeque commenced at 6:15. All hungry golfers’ bellies were full of tasty burgers, mouth-watering bbq chicken, veggies and salad. The warm cookies made another appearance for dessert!

Last but not least, the Award Winners!

After Board President Dave Contino thanked all attendees, Matt Jakubowski, new golf planning committee member, took the podium to announce anticipated winners.

 

 First place was awarded to Rick Court, James Spindler, Chris   Schiavo and Dave Gloeckner. The tournament winners   achieved a score of just 58!

 

 

 

Close behind in second place was Matt’s foursome, who scored a 59! Brian Jakubowski, Matt, Chris Pitts and Jimmy Sanders happily took home the second place trophies.

Third Place winners hailed from the Center for Family Guidance with a score of 61! Les Pascale, Ed Harris, Larry Pratt and John Clancy proudly raised their trophies before the dinner guests.

 

 

Thank You to ALL who helped, participated and ultimately supported Camp Sun N Fun! We can’t wait til next year!

 

Myth V. Fact

 

Our annual golf tournament is fast approaching, and with that, we thought we'd cover some golf myths and replace them with facts for you! Golf is truly a game for all, and we want to make sure everyone knows that!


Myth 1: You have to be Good at Golf to Enjoy it/Play

Fact: Golf is a fun, relaxing game no matter what your skill level is. You do not have to be a "pro" to play the game. Golf is outdoor spot, allowing you to breathe some fresh air, take in different scenery and get out and about for a few hours. 

And, if you're really concerned about your golf skills, check out this quick GolfTips article on how to improve your game: 8 Tricks to Become a Better Player.


Myth 2: Golf is BORING!

Fact: Golf can be incredibly entertaining! Picture yoursself hitting a great shot on the course in front of your friends or colleagues. What a rush! Use your tee time as a chance to bond with friends or family, or network with a new business interest. Golf isn't just about hitting the ball and walking after it! And, if you can't play a full 18 holes, try playing 9 instead!  

Our best tip? Focus on the experience and not the final score! 

Still don't believe me? Check out this article about Why Golf Isn't Boring ! 


 

Myth 3: Golf is a game for men!

Fact: Golf is actually a game for everyone. Did you know: The LPGA tour is actually older than the PGA tour? Golf is a wonderful form of exercise and fun. It is also a great networking tool for women seeking to propel their careers to new heights. It is absolutley a myth that golf is a male-only sport. So, ladies, get your clubs ready and register for our tournament! 

CNBC thinks more women should play golf, too: Why More Women Should Play Golf

 


Myth 4: "I'm too Young to Enjoy Golf!"

Fact: Once again, golf is a game for everyone. As a matter of fact, many 20-somethings are starting to pick golf up as a past time. Golfers like Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler are changing the image of golf into something more mainstream. 

There are so many reasons young professionals should learn to play golf. Want 7 specific ones? Read this article

 


"Okay, golf sounds alright after all. How do I get started?"

A great place to start is at our Annual Golf Tournament, coming up next week, 9/27 at Scotland Run Golf Club. We have a super fun day planned, with contests, lunch, dinner, awards and cash prizes. 

Our tournament supports Camp Sun N Fun, our fully accessible summer camp option for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Participation gets you out on the course and guarantees opportunities for us to maintain an unmatched level of excellence at Camp. 

You can register here! Spots are filling up quickly, so don't wait! 

See YOU on the Course!

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