July 2018 Star Self-Advocate On 6/29/18 3:00 PM
For July 2018 our Star Self-Advocate is Ms. Monica Tennant! Monica has been with us at the Achievement Center at Franklinville (formerly known as Franklinville ATS) since 2010! While being an absolute joy to be around Monica is also one of the friendliest, caring, and most helpful people you’ll meet. She is quick to introduce you to her friends, show you around, and share a laugh with one of her quirky jokes.
Over the last eight years, Monica has attended tons of fieldtrips with her friends through the Achievement Center at Franklinville. Some of her most favorite trips have been nature walks, participating in yoga at Funny Farm, bowling, walking the boardwalk, and learning how to Cha-Cha at ballroom dancing on Wednesdays at Sunshine Inn!
Monica isn’t always attending fun trips with us though! When first arriving to the Achievement Center at Franklinville in the mornings, she loves to assist Ms. Pat in the office by updating schedules and making copies for everyone so they are ready for the day! Then Monica heads outside to assist in the garden. This season, she is helping to grow vegetables and gourds! Monica enjoys going out to water the plants, weed, pick everything that has ripened, and help plan and cook delicious snacks with their freshly picked vegetables. While gourds may not be the most delicious things for recipes, they are extra fun to paint for Halloween which is something everyone at the Achievement Center at Franklinville looks forward to when they watch the gourds grow all summer!
Most recently Monica has been involved in AKtion Club where she has helped raise donations such as coats, non-perishable foods, and items to fill care packages that are delivered all around Gloucester County. Monica has been such a wonderful addition to AKtion Club and the Achievement Center at Franklinville we are proud to call her our July 2018 Star Self-Advocate!
Congratulations & Great Job Monica!
Day of Action in Gloucester County On 6/22/18 3:00 PM
A busy day of networking, delicious food, and hardworking volunteers was the perfect way to start the summer of 2018. Through the partnership of The Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Gloucester County, we were lucky enough to host the afternoon lunch and networking event and be one part of the many projects for the Day of Action!
As volunteers, sponsors, and company representatives arrived at Camp Sun ‘N Funs Sunshine Inn they were welcomed by employees smiling faces from GCCC and United Way then invited to join everyone inside for the delicious catered lunch by Zallies Shoprite. Lunch consisted of a variety of hoagies, chips, cookies (baked by our very own Arc Bakery), juices, and most importantly fantastic conversation. After enjoying lunch we got to hear a few words from Les Vail, President/CEO of Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce, Mike Gower, Executive Director of United Way of Gloucester County, and Ana Rivera, Executive Director at The Arc Gloucester. We learned that the month of June consists of communities around the world coming together to harness the volunteer spirit and improve the conditions in which they live. We were lucky enough to be a part of a huge and extremely successful part of it within Gloucester County!
Between the morning and the afternoon, there were a total of 80 volunteers who came out to help 9 agencies. The project held at Camp Sun ‘N Fun consisted of about 10 volunteers who worked on weeding, tidying up, and clearing the sensory garden for campers to enjoy this summer! Over the course of 4 hours and dedicated hands (along with many laughs) the sensory garden looked completely different! As a bonus the volunteers even helped us build two rabbit hutches for the new adorable additions to Camp Sun ‘N Fun!
Other projects for the day were held at Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ (Camp Sacajawea), Shadow Equestrian, Robins’ Next, Boys & Girls Clubs of Gloucester County, Volunteers of America Delaware Valley (Eleanor Corbett House), Center for Family Services (Together Youth Shelter), and Hollydell. Volunteers had the opportunity to work both inside and outside depending on their designated location. Work consisted of painting, cleaning, assembling care packages, yard work, playground maintenance, weeding, planting, and building!
As this event proved to be a wonderful success, we can’t thank everyone enough for the hard work and dedication provided to help us as well as other agencies around the county. The Arc Gloucester looks forward to Day of Action 2019 and giving back what we received!
To see more work done in our sensory garden please check out the Facebook album!
June 2018 Star Self-Advocate On 6/1/18 3:00 PM
Meet our Star Self-Advocate for June 2018, James Storti! James is an eager to learn, outspoken, and dedicated individual. He is currently a resident to one of our supervised apartments where, with the help of James, smiles are found all throughout the apartment! Because James is such an inspiring self-advocate he has represented The Arc Gloucester at many of our events this past year and has made a lasting impression to our organization. He has stood with Ana Rivera, The Arc Gloucester’s Executive Director, to present The Arc Gloucester’s history at the 60th Anniversary celebration, spoke before the county board of Chosen Freeholders during Developmental Disabilities month in March, participated in our CQL accreditation process, and assisted with the presentation for our staff at our annual employee in-service.
James has the perfect combination of work and play down to a science! He was a member of the Life Long Learning Ballroom Dancing class in the fall where he had a wonderful time preforming and shined on the dance floor during the closing ceremony. He has also proven himself as an excellent employee at The Arc Gloucester’s Crew program. James works hard every day at his job! According to Terri Walters, the The Arc Gloucester’s Crew supervisor, “James is a faithful employee with a wonderful work ethic. He is quick to help any of his co-workers and has a heart of gold!”
Most recently, James was awarded with the 2018 Dave Ravel Memorial Award, presented by The Arc Gloucester Board President David Contino at the 2018 gala. This award recognizes an individual participating in an Arc Gloucester program who has accomplished a personal goal and achieved success in the face of difficulties through hard work and perseverance. Everyone at The Arc Gloucester is extremely proud to honor James with this award for 2018.
Thanks to the many wonderful families and all of our amazing sponsors James and many more of our star self-advocates are able to achieve with us!
Aktion Club, Making a Difference in Gloucester County On 5/25/18 3:07 PM
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aktion Club is Coming Soon to Facebook!
A Night Under the Stars! On 5/9/18 1:55 PM
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 3, Holman 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!
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