The 61st Arc of Westchester Annual Meeting was held on Tuesday, June 12 at Arc of Westchester’s Gleeson-Israel Gateway Center in Hawthorne.
Over 100 individuals including chapter members, invited guests, self-advocates, staff and board members attended. Honorees included the Rizzi family of Tarrytown, who received The Charles R. Kingsley Family Award.
The theme for the evening’s program was “Living Lives of Distinction in the Community We Share.” A Life of Distinction puts forth the vision that every person with a disability has a distinct contribution to make to the world. A short video was followed by a panel discussion sharing personal reflections. Beth Mount, Ph.D., Capacity Works, served as moderator. Panelists included Ann Marie Sabrsula, Early Childhood Psychologist; Mashal Gonzalez, Director of Transition Services and Pasquale Ginese, Self-Advocate and former president of the agency’s Customer Service Council. The Customer Service Council is a board committee composed of people with developmental disabilities.
The membership elected a new slate of officers and board members for 2012-2013. Anthony Assalone of Ossining was elected President; Abby Reuben of Mount Kisco was elected Secretary; and Paul Mehta of Scarsdale was elected Treasurer. Sheryl Frishman, Esq., of Irvington will now serve on the board as immediate past President.
The agency also recognized a number of partners and community volunteers for their outstanding contributions to social inclusion for people with developmental disabilities. They were each presented with unique artwork created by individuals in our art programs.
Laura Saggese of Bedford received The Arc of Westchester Foundation Award; Elaine Masket of New Rochelle received The Katzenberg Award; Manhattanville College received the Public Partnership Award; and the Rizzi family of Tarrytown and the Porcaro family of Pelham received The Charles R. Kingsley Family Award. Two School Partnership Awards were presented to Alice MacLennon, Peekskill Committee on Preschool Special Education and Doreen Stoker, Life Skills Teacher, Somers High School. Art awards were also presented to three individuals for outstanding entries in gallery exhibitions during the past year.
Gallery265—The agency’s art gallery presented an entryway of color with its latest exhibit, “Yarn Bombing – The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti.” Talented individuals with developmental disabilities transformed Arc’s lobby into a forest of color using yarn, fabric, wool and tree limbs. Under the direction of Roberta Nicholson, Day Habilitation Instructor at Arc of Westchester, individuals covered 10 ft. tree limbs, branches, flower pots, furniture, door handles and even a bicycle. “The vibrant art of the people who created this exhibition is an outstanding example of the unique talents I see every day.” says Nicholson.
Arc of Westchester is the largest agency in the county serving people of all ages who have disabilities such as autistic spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and learning disabilities. Currently celebrating 61 years in the community, Arc of Westchester has long advocated social inclusion for individuals with disabilities because of benefits to the entire community.