How do we spread the word about how The Arc changes lives?
By bringing together as many people as we can to celebrate at our annual Summit of Hope Community Awareness Luncheon! Our friends and families flocked to The Arvada Center on Tuesday, October 9 to experience the transformative power of our work on behalf of people with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
Whether you were at our 12th annual Summit of Hope in person or in spirit, you'll want to check out our virtual Summit of Hope by clicking on the videos and links below.
The 2018 Summit of Hope was kicked off by Arc Advocate Patricia Fulton, our very favorite emcee. She helped us get an energetic start with a community-filled piece presented by parents, siblings, self-advocates, volunteers and community partners. A special thanks to our speakers! Click the video below to see for yourself. Our event was hosted by Advocate Patricia Fulton, everyone’s favorite emcee. Recent Mobilizing Families alum Kiera Zink opened the program with “Welcome to Holland,” a poem written to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability for people who haven't experienced this themselves. Kiera’s reading set the stage for our theme: transformation.
After a brief break for lunch, Executive Director Lori Ropa addressed our guests. Lori described how The Arc is the place where information, empowerment and community come together for people with I/DD and their families, and how we are working on every level to create a world that includes and values people with disabilities.
For nearly 60 years, our chapter of The Arc has been dedicated to helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to be more included in the larger community. To this end, our advocacy isn't just with the people we serve, it's also providing outreach and awareness to help the community be more welcoming and supportive of people with I/DD, With community development foundational to our advocacy, it's no surprise that the individuals and families we serve feel deeply connected to The Arc. For Tim and his family, The Arc has been a stabilizing force that's helping him plug into a community of friends. For Mason's parents, The Arc's community is a reminder that they're not alone on this journey.
Next up was Natalie Abbott and her 12-year-old son, Grant. Natalie described how their family first connected with The Arc when Grant was a toddler and reflected upon the personal transformation The Arc has enabled in her family through the years. Natalie emphasized how she continues to be involved with our community, as a more experienced guide to others just beginning their journey “in Holland.”
As our program drew to a close, our friend Lesley Dahlkemper, a retired member of the Jefferson County School Board, took the stage to rally support for The Arc. Thanks to her passionate appeal, The Summit of Hope has already raised almost $92,000 to ensure people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) have the right support at the right time to help everyone achieve their dreams. 100% of your donation will support our friends and neighbors right here in Jefferson, Clear Creek & Gilpin Counties.
Click here to see photos from the event on Facebook!