Each year The Arc of Fort Bend County honors those who have supported their mission of “improving the lives of those with intellectual (formerly known as mental retardation) and developmental disabilities”. At the same meeting, The Arc inducts its board members and officers. This year, the event was held at Hyatt Place, Sugar Land on June 25, thanks to the generosity of Michael Gleeson ,General Manager of Hyatt Place.
“Outstanding Educator” awards were presented to Shannon Brown and Eno Usanga, Clements High School; Ashley Callis, Travis Elementary; Karen Mitchell, Ridge Point High School; Darin Quintero, Elkins High School; Sara Smith, Colony Meadows Elementary and Katie Wiseman, Colony Bend Elementary. Parents of children with disabilities nominated these teachers because of the effort they give every day to meet the special needs of their children in their classrooms.
The “Community Awareness” award went to Don Kerstetter, Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land, to thank him for the 2011 and 2012 Title Sponsorships of The Arc’s Golf Classic.
Two “Larry Sharp Service” awards were presented. Larry Sharp was a founding member of The Arc and this award is given to the organization or individual who has contributed in a major way toward the goals and projects of The Arc. Jamie Hill, of Pamela Printing, received the first award to express gratitude for her talented work on The Arc’s monthly newsletter and other printed materials. The humanitarian youth group, “Generation”, sponsored by Memorial Herman Hospital and Karen Chitty-Boe, received the second “Larry Sharp Service” award. The young adults have volunteered at many of The Arc’s community events helping with the many tasks required to make each run smoothly.
Michael Cushenberry earned “Outstanding Employee” for his years employed at Kroger, Missouri City.
Jenny Gortney, Prosperity Bank, received the James Patterson “Volunteer of the Year” award for the many years she has helped plan The Arc’s fundraiser, The Best in the West.
Alan, Minnie and Alan Harris, Jr. received the “Family of the Year” award to commemorate their years volunteering.
Special recognition was given to John Schanck, Fluor, to thank him for the recent grant awarded to The Arc in March, 2012. The Arc purchased a much-needed minivan with part of the grant funds.
The Honorable Brenda Mullinix installed the 2012-2013 officers and board of directors. The officers are: Karen Daly, Chairman; Himesh Gandhi, Vice Chairman; Stewart Jacobson, Treasurer; and Mary Stephney Quinby, Secretary. The other board members include Barry Beard, Mike Casey, Rick Cushenberry, Becky Geary, Avis Goldy, Jenny Gortney, Greg Hernandez, Charlie Huber, Larryn Lobue, Jack Molho and Sandra Pierce.
No longer known as ARC, The Arc of Fort Bend County has joined The Arc of U. S. and other state and local chapters removing the “R” word from the name. “We are legally named The Arc”, said Laura LaVigne, Executive Director, “out of respect for the clients we serve.”