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15th Annual Golfing for Kids
Over $180,000 Raised at Arc of Westchester’s Golfing for Kids
15th Annual Benefit for Children with Autism,Down syndrome and other Developmental Disabilities
HAWTHORNE, NY - June 4, 2015 – On Tuesday, June 2, 2015, Arc of Westchester raised over $180,000 at the 15th Annual Golfing for Kids at the Hampshire Country Club in Mamaroneck, NY. The anniversary event benefited children with autism, Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities served by Arc of Westchester’s Children’s School for Early Development. The school provides educational, social and support services for children, from birth to five years of age, and their families.
Even with on-and-off rain throughout the day, 130 golfers played their best to raise money to support Arc of Westchester’s youngest program participants. Their efforts will help Arc of Westchester continue to operate The Children’s School for Early Development at no cost to the families. The school is the largest provider of community-based services for children with developmental disabilities in Westchester County in terms of the numbers of children served and the number of community sites at which Arc of Westchester has opened inclusion classes. The program’s early intervention services are now delivered in community settings and more than 80 percent of their students attend community schools upon graduation, compared to 16 percent of children with developmental disabilities nationwide. Arc of Westchester also provides itinerant teacher services to children attending community programs chosen by their parents.
The golf tournament ended with cocktails and an awards dinner featuring a raffle and live and silent auctions, which also raised funds for the Children’s School for Early Development. The dinner featured three honorees recognized for their continued support of Arc of Westchester.
Kathy Higgins – Parent Support Award
Kathy Higgins, Family Liaison and Early Intervention Evaluation Coordinator at Arc of Westchester’s Children’s School for Early Development, leads the monthly Parent-Child Group for parents with babies, toddlers and preschoolers with Down syndrome. She has created a comfortable and supportive atmosphere where family members can share their personal experiences, and develop life-long bonds with other Westchester County families.
“Words alone cannot truly express the tremendous impact Kathy has had on so many people in the Down syndrome community throughout the years,” says parent Terry Hunt. “She is dependable, classy, conscientious, energetic, fun and supportive, and she goes above and beyond for the Children’s School for Early Development and PACDS. Thanks to Kathy and PACDS, we are all still learning and growing as parents.”
Ronni Mandell – Caring for Kids Award
Ronni Mandell joined the Arc of Westchester’s Children’s School for Early Development 15 years ago, first working at the Boys and Girls Club in Mount Kisco and then at the Country Children’s Center, where she works today. She attributes her success as a teacher to the support she receives from her team, explaining that a true partnership between the parent, child and teacher is what makes the school such a success. Ronni not only teaches at the school, but also trains new teachers as part of a program that has been directly funded through Golfing for Kids.
“I have never seen a teacher with more tricks up her sleeve for every child and for every minute of the day,” says Fran Porcaro, Assistant Executive Director of Educational Services. “I tell every teacher to see what Ronni does with transitions. There is never a moment wasted. She takes advantage of any wait time to build in an educational activity! Ronni even has her students crawl through a tunnel and go through an obstacle course just to get from one room to another. The physical therapists, of course, love her.”
Enterprise Fleet Management – Corporate Partner Award
As a corporate partner for the past six years, Enterprise Fleet Management provides close to 160 vehicles that help transport people to their jobs and activities throughout the county. One of Enterprise’s founding values is to strengthen the communities that they serve, and through their work with Arc of Westchester and their sponsorship of Golfing for Kids, Enterprise has helped Arc of Westchester reduce costs and create a more efficient method of transportation.
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About Arc of Westchester
Arc of Westchester is the oldest and largest agency in the county serving children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, and their families. Over 800 employees provide more than 2,000 individuals throughout the county with a broad range of innovative and effective programs and services designed to foster independence, productivity and participation in community life.
The mission of Arc of Westchester is to empower children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, to achieve their potential by strengthening families and encouraging personal choices, abilities and interests.
Arc of Westchester’s vision is a world in which children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities including individuals on the autism spectrum enjoy fulfilled lives and an inspired future.