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Arc Wins Multiple Awards at NYSARC Annual Convention


Media and Service Awards Confirm The Arc’s Commitment to Excellence


HAWTHORNE, N.Y., October 20, 2014 – This year, at the annual NYSARC convention, which was held on October 16 – 18 in Albany, The Arc of Westchester received an award in each category that it entered. Boasting a total of four awards, The Arc of Westchester employees proved their dedication to the organization’s mission and programs. The awards received were: Quill Award in the human interest category for a newsletter story titled Mr. Brimley Goes to Washington, Media Award in the news article category for a feature in The Journal News titled Camp Independence, Choice Award in the promotional category for the video No Greater Gift, and the Thomas A. Maul Direct Support Professional Excellence Award to a local direct support professional residence counselor Margaret Edwards.


Quill Award

The Quill Awards, which recognizes outstanding newsletters, awarded a story from The Arc of Westchester’s spring 2014 newsletter about Scarsdale resident Jay Brimley’s trip to Washington, D.C. to meet Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer. Brimley, a longtime viewer of Face the Nation, was surprised with a trip to meet Scheiffer, a man he has grown to consider his friend. On a whim, Brimley’s service team reached out to the show to see if they would be open to a visit, and when the show said yes, Brimley received the experience of a lifetime – a trip to Washington, D.C. where he could visit the sites, tour the Face the Nation studio, watch Schieffer’s show from a conference room and then meet Schieffer himself. Mr. Brimley Goes to Washington shares the memorable experience of Brimley’s trip of a lifetime.


Media Award

The Journal News feature, Camp Independence, tells the story of The Arc of Westchester’s Summer Enrichment Program at Manhattanville College. Developed for recent high school graduates with intellectual and developmental disabilities, this program now has approximately 300 participants who spend the summer developing a sense of independence as they prepare for adult programs, including work opportunities, with The Arc of Westchester. This story, written by Gary Stern, will receive the News Article Category award.


Choice Award

This year, The Arc of Westchester entered two promotional videos into the Choice Awards competition. The videos, No Greater Gift and Partners in Success, were two of seven videos entered in the contest. Consumers were provided with the opportunity to vote for their favorite video and The Arc’s No Greater Gift placed third. The video features several families and individuals sharing stories about their experiences with The Arc of Westchester. From very young children who receive Early Intervention services through The Arc of Westchester’s Children’s School, to adults who obtain jobs and housing through The Arc of Westchester, No Greater Gift highlights how this organization supports those with intellectual and development disabilities through the arc of their life. 


Thomas Maul Direct Support Professional Excellence Award

Margaret Edwards, a direct support professional with The Arc of Westchester for the past fourteen years, received this year’s Thomas Maul award – given to a direct support professional who has demonstrated exemplary performance and commitment to improving the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities. Edwards, who is known for her patience and understanding with high conflict individuals, goes the extra mile for her clients and is known to visit a residential site at all hours of the day or night outside of her regular schedule to assist her colleagues and clients in difficult situations. Her ability to develop trusting relationships with her clients, desire to continually educate herself and her regular enthusiasm for her job has made her a respected role model with both her colleagues and her clients.


“Everyone at The Arc of Westchester works incredibly hard to provide top quality service each and every day,” said Executive Director Ric Swierat. “I am honored and proud of all of the awards we received at this year’s NYSARC convention. These awards demonstrate the dedication and excellence of our staff.”


The annual NYSARC convention is a three-day event that celebrates the commitment and enthusiasm of New York State’s local Arc chapters and educates its members on new policies, upcoming events and political endeavors. The convention provides its participants with a way to connect, face-to-face, with other chapters and share best practices.


About The Arc of Westchester

The 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 The 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.


The 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.


The Arc of Westchester is a chapter of NYSARC, Inc. and The Arc.




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Editor’s Note: The Arc is not an acronym; always refer to us as The Arc of Westchester, not The

ARC and never ARC. The Arc should be considered as a title or a phrase.



Regina Moore,

Marketing Manager


[email protected] ARC. The Arc should be considered as a title or a phrase.