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A Matter of Taste 2018

The Arc Westchester Foundation Raises Nearly $400,000 At 15th Annual “A Matter of Taste”

Event highlighted The Arc Westchester's successful employment program; proceeds to benefit services for individuals with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities

Westchester County, N.Y. (October 22, 2018) – The Arc Westchester Foundation, which is dedicated to increasing public awareness and raising financial resources to support The Arc Westchester’s programs and services for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is pleased to announce that nearly $400,000 was raised at its 15th annual “A Matter of Taste” fundraiser. More than 300 supporters attended the event, which took place on Tuesday, October 16 at Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle.

The evening featured delicious cuisine prepared by some of Westchester County’s finest chefs, accompanied by prestigious wine and craft beers, as well as a silent auction and IMPACT Gift/paddle raise. Nearly 30 culinary and beverage participants served attendees at this year’s event. For a full list, visit https://www.arcwestchester.org/culinary-and-beverage-tastings.

This year’s “A Matter of Taste” highlighted The Arc Westchester’s employment services. During her remarks, The Arc Westchester Executive Director/CEO Tibisay (Tibi) Guzmán talked about the program and shed light on staggering statistics as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

“The nationwide employment rate for individuals with disabilities is only 33-percent,” said Guzmán. “At The Arc Westchester, we are proud to say that we have achieved an astounding 60-percent employment rate for those individuals who want to work. Over 250 Westchester County businesses employ nearly 300 participants in our Employment and Transition Program. These individuals work in stores, restaurants, schools, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and law offices. While we are pleased with our accomplishments thus far, our work is never done.”

The evening featured two awards of recognition: the Family Partner Award and the Corporate Partner Award.

The Wong Family received the Family Partner Award for their unwavering support for The Arc Westchester. Elsie and Yen Wong are the proud parents of two sons and a daughter, Jennifer, who was born in 1976 with Down syndrome. The Wongs became one of the legions of families impacted by intellectual and developmental disabilities. After exceeding expectations with her graduation from Irvington High School, the Wongs set their sights on helping Jennifer find a job. Through The Arc Westchester’s employment program, Jennifer received a job coach and training in office skills. She was successfully employed by the Westchester County Clerk’s Office and then moved on to the law office of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, where she has been a valued employee for the past 15 years. Since 2014, Jennifer has resided at The Arc Westchester’s group home in Scarsdale.

“With The Arc Westchester’s help, Jennifer is living a happy and productive life,” said Yen Wong, “Our partnership with The Arc Westchester that was forged so many years ago continues to reap benefits for our family.”

The evening’s second honoree was ABB OPTICAL GROUP/DIGITAL EYE LAB Network, which received the Corporate Partner Award for its commitment to giving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the chance to be contributing members of the workforce.

“As a leading distributor of optical products in the United States, we provide our services to nearly two-thirds of eye care professionals across the country,” said Scott Pearl, managing director, DIGITAL EYE LAB Network. “Our Hawthorne facility hires team members through The Arc Westchester. These individuals play an integral role in the manufacturing of spectacle lenses. We truly cherish the profound impact these employees have on their co-workers and recognize the tremendous value they bring to our organization.”

To learn more about The Arc Westchester’s employment opportunities visit https://www.arcwestchester.org/services/disability-employment.

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The Arc Westchester

The Arc Westchester, founded in 1949, is the largest agency in Westchester County supporting children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, and their families. The organization’s 850 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 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 Westchester is a chapter of The Arc USA and The Arc New York.

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