On October 16, 2020, The Arc of Opportunity's Charity Auction closed out another record-breaking fundraiser to support people with intellectual and developmental (I/DD) and their families in the Central MA community. COVID-19 transformed the 31-year traditional in-person event into an innovative online format. Even with the transition, the communities' generosity remained more vibrant than ever, raising $50,043. Proceeds will benefit The Arc's Family Supports and Recreation Program. This program receives little government funding yet is an invaluable resource for people with disabilities and their families. The Arc is grateful for the support of corporate sponsor Workers Credit Union and other major sponsors Bowditch Attorneys, Rollstone Bank & Trust, First Financial Bank, Hub International, MJM Construction, and Tufts Health Care.
Joan Driscoll, former Executive Director and daughter to a founding family of The Arc, said: "In 1989, we started the first auction in response to a budgeting crisis. With about 50 people in attendance, we raised $1,000. Thirty-one auctions later with hundreds of lives impacted, the event continues to raise critical funds to support The Arc's programs. We're grateful for the loyal friends of The Arc who have remained with us since the beginning and to those who joined us for the first time this year. Thank you for your continuous support."
Mary Heafy, President & CEO of The Arc, said: "2020 continues to challenge the entire organization and our community. The Charity Auction highlighted our resilience, our communities' generosity, and the remarkable people who support those living with I/DD to be valued members of their communities. The Arc would not be the leading resource for those with I/DD without our supporters, sponsors, and partners as our COVID Silver Lining. Thanks to you, The Arc can advocate for every member of society to recognize and respect the human dignity of people with I/DD."
For 68 years, The Arc has ensured people with I/DD and their families have timely access to the quality supports and services they need and want to achieve a life of personal significance.