Over 45 people attended The Arc of Delaware 2022 Annual Business meeting, held on October 18th at the Delaware State Troopers Association in Dover.
The evening started with a social hour, refreshments and guitar music by Ed Ryan. After welcoming the audience, Executive Director Susannah Eaton-Ryan presented highlights on The Arc’s activities since the 2021 meeting, while Board officers shared the minutes and financial report covering the last year.
Staff leadership then presented initiatives and activities that will be carried into 2023. Steve Knox, director of housing, maintenance and construction, brought the audience up to date on our 83 neighborhood homes. He then discussed The Arc’s plans for developing “smart” homes equipped with devices that automate tasks (such as cleaning robots) or allow for remote access (such as emergency response systems) to support more independent living.
Controller Liz Harris reported our progress on building community through partnerships with diverse organizations that are relevant to people with IDD in Delaware. Examples include participating on various state advisory committees, collaborating with other advocacy organizations, and contributing to community projects. Some current projects include developing a healthy initiative program funded by Christiana Care/Delaware Academy of Medicine and partnering with EPIC Fitness programs on billing and analytics.
Susannah finished this looking-ahead segment by sharing data and ideas for growing our Outreach program through individual and/or group assistance with problems in education, systems navigation, case management and social/recreational opportunities.
Board Member Carol Hall then presented the 2022 Volunteers of the Year Award to the Mid-Del Committee of The Arc of Delaware.
For more than 60 years, the volunteers on the Mid-Del Committee have served the needs of people with IDD, especially those in Kent and Sussex counties. Beyond spearheading the annual Run/Walk/Roll fundraising event, they also help to secure grants and support outreach in southern Delaware. Thanks to creative determination, their very popular monthly dances continued throughout the Covid quarantine as virtual events that everyone could enjoy from their own homes. When public health restrictions began to ease, the committee developed outdoor events where friends could cautiously socialize in person. And in October, they began to once again start hosting indoor dances.
“From MidDel’s beginning, we have been fortunate to have a strong pool of volunteers (lifelong) and especially IDD volunteers,” said Pam Cannon, chairperson. “Our IDD volunteers step up to assist where and when needed. Whether it’s assisting to setup, breakdown or cleaning up at an event; contributing (monetarily or time) what they can afford back to their community.”
Kudos to the entire Mid-Del Committee for their dedication, their energy and their contributions toward community inclusion and participation for people with IDD in Delaware!