The Arc recognizes 72 ‘star’ clients
By Sue Ellen Ross Post-Tribune correspondent November 30, 2012 2:12PM
The Arc Northwest Indiana Vision Award is presented to Robert Meier (front left), Larry Hau and Marie Van Matre (back) by Kris Prohl (front right) of The Arc. | Photo provided
15 YEARS OF SERVICE:
LaTonja Adams, Keith Armstrong, Tracy Brower, Linda Caldwell, James Cha, Tremale Ellison, Glen Lacy, Marie Leonhardt, Norma Martin, Tina Poplawski, David Rudd, Sherry Sherlock, Kimberly Stewart, James Swanson and Daniel Thomas.
20 YEARS OF SERVICE:
Mary Beller, Brian Davis,
Julia Johnson, Dawn Kolanowski, Jenny Milobar, Valerie Odisho, Keith Osborne, Joseph Plucinik, Jeffery Rosales, Dawn Marie Smith and
25 YEARS OF SERVICE:
Alpha Bradshaw, Darlene Cross, Severina Marino, George Rivera, Ronald Stubblefield, Milton Townsell, David Wayte and Bobbie Wedlow.
30 YEARS OF SERVICE: Karen Ballard, Debra Bogan, Brian Epperson, Lottie Frasier, Hosea Hopkins, David King, Judy Maicher, Kenneth Nowesnick, Nick Pappas, Veda Ruggia, Jane Schulfer, Lamar Vaughn, Paul Viczai and Laverne Willis.
35 YEARS OF SERVICE:
William Bohney Jr., Gary Bynum, Charles Farmer, Mary Griggs, Greg Gruenenfelder, Cheryl Jackson, Karen Kwasny, Ronald Logsdon, Samuel Moore, Willie Moore, Joyce Robinson and Larry Tucker.
40 YEARS OF SERVICE:
David Carr, Carolyn Ford, Ricky Leeson, Janice Markowski, Richard Messman, Michelle Mobley, William Muller, Ronald Pace, Carolyn Rimpson, Edward Smith, Jeffrey Vetroczky and Bennie Williams.
Updated: January 3, 2013 6:19AM
When Judy Abbott’s son was born in 1964, he experienced some health problems. The dedicated mom didn’t know where to turn until she found the Lake County Association for the Retarded, now The Arc Northwest Indiana.
Abbott told her story at the organization’s recent 60th annual appreciation dinner held at the Avalon Manor Banquet Center
“We went to the ARC when my son was 2½ years old; he made such progress with them,” the immediate past ARC board president said. “I was impressed and became very involved with the organization.”
Seventy-two “stars” were honored at the event, clients all currently involved in activities within the organization, including workshops, outside jobs and living in group homes.
“This (dinner) is a great thing, I feel special and happy,” said client Jeffrey Vetroczky, 58. “I’ve been at my job (as a janitor) for 40 years and I really like it.”
Mom and dad John and Pauline Vetroczky, of Whiting, are proud of their son and his longevity on the job.
“Every year he says he is going to retire, but he’s having too much fun,” laughed Pauline.
And regarding the longevity of The Arc Northwest Indiana, John said he feels the employees’ dedication, as well as that of sponsors and supporters, is the key to the organization’s 60 years of success.
“This is the only group that I’m aware of that shows so much interest in their clients by promoting their progress and helping with socialization,” he said.
More than 300 people enjoyed the evening, which included a silent auction and a “history table” set up with memorabilia of The Arc Northwest Indiana.
Name changes over the years, specific programs and events and other topics were covered in the newspaper articles and scrapbooks that chronicled this association’s existence. They were prominently displayed on the table.
Ronald Stubblefield and Tremale Ellison are celebrating 25 years and 15 years, respectively, with The Arc Northwest Indiana. Their family, which included cousins and aunts, attended the dinner and said this was a special night.
“The Arc is a wonderful organization, they offer great programs. Ronald has been enabled to live independently through them,” said cousin Ida Woods, of Gary.
Indeed, Stubblefield has ridden the bus to work for his years on the job, where he works as a janitor. “I like what I do,” he said. “I enjoy my job and being with my friends everyday.”
Client Debbie Bogan also lives independently and credits her 30-year association with The Arc Northwest Indiana with her zest for life. “All their programs are great. They really do care.”
Presentation awards in recognition of service to those served by the organization, as well as anniversary recognition for clients, is the focus of the yearly banquet, according to Sue Crisman, director of public relations.
The Arc’s mission is to improve the welfare of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. This includes the provision of support, training and care through day services, residential programs and social services that help people with all levels of intellectual and developmental disabilities develop skills and abilities that assist their movement toward more integration, independence and happiness.