The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region Fund the Need campaign raises a record-breaking $61,000 for accessible transportation.

The Arc NCR transport van.

The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region hosted the Annual After d’Arc Gala, “Passport to Paradise”, May 6th, at the Maryland Golf and Country Club in Bel Air. The Gala is part of a 70th Anniversary celebration and The Arc NCR’s largest fundraiser of the year, attracting over 300 top donors throughout Harford and Cecil County. The purpose of the event is to honor the journey the organization and community have taken together to support people with differing abilities. Overall, the Gala raised $172,000 for its programs.

A key focus of the event centered on the ‘Fund the Need’ campaign for The Arc NCR’s transportation needs. Many of the people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in the region rely on The Arc NCR for transportation. Generous contributions from the community will help pay for the maintenance and fuel for accessible vehicles used to transport people with special needs.

The Arc NCR has a fleet of 55 vehicles, 22 of which are wheelchair accessible and require advanced routine maintenance. All vehicles are important resources for those we support, but our accessible vehicles are especially critical to our mission.

The Arc NCR leadership team in front of one of our large accessible vans. From left to right, Nena Peaker, Daniel Neary, Shawn Kros, Sara Garbarino, Kim Vaughn, Crystal DeJesus, Amanda Henck, Lynn Wilkinson, Sarah Ortiz-Brown, Steven Acerno.

People with disabilities have been historically underserved regarding transportation needs. Without access to transportation, people with disabilities have a greater chance of being unable to attain employment opportunities, as well as less access to health care, education, and community engagement activities.  Not only does this increase the chance that someone with disabilities will be unemployed or of low income, but it also increases the chance for isolation, loneliness, and mental health challenges. People supported by The Arc NCR want access to jobs, friends, family, and their community like any other person. Transportation, and specifically accessible transportation, is greatly needed to make this happen.

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