Generous guests at Dreamweavers Lunch raise $205,000 for programs and building fund

Jul 13, 2011

– Donations propel “Five Homes in Five Years” building campaign forward at top speed
– Chronically underfunded respite care program gives parents a break and helps keep families intact
– End of life respite care allows people to spend their last days at home instead of in a hospital
– Your gift of just $1,000 provides a family two hours of respite once a week for a whole year

More than 400 guests attended the seventh annual Dreamweavers Lunch at the Dena’ina Center on May 5, 2011.

Executive Director Gwen Lee told the crowd that their generosity had propelled the “Five Homes in Five Years” building campaign forward well ahead of schedule.

In the past two years, The Arc, whose goal is to start meeting the need for one-story homes in Anchorage for people who experience developmental disabilities, has completed two homes. Construction has begun on the third and the fourth is in the design stage.

The lot for the fifth house has finally been found and building can start next summer – if donors continue to support the campaign as enthusiastically as they have so far.

Guests also heard about the lifelong journey that begins when a family learns that a child has an intellectual or developmental disability and comes to The Arc for help. Ms. Lee described the sacred promise The Arc makes to be with them at every stage of that journey for as long as they need us from the beginning of life through the end.

Two families, one whose journey with The Arc is just beginning and another whose decades-long association is coming to an end with the recent death of their daughter, shared their stories about the difference The Arc has made in their lives.

Cody Joy, four years old, experiences Russell-Silver Syndrome, a type of dwarfism. His adoptive mother, Reggie Joy, says she’s not sure how her family would have made it without respite care and the other help they get from The Arc.
The Mothershead family faced a different challenge when their adult daughter Valerie was diagnosed with incurable cancer. After twenty-five years of services including recreation, life skills, and residential services, The Arc was able to provide Valerie end-of-life respite care in a specially-designated room at Old Harbor House – the first of the “Five Homes in Five Years.”

The Arc relies heavily on the contributions of community members to fund its respite program, as well its building campaign. Guests at the Dreamweavers lunch responded with gifts and pledges of more than $205,000. Seven guests accepted the challenge made by Wells Fargo and joined the Dreamweavers Society by pledging $1,000 a year for five years – thus garnering Wells Fargo’s $5,000 gift for The Arc.