HAWTHORNE, N.Y., October 24, 2013 – Arc of Westchester Foundation is pleased to announce that it raised over $200,000 net at its annual fundraiser “A Matter of Taste.” The food and wine tasting event was held on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at The Westchester Country Club in Rye. More than 350 guests attended this fundraiser, which featured live and silent auctions, a raffle, wine pull and a wide array of local restaurants and beverage distributors.
“We’re thrilled with the phenomenal turnout at ‘A Matter of Taste’ and the outpouring of generosity from the Westchester community,” said Anne Sweazey, executive director, Arc of Westchester Foundation. “It’s essential to receive support from the community for our organization, especially in light of recent reductions in federal funding. And it’s because of the terrific support we receive from community businesses, families and individuals that we’re able to continue providing programs and services that support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as those with autism spectrum disorder.”
This year’s “A Matter of Taste” featured three specific awards of recognition to a family, a business and a youth focused individual or group.
Family Partner Honoree: The Walker Family of Scarsdale
The Walker family’s association with Arc of Westchester began 30 years ago when John and Susan’s daughter Elizabeth, graduated from high school and was looking for a work program. Over the years, Arc of Westchester provided Elizabeth with a series of ever more challenging work opportunities. She is now a dedicated employee at eDocNY, a member of the Customer Services Committee on which she served as Vice President, and a member of the Self Advocacy Group. Susan has served as a board member and on numerous committees and has been instrumental in shaping policies and developing funding that will guide and ensure Arc of Westchester programs in the future. The extended Walker family, including Liz’s two brothers, David and Will and their wives, has supported and encouraged Liz and her achievements.
“The Arc of Westchester has been a lifeline for our daughter Elizabeth. It has provided her with opportunities for work, recreation and personal development,” said Susan Walker.
Business Partner Honoree: Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP of Armonk
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP of Armonk has partnered with the Arc of Westchester’s employment program since 2002. What began with three Arc participants has expanded to include eight individuals who are responsible for the timely delivery of standard and interoffice mail, including critical legal documents, and for providing inventory supply management for three on-site kitchens. A full time Arc of Westchester coach and visiting Job Placement Specialist support the program.
The partnership is described by David Boies, Chairman of the firm, as follows: “Employing people with disabilities is not only good for the community because it gives a job to someone who wants to work, but it’s good for business because it opens up a cost-effective labor pool. It gives us the opportunity to do good for the community and do well for ourselves.”
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP was also honored earlier this month as first runner up in the 2013 Works For Me award from the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. This distinctive recognition is given to select New York state employers for demonstrated workplace diversity.
Youth Partner Honoree: The Young Professionals of Arc of Westchester
The Young Professionals of Arc of Westchester (ages 20-35) serve as Arc of Westchester ambassadors, building awareness of our mission through business associates, family and their social circles, and raising much needed funds for Arc of Westchester programs. The Committee’s work gives young professionals the opportunity to develop leadership skills in a philanthropic environment and to use their time, talents, and contacts to strengthen Arc of Westchester’s mission.
Since its founding in 2008, the group has organized fundraising events resulting in over $22,000, brainstormed marketing strategies, sponsored an art project and helped to build an investment portfolio. While The Young Professionals of Arc of Westchester group is both educational and social in nature, its true goal is to build leadership among this age group, working with people committed to the mission of creating opportunities and choices for children, young people and adults with developmental disabilities.
Nearly 30 food and beverage participants provided their culinary best at this year’s “A Matter of Taste.” Arc of Westchester is proud to feature: Abigail Kirsch, An American Bistro, Artuso & Sons Pastry & Café, Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, Cathy’s Biscotti, Chef Johnson’s, Chocolations, Culinary Tech Institute, Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, Eastchester Fish Gourmet, Guapo Cocina Mexicana, Harney & Sons Fine Tea, Haymount House, Lexington Square Café, LuLu Cake Boutique, Mima Vinoteca, Moscato Ristorante, Nikos Greek Taverna, Park 143 Bistro, Path Coffee Roasters, Sam’s of Gedney Way, Texas de Brazil, The 808 Bistro, The Great American Barbeque, Tramonto, Trattoria 160, Via Melissa, Westchester Country Club and Zuppa Restaurant and Lounge.
About Arc of Westchester
Arc of Westchester is the oldest and largest agency in the county serving children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, and their families. Over 800 employees provide more than 2,000 individuals throughout the county with a broad range of innovative and effective programs and services designed to foster independence, productivity and participation in community life.
Our mission is to empower children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, to achieve their potential by strengthening families and encouraging personal choices, abilities and interests. Our vision is a world in which children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities including individuals on the autism spectrum enjoy fulfilled lives and an inspired future.
CONNECT WITH US: www.arcwestchester.org