BENEFITING: THE ARC OF THE ST JOHNS INC
The Arc of the St. Johns – “Awesome Athletes” program (The Arc Awesome Athletes – Triple A Athletics)
Our Vision — To create diverse programs in which people of ALL AGES with ANY DISABILITY can have opportunities to play individual and organized group sports on a regular basis. The goal of our program is to allow people in our community with I/DD to live full, rich and well-rounded lives with the hope that some can go on to play on teams that offer inclusion.
Our Mission — To provide persons with disabilities equal access to athletic activities such as surfing, golf, soccer, softball, basketball, and swimming. This is accomplished by fostering an environment that supports the understanding and acceptance of persons with disabilities throughout the community. Our desire is to make these experiences fun and challenging in order to encourage personal growth in skill and confidence.
Our Values — Everyone is a valued, contributing member of his or her community. The Arc fosters respect and protects the human rights of people with disabilities. Together, with a collective voice, we can accomplish so much more.
Our History — After World War II, groups of concerned parents of children with Intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) began to form grassroots groups. In 1950, The Arc was formed, we “emerged as a national organization [which] symbolized a change in parental status and self-image from that of marginality, concealment, and shame to that of empowerment and legitimacy.” (Roos) For more than 60 years, The Arc has been creating opportunities for people with I/DD. The Arc continues to be a grassroots organization, with more than 730 chapters across the U.S. The Arc of the St. Johns chapter was founded in 1972 and is committed to working hard to promote and protect human rights and to help people with I/DD achieve full and satisfying lives in their own community. We currently operate 2 charter schools, multiple adult day programs, continuing adult education classes, residential programs and employment programs
Our Needs — In 2014 we reached out to former Pro Surfer and St. Augustine Local, Pete Skoglund and with his leadership, skills and resources, we launched “Surf Quest”, a surfing program for participants of any age with any disability. One Saturday per month, from March to October, we have volunteer surf coaches who teach, guide and enable participants to catch waves! Surf Quest has not only been extremely successful but has given us the dream of offering many more sports programs at no cost to participants! We would like to start a golf program and a soccer program this fall and follow it up with swimming and softball in the spring! In order to do this we desperately need the following:
• Team Sponsors – Uniform and equipment sponsors
• Coach Volunteers – Experienced, dedicated and preferably CPR certified
• Assistant Volunteers – Perfect for responsible teenagers (community service credit hours will be given), preferably CPR certified
• Nurse/Medic volunteers – For practice and games • Grants and Donations – This is our biggest need. Government and corporate grants along with corporate, small business and individual donations. Grants that include administrative costs as well
• Facility donors – Parks, neighborhood recreational facilities, private golf courses, driving ranges, etc.
Please visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SurfQuestARCSJ?fref=ts