150 friends of The Arc North Florida were invited to “Go West”, and everyone headed to McCulley Farm’s banquet hall in Jasper for The Arc’s 32nd Annual Awards Banquet.
Guests arrived dressed as cowboys and cowpokes from the black and white western film era. Strolling on the sawdust floor, they were pulled back in time to the classic old west. The tables, covered with gingham cloth, wer topped with centerpieces made by The Arc’s clients and staff. Everyone celebrated the achievements of The Arc’s many clients and to recognize the individuals and local businesses that provided support to the organization. The audience was entertained by Chuckwagon Mac, the old west storyteller, and treated to a special performance by The Arc North Florida Singers.
An individual from each Adult Day Training Center was presented an award to recognize the great strides they had made this past year towards reaching their personal goals and increasing their self-advocacy. The recipients were Lenny Lee from Suwannee County, Linette Keel from Hamilton County and Melissa Preston from Baker County. Mitchell Downing of Live Oak received The Freedom Award for the great advances he made as a self-advocate in independence and community living.
During the event, a special tribute was given to Stephanie McClendon, who retired from The Arc’s Board of Directors after seven years of active service. The Direct Care Staff Award was presented to Tracey Sutton and the President's Award was given to Tammey Fast.