The Arc facility to open but more help is needed

The Arc of the Tri-Cities has had a couple of heavy hitters at the helm of its capital campaign.

And the choice of Jerome and Josie Delvin to co-chair the fund-raising program has proved to be a savvy one. The state senator and Benton County clerk have helped The Arc close in on its goal of a debt-free move into its new $3.6 million building.

But the organization still needs another $450,000 to make that dream a reality, even as the ribbon is about to be cut on the 14,000-square-foot building.

It's more important now than ever for The Arc, which has been providing services to folks with developmental disabilities in our community for 60 years, to find additional local support.

Money from state and federal sources has been cut in this troubled economy. Without that help, the organization needs to put every penny it has toward programming rather than a mortgage.

"We are frantically looking for how to fund our programs," Theresa Long, vice president of The Arc's board, told the Herald earlier this week.

We're talking about a large operation serving a vulnerable clientele of 2,000. And that's just the population it's able to serve. There is a waiting list of more than 500 people who want to use The Arc's facility.

Programs there help people learn vocational skills and practical skills. The nonprofit also provides an important social outlet for its clients as well as a welcome break for the families that spend much of their time caring for their loved ones.

If you can't help with a cash donation, The Arc also is looking for in-kind items to help furnish the facility. Remember, every penny it can save on furnishings means a bigger benefit for its programs.

The ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for the new facility at 1455 Fowler St. in the Richland Y is scheduled Nov. 17.

To learn more about the capital campaign contact Stephanie Hartwig at 509-946-5157 or via e-mail at stephanieh@email.arcoftricities.com.