Arc honors AT & T, Medina Lions

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 September 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – The Arc of Orleans recognized AT & T for being a generous donor to the agency in recent years, including $32,000 in the past year. Pictured include, from left: State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Kevin J. Hanna, area manager of external affairs for AT & T; Arc Executive Director Kellie Spychalski; and State Sen. George Maziarz.

HOLLEY – The Arc of Orleans recognized a corporation for being a generous donor and a local service club for years for assisting the agency that works with developmentally disabled residents.

AT & T and the Medina Lions Club were both recognized during the Arc’s Signature Series event on Friday at Hickory Ridge Country Club. AT & T’s foundation has donated $58,000 to the Arc in the four years, funding that has helped pay for adult readiness programs, which assist disabled residents with finding places to live and work.

“It’s been a godsend,” Patricia Kepner, the Arc’s director of quality assurance, said about the money from AT & T. “There is no other funding available to help with these programs.”

State Sen. George Maziarz convinced top AT & T officials to direct some of their foundation money to the Arc.

AT & T receives numerous requests for funding assistance, said Kevin Hanna, the company’s area manager for external affairs. AT & T favors programs that raise the graduation rate or support vocational training.

“The transitional program for the Arc fits our mission,” he said. “We look for organizations that are well run and make a difference. We’re confident these dollars are being spent wisely.”

The Medina Lions Club was presented the Arc of Orleans County’s “Legacy of Love” Award during tonight’s annual Signature Series tonight. Pictured include, from left: Past Medina Lions President Don Colquhoun, who’s also a former executive director for the Arc; Arc Executive Director Kellie Spychalski, Lions President David Bellucci, a former operations manager for the Arc’s Orleans Enterprises; State Sen. George Maziarz; State Assemblyman Steve Hawley; and Jim Hancock, secretary for the Lions.

AT & T has sent the Arc two $16,000 checks in the past year. Maziarz praised the company for giving back to a deserving agency.

Arc Executive Director Kellie Spychalski said the agency relies on corporate and citizen support.

The Arc recognized a long-time friend during the Signature Series. The Medina Lions Club was presented a “Legacy of Love” award for years of service to the agency.

The Lions have given money to several Arc projects, including Camp Rainbow, the Robert E. Waters Clinic and the Terri Krieger Memorial 5k. Lions members have also volunteered with many Arc initiatives, including construction projects at Camp Rainbow.

Dave Bellucci is the club’s current president. He retired earlier this year after working for the Arc for 13 years as operations manager for Orleans Enterprises, where Arc consumers do light packaging tasks.

“You can be assured that in the future you can count on the continued support of the Medina Lions,” Bellucci told the crowd of Arc supporters.