Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Iwas invited to ride with one of the buses from the United ARC of Hampshire Franklin Counties for their “All Aboard the ARC” rally on April 10.
We arrived at the pick-up location at Greenfield Community College, where a continental breakfast was served of doughnuts, coffee, juice and fruit.
Before departing for the rally the executive director, Ed Porter, spoke about the ARC’s dedication to helping and advocating for the developmental disability community. He was followed by state Rep. Paul Mark, of Hanover, who spoke about advocating for the developmental disability community at the Statehouse.
Our bus left from Greenfield Community College carrying 50 people. The theme of the bus was “Think Spring.” There were games along with snacks and beverages. There were also raffles for everything from gift certificates to spring items.
We also viewed DVDs about the ARC and its history. The bus had a feeling of unity and celebration.
We arrived at the Hanover Theater in Worcester for the program that lasted almost two hours. The event was hosted by Dan Rea, a radio talk show host for WBZ. There was a special guest appearance by Rex Trailer, the host of the children’s television show “Boomtown” in the 1960s. Trailer was a very strong advocate for people with disabilities and one of the first individuals to have children with disabilities on a television show.
The theme of the “All Aboard” event was to promote awareness, fund-raising and unity. Other speakers talked about their personal experiences within the developmental disability community.
There were also performances by the South Shore Conservatory’s Adult Chorus, Rainbow Players, Team Disco and pianist Melissa Sullivan. There was singing, dancing, music and role-playing.
The event promoted taking pride in who you are and recognizing that anything can be accomplished through hard work and passion….