Local Action Makes A World of Difference

The Arc Executive Direct, Mark Swain

This century will bear witness to the biggest historical changes for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD). We are now just beginning to see the real capabilities of people with I/DD as they impact the arts, public service, the workplace, politics and culture. We see folks with intellectual and developmental disabilities playing larger, more influential roles in our families and communities. People with I/DD are on the move, developing more meaningful roles by demonstrating a strong ability to make positive and enriching contributions to our society. We’re witnessing history!

Help make a ‘world’ of difference by supporting ‘local’ people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Achieve with us. Support the Arc of Alachua County.

The Arc of Alachua County – serving folks locally for over 50 years.

It Was A Dark And Stormy Gear Up Florida!

Gear Up Florida

Forty stalwart bikers, representing over 30 colleges and universities in America and internationally, as well as Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, braved stormy weather, torrential downpours, and rolling thunder, to visit The Arc on May 24, 2017, for the annual Gainesville stop of the Gear Up Florida/Ability Experience bike tour of Florida.

More than 350 Arc clients, staff and friends cheered the bikers as they arrived in their three support vans at 11 am on May 24th with big hearts, broad smiles and generous spirits. Each year, Gear Up Florida pulls together over 40 members of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity to bike 850 miles from Miami to Tallahassee to raise money and awareness for developmental disabilities. Among 14 stops along the arduous 850-mile trek, bikers have stopped at their favorite rest stop - Gainesville and The Arc of Alachua County - for nearly 15 years to enjoy a BBQ lunch, a DJ-led dance, photo ops with local media (we had 6 local media outlets there last month), and an autograph session with Arc clients. The event ends with a group photo in front of The Arc sign on NW 83rd St (but due to the rain we had to improvise and shoot the group photo in the Orange Lake Room). John & Sheila Spence, the generous underwriters of this event every year, manage to get the bikers to Gainesville Health & Fitness Center for swimming, sauna, massage, and relaxation in the afternoon. The Spence's end the bikers' visit with a huge dinner at their gorgeous Newberry Home that evening where they get a chance to prep for their ride the next day to Tally, and watch themselves on local TV news.

The Arc thanks the bikers, John & Sheila Spence, Chelsea Ball of Ability Experience, Michael Davis (Mr. October DJ), Terra LeFleur (Dos Mamas Catering), and, of course, the clients and staff of The Arc of Alachua County. We all agree with Tim Schlachter, Florida Project Manager and University of Toledo student, who stated: "It's given me perspective just to see the struggles that a lot of people go through". The Arc does not let anything stop it from persevering -- we rock!

The 2017 Arc Annual Meeting & Recognition Event Is Coming Soon:

Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 6 p.m.
the Rion Auditorium, Tower Club, The Village Retirement Community

The Arc Annual Meeting

You are cordially invited to attend the Arc of Alachua County’s 2017 Annual Meeting & Recognition Event at The Village Retirement Community’s Rion Auditorium on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. While special guests like our Keynote Speaker State Representative Chuck Clemons (District 21), Arc Clients of the Month, Arc Employees of the Month, and their guests, will attend by special invitation and free-of-charge, we are seeking event sponsorships at the $3,000-, $2,000- and $1,000-levels. Table sponsorships are available at $500 each (for a table of eight (8), and single ticket purchases are $50 each, for this fantastic event celebrating an incredibly successful year for The Arc of Alachua County. The event features gorgeous piano music before and after the event and during dinner, a great dinner and dessert from The Village Chef, an exciting address from State Rep. Chuck Clemons, a brief annual Meeting with Arc Executive Director Mark Swain and Arc Board President Stephen Tanner, and last but not least, a fun volunteer-, staff- and client- recognition ceremony facilitated by The Arc’s Associate Director Danielle Towery.

Contact Dr. Mark Johnson at The Arc for information on securing event or table sponsorships, or purchasing single tickets. Dr. Johnson can be reached at 352-246-3516 or via email at mjohnson@arcalachua.org. He will be able to take payment via check or credit card or, if more convenient for our corporate sponsors, provide you and your institution an invoice.

More information on this upcoming event is forthcoming, so follow The Arc of Facebook and Twitter. See you on October 26, 2017 at 6 p.m. at The Village for a fabulous evening celebrating The Arc’s 51st Anniversary!

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The Arc of Alachua County in Words & Music:

‘Celebrating Ability – Creating Opportunity’

The Arc Singers

You may not know it yet, but The Arc of Alachua County has its own audio brand, or jingle. The Arc jingle debuted at Arc Gala III and was sung by none other than our own Arc Drama Troupe under the direction of Arc staffers Travis Couillette and Karen Madden.

Emphasizing The Arc’s creed of ‘Celebrating Ability & Creating Opportunity,’ our more theatrically-inclined clients brought audience members to their feet at the Gala with the jingle that truly epitomizes our desire to see all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities become fully integrated into our community.

We hope that our jingle ‘rings true’ with the folks in the community and becomes associated with our mission, our clients, and our brand. Together, all of us are helping to ‘Celebrate Ability & Create Opportunity’ for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Celebrating Ability... Creating Opportunity


The Arc of Alachua County is a community based organization committed to providing a continuum of exemplary services, supports, and advocacy to assure that people with developmental disabilities can enjoy respect and dignity and be full participants in the community.

Who Is The Arc?

The Arc of Alachua County is a community based organization committed to providing a continuum of exemplary services, supports, and advocacy to assure that people with developmental disabilities can enjoy respect and dignity and be full participants in the community.

Who Is The Arc

The Arc has a rich history spanning 60 years and marked by accomplishment. We continue to carry out the mission and vision of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as their parents and siblings.

Over the last 60 years, The Arc has grown and adapted to the changes that people with disabilities face across their life span. Through the decades, The Arc has seen several name changes, advocated for the passage of state and federal legislation on behalf of people with disabilities and established a broad network of state and local chapters that range from small voluntary groups to large, professional organizations.

Although much has changed for those that we serve, we always try to raise awareness, supporters, and always help improve the lives of the intellectually and developmentally disabled.

We Recycle!

Did you know that The Arc recycles. We recycle almost anything you can think to recycle. We recycle paper, glass, aluminum and even electronics and "e-Waste".

Due to the overwhelming demand for free Gone4Ever shredding services on Wednesdays, The Arc will limit free shred Wednesday to the FIRST WEDNESDAY OF EACH MONTH and limit each household to one banker’s box, or roughly 27 lbs. of paper, per free shred Wednesday, per month. Free Shred Day is open to all area residents to bring in the documents they would like securely destroyed for FREE. Businesses only pay $0.19 per pound as well.

Paper Shredding in Gainesville - We may recycle it, but for you it is securely Gone 4 Ever!

Take A Look At Us

I am sure it is no surprise to you, but people always want to know what we have been up to around The Arc and at our events. Our followers on facebook get to see quite a few or our pictures, but the rest of you are left in the dark.

Well even though everyone should be our fans on facebook, we still decided to put up a gallery of images to show some of the highlights from the major events we have had this year.

Every year we hold several events we consider picture worthy. But dont worry, you will probably see some other, "non event" pictures sneak in as well. If you have a good picture you would like to share, stop by The Arc and let us scan it and share it as well.

We hope to keep the new gallery up to date throughout the year, so check back and enjoy.

See Photo Gallery »

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