The Arc of Katy is turning 30 soon and it will celebrate in a way that – true to its nature – is fun, festive, healthy and safe, with a 30-minute Facebook Live event at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 3 that includes a parking lot parade!
With COVID-19 preventing a normal celebration of people sharing cake and ice cream, The Arc of Katy’s Facebook Live and YouTube Live event will feature a drive-through birthday celebration, an historical look-back at how the organization started, a pictorial review of programs through-the-years, special guest videos featuring community leaders, and much more.
“We have been blessed to be a part of the wonderful caring community of Katy for 30 years,” said Fred Shafer, president of The Arc of Katy. “We thank all those who have supported us over the years as we offer quality programs for people with Intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). We encourage everyone to catch us online for this fun and creative 30th anniversary celebration.”
The 30-minute social media event will be live-streamed on The Arc of Katy’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Event emcees will be Shafer; Maria Todd, a former radio personality whose brother is a participant at The Arc of Katy; and Amy Campbell, one of The Arc of Katy’s founding members who is now co-chair of the program and communications committees and on the organization’s Board of Directors.
The Arc of Katy founders, participants and their families, staff and volunteers will participate in the drive-through celebration, with many decorating their vehicles. Other participants in the drive-through celebration include a City of Katy response vehicle, Katy ISD Police Officer Luis Santiago (also known as Officer Teddy Cop as he provides teddy bears to elementary students in the Katy ISD Special Needs program); and a couple of classic and custom cars that should be exciting for other participants.
The Arc of Katy families who participate in the drive-through celebration will go home with cookies donated by Ooh La La Dessert Boutique, coupons from Chick fil-A Katy, and other goodies donated by Margaret and Steve Laney, Carolyn Kares, Travis and Amanda Koch, and Sandi Dancel. Also contributing to production of the live-streamed event are John Curry of Curry & Co. Consulting; Gracie Nichols, a recent graduate of Taylor High School; Amy Campbell; Fred Shafer; and Maria Todd. A number of other volunteers also are engaged to help maintain an enjoyable, healthy and safe experience for all participants.
Although the goody bags will be delivered safely with social distancing and the event will be conducted with COVID-19 in mind, The Arc of Katy would not miss the opportunity to celebrate the milestone with their founders, participants, staff and volunteers.
“For 30 years, with support from the Katy Area, we have been focused on one thing – enriching the lives of our participants,” Shafer said. “We do that by providing opportunities for those with IDD that enable each person to be included as a respected and active member of the community throughout their lifetime. This event is a way for us to celebrate all that we have accomplished, and also to focus on plans we have to grow and support more people and families during our next 30 years.”
Those who wish to support The Arc of Katy as it begins another 30 years can go to their webpage – https://www.thearcofkaty.org – and click Make a Donation at the top