Monday, October 27, 2014

Arc Enrichment Players Follow the Yellow Brick Road
Front (L-R): Theatre staff Caitlin Barry, Julie Covey, Casey VanZandt, Patty Thorne, Hannah Brown, Justine Deluca, Mark Hathaway, Billy Driscoll, Maurice Maynard, theatre staff Cathie Barry. Middle (L-R):  Theatre staff Rick Barry, Joe Wright, Arc staff Gloria Soto, Mary Budrewicz, Kim Deiter, Matt Klein, John Woods.  Back (L-R):  Gary Hayes, Bethany Koslicki, Robert Maplesden, Lisa Irwin, Miranda Snyder.  Not pictured:  Heather Bump, Charles Parker.

They’re off to see the Wizard, thanks in part to a generous grant from NYSARC, The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming’s state organization.

Financing for The Arc Enrichment Program’s upcoming musical journey to the Emerald City is being provided by NYSARC Trust Services.

Earlier this year, the NYSARC Trust Services Board approved a remainder fund grant of $10,000 per NYSARC chapter to provide recreational opportunities for people they support. According to Coordinator of Day, Community & Intake Services Cathy Sullivan, the money was enough for a round-trip “over the rainbow” -- and then some!

Approximately $2,000 of the grant will be used to offset the costs associated with producing two performances of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” scheduled for 2:00pm and 5:00pm Saturday, November 15th at Theatre 101, located at 101 Main Street in Mount Morris. The remaining $8,000 was used to help fund a six dances, a Halloween bash attended by 175 people and the recent Hilltop picnic.

But while NYSARC Trust Services paved a financial yellow brick road for their trip to Oz, the journey has also required courage, brains, and an awful lot of heart by all involved -- from the on-stage movers, shakers, and munchkins to behind-the-scenes talent.

“The best part of doing a show with The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming every fall is the joy they bring to us,” says Cathie Barry, co-owner of Theatre 101. “They are the most willing, most caring, forgiving, loving people on Earth, and the most fun! This is our favorite annual event; we look forward to it every year.”

Cathie and her husband, Rick, have produced three previous shows featuring Arc talent, including a production of Truman Capote’s “The Thanksgiving Visitor,” Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” and an original production called “America US.” For their involvement, the couple was recently honored with a 2014 Arc Foundation Hero Award.

Their close familiarity with the core group of men and women in The Arc Enrichment Program made “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” an easy pick as this year’s production.

“We looked around the class last fall and saw characters from The Wizard of Oz,” Cathie says. “We knew they would love working on it and presenting it to family and friends.”

Justine Deluca as Dorothy
… and her little dog, too!
Primary cast members include Justine Deluca as Dorothy, Mark Hathaway as the Tin Man, Billy Driscoll as the Scarecrow, Maurice Maynard as the Not-So-Cowardly Lion, Robert Maplesden as the Wizard, Patty Thorne as the Wicked Witch, and Hannah Brown as Glinda the Good Witch.

“I’m looking forward to the show,” says Hannah, who is a veteran of past Enrichment Group performances. “(Cathie and Rick) make it fun for people at all skill levels, and we get to try new things with each performance. I felt a little bit of stage fright when I had a lead role in ‘The Thanksgiving visitor,’ but I’m pretty relaxed this time.”

To join Hannah and the rest of the Enrichment crew for their trip to Oz, tap your ruby slippers together three times and call PR Director Jeff Thomas at 585-658-2828 ext. 128 for ticketing information.

About NYSARC Trust Services Funding
Last year The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming received a similar grant from NYSARC Trust Services to offset the costs of Valentine's, St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, and Semi-formal dances, as well as a Bowling Banquet for individuals with disabilities throughout its service area.  On average, 110 people were in attendance at each event.

In addition, remainder fund grants totally $1,660,500 were awarded to support NYSARC guardianship programs statewide.  A total of $2,207,880 in remainder grants were awarded in 2014 to support recreation and guardianship statewide.  NYSARC Trust Services administers supplemental needs trusts that enable people with disabilities to remain in their home and community while retaining Medicaid services and other government benefits.   Information is available on how NYSARC Trust Services may benefit you:  their website , phone 1-518-439-8323, toll free phone 1-800-735-8924 or e-mail 

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