As we prepare to celebrate our 60th Anniversary on Thursday, November 19, we will be featuring our honorees in this space. Learn more about their contributions to The Arc of Massachusetts and how they have enhanced the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
Spotlight Honoree: Jim Brett
People sometimes ask how I came to be interested in helping the disabled, and I have a single answer. It happened the day I was born. My oldest brother, Jack, was challenged with an intellectual disability. In the 1930s, when he was born, it was common for persons with his disability to be committed to institutional care. Our mother would have none of that. Jack was her son, and he was to be with his family in her home. He was a gift and a blessing to his brothers and sisters. He opened our eyes and our hearts to the needs of the disabled. In Jack’s special way, he was our teacher – and we learned the lesson.
James Brett initially became a supporter of The Arc when he was first elected as a State Representative from Dorchester in 1981. As an admirer of The Arc’s advocacy work for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, he learned from his colleagues that The Arc was very well respected for their data, research and advocacy.
Jim recently served as the Chairman of The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities and continues to serve as a member, as well as serving as Chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Intellectual Disability. He has continued to be a tireless advocate for the physically and mentally challenged. In 2014 he was awarded the John “Jack” Brett Champion’s Award from Special Olympics Massachusetts and was inducted into the Special Olympics Massachusetts Hall of Fame. Also in 2014, the Disability Law Center bestowed upon him the Edward M. Kennedy Leadership Award. In 2013, the University of Massachusetts Boston established the James T. Brett Chair in Disability and Workforce Development, the nation’s only endowed chair in disability and workforce development. In 1996, Bay Cove Human Services of Boston named a new community home for disabled adults “Brett House” in his honor.
“The Arc has made great progress over the past six decades,” he says, “but so much more needs to be done. I am proud to stand with The Arc in making a difference for our special friends.”
Stewards: Vibeke and Gustave Christensen, Ronald Campbell, Angela and Dan* Becker, and simon Greisdoff
Vibeke and Gustav Christensen have generously supported The Arc’s advocacy for decades and are original members of the Leaders & Founders Society. Vibeke served two terms on The Arc’s Board of Directors, and was a key member of the organization’s 50th Anniversary Gala and Government Affairs Committees.
For decades Ronald Campbell has been a generous donor and part of the Leaders & Founders Society. His support was especially helpful during the Waiting List Campaign.
Angela and Dan * Becker have been generous supporters of The Arc for decades and recent leadership capital donor. Dan’s marketing background was critical in legislative advocacy for Turning 22 and other needed services.
Simon Greisdoff left a legacy to The Arc to continue its advocacy work, in addition to a significant donation to the capital campaign. He was an active parent leader for decades. He made many trips from his Boston home to the State House to advocate for his daughter and others.
Public Officials: Elin Howe
For nearly a decade, Elin Howe has led the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). Under her leadership, we have seen expanded eligibility for those with autism and others, the advancement of humane and positive behavioral supports and other policy innovations.
Corporations, Foundations, and Agencies: UBS Securities, LLC, Bay Cove Human Services, and Bridgewell
For more than a decade, UBS Securities, LLC was the principal sponsor of Play on the Parquet, The Arc’s signature event. UBS made the dream of playing basketball in the Boston Garden a reality, while also supporting The Arc’s advocacy and outreach work.
Comcast Business first became involved with The Arc of Massachusetts as a sponsor of Play on the Parquet. They continued their commitment to the organization’s work and the families we help by becoming a lead sponsor of All Aboard The Arc for three years.
Bridgewell’s continuum of care includes residential services, day habilitation, behavioral health services, employment training, transitional homeless services, affordable housing, and substance abuse and addiction services. The agency guides the more than 6,250 individuals to whom they provide services to achieve and enjoy their highest quality of life and personal growth.
Families and Volunteers: Henry and Evelyne Milorin and Lucie Chansky
Henry and Evelyne Milorin’s leadership in Family to Family and Government Affairs advanced waiting list policy for all. Without fear they innovated. They also carried the advocacy message to diverse communities.
For decades, Lucie Chansky demonstrated leadership by chairing the government affairs committee longer than any other volunteer and always demanding a strong family voice, particularly for self-advocates who couldn’t speak for themselves.
To learn more about this year’s honorees visit: http://thearcofmass.org/the-arc-of-massachusetts-60th-anniversary-gala-honorees/
Join us in celebrating 60 years at our Gala