WALTHAM, MA (November 21, 2023): On November 9, 2023, The Arc of Massachusetts celebrated seven decades of advocacy for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and autism with their 70th Anniversary Celebration at the Boston Marriott Newton. The event was a true success, with over 300 supporters in attendance and more than $275,000 raised to support The Arc’s crucial work. Paula Ebben, Anchor at WBZ-TV and CBS News Boston, served as the inspiring evenings emcee.
The Arc recognized 70 outstanding individuals, families, businesses, and organizations who have had an outsized impact on disability policy and advocacy through their support of The Arc and personal advocacy. Among the honorees are: Tracy and John Atkinson; Scott and Julie Borchardt; Jim Brett of the New England Council; Vibeke and Gustav Christensen; EY; former Department of Developmental Services Commissioner Elin Howe; KPMG; Mary Lou Maloney and William Allan; PwC; Raytheon; Janet and Art Rico; State Street Corporation; and the 17 chapters of The Arc in Massachusetts.
The event featured the premiere of The Arc’s 70th Anniversary short film. “This film tells the story of two people who are part of their communities. It shows how important it is to have the right tools, mindset, resources, and supports. Through hard work and strong self-advocacy and family advocacy, they are making their dreams and visions of a life in the community a reality,” said The Arc’s Executive Director Leo Sarkissian. “They are an inspiration to thousands of others.”
Parent and advocate Jayme Betts of the Changing Spaces Campaign’s Massachusetts chapter provided an inspiring call-to-action, highlighting the importance of The Arc’s role in sharing the weight of advocacy for the needs of all individuals with disabilities, so that families do not have to go it alone.
Top sponsors of the 70th Anniversary Celebration include Platinum Sponsors Scott and Julie Borchardt, Vibeke and Gustav Christensen, and PwC; Gold Sponsors John and Tracy Atkinson and M&T Bank; Silver Sponsors Advocates and HMEA, Beaverbrook STEP, Inc., Janet and Art Rico, and Special Needs Financial Planning, a specialty practice of Sequoia Financial Group; Bronze Sponsors EY, KPMG, and PLAN of MA and RI; and Advocate Sponsors Amego, Robert and Karen Bagdasarian, Jayme and Robert Betts, Changing Spaces Campaign Massachusetts chapter, Fletcher Tilton, Raytheon, and Vinfen. WBZ NewsRadio 1030 was the official media partner for the event.
More information and photos from the event, as well as the short film, can be found at thearcofmass.org/70years.