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WALTHAM, MA (October 2, 2023): The Arc of Massachusetts is kicking off a yearlong 70th anniversary celebration next month. Since its founding in 1954, the organization has been enhancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and autism in Massachusetts through advocacy for supports and services that foster inclusion, self-determination, and equity.

On Thursday, November 9 The Arc will hold its 70th Anniversary Gala at the Boston Marriott Newton. The evening will begin at 6:00pm with a cocktail hour, followed by dinner and an inspirational program emceed by Paula Ebben, Anchor at WBZ-TV and CBS News Boston. Seventy individuals, families, businesses, and organizations will be honored for the impact that their service and contributions have had. The evening also features a short film highlighting The Arc’s incredible achievements and role as a leader in advocating for the needs of people with disabilities.

Starting November 3, the organization will hold an online auction that is open to all. It will feature artwork, catered dinners, sports memorabilia, jewelry, and much more.

From institutions and segregation to inclusion and opportunities, The Arc of Massachusetts has led the way in making meaningful change in the lives of people with IDD and autism and their families since 1954. Innumerable advocates, families, public officials, donors, human service agencies, and friends have worked tirelessly to reach this milestone. Through their efforts, the 200,000 Massachusetts residents living with disabilities have more opportunities to lead full lives in the community than ever before.

“It is very exciting to be marking this major milestone in not only The Arc’s history, but also in the disability rights movement. The Arc has been a leader in the decades-long fight for equality and against bias toward people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. But as important as it is to reflect on how much better life is for people with IDD, we can never lose sight of the challenges and the work that lies ahead,” said Leo Sarkissian, Executive Director of The Arc of Massachusetts. “Whether it’s the workforce crisis, unmet needs, the opportunity to use technology, or finding ways to increase community connections, there is much more to be done.”

Sarkissian added, “The 70th Anniversary Celebration over the coming year will help us raise awareness of these issues and will support our continued advocacy.”

This event is the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year and is critical to sustaining the advocacy and programs of The Arc of Massachusetts. Top sponsors include Tracy and John Atkinson, Advocates and its affiliate HMEA, Beaverbrook STEP, Inc., Scott and Julie Borchardt, Vibeke and Gustav Christensen, PwC, Janet and Art Rico, and Special Needs Financial Planning. WBZ NewsRadio 1030 is the official media partner of the 70th Anniversary Celebration.

Sponsorship opportunities and tickets are still available. Visit to learn more.

About The Arc of Massachusetts

For 70 years, The Arc of Massachusetts has been working to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, and their families. We fulfill this through advocacy for community supports and services that foster social inclusion, self-determination, and equity across all aspects of society. To learn more, visit, follow @TheArcofMass on Twitter, or join our Facebook community.

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