LARC Celebrates 65 Years with New Programs

LARC, Inc. Celebrates 65th Anniversary of Serving Individuals with Developmental Disabilities Fundraising Campaign Supports New Learning Program

Lee Association for Remarkable Citizens (LARC) is celebrating their 65th anniversary in Southwest Florida with a campaign to support an innovative educational program for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.   Established in 1954, the non-profit’s mission is to empower and support individuals with disabilities and their families to reach their full potential.

In recognition of their anniversary on March 12th, LARC has set a fundraising goal of $65,000 and is kicking things off with a $20,000 Matching Challenge made possible by two anonymous $10,000 donors. The funds will support LARC’s newest program – LAB:  Learn, Achieve, Become.  LAB will offer an experiential learning environment that transforms traditional program areas into spaces for innovation, vocation, demonstration and learning. Five Labs will focus on skills for work, residency and leisure.

“With more than 3,700 children in Lee County schools with cognitive disabilities, LAB is creating opportunities for the people we serve now and the generations to come,” said Angela Katz, LARC Director of Development.  “Our community can help LAB become a reality by supporting our March fundraising campaign and impact can be doubled through our match challenge.  Naming opportunities are available and donors of $1,000 or more will be designated LARC Superheroes in the LAB.”

“LARC provides programs and services for approximately 300 local men and women including adult day training, LARC campus employment, and community and employment support services,” said Kevin Lewis, LARC Executive Director.   “The majority of individuals enrolled in LARC services rely on Medicaid Waiver funding which covers approximately 54% of the actual cost of services.  LARC also receives funding under agreement with Lee County Board of County Commissioners, and United Way which is braided with the Medicaid Waiver funding to partially support service.  The remaining gap is raised through fundraising efforts.”

LARC’s Adult Day Training program is designed to enhance abilities and help individuals live a happier, more productive and independent life.  Activities include self-care and daily living skills, as well as a variety of pre-vocational and life skill opportunities.  Opportunities are provided to increase fine and gross motor activities, communication skills, academic skills, positive behavioral approaches, independent living skills, social skills and recreation and leisure skills.   More than 167,000 hours of life skills training were provided last year.

LARC’s Campus Employment creates new jobs, generates taxes and increases consumer spending through paid wages.  LARC partners with 50 local businesses to provide packaging and assembly work and LARC’s Woodshop constructs and sells custom wood products.  Last year, 45,000 hours of paid wages were paid through campus employment opportunities.

LARC’s Community and Employment Support Services provide ongoing assistance to individuals who live in their home including medical, medication and money management, grocery shopping, obtaining benefits, exploration of community resources, and any and all other needs.  Supported Employment is a service for individuals who require support services to obtain and succeed in competitive employment.  More than 250 individuals are employed through LARC programs.

LARC’s main campus is located at 2570 Hanson Street, Fort Myers, and has a satellite campus in Bonita Springs.  LARC also operates two Residential Group Homes located in Cape Coral and North Fort Myers.

To donate online visit www.larcinc.networkforgood.com.  To learn more about LARC contact Angela Katz, Director of Development at 239-334-6285 x229 or email angelakatz@larcleecounty.org or visit www.larcleecounty.org.

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