May 1, 2009
Bill Smith, of Columbus, considers himself a "pretty good bowler," and relishes his Saturday mornings at Columbus Lanes Bowling Center with his buddies in the Gutter Busters league. But this Saturday, the friends plan to take their game to the street -- Market Street Festival, that is.
Smith, an adult with Down syndrome, is a member of The Arc of Lowndes County -- The Association for the Rights of Citizens with Developmental Disabilities. The volunteer organization will set up an 8-foot long simulated bowling lane at their festival booth near Catfish Alley, hoping to spread the word about their mission of education and support for individuals and families dealing with all developmental disabilities.
"The bowling league has been a very good vehicle for reaching the public and letting them know about us," said Norma Jones, president of the local chapter. "Our whole goal is awareness about disabilities, and about Arc, in particular."
Jones'' own active 15-year-old son, Peter, was born with Down syndrome and has blossomed in the Gutter Busters league, she said, which began about three years ago.
Gutter Busters and other Arc endeavors provide not only physical exercise and improved balance, coordination and motor skills for participants; socialization, patience, control and sportsmanship are just as valuable.
"We are 100 percent volunteer and nonprofit, and our membership is open to everyone," Jones continued. "Anything we get comes from donations and memberships, which are $15 a year for individuals or families and $25 a year for a company or corporation."
Funds raised provide support for the bowling program and additional activities focused on health, accessibility, education and social inclusion. The county chapter is affiliated with The Arc of Mississippi and The Arc of the United States, the nation''s oldest organization devoted to improving the lives of persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families.
"We hope everybody will stop by to bowl with us, and learn a little more about our programs and goals," encouraged Jones. "We think it will be a lot of fun."
For more information about the local Arc program, contact Jones at 662-245-1323 or e-mail email@example.com.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
supporter commented at 5/1/2009 2:25:00 PM:
The ARC is a wonderful, wonderful, organization. The lives of many people with developmental disabilities have been positively impacted by the activities of our local ARC chapter. Let's ALL get involved in this most worthy of organizations. Keep up the great work!!!
jams commented at 10/17/2009 10:36:00 PM:
I saw lots of my favorite movie stars wearing tiffany & co, so I'd love to have one too.
I get my discount tiffany jewelry repaired at a local jewelry stores cost about 20 dollars, it's not that expensive.
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