TBF and the Arc benefit from shared resources

The nearly 300 people who participate in the TBF Walk for a Cure every October are offered soup, sandwiches, snacks and ice cream when they complete their walk.

And for the past 10 years, they have also been treated to the smiles of the volunteers from the Arc Eastern Connecticut who line up the bags of chips, make sure the drinks are on ice, and keep the sandwiches covered and protected from hovering bees.

At the Oct. 2 Walk for a Cure at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, volunteers with the Arc stood at the ready to help with food distribution.

Pictured (l-r) TBF volunteer, Milton Clonmell, Arc director of community outreach, Lisa Trehy, Arc volunteer, Debbie Chappell, TBF Walk Leader, Doug Hoyt, Arc volunteer, Britney Gudeahan, and Arc volunteer, Jay Siart.
Pictured (l-r) TBF volunteer, Milton Clonmell, Arc director of community outreach, Lisa Trehy, Arc volunteer, Debbie Chappell, TBF Walk Leader, Doug Hoyt, Arc volunteer, Britney Gudeahan, and Arc volunteer, Jay Siart.

“This is excellent. I want to come back every year,” said Debbie Chappell of Waterford, who has volunteered at the food table for the past five years.

“I like volunteering and helping out,” added Britney Gudeahn of Ledyard. “I like helping people.”

“I was trained to help, and I feel good about it,” said Jay Siart of Groton.

The food volunteers are part of the Volunteer Corps program at the Arc, which is an advocacy and support group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Usually, three to four clients volunteer at the TBF annual fundraiser, and leftover food, drinks and snacks are donated to the Arc and distributed the following day to those participating in the Jack O’Keefe Memorial Strides fundraiser. This year was the 44th annual Strides race, which benefits Arc and its clients.

“It’s a win – win for everyone,” said Denise Tift, director of community outreach at Arc.

When the Brodeur Foundation event is completed, volunteers walk the leftovers to nearby Camp Harkness for the Strides race. About 200 people run in the Strides fundraiser to raise money for the Arc, which hosts overnight camping in the summer at Camp Harkness to more than 300 individuals with disabilities.

“Our volunteers are good at this,” said Tift, as she watched them keep the tables neat and hand out the sandwiches and drinks. “It gives them a sense of community.”

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