WESTMINSTER — Each of the supporters of the Carroll County Association of RetardedCitizens is a thread important to the strength of the agency's fabric, board member Scott W. Markle told donors, clients, parents and others gathered at the annual dinner last night.
"All these people weave these threads together to make the CCARC work," said Markle, a Taneytown resident who is outgoing vice president of the board of directors.
The CCARC is a non-profit organization that serves developmentally disabled adults by providing employment programs, transportation and supervised group homes. It was formed 36 years ago in Carroll County.
In fiscal 1991, the agency served 450 county residents and had a budget of $2.1 million, said Executive Director Timothy Atkinson.
The agency primarily serves adults who are developmentally disabled, but also aids some children and adults with other disabilities, he said.
CCARC arranges with the county Department of Natural Resources Protection for its clients to work in the recycling center on Route 97. The agency last night honored the department as employer of theyear.
Aside from that arrangement, the CCARC does not receive state and local government money as do other agencies serving the disabled, Markle said. As a result, the agency is dependent on individuals and charities for support.
"That's what tonight is all about, so we can say thank you," Markle said.
"The last year has been a real struggle for the board of directors," he said. "We tried to marry a business mind with a compassionate heart, and that wasn't always possible."
He said some of the difficult decisions the board had to make included charging clients for transportation and to stop providing transportation for disabled clients of Carroll Haven, another agency,because of an increase in costs.
About 90 people attended the dinner at the Westminster Elks Lodge.
Other honors last night included:
* Wilbur "Will" Williams of Finksburg as volunteer of the year.
* Social worker Bruce A. Hinch as professional of the year.
* Clients Carol Ann Bespolka, James F. Whitehead and David B. Hans as employees of the year in the Summer Enterprises program run by the agency.
* Special recognition awards to the Knights of Columbus Westminster Council 1393, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Council 7612 and St. Bartholomew Council 9127; Theatre on the Hill at Western Maryland College; Maryland Gold Wings; Westminster Elks Lodge; and The Buc's Club.
* Certificates of appreciation to Rita Myers, Lorraine McLeod, Darla Repp, the Westminster Lions Club, United Coon Hunters Association, Volunteer Community Services Program, the Gladys Wimert Lioness Club and Bob Adams.
* A special thank you to outgoing board president James H. Benjamin of Taneytown.
* The board gave Atkinson a letter of appreciation for his performance as acting director after the November resignation of former Executive Director John White and expressed confidence in his leadership. He was formally appointed executive director two weeks ago.
New officers elected to the agency's board were:
Lorraine A. McLeod of Westminster, president; Janice M. Hardesty of Union Mills, vice president; Vikay Koontz of Finksburg, secretary; and Bonnie K. Copenhaver of Taneytown, treasurer.
They take office July 1.