ARI Walk for Independence reports a successful virtual fundraiser

Residents and Staff of the Lotstein Home (contributed photo/ARI)

Stamford, CT – The 14th Annual ARI Walk for Independence, this year a virtual event due to the health crisis, took place during the week beginning Sunday, April 26, 2020. Opening ceremonies for the Walk took place on Sunday, April 26th on Facebook Live and included welcome remarks by ARI President & CEO, Susanne Kuligowski, ARI Board Chair, Peter Buck, Stamford Mayor David Martin, State Representatives Caroline Simmons and Matt Blumenthal and State Senator Carlo Leone. The event warm-up was led by Dance With El owner Eleanor Casale with the start of the virtual walk led by the Stamford Police. This year’s event exceeded all expectations raising over $30,000 to support ARI programs despite the health crisis. Many participated by joining live on Facebook for the day of events and posting videos and photos of their walk on Facebook. Participants included sponsors, ARI family members, friends, staff and people receiving services.

“This was the morale booster we needed at this time. Just as important as the funds raised was the incredible feeling of support we received from so many people,” said Susanne Kuligowski, President & CEO of ARI of Connecticut. “We are so grateful for the generosity of the many sponsors and donors. The funds raised will be used to provide essential services for the people with disabilities that we support and to help ensure we have all of the supplies and staffing necessary during this health crisis.”

As the concerns of COVID-19 expand, ARI continues to provide the highest quality of service for nearly fifty individuals that rely on residential supports. Whether in one of their four 24 hours staffed group homes, or through hourly supports in an individual’s apartment, ARI staff continues to provide necessary services for people with developmental disabilities. In addition, though their day program facility is currently closed, they continue to reach out to and provide remote support for individuals living with their families. This support is not only necessary, but also the extraordinary! Daily activities continue and both staff and residents have found time to send thank you cards to frontline health professionals for the great work they are doing.

We would like to thank the corporations, local businesses and families that joined as sponsors of the Walk, including Corporate Sponsors for this event; Race Sponsor Stamford Health, Distance Sponsors FD Rich, Conair, The Umbrella Club, The Kiwanis Club of Stamford and Connecticut Pharmacy; Pace Setter Sponsors Carmody, Torrance,Sandak, Hennessey, LLP, First County Bank, J&A Mechanical Service, Energy Spray Systems, the Workers’ Compensation Trust and the Community Thrift Shop. Food Sponsor Liz Sue Bagel. Print Sponsor MBA Graphics. Warm-Up Sponsor Dance With El.

ARI provides jobs, homes and services for more than 100 adults with developmental disabilities in Stamford.

ARI MISSION: Enriching the lives of people with disabilities and their families by enabling them to achieve their fullest potential at home, at work and in the community.

Ira Joe Fisher (contributed photo/ARI)
Residents and Staff of the Lotstein Home (contributed photo/ARI)
The Joyce Family (contributed photo/ARI)
ARI Person Served Sam and Helga Downing (contributed photo/ARI)
Barbara Aronica Buck and Peter Buck, ARI Board Chair (contributed photo/ARI)

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