The Arc Westchester recently hosted its 69th Annual Membership Meeting at The Gleeson-Israel Gateway Center. More than 150 chapter members, invited guests, self-advocates, staff and board members were in attendance.
During the meeting, the board of directors voted in new board president Joseph Cassarini. Patsy Ginese, Robert Hunt, Bernard Krooks and Rita Ross were recognized as retiring board members. Ginese was also presented the Richard P. Swierat Self-Advocate of the Year Award.
Following the Annual Meeting, a retirement celebration was held for Richard (Ric) P. Swierat. The banquet reception, which commemorated Ric’s 35-year legacy of leadership at The Arc Westchester, featured the dedication of a wall mural dedicated to the former executive director.
Under Ric’s leadership, The Arc Westchester’s arts programming and gallery265 experienced significant growth, giving many of the individuals the organization supports the opportunity to express themselves through art. The wall mural was created in partnership with ARTSWestchesterand local community artist Diane Cherr. She taught a 7-week class with contributing artists in our various day programs.
ARTSWestchester was also presented the gallery265 Partnership Award for its ongoing support of the artists-in-residence matching grant program, which provides community artists opportunities to engage in creative projects with people The Arc Westchester supports.
“This is the perfect send-off for Ric,” said Tibisay (Tibi) Guzmán, new executive director, The Arc Westchester. “We’re extremely grateful for all that he has done for our organization and the people we support. This mural will be a constant reminder of all we have to be proud of as an organization – and all we have to look forward to, as well.”