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Celebrating 75 Years of The Arc of Monmouth

Small Start, Large Mission.

In 1949, a group of parents in Monmouth County got together to figure out ways they could help their children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Refusing to accept the prevailing societal norms, which viewed institutionalization and exclusion as inevitable for people with IDD, these parents fought for achievement and inclusion. This was the start of The Arc of Monmouth.

The top priority for the parents was providing education to their children. At the time, people with IDD were not accepted into public schools. This led to the establishment of a class at the Little Silver Women's Club on Prospect Avenue. This was the first Arc of Monmouth location. Later on, in the 1960s, Anderson Funeral Home sold its building on Hudson Avenue to The Arc and the organization moved its Headquarters there. The organization remained there until 1978 when it again moved to a property on Broad Street in Shrewsbury that was graciously donated by the Aborn Family. Once again though, the rapid expansion of the organization necessitated a bigger building. In 1990, The Arc Center opened on Wayside Road in Tinton Falls. Plans for The Arc Center had been in development for a while. The Arc Center to this day serves as the head office. Although the location and the services and activities of The Arc of Monmouth have changed over time, one thing has remained constant for the past 75 years: the vision set forth by the group of parents who wanted their loved ones with IDD to be included and supported. 

75 Years of Advocacy & Service

Throughout its 75 Year history, The Arc of Monmouth has participated in and developed many programs and ideas that serve to bring us closer to a world in which those with IDD can achieve their potential and enjoy full inclusion in society. Some highlights include:

  • 1949: The Arc of Monmouth is established by a group of parents at Red Bank Boro Hall.
  • 1953: A classroom devoted to educating people with IDD is established at The Little Silver Women's Club.
  • 1959: The Turning Point is published for the first time as a newsletter meant to keep Monmouth County informed on The Arc's activities, as well as the current state of IDD advocacy.
  • 1966: Countess Anatole Buxhoeveden organized a large-scale fundraising event to benefit The Arc. This was the first Winter Glow Ball. The Winter Glow Ball has served as the biggest annual fundraiser for The Arc and has raised many millions of dollars for the organization. Each year, the event is planned by a dedicated group of women known as "The Tuesday Group". 2024's Winter Glow event will be a special one. It will be The Arc of Monmouth's Diamond Jubilee to celebrate 75 years.
  • 1967: The Work Opportunity Center was opened in Long Branch. This building served as a place where those with IDD could do real work contracted by local businesses for pay. WOC serves to this day as one of the biggest programs at The Arc of Monmouth and brings pride and joy to the many people who work there.
  • 1973: The first MONARC Thrift Shop opened in Red Bank next to the Carlton Theater. The idea for the store came from a series of rummage sales The Arc had been holding. The store ended up being so successful that two other locations were opened in Long Branch and Matawan. Though these stores were closed in 2014, they were an important part of The Arc's history and served as a work opportunity for people with IDD.
  • 1977: The First Arc of Monmouth Golf Outing is held. The Golf Classic has become a long standing annual fundraising event at The Arc.
  • 1980: MARC Manor became The Arc of Monmouth's first group home. This was a major milestone as many of the participants who had been with The Arc since the early days were now adults. The question of living arrangements was an important one. Three more group homes opened in the 80s.
  • 1985: The Arc of Monmouth was selected to participate in a pilot program by The Social Security Administration regarding supported employment for people with IDD. This began The Arc of Monmouth's supported employment program. This program has had a huge impact. While The Arc offered The Work Opportunity Center, the supported employment program sees those with IDD work with job coaches to find gainful employment in the Monmouth County community.  This allows the participant to make connections and be included in a regular working environment.
  • 1987: The Arc of Monmouth established a specific day program for those with more challenging disabilities. These programs like others at The Arc seek to help those with IDD achieve their potential. These come in the form of seemingly small achievements such as eating independently.
  • 1990: The Arc Center opened in Tinton Falls on Wayside Road. Along with it, opened Dorothy B. Hersh High School, a high school setting for individuals with IDD.
  • 1991: After receiving a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Arc of Monmouth established its primary care service. The Primary Care service provides specialized care to those with IDD, something that can be difficult to find for people with IDD and their families.
  • 1994:The New Jersey Bond Act of 1994 passes as a ballot measure. The Arc of Monmouth participated in numerous rallies and phone banking to get people to vote yes. The act provided $180 million in funding for the development of group homes in New Jersey.
  • 1995: The Independent Living program was established. Through this program, people with IDD live on their own and receive help from support coordinators with certain tasks such as groceries and laundry.
  • 1998: The first "Step Up For The Arc" walkathon is held at Bucks Mills Park in Colts Neck. Step Up For The Arc has become an annual fundraiser and has taken on a few different forms throughout its history. For several years in the 2000s, a mini "Step Up For The Arc" walkathon was held in partnership with St. Rose Grammar School. 
  • 2010: The Keep Achieving Program (KACH) was established. Partnering with Brookdale Community College, KACH allows people with IDD to have a college experience as they take classes and are fully included in the Brookdale student body. Participants earn a certificate upon graduating from the program.
  • 2013: The Achievement Zone (TAZ) begins at The Arc Center. The program serves as an educational day program for people with IDD.
  • 2023: Campus Parkway opens. This state-of-the-art facility in Wall Township serves as the new base of operations for The Arc's expanding day programs and supported employment program. Here we provide tailored care, including physical, occupational, and speech therapy, complemented by onsite Registered Behavior Technicians and nurses. Campus Parkway represents a new era in reimagining Day Habilitation programs, ensuring every individual receives the specialized care they deserve.

Celebrate 75 Years with Us!

The Arc of Monmouth has a few special events planned for 75 Years. We hope you join us in these activities. Special events include:

75th Anniversary 50/50 Raffle

We will be drawing a winner for our 75th Anniversary 50/50 on December 6 2024, at The Addison Park. Tickets are $25 each and the winner need not be present. If you would like to buy tickets, please mail a check payable to The Arc of Monmouth to:

The Arc of Monmouth

ATTN: Jill Van Tuyl

1158 Wayside Road

Tinton Falls, NJ 07712

Founder's Day

Founder's Day is a special event to commemorate 75 years. We are partnering with Rising Treetops at Oakhurst to put on a fun day of festival activities on Saturday, September 14, 2024. Food, games, prizes, live entertainment and other fun activities are all included with the price of admission. You can register for Founder's Day here. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee

We are very excited for this year's special edition of our annual Winter Glow Gala. This year we will be celebrating 75 years of The Arc of Monmouth. The event will be held on Friday, December 6, 2024 at the beautiful Addison Park in Aberdeen. You can expect a memorable night of music, dancing, food, a live and silent auction and a celebration of our history. We are also proud to honor local restaurateur Frank Brusco at the event. We hope you will join us there! There are plenty of sponsorship opportunities available for the event as well. 

Make sure you are on our email list so you can know the moment registration and sponsorships open!