Arc volunteers looking for ways to raise more funds

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 1, 2002

Having fun and camaraderie seemed to be the main point stressed at the car wash held at the Arc office of Mower County on Saturday.

Volunteers were tossing buckets of water at each other and laughing on this hot Saturday while at the same time getting cars squeaky-clean for three bucks apiece. Twelve volunteers along with staff were at the car wash on Saturday.

Soap to wash the cars was donated by volunteers and the cars were getting scrubbed quickly with five to six people washing each car down with soapy water and another volunteer finishing the job by hosing the soap residue off.

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Dawn Helgeson, the director of Arc in Mower County said, "Washing cars is not a huge money maker, but it draws attention to us. The money goes for activities we have planned for the center. We are going to a Twins game, have picnics, go to movies, have a walking club and we play bingo."

This year especially, Arc of Mower County is in dire need of funding to keep the organization going. Fifty percent of its budget was cut when it quit being involved in charitable gambling for financial reasons. Some money to run the Arc Office comes out of United Way funding. Because it no longer get donations through charitable gambling it has lost $50,000 out of its annual budget.

'Because of the funding cuts, we are trying to raise money by having people

donate quarters to us. We are striving to have a mile of quarters. We need

64,640 quarters to make a mile. That is $17,160 in all. We have been challenging local groups to help us raise this money. We plan on having this challenge through the end of August,' said Helgeson.

Money raised by local groups are recorded and posted on the windows of the Arc Office for everyone to see. Every day the Arc Office has around 30 developmentally disabled adults come to the center. The center is located at 709 N. Main St. across from the Mill Pond.

Nancy Qual, a daily participant at Arc was seeking hugs from everyone

Saturday as her father, Robert Qual, a long time volunteer had passed away

last week. Nancy called her dad, 'Dawn Helgeson’s number one hero for all

the volunteer work he did.'

The car wash Saturday had a steady stream of customers and the participants were having a good time taking in the warm summer weather while hosing one another down and taking breaks when they needed one. The Arc Office will be holding another car wash in July and in August. Donations are always welcome to keep this organization running.