Saturday, August 13, 2022

We Kept Rolling!

Yes, we are saying "Welcome Back!" again due to a temporary closure of the program due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  This time, it was a couple of weeks as over half of us endured being infected, something we had avoided for over 2 years!  Fortunately, almost everyone had mild to moderate symptoms, and we're all feeling much better now.  The vaccinations and booster shots appear to have worked in lessening the effects of illness on us, and we are grateful!

We kept rolling along even though we didn't reopen the AoA for in-person sessions until Thursday.  Here's a recap of our in-person days this week, and some other things that took place during our hiatus!
Monday, August 1 

We heard from our master gardener friend Krafty Karen today.   She was checking on everyone, but also wanted us to know that she wrote an article about the partnership between the master gardeners and the AoA.  It's featured on the James City County Master Gardener's home page this month, and it's definitely worth checking out!  Karen wrote about working with us, at the garden, but also included A LOT of details about what we do beyond the garden, and how our lessons, and harvest, carry over to our everyday activities.  It is a fantastic article, and you'll want to check it out!  Here's a link to the JCCMG homepage.  From there, click on the article titled "Our Therapeutic Garden."

James City County Master Gardeners

You can also click on this picture for a direct link to the article!  Thank you, Karen!  It's an amazing summary of the fun, engaging, and very important partnership we enjoy with you and our many master gardener friends!

Saturday, August 6

While we were closed, Moose Patti and the Women of the Williamsburg Moose Lodge (WOTM) held their 7th Annual Charity Golf Tournament, and The Arc of GW and Arc of Abilities program are two of the beneficiaries!  It was a great success, and we are very thankful to Patti and friends for the hard work and dedication they put into this FUNdraiser each year!  We posted a special edition of the blog with more details on the tournament.  If you haven't seen it, click the picture of the banner below it will take you there!

Most of us who had planned to attend the tournament remained in Covid isolation, but our buddy Patrick escaped being infected, so he was able to go as our representative!  His mom, Sue, also went, and she was able to get pictures that we used in the special edition blog post.  Thank you so much, Patrick and Sue!

Our Executive Director, Pam, was there, too.  She always delivers special remarks on behalf of The Arc, and we know she conveyed our heartfelt appreciation to Patti and the WOTM.  Thank you, Pam, for your participation.  And again, thank you, Patti!!

Monday, August 8

On Monday, Carol tested negative and felt comfortable making a trip to the Williamsburg Botanical Garden with her son, David.  Krafty Karen had contacted us and said the garden was lush!  Yes, it is!!

Hi, David!  Thanks for helping your mom harvest lots of cherry tomatoes.  We will use them on Thursday when we make side salads for lunch! 🍅🍅🍅

Carol harvested cherry tomatoes, and also a huge bunch of basil.  Guess what we're making on Thursday...yep, pesto!  Thanks, Carol!  And thanks, Krafty Karen, for alerting us to this harvesting need.  We haven't been able to check the garden for a couple of weeks...😷

Tuesday, August 9 - We went virtual!

We had a Zoom session on Tuesday so we could catch up with some of our friends!  It was nice to see them.  Erik's camera had a glitch, but he could see us and we could hear him, so that was great!

We danced to Owl City's "When Can I See You Again?" (on THURSDAY!) and shared some of our favorite books since it was National Book Lovers Day.  At the end, Liz requested we play a song in tribute to Olivia Newton-John, who passed away this week.  Grease is a movie we like to play songs from during our dance warm up, so we ended our session with "Summer Nights."  (We don't have  a picture, but we heard Drew's parents, Andy and Donna, were dancing to it!  💖)  Rest in peace, Olivia Newton-John.  We will always enjoy your music. 🙏

Wednesday, August 10 - Another virtual day!

On today's Zoom session, we enjoyed a visit with Honey, Laura's guinea pig "nephew."  Honey belongs to Laura's niece, Olivia, who is out of town this week.  Laura is taking care of Honey.  What a cutie!

Honey had everyone smiling!  We learned from Laura and her mom that Honey is a boy, and they aren't sure how old he is.  Olivia got him for her birthday in June.  Laura's mom said boy guinea pigs are thought to be more cuddly!

We watched a video to learn more about guinea pigs.  This is Jessi, whom we watch on other videos called "SciShow Kids" sometimes.  It turns out that she owns a wildlife sanctuary in Montana, and she takes care of a lot of different animals and creates educational videos about them.  Jessi has a herd of guinea pigs!  We learned about the care and feeding of guinea pigs, and that they are very social animals.

Guinea pigs need to eat hay to keep their teeth sharp, but we also got to see Jessi make a beautiful salad for them!  Earlier, Laura was feeding Honey some kale!

Laura's mom sent us this picture of Honey nestled in his little house.  He looks so cozy in there!

Thanks so much for sharing Honey with us, Laura!  We had a good time learning about guinea pigs.  

Thursday, August 11 - In-person at the AFCC!

Not everyone was back today, but most of us were.  We wore masks to give everyone who was on different steps of the "Covid timeline" a chance to mask up for the extra days recommended after ending isolation.  Thanks to our gang for doing such a great job keeping their masks on today!  We're proud of you!

During our Covid closure, a couple of our families experienced the loss of a loved one.  Nan's beloved sister, Mary Ann, passed away on August 4, and Patrick's beloved Pops passed away on August 6.  Pops was Pat's stepdad, Kevin's, father.  We wanted Nan and Patrick's family to know we care, and have them in our hearts and thoughts, so we made cards. 💙💙💙

Next, we eased into birthday party mode, as we intended to make up Nan's celebration, which was originally scheduled for July 29...the first day of Covid closure.  Kate and Liz handled cupcake decorating, and Xavier created colorful birthday party napkin rings.

Drew, Erik, and Adia sliced and diced and put together beautiful side salads for our lunch.  They used the fresh cherry tomatoes we planted with the master gardeners, which Carol harvested on Monday, and fresh cucumbers sent in by Nan and Gdad from their garden! 😋

Carol also harvested fresh basil from our garden, and Kevin, Sam, and Laura helped her create some fresh pesto!  We used walnuts since we couldn't find pine nuts, and found the pesto to be a bit heartier and less bright green than last time, but it still tasted delicious paired with breadsticks at lunchtime!

Our final team consisted of Abraham, Michelle, and Alexis.  They assembled a couple of pans of lasagna for Nan's birthday lunch!  We already had all the ingredients, because when we were going to celebrate Nan's birthday on July 29th, it was National Lasagna Day!

We're pretty good at turning out tasty lunches, and today's was no exception!  Nan said it was a wonderful lunch!

Here's our not too green pesto, but don't be fooled.  It was very, very flavorful!  It's so easy to make, too.  Basil rocks!

Of course, everyone looked forward to the cupcakes after lunch!  Happy Belated Birthday, Nan!  There is no way we wouldn't have made up your special celebration!  We hope you enjoyed it...and thanks for helping us get it ready! 😉

We haven't forgotten how to sing!  🥳🎉🥳🎉

Or how to dance!  For Nan's birthday, we played her favorite game, Jeopardy, so we called this the "Jeopardy Jig!"

Nan was happy when we ended the day with a fun game of Jeopardy!  The questions weren't too hard, and we helped each other as needed.  That's just how we like to play!  Happy Birthday, Nan!  We hope you enjoyed your belated birthday party!

Friday, August 10 - Still in-person!

It was another fun, but busy day at the Arc of Abilities!  After our dance warm up, we wrote thank you notes to Kate's parents who were treating us to lunch today.  Then, this group of decorators made sure our "thank you board" looked nice for the Thompsons' arrival later!

Meanwhile, this group went to the kitchen area to prep the Arc's September mailing.  There are some fun activities Arc members can sign up for in September, and there are also some important updates in this mailing, so families, be sure to check the contents of the envelope!

With burgers and fries (baked by us) on the lunch menu, we needed to get in some movement!  This group chose a fun workout video that was birthday themed!  We were supposed to do it yesterday during Nan's party, but we did something else by mistake!

This group (that's Sam behind Adia) chose to walk laps in the hallway.  We caught them coming around the corner and they were booking!

Our friend Kendall stopped by for a visit today!  She is board member Adam Kinsman's daughter, and we last spent time with her when she volunteered the summer of 2019, before Covid disrupted so many things.  She was a rising freshman back then!  Now she's a rising senior at Jamestown High School in the Honors Program, and she will be teaching us environmental science next week for her Honors Project!  Here's a link to the blog post from 2019 when Kendall last visited us.  She, and we, were so young back then!

Other special guests we welcomed today were Kate's parents, Elizabeth and Mark.  They treated us to burgers from Wendy's for they were our BFFs today!  As you saw, Elizabeth and Mark, everyone really enjoyed the burgers!  Thank you so much for providing such a fun lunch for us today! 🍔🍔🍔

Elizabeth also brought us homemade peanut buttter cookies, and they were dee-licious!! Thanks, Elizabeth!  We need your recipe! 😋😋😋

With a little extra time on a Friday afternoon, we watched an episode of Gilligan's Island.  Of course, Kendall had never heard of it, but she thought it was silly and laughed along with our guys at Gilligan's antics!

Kendall had time to join us for yoga before she had to leave to go to her job at Ichiban Restaurant.   When Kendall last visited in summer of 2019, we had an in-person yoga instructor.  Today, we introduced her to our online teacher, Jaime!

We were taking it easy today, since we had to wear masks, and so many of us were recently recovering from Covid.  Jaime's yoga can get active, and we didn't want to overdo it this week.

Even in our chairs, stretches feel good!  We had yoga a little earlier today, too.  That's because around 2:00 we welcomed TWO more SPECIAL visitors...

Becky and her granddaugther Emmy came to see us!  We had not seen Becky in person since March of 2020, except for our brief visit with her at her front yard back in April when we delivered birthday cards and a casserole.  We had not seen Emmy since the summer of 2019 when she was a junior volunteer with us!   

Becky looked wonderful and was moving well, considering she broke her leg and a bunch of ribs in February.   Becky said it felt so good to be out visiting us.  We told her she's welcome anytime! Emmy is growing up so fast...she will be in 7th grade this year and is really excited to be playing on her school's volleyball team!  She's excited for school to start, and is looking forward to a class trip to Europe next year!  It was sooooo nice to catch up with them!  💙💚💛💜

Finally, don't forget to register for our 5k Run/Walk that is quickly approaching on October 1st.  This is our largest FUNdraiser of the year, and our goal this year is to raise $75,000.  As you know, the Arc of Greater Williamsburg is an organization that is on the move, and we're more vibrant now than ever!  We created a team, Arc of Abilities, that you are welcome to join.  

Registration is $35 per entrant until September 1, when it increases to $45.  Arc clients can register for $20 using code ArcClients2022.  We have in-person and virtual participation options this year, so everyone can support us!  Lisa, Alexis, and Nan will be participating virtually from Newport, Rhode Island on October 1st, but Carol and the rest of our AmAzInG Arc staff will be at Williamsburg Landing for a joyful return to the 5k, live and in-person.  

The 5k will be our Bette Faye's last Arc event as she will be starting a well-deserved retirement afterward.  We hope that many, many of our Arc members and their families will be on hand at the 5k to celebrate Bette Faye and the incredible and lasting impact she has made on the Arc of Greater Williamsburg! 💜👏💛👏💚

Click the image below for a link to all the registration information. 

Well, we may have only been in-person for two days this week, but we sure packed a lot into them!  We're so happy to be back to the routine with our friends!  We have a lot to look forward to next week...and we mean A LOT!  Check out our schedule:

TuesdayMasks are optional beginning today.  We wore them last week to allow everyone who was infected to clear at least 5 days of "masking" after 5 days of "isolation."  

Today we welcome Kendall Kinsman as our volunteer and guest "teacher" for the week!  She is working on an Honors Project for high school and wants to share a series of lessons on environmental science with us.  👏👏 Doesn't that sound great?! We are also going bowling today and that means pizza and fruit for lunch!  Wear your Arc shirts, too! 🎳🍕

Wednesday:  Today we will welcome a new group of friends to visit with us:  therapy dogs!  Led by Caroline, whom we met recently with her pup Indy, several handlers and dogs are coming so we can read to them!  🐕🐶  We are excited about this new partnership!  Kendall will also continue her environmental science lessons today.  Lunch on your own (microwave available).  It's going to be a busy day!

ThursdayBIG NEWS:  We are welcoming Devin B. back today!  He spent the summer on a vocational internship at W&M, and we have missed him.  Welcome Back, Dev!  

After we welcome Dev back we're going to see Mike at the Watermen's Museum, and introduce him to his fellow environmentalist, Kendall!  The weather looks promising for being outside for a picnic by the river, so bring a bagged lunch.  Skip dessert though, because it's National Ice Cream Pie Day and we'll have a treat when we return to the center!  We may have time for a trolley ride and short walk, too.  We'll return to the center in time for Kendall to continue with her lessons.  Wear Arc shirts, please!

Friday:  It's a Pet Supplies Plus work day, so wear your PSP shirts.  It's also National Potato Day, so the Cooking Crew will be busy preparing a baked potato bar for lunch!  We'll let Kendall finish her science lessons today (if necessary), and then we'll wrap up the week with yoga, so dress to stretch with your PSP shirts!

Next week is going to be great!  We have so much to be thankful for.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week,

Lisa, Carol, Nan, and the AoA Gang

Monday, August 8, 2022

7th Annual WOTM Golf Tournament!!!



The 3 P's - Patti, Patrick, and Pam at the 7th Annual Women of the Moose Charity Golf Tournament on Saturday, August 6, 2022!

WOW!  We must give our beloved "Moose" Patti a well-deserved round of applause for putting together another SUPER successful golf tournament for the benefit of The Arc of Greater Williamsburg, Arc of Abilities, Mooseheart (children), and Moosehaven (seniors)!  The event went off without a hitch, thanks to the dedicated and hard work of Patti and her amazing team, and the team at Royal New Kent Golf Club, too!


Here, Patti, along with Lisa, Liana, Alexa, and Karen are all smiles as they prepare to register golfers from the 21 teams signed up to play!  Thanks, ladies, for ALL your help!  This tournament means a lot to The Arc of GW, and we owe it all to you!


This was the 7th annual tournament, and even though many of us from the AoA were unable to attend due to our COVID isolation, 
The Arc had fabulous representation from Executive Director Pam and AoA member Patrick and his mom, Sue! 

Looks like Patrick and Pam found Drew, too!  😜  Thanks, Pam, for the wonderful remarks you delivered to thank Patti and the WOTM.  We know you expressed the appreciation of all Arc members, and especially the AoA gang!  We sure love our WOTM friends!

We were thrilled that Patrick escaped the Covid Cootie and he and his mom, Sue, were able to be at the tournament with our thank you signs and these big, beautiful smiles!  Sue said she always enjoys promoting The Arc of GW, and we know Patrick does, too.  😍  We deeply appreciate you, Sue, for stepping up with Patrick to fill in for those of us who had also planned to attend!  We're so proud of the two of you!!!

We had additional AoA representation from Liz's brother Stephen!  He was looking forward to playing on a team with their dad, Arc Board Member Greg, but Greg was in quarantine due to our AoA epidemic!  😔

Stephen was joined by his and Liz's Aunt Anne, Liz's neighbor, Mike, and Mike's grandson, Mason, who filled in for Greg at the last minute.  What a good-looking team!  Many thanks to Mason, Anne, Stephen, and Mike for supporting the tournament!  We are grateful for you and hope you had a good time!

Look at the golf carts lined up and ready to get the golfers to the links!  There were 21 teams this year!  

Sue and Patrick had a cart, too!  Sue agreed to be our official photographer today, and we were so grateful!  Sue, all of the pictures you got were STELLAR, but this one is the BEST!!!  Thank you again, for being there for us!

We are equally grateful for the support of our AoA families!  These signs represent hole sponsors, and they certainly looked great on the course at Royal New Kent Golf Club!

Thank you, Liz and family, for sponsoring this hole AND for being an event sponsor!  (We see your name on the banner above!)  Your generous support means the world to us! 🙏

Thank you, Kevin and family!

Thank you, Laura and Family!

Thank you, Sam and Family!

Thank you, Alexis and Family!

Thank you, Devin B. and Family!  

Thank you, Patrick and Family!

Thank you, Pam and Family! 💙💚💜

Thank you, Pet Supplies Plus (Devin B.'s family), APEX PT and Movement Center (Lexi's family), and Carol and her family!

👏👏  We appreciate our hole sponsors!!  👏👏

We're not sure who these handsome fellas are, but we know how much we appreciate them for playing in the tournament!  (We hope there was an award for Best Dressed! 🏆)

We appreciate this golfer, too.  His name is Ray Tambourine and he loves the signs Patti has made for our hole sponsors!

This is Mike Young, another one of Patti's many, many FRIENDS (as are all the others) who love her and are happy to support the tournament!  PLUS, Mike's son is a member of The Arc of GW!  We send our utmost gratitude to all of the golfers!

Another amazing Women of the Moose (WOTM) Golf Tournament is in the books!  We look forward to this fun event every summer, and it never disappoints.  The Covid pandemic did not stop Patti from presenting this tournament in 2020, 2021, and this year, but it forced many of us to stay in isolation this time.  We'll be back in 2023!

We regret the timing of our AoA outbreak, but send our heartfelt thanks to the golfers, the Royal New Kent Club, each and every event, hole, and beverage cart sponsor, additional donors who just love Patti and us, Pam, Sue and Patrick, and of course, Patti and all of our WOTM Friends for being there this year!  We 💗💗💗 you all!