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Gonzaga Honors Arc of Spokane with Community Partner Award

Molly Ayers (far right), director of Gonzaga’s Center for Community Action and Service-Learning, presented the award to Sima Thorpe, executive director of The Arc at the nonprofit organization’s board meeting. (Photo by Anna Pfluger.)

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Gonzaga University Academic Vice President’s Office honored The Arc of Spokane today with its 2016-2017 Community Partner of the Year award. Molly Ayers, director of Gonzaga’s Center for Community Action and Service-Learning, presented the award to the nonprofit organization in a ceremony at its headquarters downtown.

Gonzaga students have described their volunteer experiences with The Arc as impactful, meaningful and demonstrative of the importance of being “men and women for others” encompassed in Jesuit teachings.

“We are pleased to honor The Arc this year. Their work contributes to the Spokane community through the care, advocacy and support they provide to people living with developmental disabilities and their families,” Ayers said. “Through innovative programs, such as Photo Voice and The Explorers Project, The Arc looks to educate not just their constituents, but members of the broader community. We appreciate the meaningful engagement and learning opportunities provided to our students through service with The Arc.”

The award includes a $500 gift.

CCASL seeks Community Partner of the Year award nominations for agencies that have:

  • Made a significant contribution to the community and to Gonzaga’s service-learning program
  • Helped develop a service-learning project or course, and
  • Contributed extra time and energy to helping Gonzaga students in their service-learning initiatives.

The Arc of Spokane is a volunteer-based nonprofit offering support for developmentally disabled community members and their caretakers. Its thrift store is located close to Gonzaga’s campus on Ruby Street. Its services include advocacy; family support; the Arc Community Center; home-ownership opportunities; sexual abuse prevention education; supported living and employment; financial management; and community access.

Sima Tarzaban Thorpe, executive director of The Arc, said the organization “is honored and thrilled” to receive the award.

“The students, faculty and staff who partner with The Arc of Spokane have improved our ability to serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families,” Thorpe said.

Angela Johnstone, Arc of Spokane board president, also expressed her appreciation.

“The Arc appreciates the wonderful collaborations and partnerships forged with Gonzaga University,” Johnstone said. “We are honored to share our work with the departments and students committed to service in our community.”

For more information, please contact Molly Ayers at (509) 313-6396.

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