By Alisha McDarris
MARTIN COUNTY -- The beginning of June marks the beginning of Hurricane season in South Florida and the ARC of Martin County is getting ready in the most fun way they know how: with a hurricane stock up party.
The Advocates for the Rights of the Challenged is a nonprofit organization that provides support, assistance and training for children and adults with disabilities. They serve those with a variety of challenges including autism, Down's syndrome and other developmental disabilities by offering after school programs, adult day training and group homes.
Every month they help over 250 individuals overcome obstacles and seize the day.
"We work with the developmentally disabled to help them reach their fullest potential," said Tracy Howse, Community Development Director of the ARC of Martin County.
Just as cautious residents stock their pantries with necessary supplies in the case of hurricanes, ARC's eight group homes and their special needs shelter require provisions, too. Only in their case, the law requires it.
It costs $18,000 to collect all the food, water and essentials for the locations, so every year ARC asks the community to help foot the bill. They make giving easy by making it fun.
For the fourth year ARC's Hurricane Stock Up Party will feature a DJ, drinks, hors d'oeuvres and raffles. Individuals from ARC's group homes will be busy greeting guests and this year CBS 12 will be on site, delivering the weather live from the event.
"It's always a lot of fun," said Ms. Howse.
Last year the event raised $14,000 and this year Ms. Howse hopes to bring in $20,000 with the help of a community that has always been supportive of their cause.
Tickets to the event are $20 in advance on www.acrmc.org or $25 at the door and include two drink tickets. To be included in the raffle valued at $500 guests should bring gift cards to stores like Publix, Lowes and Home Depot that will help the ARC acquire the specific supplies that they need.
Those unable to attend the party can still aid the cause by dropping off gift cards at TD Bank locations throughout Martin County.
"Everything helps," Ms. Howse said.
The party is scheduled for Thursday, May 29 from 5:30-8 p.m. and will be take place at Twisted Tuna at 4290 S.E. Salerno Road in Port Salerno.