Christmas at the Arc: Group celebrates with bingo and Santa

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 19, 2015

caring volunteers: An Arc volunteer speaks with party goers.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

caring volunteers: An Arc volunteer speaks with party goers.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

Wednesday, members of The Arc of Pearl River County gathered for some holiday cheer, a friendly game of bingo and Christmas presents from the man in red, Santa Claus.
According to Arc literature, the organization is the largest national community-based advocacy group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The non-profit organization aids in education, housing, employment and health care.
Along with Wednesday’s Christmas party, the Arc also host themed dances throughout the year, The Arc of Pearl River County President Susette Morrow said.
For the second year, Picayune Knights of Columbus Council 6872 hosted this festive occasion.
Members from area group homes Bridgeway, Millcreek and the Robert Lott Group Home gathered at the hall.
“Two years ago, we approached Grand Knight Bryan Cassagne about hosting bingo at the hall,” Morrow said. “The Knights voted to do it, and also host one in the spring. The Kiwanis Club of Picayune also donates to the Arc. This is a social event for the participants. They get to see their old friends and they all love playing bingo. I also want to thank my volunteers and Arc members.”
Knights of Columbus member Ronnie Sperier said for the past year the group has raised $10,000. Seventy-five percent of that amount stays in Picayune and 25 percent is donated to the state mental hospital in Jackson.
“We see a need for funding the programs that help the intellectually challenged and disabled adults,” Sperier said. “Bingo is a direct way of providing entertainment for these individuals. They are so appreciative of what you do for them.”
One of those individuals enjoying the activity was Bob McAdoo, who said he is going to visit his brother in Florida for Christmas. He said he enjoys playing bingo and his favorite part about the day was the Christmas-themed activities.
Stephanie Davis, a resident at Millcreek assisted living facility, said she was happy to see her friends.
“My favorite part was seeing Santa,” she said. “It was nice to see him and I’m happy. My other dream this Christmas is to meet Dog the Bounty Hunter and Beth in person.”
Beau Lott said he came to play bingo to win a prize.
“It’s a great party and I like Santa because he brings gifts to everyone,” Lott said. “The Arc is good.”
Learn more about The Arc of Pearl River County through Facebook at The Arc of Pearl River County.
For more information about The Arc Mississippi, visit the website at

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