March 2015

Live to Dance with The Arc Stars

The Arc Stars"Think of it as a 'Special Olympics of dance,'" explained Trish Welch, Executive Director of The Arc, located at 121 N. Central Avenue. On March 14, The Ark will host the 5th annual Live to Dance with The Arc Stars event at the Cascade Pavilion at Cascade Christian High School. "The night is all about inclusiveness, and all forms of dance will be showcased, from hip hop to jazz, ballroom to reggae pop – even a lyrical wheelchair dance, will be performed."

The event is also a fundraiser to help support programs that The Arc offers. The Arc Jackson County is a local chapter of the national organization, which serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy, etc. "We help our community by providing much needed support and services to those who are the most vulnerable," Welch continued. "All our services focus on helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve the quality of life they desire."

These services include providing unique semi-independent and independent income housing for men and women with intellectual and developmental disabilities; important respite care services for families in need of a break from caring for loved ones with special needs; engaging social and recreational programs to promote community inclusion; essential emergency financial assistance for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to prevent utility shut-off and homelessness; cutting edge summer education; and valuable information and referral services.
According to Welch, the main purpose of The Arc is to advocate for the complete inclusion and acceptance of all people through awareness, involvement, and education of neighbors, legislators, and local decision-makers.

And Live to Dance with The Arc Stars is the perfect event to help bridge divides in our community. The evening's entertainment will be co-hosted by Jennifer Elliott of KOBI-TV and Don Hurley of KOOL 103. During the dance competition, Eston Lindsay, a past "The Arc Star" will interview the dancers at the completion of their dance routine. Dinner entertainment will be provided by The Randall Theatre.

Performing in the nine act competition dancing will be: Jessica Ross and Tim Barnack -Swing; Teddy Walston and Ginny Johnson - Wheelchair Lyrical Dance; Lindsay Stempek, Geoff Kirkpatrick, Junior Kahaloa - Old Town Funk; Ron and Dorothy Carper - Country Western; Shari Valentine - Interpretive; Eliza Schaaf, David Miles and Kylee Ruvalcaba -Reggae Pop; Shelby Allensworth and Dr. Ted Bennion - Lyrical Hip Hop; Glenda VanOrtwick and Jeremy Markiewicz - East Coast Swing; Jeremiah Marincus, Jonathan Lanere, Coach Kid McCree and Christine Pitawanich - Lyrical Hip Hop. "There won't be a dry eye in the house!" Welch predicts.

The grand finale dance will bring all the dancers back to the stage to perform "You're the One that I Want" from the musical Grease.

Notable Judges for the competition are Claudia Alick, Associate Producer for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Robin Downward, Artistic Director for the Randall Theatre Company; and Kelly Henson, former 'The Arc Star' dancer.

The event will include dinner, entertainment, and the dancing competition, judging, and awards. The cost is $50 for the complete dinner show and competition, and $15 for just the competition dancing with doors reopening at 7:30 PM.

Tickets are available through The Arc's website at and at The Arc's Thrift Store located at 121 N. Central Avenue, Medford.

The Arc Thrift Store, (formerly Treasures II) has been around since 1971. In 2005, the store was completely remodeled into a modern resale shop. "We take pride in keeping our store clean and organized," Welch said. "With top-notch products and rock bottom prices, we have something for everyone. Our wonderful donors provide our customers with everything from top of the line clothing to beautiful furniture items and everything else in between!"

The Arc Thrift Store is open from 10:30 am to 1:15 pm Monday (when school is in session); 10:30 am to 4:30 pm Tuesday thru Friday; and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Saturday. "Come in and discover our many treasures. Donations of your quality used goods are always welcome. Your support is appreciated!"

For additional information contact: Trish Welch, Executive Director, The Arc, 121 N. Central Avenue, Medford, OR 97501; (541) 779-4520.

Live to Dance with The Arc Stars is produced by Joy & Larry Marshall, Marshall Fundraising & Event Management, Ashland, OR.