On Sunday, Dec. 10, The United Arc in partnership with Elks Lodge #1296 of Greenfield held the annual Holiday Party. More than 110 people attended this year, making the festive event standing-room only. Pictured are Elks volunteers who cooked the meal for the party. Submitted photo  

Elks hosts The United Arc Holiday Party

GREENFIELD — On Sunday, Dec. 10, The United Arc in partnership with Elks Lodge #1296 of Greenfield held a Holiday Party. 

The Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the United States of America is one of the oldest and largest fraternal organizations in the country. An important part of the Elks organization is creating a quiet network of good deeds to profoundly change lives for the better, such as its annual tradition of hosting The United Arc Holiday Party.

This year, more than 110 people attended, making the festive event standing-room only. The role of Santa was played by Francis Campbell, and his helpers were Mary Fernsebner and others. Santa and his helpers all receive services from The United Arc. They cheerfully passed out presents as part of a gift exchange, while merry volunteers from the Order of the Elks Lodge #1296 cooked and served the holiday meal.

Families with children who have a disability face many additional challenges and the holiday season can be especially difficult. It can also be a lonely time of year for adults with disabilities, who may not have family to celebrate the holidays with. This can make it difficult to feel a sense of community and abundance during the coldest parts of the year. The holiday party is an important way for the Elks Lodge of Greenfield and The United Arc to connect people with each other.

For over 30 years, The Elks Lodges of Greenfield has partnered with The United Arc to put on this Holiday Party as an opportunity for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to celebrate the holiday season. The Elks Lodge continues to be generous supporters of The United Arc in building community. Volunteers who support these events bring abundant respect, compassion, and holiday joy in everything they do.

The United Arc supports people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities in achieving the universal goals of inclusion, choice, and independence. The organization provides services to individuals and their families in Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, and Worcester counties and has a solid history of providing quality services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities going back to 1951.

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