The Arc of Essex County Marks 75 Years at “A Million Dreams” Anniversary Gala

A collage of four photos from The Arc of Essex County's gala event. To the right, a man doing a performance with flames. Above center: a group of people gathered for a photo. Below center: A man and woman dancing on a dance floor. Right: Two women hugging.

It was a night to remember at “A Million Dreams,” The Arc of Essex County’s 75th Anniversary Gala, with cirque performances, special honorees, fine dining, dancing, and a celebration of 75 years of service to the intellectual and developmental disability community.

Held at The Grove in Cedar Grove on June 15, the gala was a special milestone celebration. “Seventy-five years is a long time, and in the decades that The Arc of Essex County has existed, it has made great strides and changed the landscape for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in our community,” said Board President Stephen Falanga during his speech. “But the work is not done, and we look forward to The Arc continuing its mission and making a positive impact for the next 75 years and beyond.”

The evening was punctuated by engaging events, including three cirque performances, live music with dancing, and a silent auction packed with priceless items and experiences. It also featured an awards celebration that recognized several honorees:

Legacy of Advocacy: Thomas Baffuto, The Arc of New Jersey Executive Director

Legacy of Philanthropy: PSEG

Legacy of Leadership: Board Presidents, The Arc of Essex County

The Arc thanks the many people and organizations that made the evening possible, including presenting sponsor PSEG and all of the event sponsors, as well as the gala committee, the attendees, auction participants near and far, and of course the founders of The Arc of Essex County. “Those dreamers from 1948 left a beautiful legacy, and each day we are challenged to live up to their example: To think bigger, to innovate, to creatively confront new challenges, and to always put the dreams and desires of individuals with IDD and their families at the center of our work,” said Regan White, chairperson of The Arc’s development committee. “Together, we look forward to the next 75 years of opening more doors, creating more opportunities, and fulfilling more dreams for the IDD community.”