The Arc of NJ Celebrates 75 Years and Honors O’Brien Family

A group of 24 adults gather in a ballroom, each holding a certificate.

As The Arc of New Jersey celebrated its 75th anniversary with a gala event at The Imperia in Somerset on June 13, the honorees included a collection of distinguished public officials, volunteers, staff, and businesses. The awards ceremony also recognized “Legacy Families” from chapters throughout the state. For The Arc of Essex County, the legacy honoree was John O’Brien and family.

John O’Brien has been part of The Arc of Essex County community for nearly 50 years, starting when his youngest son, Peter, was a student at Stepping Stones School in 1975. In the decades since, the O’Briens have become an integral part of The Arc of Essex County family. Peter has participated in a variety of Arc programs; he currently lives in an Arc group home in West Orange and attends the West Caldwell Hub Day Program. John, meanwhile, has been a member of The Arc of Essex County Board of Trustees since 1992 and has served as an officer during most of that time. He was Board President from 1994 to 1998 and was also President of The Arc of New Jersey board from 1998 to 2000. He has served on the Camp Jaycee board for more than 20 years and is still an active member. Through the years, John has always stepped up to volunteer when needed, including playing the bagpipes at Arc events. His daughter, Patricia Gamcsik, currently serves on The Arc of Essex County’s Advisory Board. John and the entire O’Brien family are a special part of The Arc of Essex County, and their dedication will forever be woven into The Arc legacy.

The Arc of Essex County commends The Arc of New Jersey on the milestone 75th anniversary, and extends gratitude and congratulations to the O’Brien family on the well-deserved recognition.