Chatham Courier and Madison Eagle Highlight 2016 Student Ambassador Mentor Braden Hopton

April 21st, 2016

CHATHAM - ECLC student Braden Hopton represented Chatham in this year’s Arc of Essex County Building Tomorrows initiative.

Braden, a 10-year-old Madison resident who has Down Syndrome, served as a student ambassador mentor at the 18th annual event on Saturday, April 16 in Bloomfield.

He was one of seven ambassadors and mentors selected for the event, which is comprised of a 5K race, two-mile run and fair.

Braden placed medals on race winners and kicked off the run with his fellow town representatives, all of whom were either born with or represent someone with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Building Tomorrows is one of the main fundraisers for the Arc of Essex County, a not-for-profit agency providing services and programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Braden is a graduate of the Arc’s Stepping Stones School in Roseland.

Braden’s parents, Brad and Stephanie Hopton, are grateful for the services Braden has been afforded through the Arc and ECLC. Mr. Hopton, now the Arc of Essex County’s board president, said within one month of Braden’s birth the Arc was there to help the family.

“I remember like it was yesterday, because it really changed our lives,” he recalled.

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