Arc of Carter County sets Saturday fund-raiser at Wal-Mart   

By Greg Miller
star staff
gmiller@starhq.com

  The Arc of Carter County will hold a fund-raiser at the Wal-Mart store in Elizabethton on Saturday at 8 a.m.
  According to a news release, the fund-raiser will include donations, a raffle, baked goods, and a membership drive.
  New members are desperately needed, according to Teena Bradley, the organization's vice president. "We're looking for families, agencies, providers, and corporate sponsors to become members," Bradley said. "Anyone that wants to be a member of the Arc, we welcome them. We need them.
  "We're in need of donations of computers and office supplies. We're in need of office space, someone to support us in that."
  The fund-raiser's purpose, according to Bradley, "is to raise finances to pay self advocates memberships and to cover the costs of running the Arc of Carter County."
  Bob Swanson, a meteorologist from WJHL NewsChannel 11, will be on-hand to help promote the fund-raiser. Swanson earned degrees in both physics and philosophy from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. He earned a master's degree in meteorology from Penn State University. He worked for KHBS in Fort Smith, Ark., and WTAJ in Altoona, Pa. He taught science at Bohemia Manor High School, Chesapeake City, Md., for several years.
  Swanson presents numerous weather-related presentations throughout the community. According to Swanson's Web site, www.storminswanson.com, his CD, "Do the Weather Wiggle with Stormin' Bob Swanson," is packed with educational and entertaining children's songs about the weather.
  According to the news release, The Arc of Carter County "is a family-based advocacy organization on mental retardation and related developmental disabilities." The organization will provide services and support to and for infants, children and adults with mental retardation and related disabilities that include advocacy, training and education, respite support, information and referral, public awareness, and governmental affairs and legislative advocacy."
  Each service and support, the news release states, will be done by a community of volunteers in Carter County. The membership organization is publicly supported, with financial support coming from grant funding, fund-raisers, membership dues and donations. Membership levels include self advocate, individual, family, corporate, supporter, sustainer and benefactor.
  Membership benefits include newsletters to keep members informed of the latest disability information, training for parents whose children are in special education, awareness of legislation and legal procedures on related disability issues, education and advocacy support, and public awareness and information concerning referral services.
  Saturday's event will last "until we run out of brownies and cupcakes," Bradley said.
  For more information, call Bradley at 547-0517, or Ellie Hjemmet, the organization's president, at 772-4146.