The John Marshall Bar Association (JMBA) participated in a poignant and meaningful philanthropic event this past Saturday, September 26, at the ARC of Alachua County, a center devoted to the mentorship, advocacy and care of the developmentally disabled community.
The ARC promotes the fostering of independence and the building of the most typical lifestyle possible for its clients. As part of this strategy, ARC directors planned a prom complete with a casino theme, D.J., decorations, formal dress and a sit-down dinner.
JMBA members were invited to serve as mentors, card dealers, waiters, and – most importantly – friends. As ARC clients excitedly filed into the gym-turned-casino, JMBA members warmly greeted each attendee. The attendees scanned the room for their friends, their eyes lighting up once they glimpsed their peers. After some dancing, card games and a raffle, it was time to eat.
JMBA members aided the prom attendants down the long buffet line, filling their plates. Sitting at large round tables with rich red tablecloths, the guests talked and laughed together while they ate. For dessert: strawberries and whipped cream. After dinner, dancing commenced. The brave stood to the front, leading the cha-cha slide; the shy bobbed and weaved to the music in the center with their friends.
ARC clients are more than peers or classmates. They are best friends, supporters, teachers, girlfriends boyfriends, mentors, and families. They are young and old. They live alone and others with friends or parents. They love their families, have interests and hobbies, smile at the good things and feel authentic emotions. Members of the ARC are deserving of experiences like the prom. The ARC recognizes this need for a fulfilling, fun-filled life and provides clients with several of these events each year. Next on the calendar is a Halloween party.
The John Marshall Bar Association wished to serve the community in a meaningful way. Volunteering at events like the ARC prom – and soon the Halloween party – is especially impactful. Law students are afforded an education and skill set that are particularly helpful to the community.
To become involved with any of JMBA’s community service events, please contact Aubrey Smith, vice president of Community Service, at email@example.com for more information.