LYNN HAVEN, Fla. - St. Andrew Bay Center has served people with intellectual and developmental needs for 60 years. They revealed their new name as the Arc of the Bay. Many people came to the ribbon cutting ceremony Friday including Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis, both city chambers, and the mayor Margo Anderson. The name change is part of a rebranding mission for the organization in hopes of increasing resources for their clients.
"I work at McDonalds on Thomas Drive. I just celebrated my one year at McDonalds," said one of their clients at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
For most clients at the Arc of the Bay, landing their first job is memorable. That's why Executive Director Ron Sharpe partnered with the national chapter of the Arc so that they can bring more resources to their clients with intellectual and developmental needs.
"With all the branding and marketing and everything that comes with that, we are looking at ways that we can strengthen continually in our community to build stronger scholarship opportunities so we can help those who are not being helped," said Sharpe.
Currently they serve over 230 people and provide educational and advocacy services so that they can join the workforce and live more independent lives.
"Clients build friendships and go in life together here, as well as feel validated in what they can contribute," said a family member of a client.
Sharpe says there are 176 people living in the area who could benefit from their services but cannot afford them.
"My goal, my vision, is to never have to tell people no," said Sharpe.
He hopes the new brand will help push forward his goals for the center.
"We're talking money, marketing, branding, curriculum in the classroom, employment opportunities," said Sharpe.
He also mentioned that they hoope to expand and build another building next door so they can hold more clients.
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