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Rock the Arc back on track for Saturday

Dan McClelland

by Rich Rosentreter
    The fourth annual Rock the Arc festival, a family-oriented event hosted by Adirondack Arc, will take place on Saturday at the municipal ball field in Tupper Lake.  It has been rescheduled from August when it was rained out.
Rock the Arc is a fundraising event that will include live music, food, beverages, vendors selling various goods and activities for children throughout the day. Gates will open at noon and the live music will start at 12:30 p.m. with a performance by Ben and Jay. The festival will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display that will begin about 9:30 p.m.
There will also be many items that will be raffled off as well, with a 50/50 raffle that will include $18,000 in cash prizes. The event is free and the public is welcome to attend as Adirondack Arc has raised funds through sponsorship to pay for the event, according to event organizer Scott Stiles, who is the fundraiser committee chairman at the organization.
The Adirondack Arc is a private not-for-profit agency whose mission is to enrich the lives of people with developmental disabilities through individualized support in all areas of life. The organization is incorporated as a 501(c)(3), and provides services including residential, educational, family support, respite and advocacy. 
Music will continue through the day and evening with three bands slated in the lineup as of press time. There were more bands scheduled in the original lineup for the event, which was canceled last month due to an inclement weather forecast. It is yet to be determined if more bands are going to be added for Saturday.
Following the early afternoon performance by Ben McClellandand Jay Martin, Thirty 1 and Mandolin will take the stage from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and Double Axel will perform from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
     Rock the Arc will also include a variety of kids activities, including a bouncy house, jousting arena, inflatable obstacle course, face painting, a carnival games tent area, kiddie kingdom and more, Stiles said.
     “Unfortunately due to the change in date we will not have the rock wall, however we will have a mechanical bull this year for all ages,” Stiles told the Free Press. “There will also be lots of food available.”
“We will have Italian Affair, Arthur’s barbecue, the Lions Club will be serving hamburgers and hot dogs, the Malone Car Club will have homemade French fries, the VFW post will have sausage and peppers, plus there will be other vendors withkettle corn, cotton candy, ice cream and more,” he said.
     Merritt Estate Winery will be on hand serving wine and wine slushies and P2’s will have a beer tent. Prizes that will be raffled off include a dinner in Lake Placid, a movie overnight package, a Tupper Lake dining/movie package a Saranac Lake dining package, Wild Center passes and more, Stiles said.
     “Of course. we will be doing our ‘500 Club’ raffle and be giving away $18,000 in total cash prizes,” he added. The cash breakdown will be $10,000 for first place $4,000 for second place $1,000 each for third and fourth places and ten $200 winners.
ARC budget stress
     “There are a couple of points I would like to make, with reference to The Adirondack Arc that I would want people to know,” Stiles said in regard to a recent report that the organization is facing budget issues. “Many people think we are funded by the state, like Sunmount. We are not!” he told the Free Press, “The Arc’s funding streams are largely through the Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities.  We are part of NYSARC, a not-for-profit organization, and we are mostly funded by Medicaid.”
“We are adapting to a new state regulation called rate rationalization, which is causing stress on our agency.  For the time being, the Adirondack Arc has maintained a status quo in all programs other than early intervention, which we had to close this year. Closing our Early Intervention program (a program that provided services to children from birth to age 3 at their homes and day-care centers) was a very hard decision,” he explained. “We were supporting the program through surpluses in other programs; however under rate rationalization we could no longer continue to support the deficit the Early Intervention program produced. The agency's strategies for dealing with financial deficits include lobbying state government, training staff to be efficient and continuing two annual fundraisers: a Malone egg hunt during Easter and the rescheduled Rock the Arc fundraiser in Tupper Lake.”
Stiles said that fundraisers are only a small piece of funding for ARC, but right now, “every penny helps.”
“I really appreciate the community support The Adirondack Arc has received!” he said.
“Due to state budget cuts, we are in need of funds to support our growing needs. This fundraiser will help support the needs of people with developmental disabilities.”