The fun and excitement of Halloween came a day early for clients of the Natchitoches Association for Retarded Citizens (NARC), as members of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity at Northwestern State University helped throw a spooky celebration for the center’s clients.
On Friday, October 30, members of the Beta Omicron Chapter spent the afternoon playing ring toss, holding a rubber duck race and mummy wrap, as well as passing out refreshments and candy to 25 clients of the ARC. Pi Kappa Phi member Wesley Bray said the Halloween carnival is something the fraternity has been looking forward to all semester. “Our fraternity is a great opportunity to grow lifelong friendships, but it can also be so much more than that. Through our philanthropy, The Ability Experience, we can help change the lives of others for the better.”
Fraternity members say they hope to expand their involvement with the Natchitoches ARC, in part because of their connection to the organization. Beta Omicron Chapter alumnus and longtime Natchitoches mayor Joe Sampité helped establish the local ARC and remained an advocate for people with disabilities throughout his life.
The Natchitoches Association for Retarded Citizens provides adult day services for 52 clients, as well as operates the Natchitoches Sheltered Workshop. Individuals with disabilities are able to earn a wage through services provided through contracts with private individuals and local companies.
The Ability Experience, formerly Push America, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves people with disabilities. The Ability Experience was founded in 1977 as the national philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity with the purpose of instilling lifelong service in its members and enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities. Although the organization is still fulfilling the purpose for which it was intended, The Ability Experience has grown into a nationally recognized nonprofit with numerous programs educating undergraduates, alumni and communities about the abilities of people with disabilities.