“An appeal that caught the community’s heart has brought new hope and life to Allen County’s forgotten – the
Through the efforts of an energetic corps of citizens these children are enjoying a life they hadn’t known existed.
THEY WENT TO SCHOOL."
The Lima News Edition, January 1, 1955
1953 – Successful First Year Council
In January, parents of retarded children in Lima came together to enhance the lives of their children, focusing on education and independence. With contributors, such as the local chapter of the sorority Beta Sigma Phi, they were able to accomplish private funding for an entire year, making them eligible for state funding.
The Allen County Council for Retarded Children was recognized as the most accomplished council in their first year of operation at the Ohio State Convention in Columbus, June 6.
On September 21, the first class opened at St. Marks United Methodist Church. Ten children attended the class with one teacher and one assistant.
In the fall, with all proceeds benefiting Allen County’s retarded children, area council members sold Christmas cards, greeting cards, and distributed seals to spirit financial assistance from the community to begin a second class.
The money to operate a second class was obtained and a place was needed where both classrooms could mutually use new equipment. The Knights of Pythia, Lodge 19, became aware of the need and undertook the project to build a four-room school on Collett Street.
1955 – First Ohio School For the MR/DD
On October 16, named after Dale Evans’ and Roy Rogers’ daughter, “The Robin Rogers’ School” opened with 34 students enrolled. It was the first private building in Ohio to be planned, designed and constructed for special training of severely retarded children.
1956 – A United Way Agency
On September 16, the United Way launched its first Lima campaign to support community and social agencies. This included the Allen County Council for Retarded Children.
By September, The Robin Rogers’ School had 51 students enrolled and was again in need of expansion. The community responded with over $23,000 dollars to build an additional structure at the rear of the school.
1958 – Children Bussed
In September, 25 children were bussed from outside the Lima city limits. This first school bus was donated by the Lima Junior Service League.
1961-1963 - New Control-New Name-New Act
The Child Welfare Department took charge of the school program in 1961. In 1963 they renamed it Marimor after the Association for Retarded Children’s first teacher Mary Iva Moore. The school’s mission was to provide an opportunity for education, training, employment and supportive services promoting growth and integration for persons with developmental disabilities into community life as first-class citizens.
1968 - Board Meets-Workshop Incorporated
On January 11, 1968 the Allen County Board of MR/DD held their first meeting. On July 11, the Marimor workshop was incorporated.
1969 - The Association Goes Camping
In April the Association purchased a camp facility of 38 acres and a pond. The camp is used for summer day camp and weekend camping programs. The grounds were developed with picnic shelters, a swimming pool, accommodations for both male and female camping programs, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and a large hall.
1971 – Day Care and First Group Home
On January 1, at First United Methodist Church, a day care for the Mentally Retarded and Developmentally Disabled opened. In November, the first group home was purchased and housed five male adults.
1973 – Day Care Moves to School
In December, the day care moved to the Robin Rogers’ School on Collett Street where it continues to operate today.
1974 – New Name, New Director-Another Home
In May, Mary Ann Brown was named the first Executive Director. The council would no longer be called The Association for Retarded Children, but The Association for Retarded Citizens.
It was through Mary Ann Brown’s vision that the Board undertook residential group living. A second home for female residents was purchased in June.
1984 - Mary Ann Brown Facility/HUD Loan
A 32-bed intermediate care facility for the more severely retarded was dedicated on Mandolin Drive. The facility was named after Mary Ann Brown.
Later in the year, the first HUD loan was granted to the Association for two, seven-bedroom homes with a three-room apartment for houseparents. These were the first co-ed housing units.
1990 - 1993—New Facilities
A new 26-unit apartment building was constructed for semi-independent living.
Late in 1990, Mary Ann Brown left as Executive Director of the Association and became Housing Director of the HUD facilities.
1991 - Ron Farthing is named new Executive Director for The Arc.
In 1993, the Association acquired two additional four-bedroom homes. One for male residents, the other for females. The Association now owned five residential homes.
1995 - 1996—Brown Retires/New Management
In 1995 Mary Ann Brown retired. However, her dedication to the MR/DD community continues on through volunteerism.
Champaign Residential Services took over management of all residential facilities in 1996.
1997 – A New Beginning
Thad Davis is named Executive Director for The Arc from March – July 1997.
Chuck Wolfe is named Executive Director for The Arc in September 1997.
Allen County can be very proud of its leadership in all MR/DD programs. Its clients are offered the best programs in the state. Older adults are offered the opportunity to live and work in their own community. Children are given the opportunity to experience an education and build new friendships.
In 1997, The Association for Retarded Citizens became known as The Arc of Allen County. Programs and day care services continue to be offered at The Arc offices at 546 South Collett Street, and at Camp Robin Rogers, located on Conant Road.
The MR/DD community is given the opportunity to participate in day care, both weekdays and every other Saturday, a day camp, summer programs, and overnight weekend camps.
Parents and guardians are invited to participate in educational seminars, United Parent Support Programs, and Arc membership benefits.
For over 45 years the Allen County Community has supported The Allen County Council for Retarded Children, The Association for Retarded Citizens and now, The Arc of Allen County.
1998 - New Leadership
The Arc names Josh Ebling as new Executive Director.
2000 - State Licensed
The Arc’s Robin Rogers Day Service is Licensed by the state of Ohio.
2002 - ACA Licensed
Camp Robin Rogers is accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA).
2003 – Fifty Year Anniversary
The year of 2003 also marked half a century’s worth of commitment to our community’s children and adults with Mental Retardation and other Developmental Disabilities. Allen County can be proud of its leadership in all MR/DD programs. Our consumers are offered some of the best programs in the state and The Arc remains a powerful voice in personal and legislative advocacy.
The Arc of Allen County also continues to be a membership organization, where the collective voice and unconditional support of parents, family members and friends is integral to the success and future of human rights, personal dignity, and full participation of people with disabilities in our community.
2008 - Group Home Sold
The Arc sells the O’Grady Group Home located on S. Jameson Ave., leaving The Arc with the Pine Home, Cedar Home, Dalton I & Dalton II Homes, R & R Apartments, and Greenway Apartments.
The Arc office gets a facelift with new Board room renovation done by General Dynamics Land Systems.
2009 - New Management/MR Dropped
Brad Perrott is named as the new Executive Director for The Arc.
The MR (mental retardation) is dropped from MR/DD, and is now only DD (Developmental Disabilities).
The Arc’s kitchen is graciously updated by Proctor & Gamble.
Brand new playground equipment is installed for Robin Rogers Day Service program. This was accomplished by donations and manpower from Proctor & Gamble, Lowe’s, and Midwest Electric.
2010 - Outdoor Improvements
The Arc building is improved by landscaping and a new Arc sign provided and installed by the Potash Corporation.
2011 – Indoor Improvements
INEOS remodels Boys & Girls restrooms at Arc. Midwest Electric & Proctor & Gamble update kitchen at Camp’s First Aid building.
2012 – Upgrades
Midwest Electric upgrades wiring for our Camp Grounds. St. Rita’s Medical Center remodeled the Day Service class room: painting, new carpet, TV, bulletin board & whiteboard, as well as donating new toys and storage bins.
2013 – Celebrating 60 Years
The Arc celebrated 60 years of providing services to families and individuals dealing with Developmental Disabilities. Tri-State Gun Collectors donated funds to replace 3 windows in the First Aid Building at Camp.
2014 – Upgrades
Camp Robin Rogers received updated restrooms in the cabins.
The storage/storm location was expanded for our Day Camp Program in the maintenance building. Also, the maintenance building received electrical updates.
Office Manager, Ona Binkley, retired after 16 years of faithful service.
2015 – Award Given To Mary Ann Brown
Previous Arc Director, Mary Ann Brown, received the Senior Citizen of the Year Award from the State of Ohio for her continued volunteerism in the Developmental Disabilities community.
Ralph Albright Honored with a plaque for 40 years service to The Arc of Allen County by Board President: Michael Hensley