2019 Civitan Blog

Too often animals are neglected, injured, and abandoned. We are fortunate to have several compassionate organizations in the Denver Metro area that are working hard to end pet homelessness and animal suffering. They shelter, feed, and enrich our adoring animals while they are waiting for a loving family to go home to.

The arc Ambassador Civitan Club wanted to do something to help these wonderful organizations and to make these animals more comfortable as they wait for their forever families. To do so, at our last meeting, the Club made over 100 chew toys that will be donated to several animal shelters in the Denver area. The material for the chew toys came from recycled t-shirts from arc Thrift Stores.

Normal Club business was also attended to at this most recent meeting. President Michelle Knight opened the meeting with leading the group in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the Civitan Creed. Kyle Knoeble, our club treasurer, made several announcements including inviting everyone to the Ambassador Halloween party on October 30th. We heard a few words from Bernie Funk, the new Civitan area director, and we welcomed a new member to our club, Ryan Maly. Jeff Alexander offered to do artwork for the Civitan International Christmas card, and we elected Marlene Glimm as our new secretary, with Emily Waldo standing in as backup. The Rocky Mountain Civitan Club also provided all the Ambassadors with Halloween goodie bags.

If you are interested in helping animals in the Denver area, there are many items that are needed at various animal shelters that keep the animals happy, healthy, and most of all adoptable. Items include dog and cat toys, canned wet food, dog or cat treats, blankets, and towels. If you would like to donate needed supplies or volunteer at The Denver Animal Shelter go to  https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-animal-shelter/get-involved/volunteer.html or at the Dumb Friends League, https://www.ddfl.org/volunteer/.



Civitan International is a global organization impacting lives at the grassroots level through local service clubs, and we are proud to announce that several of our arc Ambassadors have been made members of this amazing organization.

Members of Civitan share a Servant’s Heart and a desire to create positive change for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Further, Civitan membership goes beyond making a difference in the lives of others; it provides opportunities for personal growth, leadership training, and organizational experience.


Everyone had a magnificent time at the arc Ambassador Civitan Club charter celebration held at the Denver Botanical Gardens (it was a beautiful day, and yes, we roamed the gardens after the meeting). International president-elect Patsy Perkal presented the group with the mission and the rules that govern the club and introduced the club’s officers. Michelle Knight is the president and is charged with coming up with ideas for the club in its efforts to benefit the community. Kyle Knoeble is vice president, Elnaz Sobhi is the secretary, and Dominick Rivera is the treasurer. Each was presented with a special officer pin representing the special role they have in the club.

All members were presented with a pin and a charter member certificate. The pins are emblazoned with the organization’s motto: “Civitan hands – do the work of the world.”

The message of good citizenship rooted in compassion, service, and respect for people in need is central to the club. Check back with this blog to stay apprised of the many worthy efforts the new arc Ambassadors Civitan Club will accomplish.



Each year, arc hosts their Feed Colorado event to benefit Volunteer of America’s Meals on Wheels and City Harvest food bank. The donation process starts at the arc call center, where our employees call those people who have registered to donate to arc as a reminder to when their scheduled pick up time is, as well as asking these giving individuals to set out some canned food for Feed Colorado. The donations as well as the food are picked up by arc drivers beginning April 1st through May 15th, with each year having a higher goal than the year before. This year’s goal, 150 tons of food, was like the previous year surpassed—with the 2014 Feed Colorado food drive raising over 170 tons of food for those around the Colorado area who are food insecure!

We began this food drive in 2001 to alter a simple fact of life for many Coloradans: where their next meal is coming from. This year we exceeded last year’s collection by over 30%, or 3,636 boxes on 10 trailers! This food will help feed Colorado families for an entire year! And we couldn’t have done it without the help of all our hardworking arc employees, everyone who donated, as well as our sponsors. We would like to send out a special thank you to our newest sponsors: Left Hand Brewing Co., Caution Brewing Co., and Hogshead Brewery. A full list of our generous collaborators can be found at http://www.arcFeedColorado.com



arc University Awards 94 Graduates with Diplomas


In grand style before an audience of cheering families and friends, 94 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities proudly accepted their college diplomas Wednesday evening from Arc University. Arc University, formed in 2012, is the vision of the management team at Arc Thrift Stores of Colorado. Through a $100,000.00 grant from The Daniel’s Fund, Arc developed “Arc U” to provide an education in life skills for team members with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The 94 graduates received a variety of degrees including Certificates of Participation and Doctorate Degrees.

Arc University is a 12-month program, which consists of monthly sessions covering various topics from financial literacy, music appreciation, pet care, transportation mobility and food preparation. The program is managed much like a university including lecturers, course work, study guides and exams.  “The Arc University program allows individuals in the developmental disability community to achieve what so many of us take for granted,” stated Lloyd Lewis President/CEO, Arc Thrift Stores. “They achieve a sense of independence and accomplishment. With the skills learned, they increase their self esteem allowing them to effectively and actively participate in the Colorado community.”

At age 60, class Valedictorian, Dennis Schwed, addressed his graduating class with the following advice, “Do the best you can with what you have and enjoy life to the fullest.”

Radio talk show host Angie Austin delivered the commencement speech. Former First Lady of Colorado and Arc Thrift Stores Community Relations Director Frances Owens, along with Penfield Tate, Faye Tate, Cleo Parker Robinson, Tamra Ward,Stephen Burg, Lynne Valencia and Patti Dennis were also in attendance.