DJ Howard Earns Special Appreciation Award

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Howard Dabney, a Pasadena resident, was named the winner of The Arc Baltimore’s 2021 Special Appreciation Award. Presented at The Arc’s recent annual meeting and awards ceremony on May 5, the Special Appreciation Award recognizes an individual who renders truly outstanding assistance to The Arc Baltimore and the people with developmental disabilities The Arc supports.

One of The Arc’s most popular virtual day classes is its weekly Club Dundalk, which is largely due to DJ Howard, who pumps up the crowd at the start of every gathering with a loud "It's Friday!” DJ Howard calls out names to get everyone going, urging all to move as they are able whether on their feet dancing, tapping toes, or clapping. He lifts everyone’s spirits. He has become family, helping to celebrate holidays and birthdays, and bringing fun throughout the pandemic. At the end of the hour, DJ Howard reminds everyone to continue following COVID precautions and then tells everyone to give themselves a big hug, reminding everyone to always love themselves. As he signs off, there is a chorus of goodbyes and thank yous from the dozens of participants who have just enjoyed the best hour of the week.

The Arc Baltimore’s 2021 annual meeting and awards ceremony featured the election of the organization’s new board of directors and officers, and award recognitions for those who have gone above and beyond in their service to The Arc Baltimore.

“The hard work and dedication of all of our award recipients and nominees, and so many others, is the critical component which enables The Arc Baltimore to support people with developmental disabilities to lead fulfilling lives with a sense of belonging, purpose, and meaningful relationships,” noted The Arc’s chief executive officer, Kathleen McNally Durkin.

The Arc Baltimore supports people with developmental disabilities (autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities) to lead fulfilling lives with a sense of belonging, purpose and meaningful relationships. The Arc Baltimore provides employment training and support, day and residential services, family support and education, treatment foster care, respite care, public policy advocacy, and information and referrals. For more information, visit www.thearcbaltimore.org or call 410-296-2272.

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