Between June and August, The Arc invited people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to share their stories of achievement in an online contest on our Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/thearcus. More than 25,000 votes were tallied for 119 contestants to narrow the field down to the top 10 finalists in The Arc’s Achieve with us Contest. Then The Arc had the difficult task of determining who would ultimately win the Grand Prize of a trip for two for two days to Washington D.C. to share their story of achievement with The Arc’s National Office and a chance to talk with their representatives on Capitol Hill. Every single story was an inspiration and each contestant should be applauded for their remarkable achievements.
But we did have to choose just one winner, and the winner is Tyler Smothers from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. For four years, Tyler has been the driving…or, rather bicycling…force behind an annual bike riding fundraiser for The Arc of East Central Iowa. Read Tyler’s winning entry here. Because of that achievement we are proud to invite Tyler to Washington, D.C. When we told Tyler he was the Grand Prize winner, he said “This is the most exciting and coolest day ever. I would love to see Mr. Obama and Michelle!” While meeting the President may not be possible (this time), The Arc is arranging a trip to the Capitol for a chance for Tyler to talk to his representatives in Congress in November. ABILITY Magazine will feature Tyler in an upcoming issue and we’ll post news about his trip on the blog in early November, so check back.