LaGrange County ARC Opportunities held its annual Christmas program and worker awards Tuesday evening at the Shipshewana Town Center.
The evening began with the “Christmas Alphabet Poem,” presented by the workers, covering Christmas from A to Z with Bible verses and songs.
ARC then welcomed new individuals to the program: Linda Newman, Jonathan Short and Heather Sillaman.
Perfect attendance awards were handed out to Viola Brodbeck, Saloma Eash, Tammy Hayward, Jeff Hill, Terri Jordan, Lillian Nisley, Steve Olejniczak, Leslie Sheley, Cindy Treece and Esther Whetstone.
Outstanding attendance awards went to Polly Bontrager, Sam Bontrager, Katie Eash, Ryan Eaton, Krystal Gartner, Dustin Gromala, Brandi Lehr, Katie Miller, James Oliver, Ida Schmucker, Todd Shorter, Jill Slater, Andrew Springer, Olen Yoder and Tim Yoder.
Social Club Officer awards were handed out to Bill Page, president; Mary Ward, vice president; Joy Ablegore, treasurer; Becky Terrell, secretary; and Karla Rowan and Jill Slater, Sunshine Club.
A new award, a quarterly Safety Award, went to Mary Ward for October-December, Becky Terrell, January-March, and Lisa Harter, April-June.
Longevity Awards went to: 5 years – Andrew Springer; 10 years – Sam Bontrager and Wayne Platt; 15 years – LeAnna Bontrager, Tim Kauffman, Karla Rowan and Olen Yoder; 20 years – Lisa Harter, Ray Sharp and Joe Treece; 25 years – Joy Ablegore; 30 years – Christina Miller; and 35 years – Katie Miller.
Employees of the Month were also recognized: Joy Ablegore, Wayne Platt, Todd Shorter, Tammy Hayward, Ryan Eaton, Steve Olejniczak, David Miller, Toby Bontrager, Viola Brodbeck, John Dunkel, Katie Eash and Mary Ward.
The Highest Production Increase award went to Sue Ellen Raber, who increased her production by 5 percent over the past year.
The Most Improved Worker for 2011 award went to Tobias Bontrager for his tremendous growth in all areas of the program, including attitude, willingness to work and socialization with fellow co-workers.
ARC Opportunities also recognized those retiring this year, including Della Gill, who has been with the organization for 11 years.
Departing board members recognized for their service were Charla Fought, 21 years, Perry Lambright, 20 years, and Jessica Ramp, two years on the board.
ARC Opportunities also recognized area industries providers for providing “real and meaningful work.” Recognized were LTI, the LaGrange County CVB and NISCO. New sub-contractors honored were: Ben’s Pretzels, E&S Sales, and Lambright’s Aluminum.
John Dickerson, state executive director of ARC of Indiana, was present, traveling from Indianapolis to see the largest annual ARC program in the state. He spoke briefly on some of the upcoming changes the organization is facing, as well as praising the LaGrange chapter for its leadership and overwhelming community support.