The Saline Association for Retarded Children/Citizens was named in 1954 and since then has been a local force in helping the developmentally disabled.
Saturday the group held its annual fundraising kickoff breakfast at St. Mary's Catholic Church and SARC handed out two scholarships to two local women planning careers in special education.
The recipients were Alexandra Bennett and Megan Mayberry, both students at Southeastern Illinois College.
Mayberry and Bennett both read their letters of application to the group as a way of introducing themselves. Mayberry said, "If I can change one child's life I will be satisfied."
The Knights of Columbus were recognized for their support dating back to the 1950s. The K of C presented SARC with a check for $2,500.
Beggs informed the group that his mother and founder of the organization, Mary Ellen Beggs, is in the hospital and not doing very well. She is 93.
Though the mission of SARC has not changed, the words we consider acceptable have and that may mean a change to SARC’s name.
"We are considering a name change," said Sam Beggs, spokesman for the group. “Many feel that the use of the word ‘retarded’ is now unacceptable. "But we are focused mainly on providing support.”
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