The Arc of Atlantic County honored dozens of members Monday night for various achievements at its annual meeting held at Central United Methodist Church in Linwood.
Community Director Beth Ann Spiegel, said the meeting gives the whole Arc community a chance to get together.
“It’s the one time a year when we get families to come out — with the people we support — and we recognize the achievements,” Spiegel said. “We see them and help them every day. It’s a chance for everybody to celebrate that together.”
Honors ranged from milestone awards, recognizing great or prolonged achievement, to sunshine awards, recognizing friendly social behavior.
Lori Bentz received an award for losing 11 pounds and joining a gym.
“I just started at the gym, and at first I wanted to give up, but my trainer that I have kept encouraging me not to give up,” she said.
She was shocked when she heard how much weight she had lost.
Daniel Philippi was recognized for graduating from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He graduated from Egg Harbor Township High School, studied for three years at Atlantic Cape Community College and then for two years at Stockton, where he majored in communications.
He said Atlantic Cape is the reason he succeeded.
“If I went to Stockton right after my high school, I would have been lost,” he said. “With ACCC, they helped me adapt to a college lifestyle, like how much classwork, how much homework, how much time you need for studying and all that.”
Philippi said his hardest class was at Atlantic Cape was cultural anthropology. He plans to use his communications degree to work in the field of sports.
“Hopefully, I’ll start getting involved with athletics here,” he said. “I’ll be doing stuff with the Egg Harbor Township football team, doing stuff with Stockton College athletic teams over there. And hopefully, I’ll use that towards a job somewhere else.”
Becky McGirr was recognized for having worked at Wawa for more than 10 years.
“I work at the coffee island,” she said. “I change the trash. When the milk gets low, I fill it up. I take a look at the cappuccino and see if that’s filled. Anything I can do on the deli, I do.”
McGirr’s mother, Ann, said she is very proud of her daughter.
“It’s a milestone for her,” she said. “I told her she can’t retire until 2040, when she’s social security-aged. Wawa treats her like a family. It builds her self-esteem. She never misses work. She’s very dependable, reliable, trustworthy.”
McGirr said she’s looking forward to the next 10 years at Wawa.
Contact David Simpson: