LARC’s very merry Christmas party

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Bill had a great time. He gives the Christmas Party Committee a thumbs-up.

Clients and staff celebrate the season

Photos and story by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (December 15, 2017) – LARC has been called Lansing’s “greatest accomplishment.” This unassuming campus, tucked into Lansing’s southeast corner, off Wentworth Avenue, serves the broader community by providing job training, work opportunities, and residential housing for developmentally disabled adults.

On Friday, LARC staff and workers took a break from their regularly scheduled tasks and enjoyed pizza, music, and gifts at their annual Christmas party. Below are some scenes from the event:

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Whenever possible, LARC patronizes Lansing businesses. For the Christmas party, they bought pizza from Waldo Cooney’s.
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Michael has finished lunch and is ready to dance. “I’m very full,” he said, and he agreed that dancing would be a good way to work off some of the pizza.
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Derrick’s friendly face makes visitors feel welcome.
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Scott conveys the spirit of the season.
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Tamikko wore her favorite Christmas vest for the occasion.
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After lunch, the dancing begins. Clients and staff alike enjoy the music. Megan and Lavonne are “dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock.”
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Sharon doesn’t like to dance much, but she enjoys sitting near the action and listening to the music.
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Keith Wallace, of Wallace Entertainment, has been DJ-ing the LARC Christmas party for the past five or six years.
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After some dancing, people get into position for the Grab Bag Gift Exchange. The ladies go first.
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Everyone has bought a $10 grab bag gift for the exchange.
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When the music starts, the ladies pass the gifts around the circle.
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When the music stops, if you have a gift in your hand, it’s yours! You then leave the circle and sit down to open your gift. The excitement builds as the circle gets smaller and smaller.
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After all the women have received their gifts, the men line up, and the music begins again.
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Some of the women remain in the circle to cheer on the men as they pass the gifts. Chuck, in the Santa shirt, is debating whether to pass the gift or hang on to it.
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LARC staff member Christine helps Anthony open the gift he received.
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The $10 grab bag gifts include items that are both useful and fun.
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Patrice is wondering what might be in this beautifully wrapped box.
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Colleen is pleased not only with the gift she received, but also with the overall fun of the party.
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Bill had a great time. He gives the Christmas Party Committee a thumbs-up for all the work they put into organizing the day.

LARC is located at 19043 Wentworth Avenue in Lansing. Call 708-474-1540 for more information, or visit www.larclansing.com.