SPARTA, NJ – The people at SCARC had an exciting group of visitors on Thursday.  The rainy weather did not keep those in the senior program from coming outside to meet Sparta’s first responders.

The Sparta Ambulance Squad members Mike Maciejczk, Ashley Darnsteadt and Matt Crumm with  Sparta Fire Department’s Craig Wilson brought their trucks for the students to see.

The activities at the Gail Court location was organized by SCARC Program Director Deborah and Sparta Police Cpl. Dave Pridham.

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“I like to help out with SCARC whenever I can,” Pridham said.  “The people there do a lot of good work.  They really enjoy seeing the fire trucks, police cars  and ambulances.”

SCARC’s mission is to serve people with developmental disabilities.  It is dedicated to the empowerment and support of persons with developmental disabilities and their families, according to their published materials. 

The organization was formed in 1957 initially as a preschool program in Hardyston Township.  Initially it provided programs for profoundly disabled children.  It then began to offer recreation programs and then offered day training programs funded through the New Jersey Department of Human Services. 

They continued to grow and evolve as the children grew.  Eventually residential programs were established with homes initially in Sparta and Newton, now with 18 homes group homes in Sussex County.  There are now eight day programs for adults as well. 

The organization has expanded as the needs continue expand.  The organization now has a staff of more than 300.