Economic times can be tough but these will never break the hard-working spirit of the Douglas Association for Retarded Citizens (DARC), which since 1958 has served people with developmental disabilities to provide them an opportunity to learn how to be self-sustained and proved that they have a lot to give to the community.

On this occasion, DARC celebrated one more year of hard work and above-quality service with their Annual Dinner and Award Presentation on Thursday, January 19.

Special guests enjoyed of a tasty food plate with barbacoa beef and macaroni salad prepared by DARC’s staff, while President of the Board of Directors Dan Pollak introduced board members.

Executive Director Gary Clark introduced DARC’s staff and gave his annual report. Clark said DARC has currently 23 employees distributed in several programs, such as the Park, Grounds Maintenance, Janitorial, Kitchen and Administration Services.

“There is nothing so rewarding as to help people realize that they are worthwhile in our world,” Clark said. “I think the best thing we can possibly do is to give a person a hand-up, not a hand-out, so this coming year is going to be a challenging one, but we are ready for the challenge.”

At the same event, DARC’s employees were honored and recognized with a special “2011 Employee of the Month” award to motivate them to continue developing their human values and hard work.

Also, Clark and Pollack presented the President’s Award to each person or organization that has helped DARC through year 2011. Some of the contributors are Food Bank (Tucson), Chiricahua Community Health Center, Melanie Greene, Frank Hatcher, Mary Maza, Bisbee’s Rotary Club and others.

To conclude the event, Clark thanked all those who attended and he invited them to continue supporting in any possible way to the association to be as successful as they have been through all these years of operation.