Stars had an opportunity to shine at the third annual “Arc’s Got Talent” show Thursday, Feb. 21, at Trinity United Methodist in Beaumont.
“We wanted to give people with developmental disabilities — the people we serve — a chance to be on stage and be the center of attention,” said Gary Hidalgo, executive director of the Arc of Greater Beaumont. “It’s also important to make the community aware of these disabilities.”
Hidalgo said that it is important for those with intellectual disabilities (IDD) such as autism and Down syndrome to have the opportunity to be in the spotlight and hear applause because they are usually in the background.
“It’s not ‘American Idol,’ but they feel just as honored and proud as any contestant on any national show,” he said. “It’s also an opportunity for parents to see what their child can do.”
The ages of the performers ranged from 4 years old to 50, according to Hidalgo.
While most participants sang and danced, Hidalgo did say that one individual, Richard Pentecost, showcased a unique and amazing talent.
“You can name any country in the world, and he can tell you the capital,” he said. “We challenged him and he knew every one of them.”
The event was not a fundraiser but strictly a chance for individuals with IDD to showcase their talents, according to Hidalgo.
Arc’s next event “Stars of the Arc Celebrity Style Show and Dinner,” which will be a fundraiser, will also give these individuals a chance to be in the spotlight. The event is scheduled for April 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Plaza, 3950 Interstate 10, Beaumont.
“The intent is to try and raise money to continue the programs that we provide,” Hidalgo said.
The event will be a fashion show, where individuals with IDD will get a chance to model clothing from Macy’s Department Store, Hidalgo said. Also at the dinner, the Arc will honor individuals and companies that have worked as advocates for people with IDD. Tickets for the event are $25 for children under 10, $75 for general admission and $1,000 for a reserved table and dinner for 10. Sponsorships are also available. For more information, call (409) 838-9012 or e-mail arcofbmt [at] arcofbmt [dot] org.