The Greater Summerville/Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce’s award program is designed to recognize the dedication, achievement and entrepreneurial spirit displayed by exceptional local businesses, nonprofits and volunteers. Recipients of the 2018 Chamber Awards were announced at the Chamber’s Member Appreciation and Awards Celebration presented by Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union held at Middleton Place on January 29th.
Congratulations to the 2018 Nonprofit of the Year, The ARK, Alzheimer’s Family Support Services. For 23 years, The ARK of SC has provided exemplary services, meaningful programs, community involvement, and volunteer commitment to those with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia (ADRD) and their families. From a one day per week program serving 13 families in 1996, the program has grown to four days per week in Summerville with transportation provided via ARK bus, satellite programs in St. George and Harleyville, The NOAH Project (Neighborhood Outreach Alzheimer's Help) for educational outreach to rural communities, and an Early Memory Loss group. Over the years, the ARK has provided 6,830+ respite hours, 10,560 miles of bus transportation, $24,986 in scholarships, and much, much more given back to the community.
After sharing space with church activities on the second floor of the St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Summerville for 22 years, The ARK moved into its new "home" which has allowed increase in enrollment of members per day for the Group Social Respite Program and eventually will include weekly evening and weekend programs. It also provides a permanent space for educational workshops and classes for family members and caregivers, as well as Law Enforcement and First Responders.
Before The ARK started, Peg Lahmeyer (Executive Director and Founder of The ARK) and her husband Jim were caregivers for her mother who had Alzheimer's. In the early 1990’s there were no caregiver support programs, so she started The ARK as an outreach program for St. Luke’s, offering 1 day a week social respite to families in the area.
About the Greater Summerville/Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce
Since its establishment in 1911, the Greater Summerville/Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce has been an integral part of the growth of Summerville and the surrounding areas. Our mission is to protect and promote the quality of life in the community, with specific emphasis on improving economic vitality and providing a favorable business climate. For more information, please visit www.greatersummerville.org or call (843) 873-2931.