Easter Seals Arc Receives Endowment Gift for Music Programs


FORT WAYNE, IN – Chuck & Lisa Surack & Sweetwater Sound pledged a $150,000 Endowment to support music programs. A portion of the endowment will be used immediately to upgrade musical equipment used by 300 clients.

Image placeholder title

Easter Seals Arc (ESA) created 8 new programs for people who have a disability in the last year which all involve some type of music curriculums. The Transition Programs host “college like” classes for youth. Youth are served during summer and holiday breaks, after school and those exiting high school. The 13 – 30 year olds rotate from class to class such as home-ec, exercise, music, computers, library, arts, and sensory rooms. There are similar rooms set up for the older participants in the Adult Day and Project Drive Group work facility. The request stems from immediate needs to enhance the music equipment in the Adult Day area. Donna Elbrecht, ESA President and CEO comments, “We are really lucky we have the Surack’s to secure our music programs indefinitely through the permanently restricted endowment. We strive to provide different services which match the needs of our youth or adults. Music is just one of many new learning and growth opportunities that we offer.”

Music is a fantastic outlet for our participants. ESA’s facility based programs now host choir, music play and sound appreciation activities.Professional instructors lead the music practice. A few clients who have not spoken before are now singing. "Lisa and I really relate to and are amazed at how music can be such an integral aspect of growth for people with a disability," commented Sweetwater founder and president Chuck Surack. "I am amazed at the talents involved in their concerts, which they perform for a variety of audiences."

Easter Seals Arc of Northeast Indiana’s mission is to create solutions that change lives of children and adults with disabilities or other special needs and their families. We provide a wide range of excellent services that nurture independence based on each individual’s goals and choices while providing advocacy and promoting community inclusion.