A Message from the Executive Director:
My friend and predecessor, Camilla Bare Gidden, passed away several weeks ago. She was the Executive Director of The Arc of McLennan County during the 1990s through the turn of the century, 1990-2001. She was a tireless advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and she loved her flock. A lot of love, a little special care, was The Arc’s fitting slogan during her tenure. And it was Camilla who really put The Arc on the map in terms of community awareness, helping the organization to grow and mature and at last to have a place called home at 1825 Morrow Avenue.
During some choppy, transitional waters in 2002, Camilla agreed to come out of retirement to serve as Interim Executive Director to steer the ship to safety, which she did so ably. When I was employed in 2003, it was my good fortune to have Camilla mentor me and show me the ropes. I have always been grateful for the wisdom, insight, and practical knowledge she offered. It was the beginning of a special friendship, and over the years, I called to get her valuable point of view on numerous occasions.
We will miss Camilla! We will miss her bright eyes and big smile. But her memory and legacy live on in the many lives she touched and in the tangible ways she made our community a better place for all of its citizens.