Although the doors were not scheduled to open until 7:00 PM, it was only 6:45 PM and the lobby was over-filled with an anxious audience. What was all of the excitement about? The Arc of Ventura County and a small Jewish congregation were to embark on an evening of fun and entertainment. Disco lighting and spot lights greeted the sold-out audience that had donated to see the talents in a cabaret setting featuring the clients of the Arc.

Over a year had past since the Arc CEO and a congregation member met coincidentally at a community disability event. Realizing numerous similarities in the their backgrounds a light went off as to how the two organizations could partner. A series of brainstorming sessions was scheduled and the idea of a show of some sort would be the best vehicle to involve both organizations and the community. The idea of a cabaret evening was offered by the congregation as a possible format for a show and the Arc was quick to offer he talents of their clients.

The key is to build a strong partnership between a small and larger organization where both can guide the other in those areas in which they have an expertise. The Arc came to the table with a large support network and expertise in special events. The Temple brought a facility and core of individuals who have an avid interest in social justice. Together this team brought to the public:

•  A better understanding of the abilities of those with a disability

•  An awareness of others in the community on which to build support

•  A public relations campaign that highlighted the success of partnering

•  A spirit of good will between two seemingly completely different organizations

•  A project on which to build a continuing event as well potentially new projects

•  An opportunity to successfully partner with other organizations

As many of you are experiencing, growing your financial and public relations base is a very difficult task and in many situations, it is just not going to happen. Call on those in your community who could use your expertise and in turn, turn to the, for theirs. At the beginning of this project we had no idea where it was going to go. Now we know. Plans are already in the making for an even bigger and more profitable event in 2019.