AVON PARK — Donna Scherlacher recently took on the role of development director at local non-profit Ridge Area Arc.

As development director, Scherlacher is tasked with promoting and advocating for the people with intellectual and developmental disabilities that the agency serves through consistent marketing campaigns and an increased social media presence. She will create and implement fundraising events throughout the year, including the upcoming Escape to Kokomo fundraising dinner on April 13.

“We are excited to have Donna as part of our team,” said Kathleen Border, CEO. “Donna brings a unique blend of skills, everything from social media marketing to out of the box thinking; even her artistic abilities will be a big asset to the agency. In her first two days I had her tying scarfs around lamp posts across the county, so I know she is up for anything.”

Scherlacher is a Florida native and mother of two, born and raised in Miami. She is a University of Florida graduate with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Scherlacher previously worked as the multi-media director for the Highlands News-Sun. She began her newspaper career in 1992 as an advertising artist, and then moved into the newsroom incorporating digital and social media as well as leading the production department.

“I am so excited to take on a new challenge at this point in my life and thrilled for the opportunity to work with such an incredible organization,” Scherlacher said. “If there is one thing I learned from being at a community newspaper, it is that giving back is exceptionally important for our future.

“My new position gives me an opportunity to use the things I’ve learned over the years to support Arc and all of its non-profit partners,” she said.

Ridge Area Arc is a private, not for profit 501©3 organization, which was founded in 1957 by Franklyn and Mary Ellen Ward. Ridge Area Arc provides an array of services and support for nearly 200 families and individuals across Highlands and its surrounding counties. The agency is devoted to promoting and improving supports and services for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Its vision is that every individual and family affected by intellectual disability in our service area has access to the information, advocacy, and skills they need to participate as active citizens of our democracy and active members of their community.

For more information about Ridge Area Arc, please call 863-452-1295.

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