September 28, 2005

Contact: Bridgid Isworth: (505) 925-4071; (505) 463-6044 cell.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lt. Governor Diane Denish will help The Arc of New Mexico celebrate its 50 th Anniversary in style this year, by attending the Arc's Gala Celebration as Honorary Chair and Speaker, September 29 at the Doubletree Hotel.

"It is wonderful to have the support of Lt. Governor Diane Denish as the Honorary Chairperson and Keynote Speaker for our 50th Anniversary Celebration," Executive Director of The Arc of New Mexico Rebecca Shuman said. "She is such a champion for the citizens of New Mexico who need the support and assistance through government programs."

The gala event will coincide with the annual Southwest Conference on Disability, September 28-30 th at the Albuquerque Convention Center . Lt. Governor Diane Denish will also be presenting the annual disability awards to this year's honorees.

The Arc of New Mexico is the state chapter of The Arc of the United States . The Arc movement is a grassroots organization with 140,000 members nationally who are affiliated through approximately 1,000 state and local chapters across the nation. New Mexico has eight local chapters.

The mission of The Arc of New Mexico is to improve the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities of all ages by advocating for equal opportunities and choices in where and how they learn, live, work, play and socialize. The Arc of New Mexico promotes self-determination, healthy families, effective community support systems and partnerships.

The 2005 Southwest Conference on Disability is an annual event hosted by the University of New Mexico School of Medicine's Center for Development and Disability (UNM CDD), the New Mexico Governor's Commission on Disability and the New Mexico Department of Health. National Conference partners include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Christopher Reeve Foundation and the American Association on Health and Disability.