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Dear SCARC Family,

As the leaders of the most comprehensive non-profit organization serving people with disabilities in Sussex County, we are very pleased and privileged to present SCARC’s 2019 Annual Report, in which we celebrate our successes, review our progress, and highlight exciting milestones. Since celebrating our 60th anniversary in 2017, SCARC,  we have only continued to deepen our commitment to supporting children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.

Most notable among our accomplishments is the planning, construction, and completion of our new Richard and Susan Lecher Community Center in Augusta. SCARC’s board of trustees has named this new facility after our president and CEO of nearly fifty years, Dr. Richard Lecher, and his wife Susan. The board chose the honor to show its appreciation for Dr. Lecher’s incredible dedication to SCARC and his tireless efforts on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities.

The Community Center serves as a new location for our Patty Dolan Senior Center, previously located in Sparta, as well as our newly established James Dykstra Center. The Community Center can serve up to 60 adults each day, with additional space available for future program expansion as our organization continues to grow. The Center also houses some of our SCARC staff training resources as well as several offices for program staff.

In other news, SCARC is pleased to announce the completion of an intense multi-year period of transition into the Medicaid Fee-for-Service program, which provides funding for our residential, day-habilitation, and family-support programs and services. As a qualified Medicaid provider in New Jersey, SCARC was required to execute a rigorous restructuring of our financial and business-management infrastructure in order to comply with the new requirements and ensure our continued financial stability throughout the transition and beyond.

Despite the enormity of the changes that were required, we’re happy to report that the transition to the Fee-for-Service model has largely been very positive for our organization and the families we serve. As always, we continue to provide intensive support to all families as they navigate the ins and outs of this new funding model.

In 2019, we also celebrate the 20-year anniversary of our Harvest Home Foods program, which today provides nourishment to nearly 400 households every year, a number that continues to rise year over year. The food pantry’s two locations in Hamburg and Hampton Township provide both perishable and nonperishable foods to individuals, families, and seniors throughout Sussex County. Through this innovative program, individuals with developmental disabilities, who make up the staff at these two locations, are able to experience the joy of performing meaningful, fulfilling work that truly makes an impact on those around them.

In 2018, SCARC introduced a dynamic new program called Explorers, which offers daily programming for up to 30 individuals who enjoy activity and adventure. Participants engage in many pursuits while learning more about their own interests and connecting with their peers. They might, for example, explore local parks and recreational areas, volunteer at one of the county’s community gardens, tour museums and nearby businesses, or stop by area nursing homes to visit with residents.

We’re proud of what we do, and we’re encouraged by the many partners with whom we have fostered strong relationships over the years—organizations that have been integral in helping us achieve our mission. Local businesses such as Lakeland Bank, RoNetco Supermarkets, Selective Insurance, and Thorlabs and many other businesses afford the individuals we serve with myriad opportunities for employment and provide SCARC with vital financial and in-kind support that enables us to continue in our mission.

In addition to area businesses, many organizational grantors and countless individual donors continue to show their trust and belief in our work through grants and donations, which have grown by at least 10% year over year for the last three years.

As you’ll see through the testimonials featured throughout this report, the individuals and families we serve are very thankful for the programs and services SCARC provides. And each and every day, we’re lucky enough to see, in various ways, the tangible difference SCARC makes in their lives. At the center of it all are our wonderful employees, who bring joy, light, and love to the individuals we serve on a daily basis. We are forever grateful to everyone who makes SCARC the amazing success it is, and we are thrilled to share some of the highlights of our accomplishments with you in our Annual Report. We hope you enjoy reading it and we thank you for your support!

Comments, inquiries, or questions? Please contact Dr. Richard Lecher at [email protected].

Phil Motyka

Our Mission

Provide high quality services and supports to people with developmental disabilities and their families in Sussex County.

Mary Ann St. John’s son, Mike, lives with cerebral palsy, autism-spectrum disorder, and a seizure disorder, which means that he requires constant care. After attending high school until the age of 21, Mike needed a program that would support him as he transitioned into adulthood and beyond. Mary Ann explored options at both our local Easter Seals as well as at SCARC. After learning about SCARC’s services, Mary Ann thought Harvest Home Foods would be a great fit for Mike, so she went through the process of getting him involved. Fast forward seven years, and Mike has successfully transitioned from Harvest Home Foods to the Explorers program.

“Explorers is the perfect program,” Mary Ann gushes. “Mike can’t wait to get on the bus in the morning, and he always has a big smile on his face when he gets off in the afternoon. He has a wonderful experience there. I’ve truly never met more caring staff. They’re so patient and warm, and you can tell that there’s a real mutual respect between clients and staff.”

The program is ideal for Mike, who is very active and highly social and loves to be entertained. Mary Ann accesses the services SCARC provides through the budgeted funds Mike receives through Medicaid. She reports that she always feels confident that her son is safe and properly cared for. And, as great as it is for Mike, it’s also wonderful for Mary Ann as well.

“Thanks to SCARC, I am able to get a bit of respite and freedom from the 24/7 cycle of care my son requires. Even at night, Mike wakes up several times needing to be changed, so having SCARC’s help truly saved my sanity. I can go for a walk with my friends or run errands. And, before I retired, I was even able to work because of the support SCARC provided,” says Mary Ann, who is also a member of the board of trustees here at SCARC. “Mike lives at home for now, but when I’m old and I can’t care for him, I want him to go to a group home at SCARC, where I’ll have the confidence that he’ll always be well-cared for.”
— The St. John Family

Beth and Eric Jensen’s son, Kristian, has autism-spectrum disorder as well as a seizure disorder. Because of his disabilities, nine-year-old Kristian requires round-the-clock care and supervision. Fortunately, for the last few years, Kristian and his parents have been able to benefit from SCARC’s in-home respite care program. The program is funded by PerformCare (which, together with the state of New Jersey, administers programs for children with developmental disabilities). This invaluable support means that Beth, who looks after Kristian on her own while Eric is at work, receives a break while Kristian is well-cared for by his respite worker.

The physical, emotional, and cognitive effort that caregivers expend daily on behalf of the individuals they care for is enormous, and impossible to understand by anyone who hasn’t lived it. The respite care SCARC offers means Beth can reconnect with friends, run errands, get work done around the house, or simply get some time to herself, which is a huge help in fending off the sense of isolation and exhaustion caregivers may experience. Thanks to the respite program, Kristian is cared for in the Jensen’s home, enabling Eric to go to work and Beth to attend to other priorities without Kristian needing to leave the comfort of his home environment.

“Most of the time I’m still home,” Beth explains, “getting stuff done around the house. But it’s so nice to have an extra pair of hands available so I can focus on what I need to do.”

Through the in-home respite program, the Jensens receive 20 hours per month in respite care, which they can allocate however they’d like (as long as it aligns with the temporary caregiver’s availability). The respite worker can care for Kristian at home or take him out into the community, depending on what Kristian and his parents prefer.

“Daele Phlegar [SCARC’s senior coordinator of community services] has been an invaluable source of support for us as we work to access the programs and services that meet our needs,” shares Beth, who is not only the parent of a child with developmental disabilities but is also a member of the board of trustees here at SCARC. “For now, this arrangement is what serves us best, but later I’m sure we will utilize the Saturday [youth] program  as well as the guardianship assistance [offered by SCARC Guardianship Services].”

— The Jensen Family

Betty and Stephen Richard’s son, who is also named Stephen, resides in SCARC’s Branchville-based group home and attends the new Dykstra Center’s program each day. Stephen, who lives with autism as well as a condition called static encephalopathy, has been involved with SCARC since he was just three years old. As a child, he was involved in Family Support Services and Recreation. Back then, Stephen and his parents received respite services and he went swimming at Sussex Tech through a water-recreation program SCARC used to offer.

Later, while he attended Vernon High School, Stephen was very active in our Teen Scene program, and he also participated six-week Summer Work Experience SCARC offers for teens and young adults. Through these programs, Stephen was able to go on a variety of field trips, participate in plenty of enjoyable recreational activities, and learn valuable life skills.

“The respite services and other programs Stephen was involved in gave us time to ourselves, enabling us to go out to dinner from time to time and things like that,” explains Betty. “The programs and services were wonderful, but now we are in our early 70s and it was becoming a safety issue for us to continue looking after Stephen full time.”

In December of 2018, Stephen transitioned into living at the Branchville group home full time. It was an extremely emotional transition for the entire family, but the process was made easier by the supportive staff and by the fact that Stephen already knew people at his new home.

“The staff has been just wonderful in helping us adjust. Donna Centrelli [SCARC’s director of community services], in particular, helped with the transition, as did Janis Woersching [SCARC’s director of operations],” says Betty. “Our son has since surprised us with his independence! He likes to hang out with his friends, go to the movies, go bowling, and attend dances. What’s more, Stephen has lost 30 pounds since moving into the group home, which we’re very happy about.”

Recently, SCARC Guardianship stepped in to help the family with guardianship planning, and Judy McDonough was chosen to be Stephen’s co-guardian. Betty and the elder Stephen now have peace of mind in knowing that their son will always be well-cared for. For now, though, Stephen is able to come home on weekends to visit his parents, which helps the family ensure they’ll be able to continue to stay closely connected for years to come.

— The Richards Family

Individuals with developmental disabilities and their families living in Sussex County depend on SCARC to provide community-based service options. In a time of ever changing and evolving resources and practices, SCARC is committed to meeting needs with respect, flexibility and services that reflect excellence and quality.

Lifespan Supports

SCARC provides a wide range of services designed to meet the diverse support needs of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.


County-Wide Presence

From its administrative offices in Augusta, SCARC oversees:

  • 22 Group Homes
  • 5 Community Apartments
  • 8 day habilitation centers

SCARC also provides:

  • Supported Employment
  • Recreation Activities
  • Family Support Services

In many locations throughout the county.


“We feel so blessed to have the great people from SCARC in our lives. They have such good hearts.”

SCARC by the Numbers in 2019

Individuals call a SCARC residence “home”
Group homes operated by SCARC
Individuals participate in our recreation programs
Individuals utilize our day-habilitation services
Number of Sussex County municipalities (out of 24) that house a SCARC program
Adults and children served by Harvest Home Foods
Pounds of food distributed by Harvest Home Foods
Families currently receive family-support services
Employers in the Supported Employment Program
People are employed by SCARC
Years of service to Sussex County individuals and families
Individuals are competitively employed with SCARC supports
On the list of largest private employers in the county
Dollars funneled by SCARC into Sussex County's economy
Special Olympics athletes coached and sponsored by SCARC
Total revenue for the fiscal year
Miles traveled by SCARC's transportation vehicles
Volunteer hours given to SCARC by members of our community

2019 Highlights

Brand-New Facility Houses Day Programs
Transitioning to a Fee-for-Service Model
Harvest Home Foods: Serving Sussex County for 20 Years
Volunteerism at SCARC
New Explorers Program Introduced for Active Members
New Day Habilitation Programs Are Introduced

Board of Trustees

SCARC Board of Trustees
Phil Motyka
Darlene Blandina
First Vice Chairperson
Rosemary Gebhardt
Second Vice Chairperson
Mary Ann St. John
Third Vice Chairperson
Michael Strada
Thomas Post
Andy Sharick
Past Chairperson
Aimee DeRogatis
Ken Dykstra
Beth Jensen
Patricia Nugent
David Weed
Richard Olsen
Trustee - In Memoriam

Emeritus Trustees

James Drew
Emeritus Trustee
Sanford Hollander, Esq.
Emeritus Trustee
Andrew Jorgensen
Emeritus Trustee
Douglas White
Emeritus Trustee

2019 Financial Information


Revenue Sources

Fee-for-Service Revenue
Rental Revenue
Governmental Grants
Foundations / Other Grants
Program Fees
Financial Income

Expenses by Program

Residential Services
Day and Employment Services
Management and General
Family Support and Community Services

Expenses by Category

Personnel Services
Facility Costs
Materials & Supplies
Professional Fees
Other Expenses
Financial Assistance to People Served

For more detailed financial information, please contact our president and chief executive officer,

Richard C. Lecher, Ph.D., at 973-383-7442


A community of respect, equality, and dignity for people of all abilities.


scarc awards

Celebrating More Than Six Decades of SCARC

In June of 2019, SCARC held its annual Awards Dinner and Dance at Perona Farms in Andover, NJ. The evening served not only as a celebration of the organization’s more than sixty years of service, but also as a means of recognizing key members of the community. This year, SCARC honored a number of individuals and groups for their service and commitment to individuals with developmental disabilities:

“I am proud to contribute
my time and effort as part
of this fine organization,
working to support the
individuals we serve
throughout Sussex County.”
Teacher of the Year: Kathryn Nieves

Nominated by her employer, Ms. Nieves has taught special education at Sparta Middle School since 2015. In addition to serving as an exceptional teacher, Ms. Nieves, who speaks often on topics related to special education, is an advocate of differentiated instruction and believes in building classrooms that support all learners.

Volunteer of the Year: Tom Brennan

Mr. Brennan has served as SCARC’s Special Olympics powerlifting coach for the last 20 years. He is an incredibly dedicated volunteer who has helped many of the individuals SCARC serves develop into strong, confident athletes.

Joseph Wehmeyer Distinguished Service Award: Department for Persons with Disabilities (DPD) Support Coordination

The DPD’s Office of Support Coordination has been invaluable to both SCARC and to the individuals SCARC serves. With tireless commitment and compassion, the staff at the DPD’s Support Coordination office works side-by-side with SCARC to help individuals with developmental disabilities access the services and supports they need to thrive.

Robert Lane Chairman’s Award: Thomas Baffuto

Mr. Baffuto has served as the executive director at the Arc of New Jersey for more than 20 years, providing invaluable leadership to county-based Arc chapters throughout the state. An outspoken advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities, Mr. Baffuto has been instrumental in the fight for increased state funding for organizations like SCARC.

“I feel incredibly
blessed and grateful
to be employed by
SCARC’s Friend in the Community: The Pierce-Tompkins Family

This incredible family has volunteered extensively for SCARC’s Just Us Kids and Teen Scene programs for more than five years. Perhaps most memorably, the family dresses as Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves each Christmas and makes a surprise visit to SCARC’s children’s programs to hand out gifts and spread holiday cheer.

Employer of the Year: Optics Department at Thorlabs

Since 2011, the optics department at Thorlabs has been one of SCARC’s largest and most successful partners in its Employment Connections program. Each day, the participants in SCARC’s employment program provide manufacturing support for Thorlabs, where they are respected and valued as equal team members by everyone at the Newton, NJ-based manufacturing facility.

We look forward to many more years of celebrating SCARC and the special members of our community who make the world a better place for individuals of all abilities.

Behind the Scenes at SCARC’s Group Homes

What does a typical day in a SCARC group home look like? Here is a glimpse into the daily lives of our residents!

4:30 am: In SCARC’s group homes, the day generally begins whenever the residents decide it does! The staff doesn’t insist they adhere to a morning schedule. Some individuals have time confusion, so they don’t always follow a typical sleep schedule. So, though we may gently encourage a very early riser to go back to sleep, we never insist upon it. Instead, everyone is able to begin the day at his or her own pace.

7 to 8 am: The morning involves the usual routine of taking showers, eating breakfast, and taking medications. Needs among the residents vary quite widely, so that staff could be showering and dressing some residents completely or simply providing verbal prompts such as, “don’t forget to brush your teeth” to others. It’s all very personalized.

8:30 am: The majority of the people we serve go to a SCARC day program Monday through Friday. Using SCARC’s specially equipped vehicles, staff transports our residents to their day programs every weekday morning.

2:30 pm: After about six hours of activities, which help the individuals we serve develop social, prevocational, and daily life skills, our staff picks up residents from their day programs.

3:00 pm to 6:00 pm: Our staff works hard to schedule the individuals we serve for all their doctors’ appointments in the late afternoon and early evening hours to avoid disrupting residents’ daytime routines. Thus, staff usually take those we serve to their appointments during these hours. This time is also reserved for one-on-one outings between residents and staff, which helps residents cultivate their own interests and build strong relationships.

6:00 pm: With the help of our staff nutritionist, our staff prepares heart-healthy meals that are also tailored to individual preferences as well as prescribed diets. While one meal is generally prepared for the whole group (except for those on special diets), residents can opt instead to prepare their own preferred meals (with staff assisting as needed).“I love that SCARC
brings residents out
into the community.”

8:00 pm: Evenings are generally the residents’ own to do as they wish. Just like the mornings, there are no set rules. An individual can stay up as late as he or she wants. While staff can encourage residents to turn in, we never force them. They’re adults and they can make their own choices; staff simply tries to help them learn to make responsible decisions.

In the vast majority of SCARC’s group homes, residents have their own bedrooms. We want our residents to have their privacy and space to be themselves, express their own personalities, and engage in the activities that interest them.

11 pm: Staff stay up all night while the residents sleep. During this time, our staff cleans the house, completes paperwork, prepares meals, and checks on residents (some need to be checked on every hour).

“My sister’s needs
are always addressed
in a caring manner.”

Weekend Life

On weekends, residents spend time with family members, go home for visits, or participate in SCARC-run events and outings. Many residents attend a house of worship, so our staff works hard to ensure each individual can attend his or her preferred service. Residents and staff also go swimming, bowling, to the movies, to museums, and more. As much as possible, we encourage the residents to make suggestions regarding the activities they want to participate in.

Individualized, Yet Cooperative

Staff tries very hard to tailor each resident’s experience to his or her needs, interests, and personalities. Each group home has house rules that are developed with plenty of input from the residents. And if residents have questions or issues about anything at all, they know they can bring them to the staff, who will do their best to resolve any concerns.

Overarchingly, the staff strives for as much normalcy as possible, ensuring our residents can lead autonomous lives to the greatest degree possible.

“My staff are my family and I love them very much!”

SCARC through the years


Construction on our Richard and Susan Lecher Community Center is completed with the help of USDA financing, and the facility opens its doors for the first time.


We establish a fifth corporation, the Augusta Center for Persons with Disabilities.


SCARC opens two homes in Frankford through its partnership with Knoll Housing.


We expand our Sparta Center, adding one more condo unit to our original two in order to accommodate additional programs.


SCARC’s Valcourt group residence is built in Lafayette thanks to generous donation from a parent of an individual we serve.


Our Hampton Community Center is built with USDA financing and several day programs are consolidated into this location.


With our first-ever HUD grant, we build our Stillwater and Warbasse group homes. SCARC Housing, Inc., is formed the same year.


Our Sparta Center is built to accommodate our senior program as well as a program for individuals with extensive medical needs.


Through the generosity of a parent whose child is served by SCARC, another group home is established in Frankford.


We open our Clearview group home in Hampton Township.


Harvest Home Foods is established and begins initial operations at the Creamery Building in Augusta.


The SCARC administration building moves from Newton to its current home in Augusta, NJ.


With financial support provided by a generous parent, we establish our Sussex group home.


Nine more homes are opened through out the county over the course of the next decade, with locations in Stanhope, Lafayette, Hardyston, Sussex, Wantage, Franklin, Vernon, and Hampton Township.


SCARC Guardianship Services, Inc., is established to assist individuals with developmental disabilities and their families with guardianship planning.


Our third and fourth Adult Activity Centers are established in Newton and Franklin.


SCARC Foundation, Inc., is founded to provide financial support to SCARC, Inc.


Our first 100% accessible group home is constructed in Branchville.


Two more group homes open in Fredon and Beemerville.


SCARC’s preschool and early-elementary education programs end as public schools begin serving children with all types of disabilities.


The very first SCARC group home opens in Newton, and a second one opens in Sparta soon after.


We move our Stanhope Adult Activity Center to Hillside Park in Andover Township.


Our board of trustees identifies a profound need for group homes and begins working to establish these residences.


SCARC opens its second Adult Activity Center in Stanhope.


We offer our first early-intervention program in Newton to serve infants and toddlers.


SCARC begins offering preschool and early-elementary education classes in Newton, with programs in Hamburg and Lafayette to follow.


SCARC’s current president and CEO, Dr. Richard Lecher, is hired to lead our organization.


SCARC’s first administrative office is established at 39 Newton-Sparta Road in Newton.


Our first Activity Center for adults with disabilities is established, operating in Grange Hall in Newton.


Recreation and daycare programs begin for younger children. Teen recreation programs soon follow.


The founders of SCARC establish an affiliation between our organization and the Arc of New Jersey, becoming an official local Arc chapter.


A small group of parents gathers for the first time to begin the process of creating SCARC.