Budget cuts force cancellation of candlelight vigil |

Budget cuts force cancellation of candlelight vigil

The candlelight of ARC Manor’s annual vigil recognizing National Impaired Driving Prevention Month was put out this December.

After four years of bringing the victims, whose lives have been affected by impaired drivers, together to grieve, the agency’s candlelight vigil had to be cancelled this year because of state budget cuts.

“We were very sad about not having it,” said Kay Owen, ARC Manor executive director.

Owen said the budget for ARC Manor’s drug and alcohol prevention programs in Armstrong County was slashed by 50 percent.

“The prevention specialist who organized the vigil had her time cut in half,” Owen said. “She is devoting 100 percent to drug prevention in the schools.

“She’s swamped with work and can hardly keep up.”

This has been a busy year for ARC Manor counselors. In addition, some counselors left the agency and those positions were not filled.

“We couldn’t take treatment people away from their work (to organize the candlelight vigil),” Owen said. “You can only spread people around so far.”

Owen hopes a MADD chapter can organize in the county and take over the annual candlelight vigil. ARC Manor would act in support of the chapter and help it to organize future vigils.

“People who have lost someone grieve silently,” Owen said. ‘That’s part of why we did the vigil.

“They tell us it was nice to know someone cared.”

Recent good news in Harrisburg could have an impact on ARC Manor’s programs.

The state senate has passed a budget that restored 90 percent of the funding for drug and alcohol programs, Owen said.

“We’re living with 50 percent right now,” Owen said. “This will be an improvement.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.