LARC Ranch brings back its annual fundraiser

Nelson Lapoint, center, hands a prize to Caspar Obuial and Marvin Wajsbord after winning one of the games at LARC Ranch's annual fundraiser. Ryan Mancini/The Signal
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Magicians and LARC Ranch residents took to the dance floor at LARC’s The Magic of LARC fundraiser on Sunday.

LARC’s residents and their families gathered for lunch, carnival-style activities and entertainment.

During the festivities, magicians passed from table to table showing their skills, culminating in the main performance by magician Michael Gutenplan.

With its main fundraising event, LARC wants to bring family members to see their children, brothers, sisters, parents, aunts and uncles, said Ruth Handel, president of LARC Auxiliary. The fundraiser has a different theme each year.

“These residents enjoy a full and beautiful life out here at LARC Ranch, as they have for over 50 years, and new residents keep coming in as some residents have passed away or aged out,” Handel said.

Before Gutenplan took to the stage, LARC Executive Director Kathy Sturkey presented two lifetime achievement awards to LARC Auxiliary’s Renee Holland and Bertha Handel, Ruth’s mother.

Not only has her mother worked with LARC, but also Ruth’s brother is a resident.

“I have to say, as I’ve told people about LARC or they’ve known my brother, I’m in my 50s and so is he,” Ruth said. “And my friends and family that have grown up with him are all incredibly generous, and they’ve come here and over and over they cannot believe what an absolute oasis of love this is.”

LARC Ranch is a nonprofit organization with residential housing and services for developmentally disabled adults. It houses 100 people, and recently installed a solar energy system to promote its long-term sustainability. The organization is looking for more ways people can support it and help it be more self-sustaining, said Sturkey.

“We are only 100 residents here, so every family that’s here needs to reach out to their friends and family to spread the word about LARC,” Handel said. “Even local people may not know LARC Ranch is here.”

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