By Elsie Walker
In June, The Arc of Warren County held its annual Radiothon, broadcast over WRNJ in Hackettstown. WRNJ on-air personalities Joyce Estey, Deidre Bryant and Greta Latona interviewed about 19 individuals during the eight-hour event, while people at The Arc of Warren County manned phones getting donations. The funds raised by the event go toward providing The Arc of Warren County’s various services. During that day, listeners heard interviews of people who utilize those services for the developmentally disabled, from employees at The Arc of Warren County and from people from the community. People not only shared about the difference The Arc of Warren County makes, but some shared about a special person who was associated with it: Kevin Guyette. Guyette had worked at The Arc of Warren County as its Director of Publicity and Development and represented it as a member of the Hackettstown Rotary. She died of cancer on October 27, 2018. The annual Radiothon had been her project since it began, and so The Arc of Warren County dedicated this year’s event to Guyette.
“This year was the 65-year anniversary of The Arc of Warren County and the 29th year that the organization held the Radiothon with WRNJ,” said John Whitehead, CEO of The Arc of Warren County. “The programming of Radiothon focused on the memory of Kevin Guyette as this event was her creation and she worked diligently on this project for many years. She was extremely dedicated to The Arc of Warren County and worked tirelessly to benefit our mission. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to honor Kevin in this manner.”
At press time, $73,642 was pledged. Annamaria Lalevee, Director of Public Relations and Fundraising at The Arc of Warren County, shared that was the most money that was raised to date at Radiothon. Lalevee also talked about Guyette.
“She [Guyette] brought awareness to the organization,” shared Lalevee. Guyette had previously worked at the SCARC (Sussex County ARC) before starting as a part time consultant at The Arc of Warren County. That same year, she was offered the full-time position that she held until her death. In putting together this year’s Radiothon with the variety of people interviewed and what they addressed, Lalevee said,” I really wanted to, in way, reflect the great work Kevin did.”
The funds raised by the Radiothon are ”for Camp Warren and, in general, any of the services the organization provides,” explained Lalevee. Those services include group homes, supervised apartments, activities, early intervention for those up to age three experiencing developmental delays, and community-based support for those who live in their own homes and need extra help.
Guyette’s loss has been felt by many, especially her fellow Hackettstown Rotary members. The Rotary sponsors a cabin at Camp Warren and is going to have that cabin named for Guyette, to honor her.
Meanwhile, fundraising for the cause Guyette loved continues. On August 17th, The Arc of Warren County will be having “The Summer Fest Food Truck Festival” at Donaldson Farms, 358 Allen Road, Hackettstown from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. This family-friendly event will have 12-15 food trucks, music, hayrides, pony rides, and more. The Arc of Warren County is still looking for sponsors for the event. Those interested can contact Annamaria Lalevee at 908-689-7525.