The Arc Baltimore Presents Community Connection Award To Knoerlein, Lance

The Arc Baltimore has honored two individuals with its Community Connection Award for 2024: Christopher Knoerlein, the organization’s Chief Advancement Officer; and Alethia Lance, a Holistic Support Manager in The Arc’s Meaningful Day Program.

Presented during The Arc Baltimore’s recent Annual Meeting and Awards Reception, the Community Connection Award recognizes Arc staff who foster opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to develop valuable relationships and integrate into their community, significantly improving their quality of life.

Knoerlein was honored as the guiding force behind The Arc’s Dads’ Support Group for more than a decade, dedicating his time and energy to fostering a supportive community for fathers of children with disabilities.

“Chris’ impact is unmistakable and his commitment to the Support Group’s success has provided a vital lifeline for all of us, offering a safe space to share experiences, seek guidance, and find solace in the company of fellow fathers facing similar challenges,” says Kathleen Durkin, The Arc Baltimore’s Chief Executive Officer. “His leadership has been invaluable and his legacy within the group will endure for years.”

Lance, meanwhile, was recognized for exemplifying the spirit of community connection and innovation. With a mission-driven approach, she tirelessly facilities enriching experiences for those she supports, from attending sports events to creating holiday memories. Her commitment extends beyond regular hours, often assisting with emergency housing transitions and navigating complex family dynamics.

“Alethia’s dedication to putting the people we support at the forefront of her efforts embodies the true essence of community connection and service,” notes Durkin. “Her keen observation and compassionate nature prompted her to seek assistance for struggling people through The Arc’s Family Fund, providing essential support like food and emergency housing.”

The Arc Baltimore’s Annual Meeting and Awards Reception provides an opportunity to recognize those individuals who have gone the extra mile in their service to the organization and those people with developmental disabilities who are recipients of The Arc’s programs and services. As in past years, the event featured numerous recognitions, as well as the election of The Arc Baltimore’s new board of directors and officers.

The Arc Baltimore supports people with developmental disabilities (autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability) to lead fulfilling lives with a sense of belonging, purpose, and meaningful relationships. The Arc provides employment training and support, day and residential services, family support and education, treatment foster care, respite care, public policy advocacy, and information and referrals. For more information, visit, email, or call 410-296-2272.