In 1950, Clara Morrow learned of a group of parents who started educational programs for their adult children with disabilities; she knew it was something she needed to be part of. Her reasons were deeply personal. Her son, Jack, needed a place to continue to learn and grow and there was nowhere for her family to turn. Clara joined with other parents and became president of the Lehigh Valley Association for Retarded Children (LARC) and what is known today as Via of the Lehigh Valley.
As her first order of business, Clara organized a door-to-door fundraiser and raised over $10,000 in 1952. LARC used the money to open a sheltered workshop for adults with disabilities in Allentown. LARC continued to expand its programs so that today they include services for children and adults with disabilities from birth through retirement. In 1997, LARC and United Cerebral Palsy merged to form Via of the Lehigh Valley.
Clara helped start Via because there were no organizations or educational opportunities for children and adults with disabilities before 1950. The efforts of a few determined parents 54 years ago have grown into a successful organization that has provided support for thousands of families that encountered the same obstacles as hers. Clara’s legacy will continue in the Lehigh Valley for many years to come.
Clara's greatest satisfaction came from starting an organization where she and other parents could turn, a place where her son, Jack, could continue to learn and mature. She had a tremendous impact on the lives of thousands of families in our community and now it's our turn to carry this torch and continue the work she started so many years ago.