Jeannette Frank, Executive Director of The Arc of Schuyler and Amber Simmons, Mobility Manager of Chemung and Schuyler Counties, an employee of The Arc of Schuyler, spoke at the NYS Senate Forum on the Future of Rural Public Transportation on July 22, 2015 in Cooperstown, NY. As operator of Schuyler County Transit and the Schuyler County Transportation Call Center through a contract with the county, The Arc plays an active role in transportation coordination in Schuyler and surrounding communities.
Jeannette and Amber's comments at the forum can be viewed here:
The Arc of Schuyler will hold its 15th Annual Golf Tournament at the Watkins Glen Golf Course on Friday, August 21, 2015. The tournament raises funds to help provide services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism and their families.
Dominick Franzese of Watkins Glen returns for his second year as Chair of the tournament. Franzese is an avid golfer and has served on The Arc’s golf tournament committee for many years.
“I’m thrilled to be involved with The Arc as they celebrate fifteen years hosting this excellent tournament,” Franzese said. “It’s one of the best golf events in Watkins Glen and it supports a great cause.”
Franzese will greet golfers and sponsors and volunteer at the event alongside this year’s Honorary Tournament Chair, Susan Buchtel of Horseheads. Buchtel receives supports through The Arc and is an energetic volunteer in the Schuyler County area. She delivers for the Office for the Aging Meals on Wheels program and assists with planting, weeding, and harvesting at Cornell Cooperative Extension Teaching Garden. Buchtel also visits with and performs music for residents at Seneca View Skilled Nursing.
“Susan is a hard worker and serves her community always with a smile on her face,” Franzese said. “An Honorary Chair helps our participants and sponsors focus on what this tournament is all about – supporting people to achieve their goals. The committee is proud to honor Susan for her contributions to her community.”
“I love volunteering. It makes me feel proud to help," Buchtel said. "I’m excited to ride the golf cart and thank everyone for helping." Buchtel also enjoys gardening and baking with her mother.
The Arc’s Golf Tournament is supported by dozens of local and regional sponsors including its Presenting Sponsors: The Bonadio Group and Relph Benefit Advisors and Birdie Sponsors: Empire Access, Garage Floor Coating of New York, and Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel.
The Arc of Schuyler awarded its Joanne S. Hayes Memorial Scholarship to Odessa Montour High School graduate, Hailie Searles at the June 26 commencement ceremony.
This $1,000 scholarship honors Joanne Hayes, former board member and president of The Arc of Schuyler's board of directors who passed away in 1987. The award is given annually to a graduating senior pursuing an education in human services, special education, or a related field for a career providing supports to people with developmental disabilities.
Hailie Searles, daughter of Sadye Halpin of Odessa will attend Tompkins Cortland Community College to study biotechnology and Liberal Arts - Math and Sciences. Hailie intends to transfer to a 4-year school to major in Nutritional Sciences in pursuit of a career asa nutritionist.
"I believe through nutrition I can have a positive impact on people with disabilities by providing nutritional supports, information, and encouragement to help people make healthy choices," Searles wrote in her application essay.
Hailie is the salutatorian of her graduating class and three-sport athlete (soccer, basketball, and track). She has demonstrated excellent leadership skills through her role as President of her class, National Honor Society, and as Vice President of Rotary Interact. She was also a member of Student Council, the Principal Leadership Team, and a representative for the New York State Counsel on Leadership and Student Activities.
Hailie has been recognized with multiple awards including: Watkins-Montour Rotary Student of the Month, Top Drawer 24, New York State Triple C Award, University of Rochester George Eastman Leadership Award, and the Clarkson University High School Leadership Award. In addition to her academic and athletic achievements, Hailie is an active member of Schuyler County 4-H, and the Odessa-Catherine United Methodist Church Youth group. She has also held various part-time jobs.
The Joanne S. hayes Memorial Scholarship is made possible through donations to The Arc of Schuyler.
Our brothers and sisters are often our first friends.
For people with developmental disabilities, a brother or sister is often a lifetime friend who assumes caregiver responsibilities after their parents are gone. Christopher Locke, who has received services through The Arc for more than 30 years, lived with his parents until they could no longer care for him. Fortunately, Chris has three siblings involved in his life including younger brother Alan who shared his story:
The Arc has been so helpful to me.
I’ve always felt my brother Chris deserved the opportunity to be a responsible, independent adult, and in the years he’s been with The Arc I’ve seen him change for the better.
I’m completely at ease knowing Chris is in a safe, good home with his friends. His social calendar is full and I’m 100-percent confident that the staff who work with my brother are exceptionally well-trained and experienced enough to provide the best support to him.
My brother was diagnosed with a developmental disability at three years old. A lot of families placed their children in institutions at that time, but my mom and dad refused to do that - they kept Chris at home.
It was hard for our parents to raise five children while they were both working, and it was hard growing up with Chris. There was a stigma then about developmental disabilities, so we had a lot of challenges in school and with friends. Chris demanded a lot of our parents’ attention.
We all grew up, but Chris was the only one who didn’t leave the house. He was receiving services and making friends at The Arc, but mom and dad weren’t ready to let him go.
Then my father passed away in 2000 and my mother had to go to a nursing home. That’s when Chris found his home at The Arc just down the street from where he grew up. His transition was easy and he was able to spend time with mom for a few years until she passed too.
Now it's up to me and my brother and sister to make sure Chris has a home, a purpose, friends, and family.
Alan is one of numerous siblings ensuring a quality life for their adult brother or sister with The Arc's help.
Your gift helps make valuable supports and services for people with developmental disabilities and their families available locally through The Arc of Schuyler. Thank you!
The Arc of Schuyler's Annual Membership and Fund Drive ends July 2015. This is the perfect time to renew your membership with The Arc or join us as a new member and be an advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities on the local, state, and national levels. Whether you are a person with an intellectual or developmental disability, a parent or family member of someone with a disability, a staff person, a friend in our community, or someone interested in offering support, The Arc of Schuyler welcomes you.
You can make a tax-deductible gift online by clicking the Donate button below. Thank you for your continued support!
The Arc of Schuyler receives grant to work on system transformation projects with Ontario and Seneca Cayuga ARC’s.
The Arc of Schuyler was recently awarded a NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) Balancing Incentive Program Grant to increase access to non-institutional long-term services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Through the grant, The Arc of Schuyler, Ontario ARC, and Seneca Cayuga ARC will collaborate on three projects to prepare for changes in the system of developmental disabilities services. OPWDD has developed a Transformation Agreement that includes a multi-year plan for expansion of integrated employment and self-direction models, community-based housing options, and a responsive and accountable quality infrastructure.
The Arc of Schuyler Executive Director, Jeannette Frank, sees the benefit of working collaboratively with other NYSARC chapters in the region and on this project.
“We are learning from each other in this process while sharing resources and expertise,” Frank said.
The BIP Transformation Fund offers a unique opportunity to address barriers encountered when working to transform the system of care for people with developmental disabilities. The $154,000 grant will allow for consultants to evaluate quality benchmarking measures and develop an infrastructure to expand availability of self-directed services for people with developmental disabilities, including autism. In addition, mobile devices will be purchased to make it easier for direct support staff to keep required documentation while working with people in community settings.
Ann Scheetz, Executive Director of Ontario ARC expressed excitement about designing new programs. “Self-Directed services are something that people with developmental disabilities and their families have been asking about. This will help us expand these services,” Scheetz said.
“We have a strong culture and commitment to quality. Benchmarking that can be incorporated into our quality improvement systems will be an important part of how we move forward,” added Kevin Smith, Executive Director of Seneca Cayuga ARC.
The Arc of Schuyler, Ontario ARC and Seneca Cayuga ARC are private, not-for-profit 501(c)3 organizations serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and families in the Finger Lakes region.
Jack LaDouce, a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 101 has made a generous contribution of his time and skills in the form of a bocce ball court at The Arc of Schuyler, a not for profit organization that provides supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
LaDouce, 17, whose aunt receives services through The Arc approached the agency in February about an Eagle Scout Service project that would allow him to have a positive impact on people with disabilities. With a major focus on health and wellness opportunities, The Arc suggested the installation of a bocce ball court, which would allow people with disabilities, including people who use wheelchairs to enjoy physical activity outdoors.
“I was looking to do something that involved construction and my mom was really excited that I was working with The Arc since they have done so much for my aunt,” LaDouce said.
As soon as the ground thawed, LaDouce set to work on his project – a 5’ x 20’ bocce ball court complete with an oyster shell surface and drainage system to help maintain the court. The project required LaDouce to propose a written plan for scout board approval, then to enlist the help of friends from his troop and obtain donated supplies and the services of an excavator.
In just ten days, LaDouce had the bocce ball court assembled and ready for play at The Arc’s 210 12th Street property under the shade of a tree, near a picnic table where people can enjoy their lunch and play a game of bocce.
“Construction is my hobby and I’ve done small projects, but this is one of the bigger things I’ve built. I was really happy to see it all done,” LaDouce said. “It came out just the way I wanted it to.”
Carole Sullivan, The Arc’s Assistant Director of Day Services has been LaDouce’s project liaison at The Arc. “We have been so impressed by Jack. He’s mature beyond his years, so organized, committed, and a hard worker,” Sullivan said. “We’ve been very lucky to get him and his friends and family involved with The Arc and we look forward to a continued relationship with the Boy Scouts and local youth.”
LaDouce’s Scout Leader, Dan Carpenter has been impressed by LaDouce too. “Jack has always been an exemplary scout,” Carpenter said. “He’s excelled in school, track, swimming, and now he’s following in his brother’s footsteps to Annapolis, Maryland.”
LaDouce graduates in the top 10 of his class from Elmira High School this month and will join the United States Naval Academy in July. He plans to serve as a Navy officer and pursue a Bachelor’s Degree.
Carpenter reports that LaDouce received his Eagle Scout rank, the highest advancement rank in scouting in May. With LaDouce’s encouragement, a fellow scout will continue working with The Arc to enhance the bocce court area by adding a cement pad this summer. The cement will make the court more accessible to people using wheelchairs.
“Before I met the staff and people at The Arc I didn’t know much about it other than it was a place where people like my aunt could go to work, volunteer, and take classes. My family is really thankful for all The Arc does.”
The Arc is seeking volunteer assistance to expand its outdoor recreation space. Please call 607.535.6934 if you are interested in voluneering for The Arc.
The Arc of Schuyler hosts its Annual Meeting and Member Reception on May 21, 5 – 6:30 PM at Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. Members of the public are welcome to attend.
The Arc will present its first Partner in Health Award to Cargill, Inc. in Watkins Glen, NY for its generous support of Health and Wellness Committee initiatives that engage people with developmental disabilities. People with disabilities statistically are more prone to obesity and correlated health problems. Through Cargill’s grant program, they aided advancement of The Arc’s Eat Smart and Move More objectives by sponsoring opportunities such as Zumba classes, nutrition trainings for staff and people receiving services, and in-home demonstrations of healthy meal planning and cooking.
The Arc will also recognize Watkins Glen International with its Business Partner of the Year Award. Watkins Glen International is the title sponsor and host of The Arc’s newest fundraiser, The Arc Grand Prix Run at Watkins Glen International. Over the past two years the event has raised more than $20,000 in support of The Arc’s programs and has helped to broaden awareness of the needs of people with developmental disabilities, including autism, in the Schuyler County community.
Watkins-Montour Rotary Club will receive The Arc’s Community Partner of the Year Award. The civic service club has been a longtime sponsor of The Arc’s annual holiday party for people receiving supports and their families. Club members provide volunteer help for this annual celebration and other Arc events throughout the year.
The Arc’s annual Direct Support Professional Excellence Award will be presented to Patrick Pritchard of Elmira, an 11 year employee of The Arc. Pritchard is being recognized for his demonstrated leadership, creativity, and dedication to providing quality supports to people with developmental disabilities.
The awards ceremony will be preceded by a short business meeting for the organization’s membership to elect directors and officers for the upcoming year.
The Arc of Schuyler’s 2014 Annual Report is now available on the agency’s new website, arcofschuyler.org.
The Arc of Schuyler is a family based not-for-profit organization that provides residential, vocational, day support, job training, service coordination, advocacy and other support to people with developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc is currently conducting its Annual Membership and Fund Drive. To make a donation and become a member or for more information, visit arcofschuyler.org or call 607.535.6934.
The Arc of Schuyler Board of Directors Board President, Michael Stamp announced the nonprofit organization has begun an annual membership and fund drive to support people with disabilities.
The campaign will recruit new members and renew commitments from current members. The Arc is hoping to increase its membership in 2015.
Through membership, community members become advocates for people with developmental and other disabilities.
Partnerships with NYSARC, Inc. and The Arc of the United States allow The Arc of Schuyler to advocate for legislative issues at the state and federal levels. Memberships numbers strengthen the agency's voice within NYSARC and The Arc with issues such as housing, education, and transportating and maintaining funding for services for people with disabilities and their families.
"Our most important appeal of each year is our membership campaign," said Stamp. "Please join us and help us to support our mission to enable people with disabilities and others in the community to lead lives of purpose and to reach their fullest potential. I am asking the community and The Arc of Schuyler family to renew their memberships or to become members for the first time. Membership matters and it will make a difference for families and impact lives in many ways."
Those interested in becoming a member may simply make a donation to The Arc of Schuyler online by clicking the 'Donate' button below or mailing a donation to: The Arc of Schuyler, 203 12th Street, Watkins Glen, NY 14891.