The Arc of Schuyler has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities, and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Occuring this year on December 1, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to charities and causes they support.
#GivingTuesday is a great day to support The Arc of Schuyler, your Charity of Choice.
What can you do?
Make a Gift
- You can give a gift through this website by clicking here.
- You can mail your donation by check or money order to The Arc of Schuyler, 203 12th Street, Watkins Glen, NY 14891.
- or You can visit us - we'd love to thank you in person!
Acknowledge a Friend or Family Member
- Making a tribute donation to The Arc in honor or in memorial of a friend or family member is a thoughtful gift. You can do this online or include this note with your gift in the mail.
Consider Planned Giving
- There are many ways to make a Planned Gift to The Arc. Read more here.
- Read about volunteering at The Arc here.
- We are also seeking volunteers for our upcoming fundraiser - The Arc Grand Prix Run at Watkins Glen International. You can sign up to volunteer here and you get a FREE shirt!
Franklin Street Gallery is pleased to announce artist, Daniel Gallagher, of Corning, as the People’s Choice award winner of its 4th annual Homegrown Arts exhibit.
The exhibit is on display until November 15, 2015 and features paintings, photographs, and other works celebrating the landscapes and agriculture of the Finger Lakes.
Gallagher’s entry, “String of Pearls” was awarded the People’s Choice award after a tally of votes submitted by open reception attendees and gallery visitors since October 2. This is Gallagher’s first time participating with Franklin Street Gallery. String of Pearls, is a close-up image of a sequence of cascading pools with fall leaves. The high gloss metal printing technique gives the image a glowing effect, a method that gallery visitors admired and wanted to learn more about.
Colleen Maas Pastore, of Watkins Glen, was awarded an Honorable Mention recognition for her acrylic painting, “Autumn Mist.” Pastore has exhibited at Franklin Street Gallery for 6 years and this is her third acknowledgment as an exhibit winner. Currently, Colleen’s artwork can be seen at Franklin Street Gallery, Seneca View at Schuyler Hospital, and the Watkins Glen Are Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center. As a member of the Monday Painter’s group, you can see Pastore’s paintings at many of the beautiful vistas in the area. Her work is in private collections throughout the United States and several foreign countries.
Both artists received a cash prize from exhibit entry fees. Franklin Street Gallery thanks community members for participating in this exhibit by submitting their votes. This year’s Homegrown Exhibit broke the Gallery’s record for submissions of art, participating artists, and People’s Choice voting ballots.
The gallery is proud to fulfill its mission of advancing artists of the region and bringing regional-based arts and culture to the Finger Lakes community. Franklin Street Gallery is a nonprofit community arts center owned and operated by The Arc of Schuyler. The gallery opened in 2009 and promotes Finger Lakes regional artists by recognizing their artistic accomplishments with professionally judged and publicly juried exhibits and provides inclusive art programs for youth and adults. Visit www.arcofschuyler.org, stop by the gallery at 209 N Franklin Street in Watkins Glen, or visit on Facebook to learn more about classes, exhibits, and special events.
The Arc of Schuyler will receive a federal grant to help with the purchase of four wheelchair-accessible buses.
The $182,981 award for The Arc was among grants for public and non-profit organizations approved by the Federal Transit Administration and announced in October by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The funding will allow for purchase of accessible vehicles and other equipment used to transport seniors and people with disabilities. The total cost of The Arc’s purchase is $228,726.
The Arc of Schuyler provides supports, including transportation, residential, and employment services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism and their families.
The FTA approved $39.4 million for New York State that will purchase 415 vehicles and equipment, the Governor’s office said.
“One of government’s most important responsibilities is to ensure vital services reach the most vulnerable citizens,” Cuomo said in a news release. “This funding will assist community organizations in providing transportation services to the elderly and people with disabilities and improve their access to food, health care and other essential services.”
Since the state Department of Transportation began administering the federal Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities program in 1974, more than $210 million in grant funding has been secured to help purchase about 4,500 accessible vehicles. The program was significantly expanded in 2015 from solely funding vehicle purchases to now including capital projects, operating assistance and mobility management services which build coordination among transportation providers in order to expand the availability of service.
A total of 152 non-profit and public organizations received awards in 2015. These organizations provide more than 1.8 million passenger trips annually for seniors and people with disabilities in New York State.
Central New Yorkers saved 8,000 miles of alone-in-car driving during the 2015 two week Car-Free Challenge that closed Monday, October 5.
Schuyler was among seven counties that promoted the Car-Free Challenge, which required participants to visit www.carfreechallenge.wordpress.com to compete for a grand prize by logging their experiences using public transportation, car-pooling, bicycling, or walking instead of driving alone in a vehicle to reach their destination. Participants in Schuyler County logged more than 50 daily entries and contributed almost 500 miles to the Central New York total.
Tracy Wells of Watkins Glen was the randomly selected winner of the Schuyler County grand prize gift basket.
The challenge was open to anyone living or working in one of the participating counties – Chemung, Cortland, Herkimer, Oneida, Schuyler, Steuben, and Tompkins. Many shared stories about how much they enjoyed the exercise and tranquility of biking or walking to work or running errands in the perfect weather.
“I felt more energized after walking rather than driving and got to chat with a few neighbors along the way,” said Peggy Tomassi of Odessa.
The Car-Free Challenge organizers stressed that you didn’t need to go “Car-Free” to participate. Mobility Manager Amber Simmons led Schuyler County’s participation in the challenge. “We wanted to make the challenge accessible to everyone, so people didn’t necessarily need to go ‘car-free’ to join,” Simmons explained. “Going ‘car-lite’ is greener and encourages people to explore other transportation options like carpooling, which still takes cars off the road.”
Participants who carpooled to get to work or other activities expressed that they felt less stressed, enjoyed conversation with other riders, and planned to continue.
“I carpooled with a friend to a church activity,” said Jeanne Johnson of Rock Stream. “It was nice to visit while we rode together and a little planning ahead takes care of most any problem that may come up.”
The organizers thank those who joined the Car-Free Challenge and are looking forward to more participants next year.
For more information, visit www.carfreechallenge.wordpress.com or contact Mobility Manager Amber Simmons at 607.220.9476.
Photo Caption: Mobility Manager, Amber Simmons presents grand prize basket to Schuyler County Car-Free Challenge Winner, Tracy Wells of Watkins Glen.
Franklin Street Gallery offers a variety of classes and workshops taught by local artists.
- Fall 2015 Class Schedule : PDF Brochure
- NEW CLASS: Essential Oils Workshops with Mary Ann Combs: PDF Flyer
Also offering All Access Art Classes. These are free classes offered on select dates from 1:30 - 2:30 PM. Please call 607-535-2571 to reserve your seat. Class size is limited. This project is made possible with public funds administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes and funded by the New York State Council on the Arts and matching funds from donors like you! Show Your Support.
The United Way of Schuyler County is kicking off its annual fundraising campaign for 2015. The group will work to raise $123,000 for 22 area health and human service agencies serving Schuyler County residents. This year's chairs are Tom and Jenny Lewis of Watkins Glen.
The United Way of Schuyler County is a volunteer-led organization dedicated to improving lives, strengthening the community and building a stronger Schuyler County. United Way will be hosting their annual Spaghetti Dinner on Monday, October 12 at 5 PM at the Montour Moose Lodge. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $5 for children under age 12. Tickets may be purchased at the event or in advance from a United Way Board member.
The Arc of Schuyler is among 22 human service agencies in Schuyler County that will benefit from the United Way campaign. For a complete list, click here.
Executive Director, Peggy Scott said she is hoping for an increase in community support. Agency representatives are helping to make United Way more visible in the community and get the word out. Since United Way of Schuyler County keeps no reserve or savings funds, all the money raised goes to 22 organizations, even if United Way exceeds its fundraising goal.
Arc of Schuyler Executive Director, Jeannette Frank said that United Way donations are very important to The Arc's programs, especially its vocational training for people with developmental disabilities seeking employment.
Donations to United Way can be sent to United Way of Schuyler County, PO Box 270, Watkins Glen, NY 14891.
Great Direct Support Professional Recognition Event with Arel Moodie | Special Edition Recognition PublicationFriday, 25 September 2015 16:28 Written by The Arc of Schuyler
In celebration of our staff and in honor of our commitment to providing employees with modern and progressive training, The Arc of Schuyler hosted international motivational speaker, Arel Moodie as a special recognition event on September 24, 2015 at Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel.
Arel gave an outstanding presentation to on how to stay motivated through career challenges, reduce stress, and be supportive in a team setting,
In countless ways, direct support professionals assist millions of people with disabilities across the nation to lead lives of purpose. They are personal care providers, teachers, mentors, and advocates. Their profession requires thorough and constant training, deep dedication, and diverse skill. Direct support professionals recognize the potential and desire that people with disabilities have to be involved and productive members of their communities and their efforts make it possible for people to ultimately reach their goals.
The Arc of Schuyler is grateful for its incredible team of direct support professionals who demonstrate a strong commitment to the people we support and work together to make The Arc of Schuyler a provider of choice for people with developmental disabilities and their families.
Photo: Assistant Executive Director, Erin Pond with our guest speaker, Arel Moodie.
Dear Families and Friends,
There is a significant philosophical shift occurring across the nation related to supports and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism. I want to share this information with you and explain the impact that it is having on how we provide supports to you or your family member.
Providing the opportunity to live in a community-based setting as independently as possible with adequate safeguards for the person's wellbeing has always been at the heart of what we do at The Arc of Schuyler. What is changing is what is meant by "community-based" and "providing safeguards".
The question being asked is: Can we respect people's rights, provide supports, ensure safety, and not overprotect all at the same time? Some people are seeing what is happening as one of the most important civil rights issues of the decade as they call for self-managed care, relief from overly protective laws and regulations, and the closure of sheltered workshops. Others see a loss of vital safety net services that will never be regained because government is limiting service options and disregarding waiting lists while building managed care bureaucracies and instituting cost cutting measures. All of these issues are being debated within New York State and across the nation. Regardless of where you stand in the debate, we all need to acknowledge and accept that major change is underway.
What does any of this mean to us in Schuyler County? First, we all need to be prepared to weather the storm of changes and the messy process of transformation. In some cases we will be building the plane while flying it, because much of what is being discussed has never been done before and there is no clear roadmap to get from here to there. What the system of supports for people with developmental disabilities may look like in the end is unknown other than that we should expect managed care agencies will play a bigger role in approving and funding services and the government will play a bigger role in regulating those services.
Within the next five years, agencies like The Arc of Schuyler will be expected to develop transformation plans for programs they operate that meet the definition of sheltered workshops. These programs will need to be less segregated and more community-based. They need to offer more opportunities for people with disabilities to interact with people without disabilities. To remain sustainable, they need to act as businesses and profit centers with less government funding.
What are the alternatives? We will need to evaluate whether people with disabilities have equal access to employment, housing, and transportation as do people without disabilities. We need to ask whether schools and adult programs have prepared people adequately to be successful in these environments. Have well-meaning regulations that emphasize safety over dignity of risk had the unintended consequences of not giving people with disabilities the opportunity to fail and learn from their mistakes? Have we sheltered people too much from both life's freedoms and the responsibility that goes with it? And what are the alternatives for people who aren't interested or able to be employed? Do they have choice and access to other meaningful activities to be participants in their communities so they are not left behind? The answer to these questions must be very individualized - one size does not fit all.
Over the next five years we will begin the process of developing a locally based transformation plan that takes into account what we know about each person needing and receiving supports through The Arc of Schuyler. We will begin discussing Personal Outcome Measures and Person Centered Planning - tools to get to know each person even better so we can work together to devise those individualized future plans. We will look for new teaching methods and curriculums to be sure we are teaching the right skills that challenge people to learn skills and be successful. We will also be refining our organizational structures so we can provide the most efficient and value based services possible.
The recent staffing changes in our Glen Industries vocational training programs are a good example. We are in the process of building a new staff team that will focus on these new initiatives. Marie Scott, known by many at The Arc, has been promoted to Director of Community Services with responsibility for individualized planning supports including vocational, community, day, and residential habilitation services. Marie brings great skills, knowledge, and compassion to this position. She is well adapted to changing environments and has been instrumental in other transformation and quality improvements at The Arc. In April of this year we also welcomed Tom Thomason's return to The Arc. Tom has a strong manufacturing and customer service background and will now be heading up our industrial operations in Glen Industries. This includes co-packing, light assembly, janitorial, auto detailing, mailroom, and maintenance services. We continue to have a strong team of administrative staff to support each other as the national trends and change agenda unfolds.
I also want to thank all of our direct support professionals who work very hard each and every day to honor people's choices, look after people's health, and work to keep people safe. September is the month that we recognize our Direct Support Professionals locally and across the nation for the valuable roles they play in other people's lives. Please consider extending and offering your own personal thank you to them.
I've heard it said that everyone wants change, but no one wants to change. We all need to remain open to this fact. We need to acknowledge how difficult some of our discussions may be as we transform the supports and services provided to be more community-based. With a renewed emphasis on freedom of choice we will be placing more expectations on people with disabilities and their families to take on responsibilities that accompany those freedoms.