Wednesday, December 28, 2016

NYSARC Trust Services Grants Benefit Many

The Arc of Delaware County was delighted to receive two grants from NYSARC’s Trust Remainder Funds for the purpose of supporting guardianship services and to provide recreation opportunities for people they support.   

With the receipt of $12,500 in recreation grant funds, individuals from The Arc of Delaware County have been able to enjoy an array of person centered recreational activities they may not otherwise have had an opportunity to enjoy this year.  For instance, Gary Grossman recently traveled to Florida to visit his parents, Henry and Kay, whom he hadn’t seen in a year.  Gary talks with his family regularly on the phone and keeps in contact through social media, but this personal visit was a rare treat.  This trip was made even more special with a day spent at Universal Studios with friend and traveling companion, Sean Henry.  Gary has vacationed in the past with a well known travel company that provides guided tours and personal assistance, however, with the availability of the recreation grant funds Gary was able to plan his own personalized trip and bring a travel companion whom he has known for years and enjoys spending time with.  In addition to spending time with his family, some of Gary’s favorite memories from his Florida vacation were having lunch at the Hard Rock CafĂ©, talking with the Disney characters, and meeting people from all over the world, such as California and Mexico.

The funds received for guardianship services will assist with ongoing expenses of operating the Guardianship program and for life enhancing activities for people receiving guardianship services.  As the Guardianship Committee often fills the void of family, guardianship funds are often used to provide for birthdays, holidays, vacations and special events.  The Arc of Delaware County’s Guardianship Committee, comprised of dedicated members from the community, currently provides guardianship services to two people for whom NYSARC, Inc. serves as Legal Guardian.   The committee ensures all decisions made are in the best interest of the individual and are in harmony with the individual’s personal values and preferences, just as a concerned family member would do.

A total of $2,795,500 in remainder grants was awarded in 2016 to support recreation and guardianship to NYSARC Chapters statewide.  NYSARC Trust Services administers supplemental needs trusts that enable people with disabilities to remain in their home and community while retaining Medicaid services and other government benefits.  Information is available on how NYSARC Trust Services may benefit you at  To learn more about Services available through The Arc of Delaware County, click on the services link at or call (607)865-7126.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Jennifer Gugliotti - NYSARC's 2016 Self Advocate of the Year

Jennifer Gugliotti with NYSARC Board President Laura J. Kennedy

Jennifer Gugliotti, was honored as NYSARC, Inc’s. 2016 Self Advocate of the Year at their Fall meeting October 21st in Albany NY. Jennifer was selected from the many nominations of outstanding individuals submitted from Arc Chapters across the state.   To be considered for this award, an individual must demonstrate leadership and also by their actions, help to shape services in a way that benefits others. 

Jennifer is a strong leader and has always had a natural inclination toward helping others.  Her personal goal of becoming a teacher’s aide has led her down many paths to hone the skills needed to achieve this.  She felt it was important to gain public speaking experience and enhance her writing skills so she campaigned and was elected to several positions of the THRIVE Self Advocacy group including that of President and Secretary. Wanting to help others, Jennifer viewed her officer roles as an opportunity to share information that she felt would help others including healthy eating habits, maintaining a healthy weight, and making people aware of ways to protect against sun damage.

 Jennifer’s encouraging nature and desire to see others succeed has earned her the respect and admiration of her peers. She openly discusses her past challenges and how overcoming they helped her to achieve her dreams and goals.  In 2015 they selected Jennifer to receive the THRIVE program’s Outstanding Achievement Award. She was also previously selected to represent the THRIVE Self Advocate group at The Arc’s National Convention in 2010 and 2012.

And her advocacy doesn’t stop at the program level. Jennifer is a member of the Special Review Committee at The Arc of Delaware County and she provides presentations to local schools, Rotary clubs, Senior Citizen and church groups educating the community about the potential and capabilities of individuals with disabilities. As part of a state wide campaign she participated in a videotaped message to legislators advocating for employment services.

Jennifer is always looking for ways to expand her knowledge and has enrolled in several inclusive SUNY Delhi classes including Psychology and Early Childhood and Development. She volunteers at Sidney Central School where she reads stories to the children and assists the teacher with crafts. “I have learned that it is so important to always believe in yourself and to be strong”, shared Jennifer Gugliotti during her acceptance speech at the NYSARC meeting. “I would also like to thank everyone at The Arc of Delaware County for helping me become the confident person I am today, and for supporting me as I follow my dreams.”
L to R: Sheri Hull (THRIVE Program Director), Molly Little (CEO), Jennifer, Nate Thomas (Board Member - The Arc of Delaware County) and Jessica Baldi (Life Coach).

Monday, October 31, 2016

Those Who Go "Above and Beyond"

The Blesher recognition program was put into place to help recognize individuals who go “Above and beyond”. Because any employee can complete a Blesher Nomination form and identify the exceptional deeds they see their peers accomplishing, it is a wonderful way for employees to look for the positives and show what they respect and admire in their co workers. We thought you would like to read a few recent examples which may also spark ideas of other deeds and events that reflect the core values on which our agency is based, our Unifying Principles.
During the month of October Joan Dewing, Darius Newbold and Denise Jackson received Blesher awards.

Joan Dewing, a Residential Housing Profession in our Residential program was instrumental in the creation of the agency quilt that was a retirement gift to CEO George Suess. Through Joan’s coordination, instruction, sewing and communication, staff and people supported by The Arc of Delaware County had the opportunity to express their sentiments to George in a beautiful way.

Joan volunteered many, many hours of her personal time building the quilt, making it easy for people unfamiliar with the quilting process to participate. She was creative in problem solving as the quilt progressed resulting in a truly beautiful and meaningful gift. Joan was presented with her Blesher award on October 7th.

Darius Newbold, Assistant Director of Finance was nominated for a Blesher award for providing assistance to the Residential team on topics that extended well beyond his financial responsibilities such as Medisked and E-MARS programs. He attended many house and leader meetings to explain and expand their knowledge. In the nomination Darius was described as “professionalism personified” They said that If Darius doesn’t know an answer he finds out! Darius received his Blesher award on October 19th.

Denise Jackson, Administrative Assistant at THRIVE learned of an individual’s desire to volunteer in her local community. Denise was instrumental in helping Lanora Nash-Steinbacher achieve a dream by making her aware of an opportunity. She then made the necessary connections with family and staff to allow the individual to fulfill her desire. She went above and beyond in supporting the individual to prepare for and participate at the event. Denise received her Blesher award on October 19th.

Denise Jackson (Left) with Lanora Nash-Steinbacher (Right)
There are so many outstanding acts of kindness, professionalism, creativity, ingenuity that make our agency great. Congratulations to these three recent Blesher Award recipients!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Becky Townsend Receives Blesher for Keeping People Safe

Blesher recognized Becky Townsend for taking great care of RFI’s car fleet on September 19th.

Becky was nominated by Mary Cullen who wrote, “Becky has gone to many lengths to make sure cars are in good working order… She makes sure cars carry an up to date emergency first aid kit, have current registrations and inspections, and checks to make sure oil changes are completed timely.”

Because of Becky’s commitment to excellence, dedication, communication, and caring for those who use the vehicles; employees can use the cars with confidence knowing that they are well equipped, maintained, and safe.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication which helps to keep both staff and those we support safe Becky!

Monday, August 15, 2016

For Selfless Dedication - The Arc of Delaware County's Board of Directors Receives a Blesher Award

On August 10th, The Arc of Delaware County's Board of Directors received a Blesher Award. Molly Little, CEO nominated the entire board for "Selfless dedication of time and talents while serving on the board." Through their hard work, support, and dedication they help to assure people with disabilities live personally fulfilling lives.
Congratulations and thank you to each board member for helping The Arc of Delaware County fulfill its Unifying Principals: Those we serve come first, commit to excellence, be dedicated, employee satisfaction, communicate effectively, and be innovative.

Pictured Front Row L to R: Gerda van Leeuwen, Bonnie Martin, James Warren, Blesher Lil Heart, Johna Peachin, Kathleen Green, Ira McIntosh, Vice President.
Back Row L to R: Amy Beveridge, Lori Cetta, Nat Thomas, Treasurer, Robert Rothenberg, Robin Evanitsky, President, and Thomas Banks
Not present were Directors: Mary Jane Giarrusso- Wilkin and Sandra Bullis, Secretary.


Joining the picture with the Board of Directors are: Molly Little, CEO (back row, second from right), Barbara Rothenberg, COO (first row, second from right) and Teresa Skinner, CFO (back row, second from left).

The Artist Within Us

"Voice!" is a juried art exhibition celebrating the creative voices of artists from New York State. Hosted by The Arc Otsego for the 12th year, this exhibition reminds us of the power of art to transcend disability and stereotypes and reveals our common ground, celebrating everyone's unique abilities.

Two Delaware County residents, Thomas Ferrante and Lewis Pepper were invited artists who displayed their textile and acrylic painting works in this year's exhibit held at the Martin Mullen Art Gallery, SUNY Oneonta.

Thomas Ferrante lives in Margaretville, NY and began taking weaving classes at The Artisan's Guild four years ago. He discovered that he enjoyed working on a loom and has woven several rugs using a variety of yarns and patterns. He has exhibited his works at Delaware County Fair, winning several ribbons. His submission to the "Voice!" exhibition was a southwestern themed woven rug wall hanging.

Lewis Pepper, a resident of Sidney, NY has been interested in drawing from an early age. His work has been displayed at SUNY Delhi, the Delaware County Fair, and various other venues including The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. He has attended art classes at SUNY Delhi and Harpursville Senior Center where he has mastered several paint mediums including watercolors, acrylic, and oil paints. His favorite art subjects are wildlife and country landscapes.
His submission to "Voice12" was an original acrylic painting of a chipmunk that he was able to study up close as he fed him out of his hand.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Going "Above and Beyond"- Bill Field is Recognized with a Blesher Award

Bill Field, Director of Facilities and Corporate Compliance Officer at The Arc of Delaware County was recognized for “going above and beyond” his duties by THRIVE staff and participants on July 27th when they presented him with a Blesher Award. 

 During a recent air conditioning system malfunction that lasted several days Bill once again showed his genuine caring for people. As described in the Blesher nomination, Bill immediately jumped into action checking with program staff to assure there were no heat safety concerns for individuals, he used his ingenuity to secure and strategically place large barn fans throughout the building to keep air as cool as possible, and arrived at the building early each morning to open windows and cool down the building. Bill constantly checked on the status and comfort of everyone in the building throughout the day. by THRIVE staff and participants. 

Bill’s actions and caring were greatly appreciated by everyone!