Thursday, June 28, 2012

Flower Power in Margaretville

Danny Vollmer and David Greenwood have been working together to help beautify the Village of Margaretville. Both men have had a personal interest in gardening and were pleased when Heidi Friedman, a community inclusion specialist, found an opportunity for them to put their passion to work by tending the flower boxes that line the parking lot of the Village of Margaretville parking lot. David has been volunteering for 3 years and Danny has been a part of the project for 1 year.

The flower box project got started when Heidi contacted Karen McMurray, Village Clerk, who along with Mayor Bill Stanton enthusiastically supported the project. Karen made a connection with local resident Joe Kiss who is very active in the community. Joe worked alongside David and Danny imparting his knowledge of plants and gardening to them.

David expresses joy every time he tends to the flowers by socializing with other community members. Danny sums up his feelings by stating: “I love watering the flowers, they are so pretty.” David and Danny take pride in their community and enjoy the opportunity to develop new connections.

The Arc of Delaware County strives to include people with disabilities in their communities by supporting them in exploring their individual hobbies, talents, and interests.
To view more photos of Danny and David's flowers click here:

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Arc of Delaware County Celebrates Much Success

The Arc of Delaware County‘s Annual Membership Meeting and Achievement Awards Ceremony was held at the Holiday Inn, Oneonta, June 8th.  Members, staff, special guests, Officers and Directors gathered together to elect new Officers and Board Members for the upcoming term and to celebrate the outstanding achievements of people they support, community members, and partner organizations.

After serving a maximum of six consecutive one year terms as Board President, Robert Rothenberg has turned over the reins of leadership. Officers for the 2012-2013 term are: President, Robin Evanitsky; Vice President, Ira McIntosh; Secretary, Sandra Bullis; Treasurer, Tim Crain.  Directors for the 2012-2014 term are:  Sandra Bullis, Lori Cetta, Tim Crain, Robin Evanitsky, Lee Marigliano, Ira McIntosh, Gerda van Leeuwen, Ruth Vitale, Alan Zimmerman; they join Margie Aitken, Thomas Banks, Mary Jane Giarrusso-Wilkin, and Robert Rothenberg whose two year director terms expire in 2013.

Officers and Directors were sworn in to office by Wayne Marshfield, Hamden Town Supervisor, long time Member and supporter of The Arc of Delaware County, and Dale Anderson, representing people who receive services from The Arc. 

Six Outstanding Achievement awards were presented to individuals that have inspired others in each of The Arc of Delaware County’s programs.  Award winners were bestowed with Oscar-like trophies and plaques, honored with Certificates of Recognition from Assemblyman Peter Lopez and Senator John Bonacic, and surprised by a letter of congratulations from Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Assemblyman Lopez also personally congratulated and thanked the staff and volunteers for making all the successes possible.

Carousel Children’s Services selected Jonathan Roy as Outstanding Achievement Award winner.  Jonathan was selected by his teachers for his exceptional progress this past year. 

 The Outstanding Achievement award winners of the adult programs were chosen by a group of their peers.  Selection committees for each program were formed to discuss qualities award winners should possess, and accomplishments of nominees were reviewed and considered. Lisa Nichols, Life Coach of the THRIVE program shared, “The individuals (on the nomination committee) really are observant and they pick up on different things than we do as staff…  they really pick up on the key pieces that are important to this process.” 

The Outstanding Achievement Award winners in the adult programs include:  Community Living Skills, Arkville- Gerry Sparks;  Community Living Skills, Walton- Russell Beadle; Residential Services- Corinne Jones; Resources For Industry- Mark Fenner; THRIVE- Brenda McCall.

Other awards included the Dr. Gerald Burday Professional Excellence Award which recognizes a professional or team of professionals who demonstrates a commitment to excellence so that each individual they touch reaches his or her true potential. The winner of this year’s award is Family Resource Network of Oneonta, NY for providing outstanding support and programs to the Parent Support Group facilitated by the Arc of Delaware County.

The Father Eugene Willis Good Neighbor Award celebrates people who embody the spirit of being kind and neighborly.  The recipient of this year’s award was Nat Thomas of Margaretville, NY.  Nat has become a teacher, mentor, fellow artist, and friend; Nat recognized and nurtured the artistic talents of James Mould. He helped James establish his first gallery showing at Longyear Gallery in Margaretville, NY which further led to an additional gallery showing in Mainview Gallery, Oneonta.

The Partner of the Year Award was presented to the community partner that has done the most to enhance opportunities for individuals with disabilities in Delaware County. This year’s winner was Walton Nursery School. Through the support of the Board of Directors, Walton Nursery School has always been supportive of a program that integrates children with and without disabilities. This collaboration gives all children, regardless of ability level, the opportunity to learn and play together.  Speaking of interactions with children from the Walton Nursery School, Joan Stone, Classroom Aide shared, “Instead of fear or animosity toward their peers with special needs, they develop compassion, understanding, and love.”

To learn how you can become a part of The Arc of Delaware County as a volunteer or employee, visit our website at:    To view photos of the “2012 Membership Meeting and Awards Dinner”, click on the Flickr button located on the homepage of the website.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mike Terry Recognized with Blesher Award For “Can Do” Attitude

Blesher Lil Heart, the mascot of The Arc of Delaware County, met Mike Terry as he was completing a bus run at CLS-Arkville on May 30th .  Mike was nominated by Heidi Friedman  who shared, “Mike comes to work with a great positive attitude and shares it with everybody.”

Mike’s attitude demonstrates the 6 unifying principles of the Arc of Delaware County everyday:

1.)  Those We Serve Come First
Mike asks questions so that he can better work with our individuals.
2.) Commit To Excellence
Mike takes pride in his driving and maintaining the safety of those we serve.
3.) Be Dedicated
Mike has changed his personal schedule to accommodate the needs of Delarc.
4.) Employee Satisfaction
Mike pitches in and helps wherever needed.
5.) Communicate Effectively
He has the ability to communicate but also to listen to others.
6.) Be Innovative
He saw a need and built a “lunch box holder” on the bus. This was a help to people riding his bus place their lunch pails in a safe and accessible spot.