Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Shining Stars- The Arc of Delaware County Celebrates Outstanding Achievements


The Arc of Delaware County held its Annual Membership Meeting and Awards Ceremony on June 13th at SUNY Delhi. Over 30 beautiful orange and yellow flower arrangements adorned the tables and highlighted The Arc of Delaware County’s new logo and brand.  Created by people at The Arc’s Resources for Industry facility, they lent an elegant touch to this festive event.

In addition to electing new officers and board members, this annual event celebrates the successes of individuals and contributions of community partners whose actions impact and improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Officers and Directors that were sworn in to office by Wayne Marshfield, Hamden Town Supervisor, for the 2014-2015 terms are: President, Robin Evanitsky; Vice President, Ira McIntosh; Secretary, Sandra Bullis; Treasurer, Lee Marigliano.  Directors for the 2014-2016 terms include: Sandra Bullis, Lori Cetta, Robin Evanitsky, Lee Marigliano, Ira McIntosh, Gerda van Leeuwen and Ruth Vitale. They join Thomas Banks, Mary Jane Giarrusso-Wilkin, Bonnie Martin, Robert Rothenberg, Nat Thomas and James Warren whose 2 year terms expire in 2015.

After the business meeting, award winners’ accomplishments were highlighted in speeches by staff, friends, and community members who shared their thoughts and those of the peers who nominated them for Outstanding Achievement awards.  This year’s winners received “Shining Star” trophies from The Arc and Certificates of Recognition from Senator John Bonacic, Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, and Congressman Chris Gibson.

Outstanding Achievement Awards were presented to individuals who have been an inspiration to others through their personal perseverance, and individual growth.  Award winners included Karlie McCool, Maria Villacorta, Jacob Alvarez III, Marlana Volpe, Rhonda Reynolds, and an individual from Community Living Skills, Walton.

Community recognition awards were presented to three individuals. Bonnie Hamilton, Director of Public Health received Partner of the Year Award which is presented to the community partner that has done the most to enhance opportunities for individuals with disabilities in Delaware County. Beverly Tuthill, Carousel Children’s Services Director shared, “Bonnie has been a devoted advocate for children with disabilities for more than 30 years. She looks for innovative ways of getting a child’s needs met when traditional methods aren’t working or aren’t available.”

The Father Eugene Willis Good Neighbor Award was presented to Chester (Chet) Delameter, Jr. This award celebrates people who embody the spirit of being kind and neighborly and supports the involvement of people with disabilities in their community. Chet, a professional clown was introduced to Henry Kamp who shared his love of performing. Chet shared, “We hit it off right away and now we perform at Senior Meal sites and at the THRIVE program in Hamden. We’ve been performing together for 3 years and I really enjoy it!”

Dr. Amber Tatnall, Assistant Professor of Psychology, SUNY Delhi received the Dr. Gerald Burday Professional Excellence Award, an award that recognizes individuals who encourage growth and help people reach their true potential.  In 3 short years, Dr. Tatnall has greatly expanded inclusive learning opportunities for individuals with disabilities including hosting 12 individuals in her psychology classes, developing the “Study Buddy” program where SUNY and Arc students work together on projects outside of class, working with the O’Connor Center to have Arc participants join with SUNY students in community volunteer activities, and creating an “Inclusive Learning” link on the SUNY Delhi website.

Emotions ran high as people reflected on the accomplishments of those recognized at this year’s event. Kathryn Snyder an employee of Kiddee Corner preschool in Stamford where Marlena Volpe volunteers shared “We have a saying at Kiddie Corner and it is Kiddie Corner is not just a preschool it is a family and we are very happy to have Marlana as part of our family.” And Leanne Norwood, sister of Rhonda Reynolds said, “I’ve been very proud of what she (Rhonda) has accomplished because of the programs and services she receives from The Arc.”

To learn more about The Arc of Delaware County and how you can be involved as a member, volunteer or employee, visit our website at: And to view more photos of this event visit:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Consolidated Supports and Services Training Offered

Consolidated Supports and Services is a self directed OPWDD service option that empowers people with disabilities and their circle of support to design and manage services based on the needs and desires of the individual.

Kathy Creagh, Individualized Services Coordinator from OPWDD will present information on this new option so that you can determine if this new service is right for you or your loved one. Join us July 15th, 5:30 – 6:30 pm for this free presentation at the Delaware County Resource Center, 34570 State Hwy 10, Hamden, NY. Register by July 11th by contacting Kim Shaw at 607/865-7126 ext. 104.

(People with disabilities, families, advocates, and service providers encouraged to attend.)