Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Before I Die" Community Project Kickoff Event

On 9/11/14 James Eisel, Chairman of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors and Supervisor of the Town of Harpersfield, kicked off the opening of the“Before I Die” community project at noon today before a large group in Delhi’s Courthouse Square honoring the tragic events of 9/11 with a moment of silence. This project allows people in Delaware County to share their thoughts, dreams, and aspirations with the community.

Mr. Eisel introduced a number of people from the county including Tina Mole’, the Supervisor of Bovina and Vice Chairman of the County’s Board of Supervisors; Wayne Shepard, Director of the Office of Aging; Elizabeth Sova, Director of the SUNY Delhi O’Connor Center for Community Engagement; Jason Thomson, Superintendant of the Delaware Academy Central School District in Delhi, Reverend Sarah Hooker, First Presbyterian Church of Delhi, Tammy Christman of the Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care; and Steve Finkel from The Arc of Delaware County.

Mr. Finkel noted that “The 7 organizations supporting this program, including the Veterans Services Agency of Delaware County, the County Maintenance Department and the thousands of Delaware County people they serve and represent, have been very supportive of this unique program that started in 2011 in New Orleans with a young artist named Candy Chang.” The program has grown to reach out to over 70 countries in 34 languages, from China, Russia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, to South and North America, crossing all political, social, ethnic, religious and geographical

“Getting this program launched was a team effort, a real community program that included Justin Foster, a SUNY faculty member in their Building Technologies curriculum and 10 of his students that helped construct and install the Before I Die boards in the Square, and Nicholas Wager, who, with Rev. Hooker were the social media and technical wizards behind getting the word out to all, “ Finkel added.

Finkel concluded by thanking everyone….”for coming, caring and sharing….and importantly, giving back to your community on this very important national day of remembrance.

For more photos of this event visit:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sharing Dreams

On the opening day of school Amanda Green shared her dream of becoming a teacher’s aide with students at Delaware Academy High School.  As part of a team of presenters which included Rev. Sarah Hooker from the First Presbyterian Church of Delhi and Steve Finkel from The Arc of Delaware County, Amanda helped encourage students to participate in the upcoming “Before I Die” community wall that will be available Sept. 11th- Oct. 17th at the Courthouse Square in Delhi, NY.  By sharing her dream she hoped to encourage others to share their thoughts, ambitions, and dreams.
Amanda told of the many steps she has already taken towards achieving her dream including receiving her GED earlier this year and seeking classroom experience by volunteering in Mrs. Coleman’s Kindergarten class at Delaware Academy.  She has updated her resume and hopes to obtain a full time teacher’s aide position in the future.  Amanda knows that dreams become reality only when people are committed and patient.  She said that she worked toward her GED goal for 5 years.  “The hardest part is doing it every day, trying to schedule time to fit it in. It’s hard, but don’t give up!”  To view Amanda’s previous story about earning her GED:
And in the journey toward her goal of becoming a teacher’s aide, Amanda has gained experience in public speaking and really enjoyed getting to know the children in the Kindergarten class.  “The kids are so much fun! “ She shakes her head and laughs, “When my back is turned, (it is so funny) some of the things they try.” She also shared that she hand selects a story to read to the class and is amazed by all the questions they ask about the story.

The famous Chinese philosopher Lao-tsu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Amanda is well on her way to making her dream a reality.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

OPWDD "Front Door To Services" Presentation

Whether a graduating student plans to continue his/her education, join the work force, or pursue some other interest at home or in the community, the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) may be able to offer supports and services to ease the transition.

To help students with developmental disabilities and their families learn more about what supports and services are available following graduation, The Arc of Delaware County is hosting what OPWDD refers to as a Front Door (i.e. front door to services) presentation on September 24, 2014, from 5:00 until 6:30 p.m. 

This free presentation will take place at The Arc of Delaware County, 34570 State Highway 10, Walton, NY 13856.  To register or for more information contract Kim Shaw at 607/865-7126, ext. 104 or