Monday, September 28, 2015

Gentle Giant Visits Community Living Skills-Walton

Rita Altobello, is a person who likes to give to others. Her compassionate heart has led her to volunteer at many places including the Human Society and at Bobbev’s Leonberger Kennel in  Andes, NY  where she delights in interacting and caring for these beautiful dogs.  

Rita Altobello at Bobev Leonberger Kennel, Andes, NY
So it was not a surprise when Rita expressed that she wanted to have others meet and enjoy the Leonberger dogs that she has been helping to feed, groom, and care for each week. The kennel owners , Bob and Bev Travis, have for many years taken these gentle giants into nursing homes, senior housing complexes, schools, and walked in parades to acquaint people with this unique breed of dog. They readily agreed  to making a visit to The Arc’s Community Living Skills facility in Walton with Rita and the Leonberger, “Brody” on September 1st.  

L to R Front Row: Wendy Miller, "Brody", Rita Altobello, Beth Aiken
L to R Back Row: Val Stafford, Hilary Miller, Bev and Bob Travis

View photos of their visit on our Flickr site or click here:

To learn more about the Leonberger breed visit Bobev's Kennel webpage at:

Friday, September 18, 2015

"Everybody Can- Achieve" Contest Announced

Ms. Bussiere's 1st Grade Class, Downsville Central School
Achieve means “to gain with effort”. Isn’t that what life is all about, striving toward something important, wanting to be more and accomplishing one’s dreams?

A local contest held by The Arc of Delaware County and Delta Kappa Gamma, Beta Omicron Chapter for over 6 years has opened the eyes of Delaware County students to the fact that people with disabilities are just like them, in that  they have hopes, dreams, and goals and work hard to achieve them.  And those students who have experienced the “Share, Learn, Grow” program at The Arc of Delaware County have been surprised and amazed as they witnessed  not only the struggles and courage of people with disabilities but also their abilities, talents and achievements. One student who participated in the contest and visited The Arc shared,
 “I learned that no matter what challenges you face in life, you can accomplish your dreams.”

The theme of this year’s contest is “Everybody Can- Achieve”.  Students in grades k-8 and after school program groups are invited to take the challenge of learning about people with disabilities and their achievements and then creating a project from what they have learned. 

Prizes will be awarded in 5 categories: Grades K-4 class poster project, Grades 5-8 individual essay project, Grades 5-8 Individual or Small Group PowerPoint project, after school program small group project using any medium and after school program large group project using any medium. First, second, and third place winners of each category will be awarded, $100, $75, or $50 respectively and every entry will be recognized with a certificate.

Anne Bussiere, 1st Grade Teacher, Downsville Central School, reflected on their participation in last year’s contest: "My class had a blast making the poster! They were thrilled when they won and were able to donate their winnings to Heart of the Catskills and the school's rain forest fundraiser. They learned they could really make a difference!"

Schools and After School Groups can request a free interactive presentation by The Arc of Delaware County and Delta Kappa Gamma to be held at their school. Pam Thompson, Delta Kappa Gamma shared:  The elementary kids at Downsville and Walton last year were eager to learn about Braille, sign language, and Autism.  They eagerly practiced ways to communicate with people with these developmental disabilities."   
Pam Thompson from Delta Kappa Gamma during a Downsville Central School Presentation

For more information and details about this contest visit the "News" section on  our website at  For additional information contact The Arc of Delaware County, Community Relations Department, Barbara Thompson (607) 865-7126 or email

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Edgevilla Farm Hosts Workshop on Farming in Delaware County

Local farmer, Paul Aitken of Edgevilla Farm has “opened his barn doors” to lead a class in learning about farm life in Delaware County. Edgevilla is located in Hamden, NY and owned by Paul, Margie and Beth Aitken. The farm was purchased by Paul’s grandfather for $2,200 and has been in operated by the family for over 99 years. With over 140 acres of cropland, 50 beef cattle, 70 chickens, 2 goats (Lucy and Ethel), and a pet duck (Harold) this was a perfect environment to learn about all aspects of farming. 

Steve Finkel, who provides program support at The Arc of Delaware County helped to develop the 7 week curriculum with Paul. Steve shared, “The goal of this workshop series is to teach interested participants the history, traditions and operation of a Delaware County farm...its successes, struggles and systems that go into managing a farm business and lifestyle in today's world versus that of their family 99 years ago.”

Scott Rogers, Jan Sturdevant, Frank Schulz, David Greenwood, Roseanna Starkweather, Randy Palmer, Gary Grossman, and Thomas Slavinski have enrolled in the class and recently toured the buildings, learned about Edgevilla’s history, and are now looking forward to learning about farm economics, herd management and care, and the marketing of the farm products. They will also witness the development and organization of one of Edgevilla’s many festivals hosted throughout the year- The Corn Maze which is occurring on September 19th and 20th and a Haunted Corn Maze Oct. 3 & 4 and Oct. 10 & 11.

Join the class as they learn about farming by visiting our Flickr site at:

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Ribbons Galore!

The Delaware County Fair gives people the opportunity to showcase their talents and interests and enjoy a bit of friendly competition in the process. Several folks we know brought home ribbons and checks. Visit our Flicker album and roll over the photos for captions to find out we caught enjoying the fair!…/delarc/albums/72157657078311948