Arc of Schuyler honors volunteers, employees
WATKINS GLEN—The Arc of Schuyler recognized several of its volunteers and employees, as well as celebrated its 35th anniversary at the Annual Meeting and Member Reception, Thursday, May 16 at the Harbor Hotel.
The Arc’s Executive Director Jeannette Frank presented several awards. Darlene Abidin, a seven-year employee of The Arc, was honored as the organization’s 2013 nominee for a statewide direct support professional excellence award. Nick Anagnost of Montour Falls was recognized for serving as the charity’s 2013 annual fundraising campaign chair.
The Arc’s board of directors, members, and employees also honored their Guardianship Committee members—Barbara Frank, the Rev. Beverly Karr-Lyon, Shirley Kohena, Joyce McKinney, Judy Philips and Barbara Specchio for the countless hours they have given to meetings and social visits with the many people who have been under The Arc’s guardianship over the years. The Guardianship Committee ensures each person for whom the agency administers guardianship is provided with the highest quality of support and advocacy possible. This includes oversight and decision making related to financial, physical, medical, emotional and spiritual needs, so each person is cared for after other family members have passed away.
State Sen. Thomas O’Mara (R-Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) presented a legislative resolution commending The Arc of Schuyler, a non-profit organization founded in 1978 by parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, for 35 years of providing quality supports to individuals and families in Schuyler County. Allison Hunt, representative for Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning), was also present.
Vice-president of the Board of Directors Harold J. Hoffmeier and The Arc’s former Executive Director James Wilson spoke to the evening’s theme—“Then and Now.” Hoffmeier praised The Arc’s founding families for their invigorated grassroots advocacy effort.
“For decades, parents were advised by medical professionals to institutionalize their children. Those that chose to raise them at home, struggled with a severe lack of community supports,” Hoffmeier said. “Those parents turned their frustration into passion. They worked together to educate their government and demand the resources they needed to empower people with disabilities to lead purposeful and fulfilling lives.”
Referring to the 4.5 percent cut imposed on voluntary service providers in New York state this year by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Hoffmeier thanked both O’Mara and Palmesano for speaking in defense of The Arc and similar agencies to mitigate what could have been a $120 million cut. “Thousands of voices, including our legislators, spoke against the injustice of this cut. That is the kind of grassroots advocacy that today’s families, friends, and self-advocates must be ready for.”