We are Preparing to Grandly Open our Doors at the SHARE Center.....
It has been a long haul since STRIDE purchased a two-story 5500 sq. ft. warehouse/garage when we got Town approval in April 2017 to construct a community center with adaptive fitness center and training rooms. A volunteer team of construction managers, architect, engineers, HVAC, and electrician began to conceive and execute the plans for what the building would look like in its completion state today. We were accepted for a NYS grant, but turned it down knowing we could get most of our labor and materials donated. We started with a budget of over $400,000 and cut it back to spend just under $100,000 all inclusive! We are finally there! Building and grounds have been completely transformed to a wonderful facility to become part of a larger community to further our mission, which includes more programs and collaboration with like-minded organizations.
Join us for the Grand Opening celebration on Veteran's Day, sponsored by
Market 32/Price Chopper
to attend! Parking is limited and we will use shuttles from Walgreen at corner of Rt 150 / 43.
~ Deepest Sympathy to volunteer and Board member Dick Miller and family on the loss of Kathryn Allen, a great friend to STRIDE.
~ Get well wishes to Ann Russo , Joe's wife after hand surgery.
~Get well wishes to LJ Whitney after shoulder surgery.
~ Sympathies to volunteer Chanda Shin and family on the loss of her father in law.
~ Sympathies to volunteers Cathy Corsi and Jenny Skazkowski and family on the loss of mother in law/ grandmother
~Congratulations to volunteer Chelsea Belmonte on her marriage!
~Best of luck to the Cummings family who have moved to North Carolina. We miss you already!!
~ Huge Thank you to GE Veterans Network, Team Rubicon, Regeneron Days for Doing Good; and Albany Academies for all the construction help in our SHARE Center and clean up work at SCORE; as we prepare for a grand opening in November!
~Thanks to graphic artist intern Sara Tarrara-Cassella for graphic projects.
~ Thanks to William Lemerond, who chooses STRIDE for his Bar Mitzvah fundraiser for a Ski-a-thon at Berkshire East in January!
~ THANK YOU
GE Health Care
for purchasing a Cybex Functional Trainer for our new Gym!
An Athlete's Perspective....Memoir from a New Sled Hockey Player, Brenda Jensis
Sled hockey has given me my life back. I used to live and breathe soccer, playing through high school, a college scholarship, and in Florida for a professional team. I had a dream job as a physical therapist and my life was everything I dreamed. In 2017, I had heart surgery. When I woke up, I was no longer able to stand or walk around. I felt lost. My whole existence was based on competition, and I no longer knew how to live.
A year ago, I googled "wheelchair sports, Albany NY" and it brought me to STRIDE's website. I called the office and they suggested I watch a sled hockey practice. When I got there, I was like a 3 year old at a candy store. They let me get on the ice and try a sled. I felt like I was back on the soccer field. I was flying and free, nothing but me and the ice. Then, BAM, I got hit. It felt SO good...every sense in my body was alive.
When I got off the ice that day, I knew STRIDE had given me a reason to keep living. To me the team is about feeling free, but better yet about feeling free together. STRIDE and sled hockey are so much better than I expected. My week is about looking forward to pulling my jersey over my head, snapping my helmet on, getting in my sled, and feeling free again!
12th Annual Harvest Teen Dance Fun!!!
The Peer Leadership Club at Columbia High School organized yet another great Teen Harvest Dance! The students worked diligently to actively
serve the special needs population of the Capital region. These motivated HS students are positive role models and also inspire younger students in their district to embrace similar initiatives! In preparation for the Harvest Dance, the Peer Leadership group divides responsibilities between club members to assure the dance is a delightful experience for all who attended. CHS students were responsible for facilitating the dance and took pride in doing so!
The purpose of STRIDE's teen dance is to create an evening complete with grand celebrations, unforgettable memories, and amusement for teenage youth and their guests! As a result, the children feel happy in this friendly atmosphere and are encouraged to expand their comfort zone by socializing with one another and this year’s dance did not disappoint. Thank you again to the group for creating this opportunity for our youth who were in attendance.
Wish List - Immediate needs for SHARE Opening!
If you want to add a little piece to our new Center - here's what we need:
~ 2 small microwave ovens
~2 large Keurig coffee makers
~ 2 counter top paper towel holders
~ Living Room furniture set for the Warrior lounge
~3 Roku sticks for TV's; one apartment sized refrigerator
~2 Corelle dish sets with coffee cups (12)
~3 new laptop computers; stack-able washer / dryer
~ 2 new small desks; several floor lamps
~15 acoustic ceiling panels for the gym
~20 large clear Tupperware storage bins
STRIDE Snowsport Season Gearing up!!
Now in our 4th week of indoor training session, most of our volunteer coaches are attending indoor training sessions before we welcome skiers and snowboarders for the opening weekends for our winter program. All volunteer coaches attend many hours of indoor and then on-snow training each year. We have an impressive crew of about 30 experienced/certified trainers who lead training clinics for their fellow instructors, the majority who are certified by.
Professional Ski Instructors of America & American Association of Snowboard Instructors
We are excited to welcome all the new instructor candidates at the four adaptive Snowsport programs in four states - Jiminy Peak, MA; Catamount, NY; Ski Sundown, CT and Yawgoo Valley, RI who will soon be joining us on the slopes
Did you know that STRIDE offers scholarship funding to provide awarded families ski lessons? Due to growing interest, our committee has created specific windows in time when they will be accepting applications in order to provide fair opportunities to all interested families. Applications can be found on our STRIDE webpage.
Dave & Marisa Clark Memorial fund
exists to offset any prohibitive costs that an applicant may incur to fully participate in any of STRIDE’s programs that have fees associated with a program. The ski programs have lesson fees which are collected by the host mountains (
); and the bike program has a $200 fee associated to offset the I Can Shine corporate costs incurred by STRIDE. Additionally, STRIDE’s $25 administration fee can be waived through this scholarship for multi-day programs.
Be between the ages of 4-21 at the beginning of the designated program.
Be a registered participant in STRIDE programs including current personal and medical information
Demonstrate financial need.
Complete application in full.
Submit one application per child by posted deadline.
Completed application must be postmarked or emailed between:
– January 1
for ski lessons; and
for bike program
Applications will be evaluated by the
Clark Memorial Fund Committee
. Consideration for award will be based upon financial need, need for adaptive instruction/experience and availability of funds. Applicants will be notified by email following the application deadline.
We have been hard at work in the STRIDE office making our administrative processes easier for everyone, especially us. What is entailed?
We began by hiring an IT company, ADG, to transfer all our out-sourced fundraising platforms to our own website. Classy.org, our previous fundraising platform software subscription was a horrible choice costing STRIDE nearly 11% of every dollar raised! We successfully copied all our fundraiser event designs to the new web-based platform, and successfully launched the Stride 4 STRIDE 5K, and Brewfest events. Now we are ready to launch the new
100K Vertical Challenge
event registration page, and lastly the Great Race.
Additionally, we ditched our old database software, ACT by Sage and transferred our .dbf to Civi on the back-end of our website. We took all our paper registration firles and made the application process 100% on-line, saving many trees!! We are finally moving into a new dimension of operation that will eventually be a huge cost savings to the organization. Be patient with us as we work out the bugs on our end, but know that we are miles ahead from the old way of doing business, which will promote growth!
Tap, Jazz & Ballet your way to 'Discover Dance' our newest program in Delmar NY!
Thanks to the Dance Experience in Delmar with Dance Coach
we had a great turn out of 10 participants experience dance and sign up for our 6 week course . The fall session will begin Friday (10/18) Participants of the discovery day were able to try out jazz, tap ,and ballet. They used tap shoes and wore skirts when learning ballet! During the sessions, each lesson will be broken down into 2 genres per class , that way everyone's interests are met all while building on the prior weeks education. We already know this will be one of our most popular programs, a replication of the program in Schodack at Isabelle School of Dance!
2020 100K 4 $100K Vertical Challenge Now open for Registration!
So What Exactly makes STRIDE Programs
“Mom! Look, look,” shouts 12-year old Jayden before plunging under the water. A few seconds later he resurfaces with a watery grin, proudly hoisting the dive toy now in his hand.
Jayden is one of the participants in the STRIDE youth swim program, now in its 19
th year. “He has gained so much confidence in the two years he’s been coming here,” says his mother, Kathy Bleyman. “I’m amazed every time I see him jump into the deep end.”
The program is offered in 10-week sessions, three times per year, at the Greenbush Area YMCA pool. Each of the participants (ages 5 and up) has special needs which may include physical and/or mental disabilities.
Where the swim program excels – like all STRIDE programs – is by “meeting participants where they’re at,” says coordinator Emelia Carlino. “Our number goal is to help each swimmer feel comfortable and safe in the water. How far they progress from there varies with each student.”
Many of the parents with children in the program have found STRIDE after being frustrated by previous attempts to acclimate their children to the water. Whether these parents tried to teach the children themselves or enrolled them in other programs, the hoped-for results never materialized.
“We used to live in Florida,” says Kathy Bleyman. “We registered Jayden for an instructional program there, but it wasn’t the same. They didn’t have anything like [STRIDE].”
STRIDE has an uncanny ability to attract volunteers with unsurpassed levels of compassion and empathy, and the swim program is no exception. Each swimmer, several of whom can struggle in group instructional settings, works one-on-one with a dedicated volunteer.
Cathleen Peter believes that her six-year old daughter Emma has been one of the beneficiaries of this approach. “Emma has a high IQ but a poor attention span. Group instruction can be a challenge for her. STRIDE’s one-on-one approach mirrors the way she learns best.”
Marleah Lybolt, now in her 6th year as a volunteer in theprogram, says, “I believe the key to the program’s success is establishing a foundation of trust between the instructor and the swimmer. Once that’s in place, the participants can be confident knowing we will be here for them, and that we will support them no matter how hard it gets.”
Far from being a one way street, the volunteers benefit as much as the swimmers. Marleah herself has struggled with an anxiety disorder for much of her life. “Getting involved with this program has allowed me to become a more confident and secure person,” she says.
“There was a time when I wasn’t sure I would be able to graduate from high school. Now I’m in my third year of college. I owe a lot to STRIDE and how it has helped me personally. Staying involved is my way of returning the favor.”
Beyond the skills swimmers learn in the pool, the program also fosters a family-like dynamic among the participants. “Jayden is a social kid. He likes to interact with others,” says his mother. “He looks forward to seeing the other kids as much as he does swimming. When he’s here, he feels like part of a group.”
It’s hard to ask much more from a program.
What's Happening at STRIDE This Fall.....
Latham Spare Time
Saturdays at 10am
(10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26, 11/16, 11/23, 12/7, 12/14, 12/21)
East Greenbush Bowling Center
Saturdays at 11am
(10/19 — 12/21/19)
2699 Curry Rd, Schenectady
Sunday’s 4:00– 5:00 pm
(11/3- 3/29 ) Ages 8 – 21
Sled Hockey:Capital District Sled Warriors —
Practices at Albany County Hockey Facility ice rink; tournaments and games scheduled late winter and early spring.
*If you are interested in trying this sport, you may join the team for the last 30 minutes of the first practice of every month.**
Albany County Hockey Facility, 830 Albany Shaker Rd, Albany, NY 12211
October – April on Sundays
Learn to Dance —
Learn basic, contemporary, and hip-hop dance styles in an integrated setting - teens teach kids!
Isabelle School of Dance, 1580 Columbia Turnpike, Castleton
4:45 - 5:30pm | Ages 5 - 21
(9/21 - 11/16)*NO CLASS 9/28 OR 10/12
159 Delaware Ave, Delmar, NY
Learn jazz, tap , & ballet
Fridays 6:05- 7:05pm (10/18 through 11/30)
Target Shooting —
RPI Mueller Center
15th street & Sage Avenue Troy, NY
Sundays 1:30 - 3pm | Ages 10 & up - Warriors and Veterans welcome!
(10/6 and 10/20, 11/3, 1/19, 2/2 and 2/16, 3/15 and 3/29, and 4/19)
We would like to take this opportunity to thank this months contributors and following groups, clubs and individuals for their financial and in-kind support. These contributions help make STRIDE adaptive programs possible:
Jay & Deirdre Epstein
Mare & LJ Whitney
Foundations and Funds
GE Foundation matching gifts
GE Veterans Network
Albany County Office of the Comptroller
F & A.M. Ancient Temple Lodge No. 14
Town of West Sand Lake
Dave & Marisa Clark Memorial Scholarship Fund
In Memory of Kathryn Allen
Mary Frances Sabo
In Memory of John Wyszomirski