Inclusion Matters


Lives of Distinction

Greer Gavan

A Boyfriend for Christmas

Meet Greer Gavan, a remarkable individual whose infectious laughter and positive spirit light up any room she enters. Despite facing her share of challenges, Greer has forged a path of resilience, determination, and self-discovery that serves as an inspiration to all who know her. Greer has accomplished many things in her 53 years of life and has much to be thankful for. One thing that’s been surprisingly missing from her life, however, is a romantic relationship.

Greer's journey is intertwined with the bonds she's formed through Advocates, which has played a pivotal role in her life for years. With the support of her Mentors, her vibrant social life has blossomed with friends from art clubs, exercise groups, and the “Groovy Gals” – a circle of friends who meet regularly via their shared interests, including boat rides, day trips, and art projects.

“My friends are special because they’re always there for me,” Greer said. She added that she values everyone in her life who has helped her to overcome some of her biggest challenges, while combatting others that still present themselves today. But rather than shy away from adversity, Greer faces challenges with courage, determination, and a positive mindset. Learning disabilities, vertigo, and struggles with reading are obstacles she navigates with the support of her circle. Despite challenges with money and math, Greer actively engages in managing her funds with the help of her support network. Time management and forgetfulness are met with reminders from her Mentors, ensuring a balance between her goals and daily life.

“When I first started working with Greer, though she’s always been friendly with people, she didn’t necessarily have a lot of contacts that she reached out to,” noted her Mentor through Advocates, Emily Doucet. “But these days, her social calendar is so full that we can hardly keep track of it all.” Greer's socialization skills have become a testament to her growth and the unwavering support of her friends and Mentors. From hosting birthday parties to experiencing overnight camps, there are countless examples of Greer’s progression. There is another recent example, however, that separates itself from the rest.

Greer met Chuck, an acquaintance through Advocates, nearly a year ago at a bowling outing. What started as a friendship began to blossom into something more as the year went on. Eventually, as Greer’s feelings grew stronger for Chuck and her confidence and comfortability increased, she built up the courage to ask him out this past fall.

“She asked him for his number on her own volition,” Emily said. “I thought it was such an awesome moment because it summarized her growth.” Though Greer had more confidence going into the situation than she thought she’d have, she admitted she had butterflies in her stomach the whole time.

“I was nervous when I told him I had a crush on him,” Greer said sheepishly. The two became a couple on the spot and have been by each other’s side ever since. The two have many things in common, including the fact that Chuck also has a learning disability. Though this nuance to their relationship has meant an even deeper connection to and understanding of the other person, it by no means defines their relationship.

“We just love being together and laughing, no matter what we’re doing,” Greer told us. You can catch the happy couple participating in their favorite shared interests, including eating at their favorite restaurants, going bowling, seeing movies, participating in seasonal events such as Lights on the Lake, and dancing. Wherever Greer navigates her life, she now does it not only with the support of Advocates, but also with Chuck’s loving support.

Some of Greer’s goals include discovering new volunteer opportunities in the community, broadening her cooking skills, and participating in art classes to expand on her already impressive artistic skills. She also plans to continue her personal training sessions with the support of her Mentors at her local YMCA to help maintain her fitness and counteract some of her physical ailments. Though Greer realizes she still has things to work on, as we all do, she takes pride when considering her achievements. Most notably, Greer owns her own home and has become increasingly self-sufficient in some important areas in life. As mentioned, she is an accomplished artist and is now dabbling in karaoke. While she has always been comfortable around water, she has become a very proficient swimmer. In fact, she remarkably swam 140 consecutive laps (more than four miles) at the Fayetteville YMCA not long ago. Greer’s milestone achievements are admirable on many levels, but it doesn’t take milestones or benchmarks to measure the value she brings to other people’s lives. 

Greer told us that she loves to laugh and is always happy because of the people in her life. She expressed how much she cares about her friends at Advocates and attributes much of her contentment in life to the meaningful relationships she’s had for years. Little did she know that one of her relationships would soon be taken to a new and welcomed level. 

Greer and Chuck enjoy attending Advocates-sponsored events together, as they feel they’re great opportunities to be together and meet with friends. According to Greer, the couple really enjoyed spending their afternoon at Advocates’ Annual Holiday Party, held last month at Driver’s Village. As the pair posed for a photo with Santa Claus, Santa asked Chuck what he wanted for Christmas. “All I want this year is Greer,” Chuck said in reply. With that, Santa pulled out a promise ring from his pocket and presented it to Greer on Chuck’s behalf. 

“I was so overwhelmed but in a good way,” Greer said. “It means he’ll love me for as long as I wear it, so I’m never going to take it off.” When asked if she had a message she would like to send to Chuck, Greer said, “I want you to know that I love you very much!” 

As her Mentor, Emily, told us, “Greer has a wonderful team that’s helping her to live the best life possible.” While Chuck may be the newest addition to the team of people who care about Greer, he brings something to her life that no one else can. “He makes life feel more complete,” Greer said with a giant smile. If you know Greer, you know that there were already few times she wasn’t without a smile on her face. With Chuck now in the picture, something tells us her beautiful smile will be a permanent thing. We are very happy for Greer and Chuck, and wish them many years of happiness together!

Click here to watch this magical moment between Greer and Chuck!

Do you have a friend or family member who

would make a great Mentor?

If so, please encourage them to apply on our website.

We look forward to meeting them!

Upcoming Events

Advocates Dine for Dollar$

January - Chipotle

Start the new year off by dining with your friends and family at Chipotle on Erie Boulevard East. Our Dine for Dollar$ fundraiser is scheduled for Wednesday, January 17th, from 4pm-8pm. Chipotle, located at 3496 Erie Boulevard East, Syracuse, offers freshly prepared burritos, lifestyle salad bowls (vegan and keto), quesadillas, tacos, chips, and sides!

Chipotle will donate 33% of all pre-tax sales back to Advocates. Sales generated from 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm through online ordering and in the restaurant dining room will be credited to Advocates. Please be sure to tell the cashier that you are with Advocates and provide code HX4V8PX

On behalf of our individuals, families, and employees, thank you for your anticipated support! We hope to see you there! 

Click here to view Chipotle's menu!


Syracuse Crunch Game

Join us for Advocates night at the Syracuse Crunch!

The Syracuse Crunch is offering discount tickets to people/families receiving services from Advocates along with employees.

Join us on Saturday, Jan. 20th at 7pm as the Syracuse Crunch take on the Utica Comets.

Discount tickets ($20) can be purchased by contacting Annika Tyson: (315) 473-4444 ext. 126 or online at: using promotional code: ADVOCATES

The deadline to purchase tickets is Thursday, January 18th.

We hope to see you there!

Advocates Kickball - Spring Session

The fee to participate is $45 per person. Payments will be accepted at the Liverpool office. Please make checks payable to:

Advocates Incorporated

Attn: Finance – Kickball

290 Elwood Davis Road

Suite 101

Liverpool, NY 13088

We will once again be able to sign up the first 60 people that register. To register, simply click the tab below. For questions, please email [email protected]

Please provide the best phone number to receive text message notifications on the registration form. We will send a text message if we must cancel due to weather or other circumstances. If you feel the weather is not suitable, please do not feel obligated to attend. Safety comes first!

We look forward to seeing everyone back on the field!

Click here to register for this event!

Advocates Winter Party & Information Fair

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Agency Updates

Thank you for making a difference!

Thank you for your gifts to Advocates' Annual Appeal. This year's appeal was a success thanks to your support! We are very fortunate to have such caring and committed supporters.

If you haven't made a gift to Advocates' Annual Appeal, there is still time. Please click on the tab below.

Thank you for making a difference!

You can make a credit card donation or send a check to:

Advocates Incorporated

290 Elwood Davis Road, Suite 101

Liverpool, NY 13088

For more information or questions,

please contact [email protected]

On behalf of Advocates' families whose lives will be touched by your generosity, we sincerely thank you.

Please know how much we appreciate your support!

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