In the News....
August 2016 


A very special thank you to Ruth H. Mahoney, KeyBank Market President who is this year's Honorary Chairperson.

It is not too late to become involved as an Individual or a Corporate Sponsor.  We are also looking for items and gift cards for our Auction.  For more information, call (518) 874-4901. 

**All funds raised from this event will help us provide therapeutic recreation activities for our youth, adults and families, along with a wide range of supportive educational programs and services.** 


Vanderheyden's Summer 12th Grade Graduation and 8th Grade Moving Up Ceremony was held on Friday, August 19th, 2016 at the Richard A. Desrochers Educational Center on our Main Campus in Wynantskill.

Frank Dembo, School Principal
Karen Carpenter Palumbo, President and CEO 



Our "Pomp and Circumstance" procession was accompanied by bugler and teacher John Russell. The "filled-to-capacity" crowd also enjoyed the smooth jazz selections performed by our musically talented Teaching Assistants Geo Santamaria and Andrew Bartlett.
A delicious BBQ was served to the Graduates and their families following the ceremony.



For the past few years Darren has worked hard developing and enhancing his independent living skills. With help from Vanderheyden, Darren has successfully taken another important and monumental step in his life.

Earlier this month, the Washington County native made the move to Vanderheyden's Supported Apartment Program in Queensbury after living at our Philo Avenue IRA (Individualized Residential Alternative) in Glens Falls.   Darren had been one of the original residents of the home, which is celebrating a decade of providing support to young adults.
Darren says he loves the quietness of living by himself and the feeling of independence that comes along with it, but, he says he still visits his friends at Philo, where he was a well-liked and popular resident.

He says the support from Vanderheyden has been key in making his transition a smooth one. He says "Team Members are friendly and polite, and are good people to work with."   Some of the life skills that they help Darren with include making a grocery list, shopping and paying bills.


When Darren is not taking care of his parakeet "Petey" (who was also a favorite at Philo) and working at Red Lobster in Queensbury, he can be found listening to a variety of music and watching movies from his extensive DVD collection.



In 2014, Vanderheyden was one of fifteen agencies chosen in the country to participate in the National Alliance for Strong Families and Communities Transformation Project. Vanderheyden has taken initiative in creating a more family-inclusive environment and treatment approach. 

Our Lead Clinician Kristin Gotebiowski is instrumental in bringing the families of our individuals into the program. Vanderheyden is also partnering with the START Children's Center of Rensselaer County and St. Anne's Institute to provide group therapy to adolescents with problematic behavior and their caregivers. Kristin states that she is delighted to be involved in this treatment program.

Kristin is our liaison and one of our Champions for our Transformation Program. Since Vanderheyden is a family focused, trauma-informed and community-based provider, the goal of the program is to expand our role with families and communities. Having the families actively participate with input and ideas, and to find ways to strengthen family visits are some ways to achieve success.

The Catskill native who now lives in Schenectady County has been working at Vanderheyden since April of 2014, and had originally come to our Wynantskill campus to complete her Graduate internship. 
Kristin likes the way Vanderheyden is receptive to professional growth opportunities and the encouragement of creativity. She finds the passion and dedication of other team members to be exceptional with goals to improve the lives of families and adults. Kristin said Vanderheyden is already doing great work to treat families and likes being part of that work and strength.
In her spare time, Kristin's Vanderheyden "Give Back" goal in which all employees share something they are passionate about with the individuals we serve, involved planning and going on outings. Some of the activities she has organized in the past included going out to dinner, go-karting, and working on social and independent living skills.

Kristin is also a fan of nice weather, and enjoys participating in any outdoor activity such as walking, hiking, biking, sitting in the sun and going to the beach. Her hobbies include making jewelry, reading and yoga.


Several of our individuals took part in a Baseball Clinic with the Tri-City ValleyCats at "The Joe" on Monday, August 22nd, arranged by Cap Com Cares.

The activities included building skills in fielding and hitting, a tour of the stadium and meeting members of the team such as ValleyCats Manager Lamarr Rogers and 2nd Baseman Tyler Wolfe.


Vanderheyden would like to thank Cap Com and the Tri-City ValleyCats for providing this special and exciting opportunity for our individuals!

Thank you to the Team Members from The Center for Academic Community Engagement (ACE) at Siena College for helping us get the Richard A. Desrochers Educational Center ready for the upcoming school year.

As part of their Siena College Summer Gear Up 2016 project, ACE Members were busy cleaning the classrooms, scrubbing the floors and washing windows throughout the building.

We are grateful to Siena College and the Team Members from their ACE program for helping us prepare to welcome students to Vanderheyden's upcoming Fall school semester. Great job!




Several of our individuals volunteered at the largest sanctuary in the country for disabled and injured birds and wildlife.

The day began with orientation at Berkshire Bird Paradise in Petersburgh, where our individuals learned how to provide care for the grounds and several species of wildlife, while having the opportunity to work with Director Peter Dubacher on various projects.

Excitement filled the air as our individuals had the chance to see Mitch the Eagle from Afghanistan who was rescued by a U.S. Navy Seal, an emu and many owls that live on site.

Thank you to Mr Dubacher for this one-of-a-kind experience to interact with nature in a special way!


                                  President and CEO Karen Carpenter Palumbo and Alumni Joann                                                Vanderheyden Alumni Chuck and Joann              
Vanderheyden's 1987-1991 Alumnus gathered for the 2nd Annual Reunion on Saturday, August 6th at the Richard A. Desrochers Educational Center on our Main Campus.

The program included several activities such as honoring our Military members and Alumni who had passed. A storytelling session was available during dinner, followed by a night of dancing with music provided by Carmine Dio.   



Shakira T is all smiles as she recently celebrated her birthday at Applebee's in North Greenbush. Our birthday celebrant is a resident at Vanderheyden's Huntley Road Individualized Residential Alternative. This year's festivities included the annual tradition (seven years in a row!) of going out to dinner with Julie Ramos, the Director of Residential Services - Community Services Division.
Shakira has always enjoyed the various restaurant staffs sing her Happy Birthday, and two years ago, she received an extra-special private serenade from an American Idol finalist! 

Mark Your Calendar!
Fall Festival

614 Cooper Hill Road 
Wynantskill, NY 

October 15th, 2016 
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

  Other Ways to Help.....

   To make a donation on our website, donate_now_blue4_btn.gif
    click on the "Donate Now" button.
                     Find us on: