In the News....
November 2016 


"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." - Winston S. Churchill
For most of us, the upcoming Holiday Season is a joyful time to exchange gifts and unite with family and friends for the many traditions of the season. Can you envision what it is like not to have any gifts, family or a holiday meal?

Today we are reaching out to you because Vanderheyden serves more than 500 youth, individuals and families that do not have the opportunity to experience a Holiday Season on their own. At Vanderheyden, lives are being transformed for those that are seeking to overcome challenges and trauma in their lives.

Through the generosity of so many individuals, businesses, organizations and religious groups last holiday season, we were able to bring joy, excitement and smiles to those we serve.

Imagine when Nancy glowed with excitement after opening a beautifully wrapped gift and finding a sweater in her favorite color! 

Patrick was beyond thrilled when he saw a snowboard with his name on it! 

Sarah had a new comforter on her wish list because hers was worn thin. She was jumping up and down when she opened her gift and saw a brand new luxurious comforter! It is just Magic!
We sincerely hope we can count on you to make this upcoming season just as magical. Your monetary donations can provide so many gifts such as Great Escape passes, YMCA memberships, winter clothing, electronics, games, gift cards and the comfort that someone cares! Help us celebrate Giving, Sharing and Caring!
Kindly complete the information by using these forms:  Holiday Support Form   Wish List
and return it to the address on the form, or email it to:
as soon as possible. We will reach out to you when we have matched your commitment with our youth, individual(s) and families.  

You can also make a donation on our website home page - by clicking on "Donate Now" and go to special purposes drop down - Holiday Program 2016. Please support Vanderheyden in "changing a save a life". You will make a difference this Holiday Season!
May the Holiday Season bring you and your family much happiness.
Karen Carpenter Palumbo
President & CEO


Over 250 individuals filled the cafeteria at the Richard A. Desrochers Educational 
Center for our 33rd Annual Thanksgiving Dinner  
on Wednesday, November 16th, hosted by the Iwaneczko Family! 

The dinner consisted of 22 turkeys, 34 apple and 34 pumpkin pies,   
40 pounds of squash and 150 pounds of mashed potatoes!


Thank you to all the dedicated volunteers and to Hannaford Distribution Center, Bella Napoli, Yonder Farms, Sysco Albany, 
D. Brickman Produce, and Dzembo's Dairy  
for their generous donation in making this another successful event!


Over 150 of our individuals, volunteers and Team Members and their families participated in Vanderheyden's 35th Annual Turkey Trot on Tuesday, November 22nd.

The runners, trotters and walkers took to the 1.6 mile course on Route 355 in Wynantskill. SouthPaw from the Tri-City ValleyCats and Karen Carpenter Palumbo, our President & CEO cheered them on.   Medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place were given in each division. 


Thank you to all of our fantastic sponsors!   
Kaddo Auto Sales and Service, Eckert Mechanical, LLC, Carol's Place, 
LaBella's Pizza and Restaurant, Capital District Dermatology Associates, 
Maj's Auto Center and Lazzaro's Auto Body 

  "Explosive on the court" is how Mark W. is described by his Vanderheyden Royals Basketball Coach Aggie Sanon.

Mark, who grew up in Harlem, plays both Forward and Point Guard for the Royals. Recently, the Senior led his team to victory with a game high 20 points against LaSalle School, and says the team has made a whole lot of progress in the three years he has been at Vanderheyden.

Mark says playing basketball has kept him off the streets. He's so glad his Father decided to take him to Vanderheyden, and says "I would have been a high school dropout. Now, I'll be the first person in my family to go to college."

He credits our Team Members for helping him reach his goal, and says "all the staff I've encountered have helped me at one point." Mark says "they just want to see us become successful."

Besides spending lots of time on the basketball court, Mark has also played volleyball and has run track. His favorite sports teams include the New York Mets, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New York Giants.

As for the future, Mark is making plans to attend Hudson Valley Community College, where he wants to study Business Management and Coaching. His plans also include trying out for their basketball team.

As Mark is a force to be reckoned with on the high school basketball courts, we just may be seeing him wearing the green and white of the HVCC Vikings in the near future.

On behalf of the Vanderheyden Royals basketball team, Mark wishes to thank Rose & Kiernan Insurance for their donation of new sneakers. The team is also grateful to all the  donors that contributed to the purchase of the team's warm-up suits, jerseys and socks.


Thank you for filling our storage room with much needed items  
such as clothing, accessories for our cottages and sports equipment!


Coordination of after-school activities for Vanderheyden individuals can be a daunting task, but not for Lauren Sirkin!  
For the past two years, Lauren has been our Activities Coordinator, coaching many sports and setting up all the on-and-off campus school happenings. She  enjoys scheduling and planning activities for our individuals, and says Vanderheyden allows her to be as creative as she wants with input from each individual. Activities such as field trips, sporting events, arts & crafts, camping, and fishing are enjoyed by those we serve. Lauren also takes our individuals volunteering at area non-profit organizations such as Equinox and the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.

The NJ native and SUNY Brockport graduate says she was attracted to Vanderheyden after she saw the housing for our individuals looked like a home. Lauren said there was a real effort to make the homes "homey", with individuals participating in the decoration of their cottages and making their own meals.

Some of the activities Lauren is responsible for creating include softball, soccer, flag football teams, and a ski program with STRIDE. She was also instrumental in the idea of having an annual prom-type event that inspired our successful "Royal Gala" this past May.

When Lauren isn't busy coordinating or leading an event for Vanderheyden, she can be found playing rugby, hiking or doing a CrossFit workout. She is enjoys traveling, and likes to go anywhere and everywhere in the United States and abroad.

 Major Sponsors of Vanderheyden's Oktoberfest 2016!


Time to clean out your closets for the season!  We will accept any unwanted clothing item!  Bring them to our campus at 614 Cooper Hill Road in Wynantskill, and look for the "Blue Box" at the entrance to our parking lot.  Thank you so much for your help!                         

  Other Ways to Help.....

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