In the News....
October 2017 

Thank you to our guests, sponsors, donors and volunteers! 
Vanderheyden's biggest fundraiser of the year was held on Wednesday, October 18th, at Brown's Brewing Company in Troy.  
A special thank you to our Honorary Chairperson, KeyBank Market President Ruth Mahoney, and our Auctioneer, LeGrande Serras!   
Thank you to all who made Oktoberfest 2017 a success!

"Vanderheyden is a place where you don't have to give up hope."    

Singing, acting, reading, and writing. Jada does it all!
The Manhattan native hails from the Upper East Side, where she took singing lessons at a local youth organization.  She also lived around many fantastic museums with her family and her dog "Miss Charlotte."
Jada not only loves to write, we can also call her a playwright, since she is working on writing a play called "East Side Story." The play is based on the fictional granddaughter of Maria and Tony from "West Side Story." Jada said she wanted the lead character to be a teenager like her.
Reading is also another priority in Jada's schedule. She loves to read all types of books, especially sci-fi, mysteries, romance, and any book with an adventure or a love interest theme.
When Jada isn't busy reading or writing, she's singing. Jada is part of Vanderheyden's school chorus, where she sings alto. She also takes sign language classes, and "signs" to songs with American Sign Language.  
Jada is also a song writer, and said she usually doesn't finish writing one, because she is always thinking of a new one. Her older sister did record one of her songs, which is now a YouTube video.
Acting is in Jada's blood as well. She loves performing drama-filled roles, similar to roles played on General Hospital and telenovelas, which are Spanish soap operas.  Growing up, those shows were her favorite to watch, she said. 
After graduation in June, Jada would like to travel.
"Everywhere I go is a new adventure," Jada said. "At first, Vanderheyden was a scary adventure, but now it's like my second home."
Her goal is to go to Paris for a summer, and then go to college somewhere in New York state, possibly UAlbany or a college close to her New York City home.
Jada would like to study early education, and wants to focus on infants to 10 year olds. She said she likes to be around younger children, and knew when she was 10 years old, that this is what she wanted to do.
Since March, Jada has been part of the Vanderheyden community.
"Vanderheyden is a great place to meet friends if you are shy," Jada said.  
She also had praise for our Team Members.
"There are a lot of friendly people here, and Vanderheyden is the best place to be a resident at," Jada said. "The staff is nice to you. They listen to your problems."
She also had advice for new residents.
"Vanderheyden is a place where you don't have to give up hope," Jada said.


Our guests and our Vanderheyden community enjoyed a day of fun and beautiful weather for Vanderheyden's 9th Annual Fall Festival on Saturday, October 14th at our Wynantskill campus!  
Everyone loved the food, face and pumpkin painting, games, music, Rhonda's Reptiles, the ponies, and the petting zoo!   
We are so happy and grateful that the Capital Region community was able to share this special day with us!   
Thank you to our many volunteers who helped make this happen! 

Thank you to CDPHP for the donation of beautiful Twill blankets for our individuals.  
The cold weather is just around the corner and the blankets will be greatly appreciated by all!

"Vanderheyden has influenced me in so many ways." 


Lisa Villaneuve has been a part of Vanderheyden in so many ways, that it's only appropriate that she is on the agency's 185th Anniversary Committee.
The Troy native was a resident of Vanderheyden's main campus on Spring Avenue for a short period in the early 1970's, where she was part of the "Delta" girls.
"The experiences I had there, later contributed to my decision to go into human service," Lisa said.
She said her memories of the Spring Avenue buildings were of the beautiful chapel, and a gathering place for residents called "The Canteen."
"The room had a jukebox, where the residents could dance, and went to socialize after dinner and the weekends," Lisa said.
The room was located in the basement of Vanderheyden's Bessey Home, which is the only building to survive the fire of 1981.
After graduating from Catholic Central High School in Troy, Lisa continued her education at Hudson Valley Community College and SUNY Empire State Plaza, where she received a degree in Human Services, with a concentration in Community Services.
After working at the Times Record newspaper in Troy, Lisa decided to go into human services, and was hired at Vanderheyden by her long-time mentor, the late Deion Pettys.  
Lisa started her career at our agency as a Direct Care Worker in the Diagnostic Unit. She also was an Assistant Manager and Manager of a campus cottage, before she was promoted to the Coordinator of the female units, before becoming the Director of RTC.
In 2010, Lisa became Manager of our Huntley Road Group Home, and three years later, she was the coordinator of Day Hab, a program that helps individuals develop employment skills by being part of the community.
"Just a wonderful experience," Lisa said. "I was able to see Vanderheyden giving back to the community each day."
Recently, Lisa was named Assistant Director of Quality Assurance, Quality Improvement. (QAQI) In her new position, Lisa will be investigating cases within the agency, and strives to make the process more inviting for residents and other departments.
As part of Vanderheyden's 185th Anniversary in 2018, Lisa is busy with organizing, categorizing, and "making sense" of Vanderheyden's history. She is busy sorting through four filing cabinets filled with historical documents, newspaper clippings, and photographs.
The individuals Lisa has worked with through the years, are very special to her. She also enjoyed having long-term relationships with our individuals, and working with them in their homes.
"I was able to see seeds that you planted bloom over their lifetime, and see their successes," she said.
Lisa said there are so many positives about working at Vanderheyden besides a wonderful benefits package.
"I've always had supervisors and Team Members that fully supported me through the good and the bad times," Lisa said. "Through family celebrations, marriage, and grandchildren, through a loss, an illness, or medical issues."
Lisa also met her husband David here at Vanderheyden, when he was the Supervisor of Recreation.  
In her free time, Lisa loves spending time with her husband, her daughter and two grandchildren.
She also likes oldies music from the 1950's to the 1970's, and loves to shop for the bargains at discount stores.
Other loves include taking long drives in the countryside in New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts, and visiting her favorites beaches at the ocean in New Hampshire and Maine.
Lisa would like to share her reflection on her Vanderheyden experience with all:
"As I look back at my life, Vanderheyden has influenced me in so many ways. From the time I entered the castle-like building in 1972, until today as I pull onto the campus, meaningful lessons and knowledge gained, live within me."
"I have walked in the shoes of many roles and feel grateful for each and every milestone. I have worked with and learned so much from many wonderful staff, residents, and participants."
"I am thankful for and embrace the many memories I have.  My experiences have been fulfilling and rewarding! Vanderheyden can make a difference. It did for me, and I feel very blessed." 

Just like last year, many cars stopped to admire our very creative scarecrows that lined the front of our Wynantskill campus on Cooper Hill Road!   
The scarecrows were made by our individuals and Team Members.  Great job! 
Thank you to the volunteers from the New York Insurance Association, Inc. in Albany for the many hours of labor as they helped us prepare our Sanctuary Trail for the upcoming ribbon cutting in November.                                                                                                                      
Stay tuned to our social media sites to find out about upcoming celebrations for our 185th year!

In 2018, Vanderheyden will commemorate 185 years of providing services to thousands of youth, individuals and families.   
Our primary mission is: to empower youth, adults, and families to build brighter futures.
Most of the individuals have had more challenges and trauma in their lives than you can imagine.  Everyone deserves a second chance to overcome adversity and become an          independent, contributing member of society.  
To commemorate our 185 years and reflect on Vanderheyden's rich history beginning with the success of the Troy Orphan Asylum in Troy, New York, we are inviting 185 individuals to kick-off our celebration by becoming a member of the "1833 Society" with a donation of $1,833, to honor the year our organization was formed.
Our hope is that you will join in as someone that makes a future impact
in the Vanderheyden legacy to change lives to save lives.  
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller .
For more information contact Cathy Yudzevich at . You can also call (518) 874-4901.  

Even though we experienced a power outage at our Wynantskill campus, our individuals and Team Members had a great time on Halloween!   

November - December 2017 - Holiday Program
Sunday, December 3 - 35th Annual Troy Victorian Stroll (Troy Atrium) 
2018 - Vanderheyden's 185th Anniversary!  Celebrations throughout the year!   
Spring 2018 - Vanderheyden's 2nd Annual Wine and Dine Event!

  More details to come.... Keep following us on Facebook!

                                             As always, thank you for your support!


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!                         
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