September 2020 Newsletter
Leadership Message
Greetings supporters,

It’s hard to believe it’s already September and that fall is just around the corner.

I’m thrilled to report that, while still in a very limited capacity, we’ve been able to open our day habilitation sites in Broome and Chenango County and welcome individuals back on-site. While adhering to strict safety and sanitation guidelines as outlined by New York State, we’re so happy to be able to provide supports in-person once again and see the smiling faces (behind masks) of the individuals we’ve so dearly missed over the last couple months.

August also saw us host our first virtual Annual Membership Meeting. Traditionally held as part of our annual Dinner Dance, we were excited for the election of two new board members, including a historic agency milestone with our first Self-Advocate joining the Board of Directors! Congratulations to all our new and returning Board Members, and thank you to all who attended to show their support.

While we unfortunately had to cancel Savor the Summer this year, we were able to transition to a new event, Share the Summer, which is our way of giving back to the restaurants, wineries and breweries that have supported us at Savor the Summer over the years. Details on how you can get your Passport to delicious destinations are included in this newsletter, and again, we thank both our corporate sponsors and the community who have supported this new venture.

Our final fundraiser of the year, the overACHIEVEr’s Half-K Classic, would have celebrated its second year in October, however in the interest of safety, plans are developing to make this a virtual event as well. Stay tuned to our Facebook page and website for more information in the coming weeks.

It’s truly an exciting time at ACHIEVE as we’re slowly reopen our and welcoming our individuals back, but we remain committed to the health and safety of everyone, and that will continue to be the priority as we move forward.

As always, I thank you for the commitment to the individuals we support.

Best regards,
Amy Howard
Chief Executive Officer
Annual Membership Meeting
We'd like to thank all of our Members who joined us for our first virtual Membership Meeting and look forward to your leadership and guidance in the year ahead! Congratulations to the following Board Members on their various elections:

Director to be re-elected for a three-year term (2020-2023):
Ms. Barbara Schindler

Directors to be elected for a three-year term (2020-2023):
Mr. James Peduto
Mr. Edwin Tripp

2020-2021 Slate of Officers:
President - Mr. Dave Sebastianelli
1st Vice President - Ms. Lisa Dolphin
2nd Vice President - Mr. James Savage
Secretary - Ms. Nicki French
Treasurer - Ms. Barbara Schindler

Directors to be elected to the Nominating Committee (2020-2021):
Ms. Kathy Sheehan
Ms. Nicki French
Ms. Michelle Karedes

For over a decade ACHIEVE has hosted Savor the Summer. This tasting event has grown to become a premier event in the Southern Tier, thanks to the restaurants, wineries and craft breweries who have supported us!

2020 has presented many challenges for ACHIEVE, our amazing vendors, and our whole community.  Share the Summer presented by M&T Bank, was conceived to not only be a fundraiser for ACHIEVE, but a way for us to give back to the vendors and our community who have supported us through the years.

Your $40  Share the Summer Passport has over $250 of saving towards dining at our incredible local restaurants, and can be purchased on our website. Your 2020 passport can be used throughout the rest of the year!
Due to the ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19, we are unable to host our overACHIEVEr's Half-K Classic, sponsored by NBT Bank, in person this year. However, we are excited to hold this event virtually!

Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks. Follow our Facebook page for up-to-the-minute notifications on how to register and participate!
We wanted to reach out with an update on our first couple of weeks of programming at our Day Habilitation sites. We’ve successfully reopened our Day Habilitation programs at our Norwich and Cutler Pond sites, and have been offering services to individuals who are enrolled in our Tioga County location. We are so happy to report that the return to program has gone well. We are able to use small staff-individual ratios, we have social distancing parameters in place, and are focusing on providing an opportunity for some return to “normal” for those who have missed it. We understand that return to program does come with risk, and know that some of you are apprehensive, which is why we thought an update might be a good idea.

If a full day return to site-based programming does not fit the needs or comfort of some of the individuals or their families yet, we understand and have been offering some alternatives to support your loved one:
• We are offering site-based services for a 2-hour time period if families are able to assist with transportation. Our current programming is occurring in the morning hours, so this allows for a return to site-based program with a smaller cohort of peers.
• We are offering TeleHealth services to individuals via video right in the comfort of their own home. These include one-on-one with a staff, or group services facilitated by a staff. Services can be provided in either one or two-hour blocks.
• We are able to offer small group community-based day habilitation services. Staff pick up individuals and provide services in low-risk environments in the community. Social distancing, including in vehicles, is our standard, as is careful screening and disinfection practices to ensure safety. This would allow some socialization without the risk or concern of returning to a congregate setting.

Please call Tara Packer at 607.372.9112 for services in Chenango County and Mellisa Ellis 607. 221.2271 for services at Cutler Pond or for any additional questions.

New Gaming Machine
The guys at our Riverside house received a new golf arcade machine! While they were so excited to actually play it, putting it together was just as much fun!
Hall of Fame
Congratulation to Tony Iovine on being inducted into the New York State Strength and Power Hall of Fame for his years of participation in weight lifting at the Special Olympics. Tony has become a pro at gaining or dropping weight to compete in the class of his choosing, trains at the YMCA when he can, and has participated in events all across the state.

Special thanks to Chairman and Special Olympics Coach David Laszewski for helping Tony compete and earning this recognition! 

Doug the Delivery Man
We were excited to welcome back some of the amazing individuals throughout our community in a limited capacity to Day Habilitation, including our very own Doug the Handyman! Doug took no time at all to jump back into his desire to help deliver supplies to others!
Mask Decorating
We have been thrilled to welcome a limited capacity of individuals back to day programs, putting many precautions in place to ensure everyone's safety, including wearing masks. Wearing masks inside is new for all of us, but we've found a way to correlate positivity with mask-wearing by inviting individuals to decorate their own! They look fantastic!
Having a "Grape" Time
Chris and Loretta thought it would be a perfect idea to go in their backyard and pick some of the delicious grapes that were growing!

National Disability Voter Registration Week
Last month, we participated in National Disability Voter Registration Week, sharing with our individuals the importance of registering to vote and making sure they exercised their voice! DD was interested in registering to vote and excited when she got her confirmation postcard!
Quilling is a paper filigree that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. Some of the ladies in our Community Habilitation program have been practicing their "quilling" skills during the pandemic and wanted to show off their amazing creations!
Breakfast and Bubbles
Kathleen got creative with her kitchen utensils the other day! First she made some delicious pancakes to start her day, then decided to enjoy the nice weather by blowing bubbles with the same utensils no less! Nice thinking, Kathleen!
Arc New York Art Competition
Check out this awesome painting, “My Choice”, by one of our Chenango individuals, Kathleen Woodcock, that we’ll be entering into The Arc New York’s art contest this month, and will be on display as part of a collage at their state office! Great job and good luck, Kathleen!
NOW HIRING: Residence Aides – All full time positions come with a great benefits package and generous paid time off!

Looking for more than “just a job?” Seeking an employer who offers training opportunities for career development and advancement? Do values such as honesty, integrity, transparency, and respect appeal to you? If so, YOU may be our next valued team member!

Congratulations to the following employees for receiving a promotion in the month of July!
  • Shannadoa Cheeseman - Assistant Residential Manager
  • Erin Shelton - Assistant Residential Manager
July 2020
August 2020
Sue Benjamin
Day Habilitation Support Specialist
Courtney Sarpriacone
Program Manager
On behalf of the Executive Management Team and the Staff Appreciation Committee, we are honored to award Sue Benjamin, Day Habilitation Support Specialist, with ACHIEVE's July Employee of the Month, and Courtney Sarpriacone, Program Manager, with ACHIEVE's August Employee of the Month! The Executive Management Team was thrilled to provide these awards to both recipients, social distancing of course!
2020 Platinum Partners
2020 Sponsors