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Archive for April, 2013

A Grand Start for Disabled Child Respite Home

by By Jessica Bagley

Tonawanda News  [ View Original Article ]

Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — A local organization celebrated the opening of a town respite home Tuesday morning that will serve as an overnight and after-school care center for developmentally disabled children.

“What this home will do in the future is help those who need it,” Mark R. Foley, of Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled, said during the ribbon cutting of the center. “As we know, this is one of the few respite homes in Western New York.”

Community Services purchased the home last year — thanks to a $200,000 donation provided by the late Mildred M. Seegler, who was a special education teacher and donated her estate to four different charities. With numerous other donations in hand, the organization began renovating the home in the fall.

The home, located at 52 Dixon Drive, now has four large bedrooms, one of which is wheelchair-accessible. Children ages 5 to 18 will be able to stay at the home once the overnight program begins later this month. And next week, older individuals, ages 17 to 21, will begin making use of the home during an after-school program.

“They’ll be learning things you don’t learn in school — like how to prepare for an interview, and how to do laundry,” Kari Heigl, of Community Services, said. “It will help them transition into adulthood.”

The home is one of a handful in Western New York, and will be the closest respite center to the City of Buffalo, which the organization hopes to serve.

“This one is so much closer, and will help families who can’t make the drive way out to the others homes, which are either way north or way south,” Foley said.

Heigl, who spearheaded the project, said the other homes have wait lists of up to four years — making it hard on families who may need a break from 24/7 care of a disabled child.

But despite the celebratory mood Tuesday, the project didn’t come without controversy. In the fall, after the organization purchased the home and announced their plans, a group of town residents who live near the home publicly objected to the plans for the home.

Residents spoke out against the project at town board meetings and signed a petition against the proposals. They argued the home would cause more traffic in the neighborhood, and that the home violated zoning codes.

Although officials attempted to address the group’s concerns, board members and Town Attorney John Flynn said both the codes and state law allowed for the purchase and use of the home.

But months later, some residents are still concerned.

“We are worried because of the congestion,” Dorothy Merzacco, of Dixon Drive said. “This is a real residential neighborhood, very quiet … we figure it was going to become noisy, with more traffic. And I live in the second home from that location.”

But Heigl said many other neighbors have reached out to her to show their support for the project.

“We’ve had an outpouring of support, with neighbors saying they are for it — that they have children of their own with disabilities,” Heigl said. “I chalk the worries up to concerns about the unknown.”

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150

Ribbon Cutting Opens New Respite Home

by dstresing

Home Will Primarily Serve Areas Close to City

At 10:15 am on Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 at a ribbon cutting ceremony, Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled officially opened The Children’s Guild FoundationMildred M. Seegler Respite House and Youth Center at 52 Dixon Drive in the Town of Tonawanda.  Community Services CEO Mark R. Foley, the Children’s Guild Foundation President Catherine A. Gura and Lauren D. Rachlin, a partner at Hodgson Russ LLP cut the ribbon to officially open the new Children’s Respite Site.

 

The new respite center is dedicated to serving the children and residents of the City of Buffalo, and surrounding areas.  A generous gift of $200,000 was given by The Children’s Guild Foundation in August 2012 to Community Services to develop the facility in memory of Mildred M. Seegler, a benefactor to the Foundation.  Several other Foundations and businesses provided substantial donations to furnish and equip the house.

 

In the immediate Buffalo area, there are hundreds of families that seek overnight respite services for children with developmental disabilities.  Currently, nearly all of Western New York’s respite sites are located in suburban areas not easily accessed by public transportation.  The new Community Services respite site is the first of its kind to be located near a bus route and offer overnight and after school respite for these families in a location in or close to the city limits.  Services will also be offered during the afternoons for adolescents to learn basic home, self-care and job readiness skills to prepare them for independent living and adult responsibilities.

 

The ribbon cutting was well attended by Business and Foundation Donors, Town of Tonawanda Representatives, Reporters and Cameramen, and many other types of supporters.

Community Services CEO Mark R. Foley and Attorney for Mildred M. Seegler Estate Lauren D. Rachlin Officially Open Respite Site

Community Services CEO Mark R. Foley and Attorney for Mildred M. Seegler Estate Lauren D. Rachlin Officially Open Respite Site

Community Services Mark R. Foley Provides Background and History of Respite Project Before Cutting Ribbon

Community Services Mark R. Foley Provides Background and History of Respite Project Before Cutting Ribbon

Sade Wallace Adds the Finishing Touches to the Site's

Sade Wallace Adds the Finishing Touches to the Site's "Bubble" Recognition Wall

The Respite Center will Provide Overnight Care to Children During Weekends and Afterschool Lifeskills Training for Teens and Young Adults

The Respite Center will Provide Overnight Care to Children During Weekends and Afterschool Lifeskills Training for Teens and Young Adults

Artwork Winner Among Contest of Over 30 Paintings by People Supported by Community Services Made of Plastic Spoons

Artwork Winner Among Contest of Over 30 Paintings by People Supported by Community Services Made of Plastic Spoons

Creative Artwork by People Supported by Community Services Fills the Home

Creative Artwork by People Supported by Community Services Fills the Home

Outdoor Sign Discreetly Tells Visitors the Homes Purpose

Outdoor Sign Discreetly Tells Visitors the Homes Purpose

Large Kitchen, 4 Bedrooms, Play Areas and Family Style Kitchen Provide Cozy Home Care for Visitors

Large Kitchen, 4 Bedrooms, Play Areas and Family Style Kitchen Provide Cozy Home Care for Visitors

LifeSkills Room Will Be Used Afterschool Hours to Transition Young Adults Into Independence

LifeSkills Room Will Be Used Afterschool Hours to Transition Young Adults Into Independence

New Respite House Receives Great Support from Donors

Foundations and Companies Provide Funding

MetroWNY / Source Newspapers  [ View Original Article ]

Wednesday April 3, 2013 | By: Metro Source Staff | News

TONAWANDA – A children’s overnight respite house in the Town of Tonawanda, to be opened by Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled, has received generous support from area foundations and businesses. The Children’s Guild Foundation Mildred M. Seegler Respite House was started with a gift of $200,000 in August 2012 from The Children’s Guild Foundation, in memory of Mildred M. Seegler.

Since then, Community Services has received donations from more than a dozen organizations. Some of the donations were monetary, and others in-kind, but all of them had one purpose; to supply and outfit the home to accommodate the children with developmental disabilities that will be staying there for overnights or after school hours.

Community Services would like to recognize the following foundations and corporations: the James H. Cummings Foundation contributed $15,000 toward wheelchair accessibility, Parkview Health Systems provided $15,000, the Maria Love Convalescent Fund donated $7,000 to support Sensory Room equipment for children with Autism and other sensory disorders, the Josephine Goodyear Foundation Fund, the Patrick P. Lee Foundation and the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation each added $5,000 towards the goal and the Maximus Foundation donated $2,500 to bring the total amount of grant and dollar donations to $254,500. In-kind and other support has also been pouring in from local businesses such as The Sportsmen’s Tavern and Jeffery M. Goldfarb & Associates (who both supported the Golden Ticket Concert Series Fund-raiser), Orville’s Home Appliances (Washer and Dryer), Carolina Furniture (Dining Room furniture), Fisher Price (Toys), Envious Landscaping (Landscaping) and Flaghouse, Inc. (Sensory Room Equipment).

Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled will officially open the Respite House, located at 52 Dixon Drive in the town of Tonawanda, in the early spring of 2013.

The home will be dedicated to serving children and families of the City of Buffalo and surrounding areas. In the immediate Buffalo area, there are hundreds of families that seek overnight respite services for children with developmental disabilities. Currently, there are only a handful of overnight respite sites in Western New York. None of these is near the City of Buffalo and all have long waiting lists. Initially, overnight respite will be offered at the house on the weekends, expanding to mid-week as more governmental funding become available. Services will also be offered during the afterschool hours for adolescents with developmental disabilities to learn basic home, self-care and job readiness skills to prepare them for independent living and adult responsibilities.

Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled provides specialized services for over 1,200 individuals in Western New York. Programs include Service Coordination, Habilitation Services, and Housing and Shelter Services.

Visit Community Services website, www.csdd.net to donate online.

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