The Arc Lexington Receives NYSARC Trust Recreation Grant

Lexington, a not-for profit organization that supports people with disabilities in Fulton and Albany counties, has been awarded $15,000 in grants from the Trustee Management Board of NYSARC Trust Services to support Lexington’s recreation programs.

NYSARC Trust Services administers supplemental needs trusts (SNT) that can make dramatic improvements to the lives of people with disabilities while enabling individuals to maintain eligibility for public benefits programs, such as Medicaid and SSI. For 2018, NYSARC Trust Services is proud to fulfill its commitment to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities by awarding a total of $2,778,500 in grants to The Arc New York Chapters statewide.

This year, Lexington received $15,000 to develop new recreational opportunities to enrich the lives of the more than nearly 1,000 people it supports. This grant money was used to provide recreational opportunities to individuals who attend the Day Habilitation, Family Services and Creative Expressions programs at Lexington.

The Day Habilitation program at Lexington offers approximately 120 individuals the opportunity to participate in a wellness plan called Engaged and Empowered. This plan offers daily activities ranging from adaptive sports and physical activities to gardening and cooking classes, as well as nutrition courses that focus on healthy eating. This year, for the first time, people participated in an adaptive water skiing program on the Great Sacandaga Lake. This program was a huge success and was enjoyed by all who attended. When describing the experience, participants used words such as “awesome”, “amazing”, and “thrilling” and said they are looking forward to the next event. One participant said he has never felt so “free” as he did while participating in the adaptive water skiing program.

People also participated in an Orienteering program in which they used a specially created detailed map to select routes and navigate a course through diverse and unfamiliar terrain. This was a truly unique experience that taught the participants valuable navigation skills that can be utilized in many other situations.

Additionally, through the grant we purchased 6 Jamboxx units, which are hands-free electronic, breath-powered instruments that bring the joy of music creation to people of all ages and abilities. These are a very exciting addition to our program that will allow many people to experience the joy of making music.

Gift cards were also used to access recreational opportunities at arts and cultural centers in the community such as the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts and other area businesses where people could experience indoor and outdoor recreation events in a smaller setting.

The Family Services program held a 10 week summer recreational program at the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts.  Approximately 25 teens and young adults attended full-day activities that included classes run by certified instructors in Art, STEM, and Culinary arts; as well as, team building, sports, community outings, volunteering, and social skills activities.

Family Services also utilized the grant to fund a variety of recreational and social events. Each week during the summer, people attended museums and historical sites, such as the Museum of Innovation and Science (miSci) and the USS Slater. They also enjoyed bowling, movies, laser tag, and attending a gym specially adapted for children on the autism spectrum. All of these events and activities afforded participants an opportunity to practice social skills in a fun atmosphere. Approximately 150 people attended these events.

The Creative Expressions program offers evening and weekend activities to people who live in the community. One of the activities that the program offers is playwriting and acting. In the fall, a group of people performed an original play in front of an audience from the community including family and friends. The play was a huge success in building self-esteem and confidence. The play was written with the support of a literacy instructor, a local musician aided in rehearsing and performing the musical numbers, and a local producer assisted in the execution of the performance. The next endeavor of this talented group of people is making a movie. In order to assist with the production of this and future projects, a camcorder, film editing software, and a projector was purchased. In addition to recording and film editing, this will allow the performers to review their performances and determine areas to improve their skills.

 

About NYSARC Trust Services

NYSARC Trust Services has administered supplemental needs trusts since 1972, helping more than 16,000 people with disabilities protect their eligibility for government benefits and improve their quality of life. Our trust programs give people with disabilities the opportunity to remain in their communities with greater comfort and independence while providing peace of mind to their family and loved ones.

NYSARC Trust Services administers first- and third-party supplemental needs trusts, pooled trusts for income and resource (asset) protection, and individual trusts. When protecting settlement proceeds with a NYSARC Community Trust, we can also administer Medicare Set-Aside (MSA) accounts. For more information, please call 518-439-8323 or visit their website at www.nysarctrustservices.org.

Lexington Receives NYSARC Trust Recreation Grant

The Trustees of the NYSARC, Inc. Trust have approved a remainder fund grant of $12,500 per chapter to provide recreational opportunities for people they support. Last year the Chapter received a similar grant from NYSARC Trust Services to enhance the Encounters Social Club at Lexington. The social club brings together people in recreational venues from all over Lexington and the community to help combat isolation and provide opportunities to meet others with like interests. Approximately 60 people were served by the grant last year.

The funding this year was used by the Encounters group, the Commit club and by a group from the Lexington Family Services. A portion of this year’s funding was used by the Encounters group to continue the social activities that were started last year. Membership mixers were held as well as dinners out, dancing, football and video gaming nights. Each event offered club members a supportive venue to meet new people and experience new activities. Approximately 65 people attended the Encounters events.

The Commit club provides people with opportunities to experience outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing, and fishing. The focus is on teamwork and health and wellness activities while promoting positive social interactions in the community and at home. The grant funding was used to purchase items such as snowshoes, fishing gear, and backpacks. Approximately 30 people were served through the Commit program.

Funding was also used for various recreational events for people served by Lexington’s Family Services program. Trips to Disney on Ice, movies, recreational events, the Aquarium and other venues were made possible for people who may never be afforded such an opportunity. Also provided were social skills coaching and training opportunities in a recreational setting for teens and young adults. Approximately 125 people benefited from the grant funding under the guidance of the Lexington Family Services program.

In addition, remainder fund grants totaling $1,466,000 were awarded to support NYSARC guardianship programs statewide. A total of $1,874,000 in remainder grants was awarded in 2016 to support recreation and guardianship statewide. NYSARC Trust Services administers supplemental needs trusts that enable people with disabilities to remain in their home and community while retaining Medicaid services and other government benefits. Information is available on how NYSARC Trust Services may benefit you: our website www.nysarctrustservices.org, phone 1-518-439-8323, toll free phone 1-800-735-8924 or e-mail info@nysarctrustservices.org.

LEXINGTON RECEIVES NYSARC TRUST RECREATION GRANT

The NYSARC Trust Services Board has provided Lexington, Fulton County Chapter, NYSARC Inc., with a remainder fund grant of $8,000 to provide recreational opportunities for people supported by Lexington. Last year, Lexington received a similar grant from NYSARC Trust Services for $10,000 that went toward purchasing recreational game equipment such as foosball tables, ping pong tables, air hockey tables and pool tables.

The funding is providing for Encounters, a social club that brings together young people from all over Lexington, the community and other agencies and helps combat the isolation that often follows graduation from school. Funds from the grant will be used to purchase long-lasting materials such as video game equipment, snow shoes, art supplies and games. The grant will also support other, less durable expenses that generate excitement and keep the group engaged, such as promotional items, catering and gift certificates to defray the costs of some activities.

In addition, remainder fund grants totaling $1,466,000 were awarded to support NYSARC guardianship programs statewide and a total of $1,874,000 in remainder grants were awarded in 2015 to support recreation and guardianship statewide. NYSARC Trust Services administers supplemental needs trusts that enable people with disabilities to remain in their home and community while retaining Medicaid services and other government benefits. Information about how NYSARC Trust Services may benefit you is available by visiting www.nysarctrustservices.org, calling 1-518-439-8323 or 1-800-735-8924 (toll-free), or e-mailing info@nysarctrustservices.org.

For more information about Encounters, Lexington’s members-only social club, please contact Katherine Ehle at ehlek@lexcenter.org or (518) 736-3909.

NYSARc, Inc. Appoints Steven Kroll as Executive Director

NYSARC, Inc., the largest nonprofit organization of its kind in the nation supporting individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families, announces the appointment of Steven Kroll as Executive Director. 

He comes to NYSARC after serving as Vice President of Governmental Affairs and External Relations at the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) for the past 19 years.

“NYSARC has a rich history of successful advocacy for people with developmental disabilities and their families,” said Kroll. “NYSARC exists to help persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities lead safe, productive, and happy lives. The support systems for these people, their families, and their caregivers are in the midst of dramatic changes. I look forward to bringing my skills, experiences, and passion to NYSARC and to being a leader of this dynamic and wonderful organization that supports people in every community in New York State. It is a distinct honor to have been selected to succeed Marc Brandt who has provided tremendous leadership over these many years.”

Kroll follows Marc N. Brandt, who retired Dec. 31 after 32 years of leading the Organization and more than four decades of dedicated service to the field. During this time, Brandt was appointed by four Governors to serve on the Advisory Council to the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, now the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. He also championed several legislative bills signed into law on advocacy issues and rights of people with developmental disabilities, including a bill of rights in community residences and a bill establishing an ombudsman on the grounds of developmental centers, and the Health Care Decisions Act, to name but a few.

Brandt considers Kroll’s background and personality an ideal fit for NYSARC during this pivotal period. "Over the past several months, I have had the opportunity to meet with Steven,” he said. “These discussions have demonstrated that he possesses a remarkable aptitude to grasp our field’s issues and challenges quickly. Steven brings exceptional leadership and political advocacy experience balanced with a strong sense of compassion and sensitivity for the needs of our Chapters, people with developmental disabilities, and their families.”

Kroll comes to NYSARC with almost three decades of federal and state policy development and advocacy experience and trade association leadership. His professional background also includes serving as a Legislative Assistant for Health Care and Education to the United States Senate, an Associate Director of the American Hospital Association Office of Federal Relations in Washington, DC, and the Interim Executive of the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council.

He has been active in the community, serving on the Board of Trustees of Cobleskill Regional Hospital for the past 16 years. He is an active EMT and a volunteer leader with Delmar-Bethlehem EMS and has served as Assistant Chief of the Delmar Volunteer Fire Department. He is also Vice Chair of the New York State Department of Health Emergency Medical Services Council.

Kroll earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from SUNY Buffalo and his master’s degree in health administration from Duke University. 

He resides in Delmar, NY, with his wife, Tricia, and their two children.


About NYSARC, Inc.

NYSARC, Inc. is the largest nonprofit in New York and the United States serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The 54 Chapters comprising NYSARC, Inc. are located in every County in NYS. The Organization supports over 60,000 individuals, employs over 30,000 people, and has a membership of over 103,000.

Lexington Receives NYSARC Trust Recreation Grant

The NYSARC Trust Services Board has provided Lexington, Fulton County Chapter, NYSARC Inc. with a remainder fund grant of $10,000 to provide recreational opportunities for people supported by Lexington. Last year, Lexington received a similar grant from NYSARC Trust Services for $6,000 that went toward the purchase of adaptive wellness equipment. This funding is providing for a variety of recreational games such as foosball tables, ping pong tables, air hockey tables and pool tables. These new games will allow the men and women supported by Lexington to be further engaged in activities that interest them. Each of the game options will provide new opportunities for social interaction and fine and gross motor skill development, both of which are goals of Lexington’s health and wellness program, Engaged & Empowered.

In addition, remainder fund grants totaling $1,660,500 were awarded to support NYSARC guardianship programs statewide and a total of $2,207,880 in remainder grants were awarded in 2014 to support recreation and guardianship statewide. NYSARC Trust Services administers supplemental needs trusts that enable people with disabilities to remain in their home and community while retaining Medicaid services and other government benefits.

Information about how NYSARC Trust Services may benefit you is available by visiting www.nysarctrustservices.org, calling 1-518-439-8323 or 1-800-735-8924 (toll-free), or e-mailing info@nysarctrustservices.org.

Check Out the Video NYSARC Put Together for Michelle!

NYSARC congratulates Michelle King, 2014 Self-Advocate of the Year, who was recently honored at NYSARC's 65th Annual Convention. Michelle is lead singer for the band Flame with Fulton County Chapter, NYSARC. The Self-Advocate Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated leadership and personal growth and who has positively influenced the lives of others.

Michelle King and Rodney Frenyea Honored by NYSARC!

On Friday, October 17, 2014, NYSARC, Inc. honored two extraordinary people from Lexington as part of their Annual Convention. Michelle King was named NYSARC Inc.’s Self-Advocate of the Year and Rodney Frenyea was the Northeast Region’s recipient of NYSARC Inc.’s Thomas A. Maul Direct Support Professional Excellence Award.

Michelle copy.jpg

Michelle King, lead singer and guitarist of Lexington’s band, FLAME, has been receiving services from Lexington since 2003. Since she joined Lexington, she has amassed quite a list of accomplishments. She sang at Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s wake upon personal request from the Shriver family; starred in a documentary about Flame, the director of which was honored with the Loreen Arbus Scholarship at the 2014 College Television Emmy Awards; was profiled on the nationally-syndicated show, Good Morning America; performed in Greece and was recognized by the Greek Ministry of Education; was featured in People magazine’s “Heroes Among Us” profile, and has met with Senator Farley, Congressman Tonko and Mayor Bloomberg to advocate for the rights of persons with developmental disabilities. This all from a woman doctors once said would never talk. Since coming to Lexington and joining Flame, Michelle has used her fame as a platform to advocate for others and has inspired people all over the world with her message that “it’s not about disabilities, it’s about abilities.” At the awards ceremony, Lexington Executive Director Shaloni Winston said, “We’re so fortunate to celebrate Michelle King’s many successes, acknowledge her rightful place as an ambassador for developmental disabilities and to be at her side as she is recognized as NYSARC’s Self-Advocate of the Year.”

Rodney Frenyea has worked at Lexington in various support capacities for the past 20 years. Colleagues describe him as a strong leader who leads by example and a strong advocate for the people he supports. One colleague said, “He is a remarkable person who is adored by those who work with him and those supported by him. Rodney has such a gentle nature and is the calm in any storm. I have known Rodney for many years and he is the most creative and thoughtful person when it comes to helping make someone’s life better.” About his experience working at Lexington, Frenyea stated, “I started working at Lexington during college and I never left. I love my work supporting people and helping them to live the best lives they can.”

Victor Colon, President of Lexington's Self-Advocacy Committee was invited to provide introductory remarks at the dinner. He told his story of growing up and attending school in New York City, moving to Massachusetts and finally settling in Johnstown in April 2010 in order to attend programs at Lexington. He talked about his work in Lexington’s maintenance department, his important role in Lexington's Self-Advocacy Committee, how much he enjoys living independently in a supported apartment and the many friends he has made since he became a part of Lexington.

Congratulations to all on their much deserved recognition!

Lexington Receives NYSARC Trust Services Guardianship Grant

The trustees of the NYSARC Trusts authorized $1,668,250.00 in restricted grants from the NYSARC Trusts Remainder Funds to be paid to NYSARC Chapters for the exclusive purposes of funding Chapters’ guardianship program operating expenses. Last year, the Lexington - Fulton County Chapter, NYCARC, Inc. received a similar grant from NYSARC Trust Services not only for the guardians to ensure the continuity of care and oversight, but also to help provide new experiences for individuals in their environments and community and to help those individuals develop meaningful relationships.

This grant allows for individuals to have opportunities and experiences that they might not be able to fund themselves. For instance, individuals were able to live out dreams like going to a Yankee game at the Yankee Stadium, attending the theater to watch a play, spending a weekend at a spa to celebrate a birthday and making a relaxing sensory area. Lexington– Fulton County Chapter, NYSARC, Inc. plans to use these funds in the same fashion this year.

In addition, remainder fund grants in the amount of $10,000 per Chapter were awarded to support NYSARC recreation programs statewide. A total of $2,207,880 in remainder grants were awarded in 2014 to support recreation and guardianship statewide. NYSARC Trust Services administers supplemental needs trusts that enable people with disabilities to remain in their home and community while retaining Medicaid services and other government benefits.

Information is available on how NYSARC Trust Services may benefit you: our website www.nysarctrustservices.org, phone 1-518-439-8323, toll free phone 1-800-735-8924 or email info@nysarctrustservices.org.

.

Lexington Receives Trust Recreation Grant

Lexington has launched their new wellness initiative, “Engaged & Empowered,” in its day programs. “Engaged & Empowered” focuses on the principles of Positive Psychology and uses “Health Matters,” an exercise, nutrition and health education curriculum for people with developmental disabilities. Lexington has partnered with the Mayo Clinic to receive training on how to support individuals with their wellness plans and goals. Several of the initial trainees will so on become wellness coaches who support their peers through a program called “Health Messages.”

On Friday, December 20, 2013, Lexington held its first “Engaged & Empowered” Day, an agency-wide event with over 200 attendees that was held at the new Center at Lexington, located at 465 N. Perry St., Johnstown. The day’s activities included a healthy cooking class, aromatherapy and meditation demonstrations, prizes for the most laps walked around the indoor walking track, an awards ceremony celebrating personal wellness achievements and a healthy lunch. Proceeds from the lunch will go toward the purchase of wellness equipment. Lexington will continue to explore opportunities to expand its wellness programs and is actively seeking donations to help purchase additional equipment such as exercise bicycles.

Lexington recently received $6,000 from NYSARC Trust to begin the purchasing of adaptive wellness equipment for the individuals in its day programs. The Trustees of the NYSARC Trusts provided Lexington, Fulton County Chapter, NYSARC Inc. with a $6,000 grant to support recreational opportunities for Chapter consumers. The NYSARC Trusts administer supplemental needs trusts that enable people who have disabilities to remain in their home and community and retain their Medicaid eligible services. The Trustees utilize remainder funds to benefit other persons with disabilities including unfunded Chapter guardianship programs as provided by statute. In addition to the recreation grant, the Trustees awarded $1,225,500 to support Chapter Guardianship programs. Information on how you may benefit from a NYSARC Trust is available by calling (518) 439-8323 or (800) 735-8924 or at info@nysarctrustservices.org.

To make a donation toward the purchase of new wellness equipment or to learn more about Lexington’s Engaged & Empowered program, please contact Katherine Ehle at ehlek@lexcenter.org or (518) 736-3909.