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Winter 2012

OU R STA R S SH I N E AT OU R 10 T H A N N UAL GAL A Anderson Center for Autism proudly hosted our 10th Annual Gala in October at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie. Our very dear friends Tondra and Jeffrey Lynford and The Good Dog Foundation were presented with the V.V. Anderson Community Service Award.


Award recognizes a person(s) and a business/organization who has demonstrated continued commitment and dedication to furthering autism awareness in our community, as well as their outstanding leadership and strong desire to make this world a better place to live, work and play in. The Lynfords quietly pursue efforts to make this world a better place through their many volunteer efforts in the areas of education and health, historic and environmental conservation, and the performing and visual arts – thoughtfully approaching each endeavor with energy, dedication and kindness. Tondra is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Anderson Foundation and past Chair of its Grants Committee. Jeffrey is the Co-Managing Member of Wellsford Strategic Partners, LLC and the co-founder of the Wellsford group of public and private real estate companies. Currently, he holds three gubernatorial appointments as a Commissioner of The Port Authority of NY and NJ, a Member of the NY State Council on the Arts and a Director of the Trust for Governors Island; and serves on the board of two Institutions of higher education, NYU and Polytechnic Institute of NYU. This year’s organizational award went to The Good Dog Foundation. Founded in 1998 to promote the use of animal-assisted therapy to enhance a person’s life, their mission is to help society better understand the therapeutic value and benefits of the human-animal bond. Good Dog provides therapy dog services through the use of professionally-trained and supervised volunteer teams. Anderson Center for Autism has worked with Good Dog for more than three years

W H AT ’ S I N S I DE · Executive Director’s Message 2 · Family Corner


becomes stressed, frustrated or agitated. Dog therapy is helping Anderson Center’s

· Fundraising Highlights


children and adults develop skills that can be transferred to relationships with people.

· Notes and Notables

with gratifying results. The dogs are trained to remain calm even if a student or adult

(Gala continued on page 3)


autism today

Having been haunted by this type of adversity himself, local celebrity and author Jesse A. Saperstein hopes his newest project entitled Free-Falling to End Bullying in 2012 will raise awareness,


foster compassion and call for change. Anderson Foundation for Autism is proud to partner with Jesse on this endeavor. I encourage you to learn more about what this courageous young man did to rise above the adversity and become a champion for people living with

Thoughts from the desk of Neil J. Pollack, Executive Director

ASD at Jesse also tackles serious subject matter in his book Atypical, Life with Asperger’s in 20 1/3 Chapters in which he offers a raw disclosure about the challenges of his life and his quest to root out

We all know how it feels to be misunderstood or judged for any variety of reasons.

Regrettably, people with autism

spectrum disorders, specifically high functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, can often be targets of unkind reactions or even bullying in their school or community because of their unique behaviors and social unease.

The slings and

arrows of unkindness can leave emotional scars that last a lifetime. Most unfortunate is that lingering below the surface are often amazing, creative talents that, once fully engaged, can be tapped into to solve tremendous societal challenges.

bullying. Jesse is courageous in sharing the intimate details of his life and it is important that we support his helpful work. You can do this today by visiting his website and watching the Free Falling video as well as by purchasing his book. I promise you that both will be eye-opening experiences you will appreciate! Jesse is also available for speaking engagements and the Anderson Development Team stands ready to help you by contacting or calling Eliza at 845-889-9594.

boards of trustees Anderson Center for Autism operates under the guidance of our exceptional Boards of Trustees. We appreciate the contributions that each of these talented and generous individuals makes towards the achievement of our goals.

A N D E R SO N C E N T E R F O R A U T I S M * David W. Melby, Chair

Neeraj Alimchandani, Trustee

Richard W. Lewis, Trustee

Francis M. Synan, 1st Vice Chair

Elinor B. E. Arnold, Trustee

Peter M. Olympia, Jr., Trustee

Eric D. Gorman, 2nd Vice Chair

Rebecca M. Blahut, Trustee

Jeanne R. Raichle, Trustee

Justin L. Cole, Treasurer

Pompey Delafield, Trustee

John A. Scileppi, Trustee

Elizabeth P. Corcoran, Secretary

Joe Lepore, Trustee

Andrew Stewart, MD, Trustee

*Trustees for Anderson Center for Autism are also trustees for Anderson Center Services, Inc.

A N D E R SO N F O U N DAT I O N F O R A U T I S M , I N C . Margaret Cusumano, Chair

Susan Angeles, Trustee

Joseph T. Kirchhoff, Trustee

John Maserjian, Vice Chair

Ellen L. Baker, Trustee

Harold L. Mangold, Trustee

Alexander E. Roithmayr, Ex-Officio Trustee

Robert Shoemaker, Treasurer

Didi Barrett, Trustee

William F. Melcher, Trustee

Rebecca A. Valk, Trustee

Tondra Lynford, Secretary

Barry R. Feirstein, Trustee

Marisa Perez-Rogers, Trustee

Vance A. Gage, Trustee

Maryann R. Pilon, Trustee

LI F ETI M E H O N O R A RY T R U ST E ES Ellen L. Baker 2

Michael McNaughton

Jaime Rodriguez-Tellez

Wilfred Rohde

Sarah E. Sholes

Fritz Sonnenschmidt

family corner

P E R F EC T TI M I NG WAS ON TH EI R SI DE Nearly 15 years ago, Hank and Gail Arnold were faced with a dilemma that is familiar to so many parents of children reaching adulthood with autism and other disabilities. Their son David was aging out of his current school system and they were searching for a place that, as an adult, David would be safe, happy and continue to develop to his individual potential – a place that he could call home. For the Arnolds, “perfect timing” was on their side, according to dad Hank, and an opening with funding became available at Anderson Center’s Lamoree IRA. In 1998, David moved in. “After dropping him off, we were asked not to visit for the first 30 days so that he could settle in and know that it was his new home,” recounts Hank. “After our first visit, when we pulled up to his new home he said “You can go away now. It was a strong indication that he had adapted well and we were thrilled.” Today, David still lives at the Lamoree Road IRA and attends West Road Day Hab. “He has progressed an incredible amount, both socially and in all the things he can do,” says Dad. “A regular day-to-day routine makes him comfortable and he likes participating in tasks. He has done lots of great work and seems very happy. Most of all he loves being outside, eating at restaurants and travelling around.” “When we visit, the staff is amazing,” says Hank. “And, considering their mission and the challenging environment they work in, the staff retention rate at Anderson Center is tremendous. They are all wonderful individuals. As parents, we are very impressed and we’re sure that David is too!”

STA F F K U DOS Congratulations to Amanda Coons, Brandy Haight and Beth Foster on becoming Board Certified Behavior Analysts!


congratulations go to Amanda Coons who also recently earned a Masters Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism from Sage College. Beth Gray, MSOTR, and Rebecca Stanmyer, CCC-SLP, conducted a workshop presentation entitled “Innovative, Interdisciplinary Program Development for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders” at the New York State Occupational Therapy Association 2011 Annual Conference on October 23, 2011. Great work Beth and Rebecca!

GALA story continued from cover The highlight of the evening was a special performance by Anderson Center’s Adult Services Program “Dancing with Our Stars” Dancers. They had worked hard to perfect their performance and thoroughly entertained Gala attendees with their lively, inspirational presentation of dancing and singing. If you were unable to attend last year’s Gala, be sure to mark Saturday, October 6, 2012, on your calendar!! We will be celebrating “A Courageous Journey” and honoring Mr. David Melby and Marist College at the 11th Annual Gala ~ an event that should not be missed! Please see related article on page 4


T H A N K YOU TO OU R GAL A SPONSORS, SU P PORTERS , A N D D O N O R S - YO U A R E O U R H E ROES Anderson Center would like to thank the following outstanding individuals and organizations for their generosity and support. It is because of all of you that our 10th Annual Gala was such a great success. You are all amazing and we appreciate your involvement more than you know. GO L D

Ilene and Irving Fish, M.D.

Hudson Valley Autism Society ~

The Geduld Cougar Foundation

Sandy and Floss Frucher

Hudson Valley

Lynford Family Charitable Trust

Vance A. Gage

JJS Realty Management Corp.

Jill and Jerry Hultin ~

Jilco Kitchens

Polytech Institute of NYU

KathodeRay Media Inc.

JJS Realty Management Corp.

Howard Kaufman and Phyllis Lazard

Matt’s Auto Body

Lloyd Lynford

Mariko and Mark Mozeson

Marist College

Karen and John Nagy

Matt’s Auto Body

Bob and Geri Neiman

Assemblyman Joel Miller

Svetlana and Joseph Niyazov

Charlotte Moss and Barry Friedberg

William and Helen Page

NYU Silver School of Social Work

Janice Pollack

The Nagy Family


Jennifer Raab ~ Hunter College

Svetlana and Joseph Niyazov

Vassar Brothers Medical Center

The Rosenfeld Family

Pavel Zoubok Gallery

Frederick and Pearl Rosenfeld

Lynn and Alan Pearce

Sweet’s Funeral Home, Inc.

Pedatella Realty Inc. - Brian Woolsey

Ultimate Software

Pedatella Realty Inc. - Joan Pedatella

Stephanie and Hugh Vargas

Jennifer Raab

The Weisman Foundation

Radiology Associates of Poughkeepsie, PLLC

Margaret and Gary Zurheide

Resources for Children with Special Needs

S I LV E R Kirchhoff-Consigli Construction Management, LLC M & T Bank M & T Charitable Foundation The Zauderer Family FA M I LY The Feirstein Family

TA B L E Cheryl Coleman Law Offices McCabe & Mack The Mertens Family Rose & Kiernan SUPPORTER Clear Channel Communications The Gilmartin-Ronayne Families Integrated Enterprise Solutions Med World Pharmacy Sloan Architects PC S P O N SO R The Barry Friedberg and Charlotte Moss Family Foundation Sysco Food Services of Albany, LLC

SU P PORTERS Adams Fairacre Farms American Heating & Cooling Christopher Barley M.D. and Jonathan Sheffer Myrna and Richard Broadman Calculated Fire Protection Co., Inc. City Living Realty Justin Cole Ethan Allen Personnel Group

Rhinebeck Savings Bank Riverside Bank Susan and Michael Rogoff Rosenfeld Family Sciame Development Inc. Cynthia and Bill Simon Sweet’s Funeral Home, Inc. Barbara and Stephen Torpie Ultimate Software - Ultipro Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center The Zauderer Family


The Frucher Family


Edward and Marilyn Bennett

Victoria and Buzzy Geduld ~

All Sport Fishkill Health & Fitness

Richard and Myrna Broadman

Geduld Cougar Foundation

American Glory

Radita Casapu

The Gilmartin-Ronayne Families

Anderson Center for Autism Adult Services

City Living Realty

The Hamdan Family

Anderson Center for Autism

Justin Cole, PLLC

The Heyday Foundation

Children’s Services Department

Michael Fleischer and Michael Dupree

Fred Hochberg and Tom Healy

Anderson Center for Autism Human

The Barry Friedberg and

Elliot Horowitz

Resources Department

Charlotte Moss Family Foundation 4


Anderson Center for Autism

Doris Graves

Rita Benitez

Nursing Department

Hudson Beach Glass

Riverside Bank

Anderson Center for Autism

Hudson River Cruises, Inc.

Rocking Horse Ranch Resort

Operations Department

Mark Klein

Safeguard Business Systems Inc.

Aroma Thyme Bistro

Krause’s Chocolates

Sandra Foster

Artisanal Fromagerie & Bistro

Amy Krebs

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

bar pitti

Late Show with David Letterman

Seasons Restaurant II

Bardavon 1869 Opera House

Long Island Children’s Museum

Sesame Workshop

Beekman Arms & Delamater House

The Lowenthals

Shadows on the Hudson

Beekman Country Club

Debbie Macomber

Susanne Koval

Barbara Taylor Bradford

Marist College

Tammie Sprague

Bradford Renaissance Portraits Corp.

Mary Abdoo & You

Terrapin Restaurant

Brasserie 292

Kate McKenna

Tessie Abastillas

Bread Alone

Mediak (Kids Personalized Media)

The Kimberly

Brotherhood Winery

Miami Seaquarium

The Pastry Garden

Bunny Levinson

Mid-Hudson Civic Center

The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel

Butler Woodcrafters

Mohegan Sun

The Shubert Organization, Inc.

Casperkill Golf Club

Montage Laguna Beach

Tom Clancy

Mary Higgins Clark

NY Buffalo Bills

Tribeca Grill

Clear Channel Radio

National Baseball Hall of Fame

Vassar Golf Course

Coppola’s Italian & American Bistro

Nelson Demille

Viscount Wines & Liquor

County Players, Inc.

New York Jets LLC

Williams Lumber & Home Centers

Double O Grill

NIKE, Inc.

Gold’s Gym

Oriental Trading Company, Inc.



Thank you to Michael Dupree and Michael Fleischer and Pompey and Margi Delafield for hosting an introductory party in September. In addition to financial support, the event resulted in a connection with the Hudson Valley News who did a three-part series on Anderson Center.

Individuals, organizations and companies can volunteer to

Our 2011 Holiday Gift Drive was very successful. Parent Kathy Spruyt worked with Michelle Fritz to gather and deliver over 400 donated items for the holidays. Other gift drives included the Hyde Park Brewery, St. Colombo Church and Allure Salon.

product lines, can you offer a portion of the proceeds to

Our Annual Appeal is ongoing; please consider making your annual gift today. CULTIVATION OF GIVING All Anderson families are being

contacted throughout the year for involvement and a continued pipeline of support. Thank you for your time and support.

and effective way to raise funds for Anderson Center? organize, develop and execute events such as tag or bake sales, basketball games, car washes, dress-down days, coin drops and more, with Anderson Center as the beneficiary. Or, if you sell makeup, gifts, jewelry or other great go to Anderson Center as an incentive? If you have a fund raising/autism awareness idea or questions, please contact Anderson Center and share it with us! We’ll do all we can to help you get the word out. Every little bit helps! PLANNED GIVING

Please remember us in your will. Call us today. For more information on all the ways you can help to support ACA, please contact Noel Crotone at (845) 889-9208 or Donations should be made payable to Anderson Foundation for Autism.


Notes and Notables



The school’s annual

The annual Holiday Bazaar was

Open House was held on October 15, 2011. A

held on December 16, 2011. This event gives students the chance to

record number of parents, family and friends

shop for holiday gifts for their families. Throughout the year, new and

joined us and were able to visit classrooms and

gently used items are collected and then the gym is transformed into a

speak with teachers. Teachers were excited to

holiday shopping bazaar. Children choose gift items and “elves” wrap

share lessons on the new ActivBoards! The faculty and school administrators appreciated everyone’s

the gifts. Many thanks to the staff who volunteered to make this a

attendance and look forward to our next Open

wonderful event for the children…Maintenance, Teaching staff, Speech

House on October 20, 2012!

& OT staff, Transition & Recreation staff - a true group effort!

A B USY SEASON ON TH E L A N ES This has been a busy season for our Adult Program’s Special Olympics Athletes and Coaches. We ended the summer with a coaching clinic where 19 of our staff volunteered their time to be trained as bowling coaches. The staff then bowled with our athletes and collected their required hours, while providing tips and having a good time. By the time we participated in the local bowling event at Mardi Bob’s Lanes in Poughkeepsie in October, we had a record 25 athletes with several new coaches cheering them on. Twenty of these athletes later competed in the Regional Bowling event at the Chester Lanes in November. Thirteen (including four campus athletes) wrapped up our bowling season in December at the Unified Bowling event in Jefferson Valley where they competed alongside several experienced bowlers from the community. Great job to all of our athletes and thank you to our new and seasoned coaches!

F U N ON ICE Through an ongoing Therapeutic Ice Skating Program at the McCann Center in Poughkeepsie, a small group of students have been ice skating one-on-one with center staff. Skating has many benefits for our students including physical activity, interaction with others, self esteem building, and skills development.


S P EC I A L OLYM P ICS S H OW I N G TH EI R VOLLEYBALL SKI LLS For the first time, Anderson Center athletes participated in the Special Olympics Volleyball Skills competition in October at the Mt. Pleasant Community Center in Valhalla, NY. After having practiced together for the two months prior, the adult athletes and 14 athletes from campus, participated and showed their talents for the game. Thank you to all the staff and coaches (Stacey Trapani-Barber, Kwame Wiafeakenten, Claude Porter, Kelly Dooley, Jarmar Richardson and Coach Intern, Olivia Sciacovelli) who made this happen and turn out to be a great success. The athletes are looking forward to next year!

R IGHT U P TH EI R ALLEY In November, ten campus athletes represented Anderson Center at the 2011 Hudson Valley Regional Bowling Special Olympics competition in Chester, NY. The athletes had an opportunity to compete against others from all over the region. From the fun that was had and the skills that they showed, it seems that bowling is right up their alley!

WA R M W I S H ES The Speech and OT vocational strategies group at Saugerties LLC organized a coat drive in January. The national organization provided support materials on how to run a successful coat drive that the participants utilized to execute the drive. The collected coats were donated to Family of Woodstock. Thanks to everyone for your heartwarming efforts!

F U N FOR T H E HOLI DAYS It was a day of celebration, connection and reflection with delicious food created by our Food Services Department at our annual Anderson Staff Holiday Party/Open House on December 14, 2011. This was the first year the event was held in our new Recreation Center and the venue was a terrific spot for

H E A R T WA LK The Dutchess County Heart Walk will take place on March 10, 2012, at Vassar College with a 10:00 am start time. Brenda Sieh, Children’s Services Residence Manager, is coordinating campus participation and sponsorship. Brenda and Kwame Wiafeakenten, Recreation Coordinator, will ensure a group of students participate in this annual community event. We’re happy to include students as it underscores our dedication to student wellness activities, community participation and giving to others.

our growing numbers in attendance. Forty-six staff were delighted to be the recipients of the prizes from the annual raffle.


thanks go out to our families who supported the event and raffle:

Agostino, Albamont,

Appel and Lenczewski, Aviles, Consoli, Diaz, Hoffman, Hsia, Hudder, Ingram, Karpinski, Kolind, Krebs, Loschiavo, Lynford, March, Mertens, Morganthal, Rogoff, Sciammetta, Tadena, Taylor, Valdes, Vargas, Woitasek, Zauderer. 7

4885 Route 9 · P.O. Box 367 Staatsburg, NY 12580-0367 Ph: 845-889-4034

SAV E T H E DAT ES AP R I L 12 , 2012

J U N E 7, 2012

Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce Breakfast at Anderson Center for Autism

11th Annual Golf Tournament at Dutchess Golf & Country Club in Poughkeepsie, NY

AP R I L 13 , 2012

OCTOB ER 6, 2012

Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce Policy Breakfast at The Poughkeepsie Grand

11th Annual Gala at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie, NY

MAY 19 , 2012

OCTOB ER 20, 2012

ACA’s Cultural Festival at Anderson Center for Autism

MAY 23 , 2012 2nd Annual Autism Tomorrow Conference at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie, NY

ACA’s Open House & Harvest Festival at Anderson Center for Autism

OCTOB ER 23, 2012 Family and Community Workshop at Anderson Center for Autism

For details, participation and sponsorship information, or to register for the above events, please contact Noel Crotone at 845-889-9208.


Anderson Newsletter Winter 2011  

The Anderson Center for Autism winter season newsletter covering our 10th Annual Gala and autism program highlights.

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