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Lifelong Learner Anderson Celebrates Our 90th Year


his year is Anderson’s 90th birthday. Anderson has evolved and improved, but the focus on excellence has always been there. Vance Gage, grandson of founder Dr. V. V. Anderson and current Board Member, states, ”It is still exciting to visit Anderson. The school, LifeLong Learning Centers and IRAs are ideal environments for people living with autism. I am so proud of our family’s legacy and the important role they played in creating this amazing place.”

1929 – Dutch Schultz pays his godson’s tuition in jewels 1936 – Davis is built (Oldest building on campus) 1944 – Eleanor Roosevelt gives Anderson’s opened commencement address 1977 – First home for individuals with autism is opened opened on campus 1986 – Anderson welcomes first international student opened fellow into program 1993 – First Individual Residential Alternative (IRA) is openedopened in Dutchess County 2013 – Anderson Village is completed There is more information on our website. We invite you to join us in our year-long commemoration.

Anderson has launched a 90/900,000 fundraising campaign – and at publication time, we have raised $590,000 in cash and pledges! Anderson families, friends, board members and staff all see the importance of supporting the organization financially. We thank all of you that have contributed and those of you that will. This year Anderson is honoring our history with a media campaign and at various events. We wanted to share a few highlights with you:

Dates to remember:

Autism Tomorrow Conference, Monday April 21st at Anderson Center for Autism Anderson Golf Tournament, Thursday June 5th at Dutchess Golf Club, Poughkeepsie Anderson Center for Autism’s 90th Birthday Party, Saturday October 4th on campus (this event is in lieu of a gala)

Saluting Anderson Center for Autism By Neil J. Pollack nderson is celebrating its 90th birthday this year – what an amazing accomplishment! As the Executive Director for the past 13 years, I have seen tremendous changes across the globe, our country, our state, our locality and of course, to Anderson Center for Autism. Thirteen years is the blink of an eye compared to 90 years, but in that short time we have experienced an amazing period of transformation, growth and progress. The campus is now a vibrant village with amazing modernized homes and facilities for our children. We currently have nineteen Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRAs) in three counties and three LifeLong LearningSM Centers for our adults. We are partnering with community families, schools, medical professionals, and more through our Anderson Center Clinic. We are working diligently to build a reserve that will allow us to maintain quality programs and facilities in the future.


90th Birthday Kickoff at Darby O’Gills


nderson Center for Autism kicked off their 90th birthday year with a community wide bash at Darby O’Gills in Hyde Park. The event was the first of many celebrations commemorating this milestone!

Dr. Victor V. Anderson, our namesake and founder, opened the doors of Anderson School in 1924. We continue to utilize his principles as the foundation for the 21st century evidence-based programs we currently provide. I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Anderson’s daughter, Polly Gage, prior to my appointment with Anderson. In not so many words, she discouraged me from accepting the job stating that while she loved Anderson, there was so much needed to revitalize this organization, the task seemed insurmountable. Many others agreed. However, Polly did participate in the important initial steps towards complete transformation. I wish she could have seen the finished product. Fortunately, Vance Gage, Polly’s son and Dr. Anderson’s grandson, is an active member of our Foundation Board of Trustees. Vance grew up and was educated here on campus. In the early years of Anderson, he became an educator, then returned to teach here. Vance tells us how proud his family would be seeing Anderson’s continued support and service of children with disabilities. I feel tremendous pride for Anderson and, if you know me, I can talk for hours about who we were, who we are, what we do – what we need for further growth. Look at what WE have done in thirteen short years. No, imagine how much we can and must achieve in the future…

Anderson Boards of Trustees Anderson Center for Autism operates under the guidance of two exceptional Boards of Trustees. We appreciate the contributions that each of these talented and generous individuals makes towards the achievement of our goals. Anderson Center for Autism & Anderson Center Services, Inc. Francis M. Synan, Chair Eric D. Gorman, 1st Vice Chair Elizabeth P. Corcoran, 2nd Vice Chair Justin L. Cole, Treasurer Richard W. Lewis, Secretary Neeraj Alimchandani, Trustee Elinor B. E. Arnold, Trustee Rebecca M. Blahut, Trustee Joan Blutreich, Trustee Jason P. Christopher, Trustee Pompey H. Delafield, Trustee Joseph Lepore, Trustee

Alayar Kangarlu, Trustee John P. Pecchia, Trustee Jeanne R. Raichle, Trustee Edward J. Sullivan, Trustee Anderson Foundation for Autism, Inc

David W. Melby, Trustee William F. Melcher, Trustee Marisa Perez-Rogers, Trustee Maryann R. Pilon, Trustee Rebecca A. Valk, Trustee

Margaret Cusumano, Chair Gregory S. Burns, Vice Chair Justin L. Cole, Treasurer Tondra Lynford, Secretary Susan Angeles, Trustee Barry R. Feirstein, Trustee Vance V. Gage, Trustee Joseph T. Kirchhoff, Trustee John Maserjian, Trustee

Ellen L. Baker Michael McNaughton David W. Melby Jaime Rodriguez-Tellez Wilfred Rohde John A. Scileppi Sarah E. Sholes Fritz Sonnenschmidt

120 trustees, family and staff members joined together to raise a glass, sing a song and look forward to Anderson’s next 90 years.

Zombies Brought to Life for Anderson’s First rUNDEAD


n Saturday, October 26th, Anderson Center for Autism teamed up with Special Olympics New York to hold its first zombie themed run. 250 participants enjoyed this hauntingly unique approach the 5K as they completed the course while being pursued – by zombies of course! Volunteers from the community along with families, staff and a group from Special Olympics New York made this event possible. Anderson’s own Special Olympics team, the Blue Knights, celebrated victory that day when eight teammates completed their first 5k ever!

Lifetime Honorary Trustees

Thank you to our 90th year sponsor for your continued support of our work

The second rUNDEAD will be held on campus Saturday October 25th. Make plans now to join Anderson for a spook-tacular time.



Holiday Celebrations!



Coppola’s Holiday Dinner

ach year Coppola’s Ristorante in Hyde Park

olidays are a time of great joy at Anderson. We trim the tree, light the menorah, sing carols and celebrate the season. It is always exciting when Santa arrives on the Hyde Park fire truck!

hosts a holiday luncheon for students and staff. There is always a festive atmosphere to go along with the delicious meal and we truly appreciate John Coppola’s generosity in creating this tradition. We all compliment John on training his staff and

becoming an “Autism Supportive Environment”. Families from across the state have told me what a pleasure it is to take their children to Coppola’s when they visit the Hudson Valley. It is refreshing to see a business giving back to the community. Coppola’s kindness means so much to the extended Anderson family.

Anderson Athletics


he Blue Knights enjoyed another busy fall season. They competed in three bowling events. On September 28th, 20 adult athletes participated in the local bowling competition at Mardi Bob lanes in Poughkeepsie. Fifteen athletes even qualified for the regional competition on November 11th! All participating athletes enjoyed the season and several bowled their personal best scores during these competitions. Great job everyone!

Anderson Adult’s 11th Marathon


n November 4th, 2013 Anderson’s own Jonathan Brunot completed his 11th Marathon in NYC. In light of Jonathan’s amazing dedication, he was chosen by Runner’s World (link here) as one of the ten most inspirational runners in the NYC marathon. Jonathan continues training and completed 26.2 miles in four hours 23 minutes. Congratulations Jonathan on another fantastic job!


Marist Basketball on MLK Day


Chickadee Backyard Diner

hickadees, finches, bluebirds, and more! The Adult program received a Foundation grant to build and stock bird feeders at each of the adult homes. Watching our new feathered friends in the backyard is a great way to enjoy an afternoon.


taff from Willow house were able to get tickets for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day basketball game at Marist College in Poughkeepsie. Four students attended the game. Marist treated the students very well, giving them great seats, free T-shirts, and complementary snacks. The students were able to meet a few of the players before the game and had a great time! GO RED FOXES!!!


2013 Gala “Leader of the Pack”


ony award-winning novelist and composer Rupert Holmes and his wife attorney Elizabeth Holmes

have been loyal supporters since their son Timothy came to Anderson. Tim has transitioned from campus and now lives in an IRA. Thanks to Rupert and Eliza, guests were treated to a musical set by their friend Grammy Award-winning

were honored at the 12th Annual Anderson Center for Autism Gala Saturday, October 5th, 2013. The Holmes singer and songwriter Melissa Manchester. Melissa sang a few of her hits to an adoring crowd. The other highlight of the evening was a rousing rendition of Rupert’s #1 hit “Escape, The Piña Colada Song”. Complete with tropical shirts, props and choreography, the adult program performed the number beautifully, and they were rewarded with a lengthy standing ovation – led by Rupert. Guests enjoyed donning thematic attire paying homage to “Leader of the Pack”. Bobby socks and bouffants were both bountiful! Most importantly, $100,000 was raised to benefit Anderson’s wonderful work.

Creating Unique Designs

Adult Services

October 2013 Education: Ashley MacDermott, TA classroom 125 Residential: Pauline Phillips – DSP, Sycamore

October 2013 James Anozie, Residential Habilitation Specialist at Lamoree Road

November 2013 Education: Dominic Buono – TA classroom 117 Residential: Rodney Cassell – DSP, Pine December 2013 Education: Zeno Obaro, TA classroom 115 Residential: Danielle Riddick, DSP, Maple


rtists from “Expressive Outcomes” took a field trip to the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale. Ann Kalmbach, co-founder of the Workshop, showed the group how to silk screen shirts. The talented group mastered the process quickly and produced some beautiful limited edition t-shirts.

Children’s Services

January 2014 Education: Joseph Esposito, TA classroom 120 Residential: Alicia Emmons, DSP, Beechwood


November 2013 Tim Staley, overnight RHS at the East Meadowbrook December 2013 Anthony Dalbo, Day Hab Specialist at the Saugerties LLC January 2014 Lori LaGattuta, Residence Manager at Old Mill


4885 Rt 9 PO Box 367 Staatsburg NY 12580 845-889-4034

To kick off Anderson’s 90th anniversary year, a generous donor has offered to match gifts dollar for dollar (up to $100,000) in the first six months of 2014. YES, YOUR GIFT WILL BE DOUBLED! Take advantage of this opportunity today by making your gift to Anderson Center for Autism. Make your gift today!


Anderson Center for Autism Spring 2014 Newsletter  

all the news from the past few months