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Arc of Genesee Orleans

February 23, 2021 - 2:44pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Arc of Genesee Orleans, Batavia City Council.


On Monday night, Batavia City Council Member Robert Bialkowski presents a proclamation to Donna Saskowski, executive director of the Arc of Genesee Orleans, denoting March 2021 as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

Saskowski said the local ARC has had a long relationship with the city – even before 1987 when President Ronald Reagan made Development Disabilities Awareness Month a nationally recognized event – and continues as one of the leading employers, with 450 workers in the two counties.

“Thank you for the support and when you see people with development disabilities think about the contributions that they make … they are significant,” she said.

Photo by Mike Pettinella.

July 31, 2020 - 2:34pm

Press release:

After decades of service, Rainbow Preschool, operated by Arc of Genesee Orleans, will permanently close on Aug. 14.

Rainbow Preschool, located in Batavia at 80 Union St., and in Albion, serves children from 2½ - 5 years old with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

After careful consideration by Arc of Genesee Orleans’ Board of Directors, this difficult decision was made due to the current environment of the coronavirus pandemic, uncertain funding and declining enrollment.

While no return to class date was set due to NY State COVID-19 restrictions, enrollment to date included 26 children.

The preschool provided special education, physical therapy, occupational therapy, assistive technology, counseling, parent training, music therapy, and speech/language therapy to help students achieve kindergarten readiness. Preschool staff are New York state certified teachers, with teacher assistants and aides in the classroom. 

This decision was made with heavy hearts,” said Donna Saskowski, executive director. “For any children who are enrolled with Rainbow for the 2020-21 school year, we will work directly with parents and with school district representatives to secure appropriate placements and ensure continuity of services.”

Rainbow Preschool provided critical services to generations of children with and without disabilities and they have a proud history of service for children with special needs.

June 12, 2020 - 5:23pm

Submitted photos and press release:

Seniors from Byron-Bergen, Batavia, Pembroke and Oakfield-Alabama are the recipients of the 2020 Mary Anne Graney Memorial Scholarships administered by the Arc of Genesee Orleans.

The $1,000 scholarship award winners, Jillian Menzie, Macayla Burke, Eve-Lynn Sofia and Karlie Stymus, are all planning to pursue careers related to healthcare working with those with a disability.  

Jillian Menzie (left inset photo) -- Byron-Bergen Central, will be attending SUNY Brockport to major in nursing and hopes to one day also obtain her elementary special education certificate. At BBCS, Jillian was Student Council President, National Honor Society President, and member of band and elite choir. She played Varsity soccer, was the school mascot and member of Varsity Club, Spanish Club and Alliance for Equality Club.

She was also enrolled in the Health Careers Academy through Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP). Outside of school, Jillian is involved in the “Young Life” youth group and has been a longtime fundraiser for the Arc of Genesee Orleans bowl-a-thon, benefitting programs for individuals with disabilities in Genesee and Orleans Counties.  

Macayla Burke (inset photo, below right) -- Batavia High School Class of 2020, will attend Niagara University’s nursing program and plans to minor in American Sign Language. During her years at BHS, Macayla was co-mayor and vice president of student council and was a member of National Honor Society and the Production Club. A scholar-athlete, Macayla was six-year member of the cross-country team and participated in track & field and the boys lacrosse teams for two years. She is also a certified lifeguard.

Macayla attended the Health Careers Academy through GVEP, and it was because of her shadowing experience in the academy that she has chosen nursing as her major.

She selected American Sign Language as a minor as her Mom is a sign language interpreter and Macayla wants to be able to communicate and help individuals in the deaf community.

Eve-Lynn Sofia (inset photo below, left) -- is looking forward to attending D’Youville College to pursue a career in occupational therapy. A senior at Pembroke Central, Eve-Lynn has volunteered for many school, community and Arc events over the past several years. At PHS, Eve-Lynn participated in JV and varsity volleyball and was vice president of the Photography Club.

She has work experience as a lifeguard, aquatic attendant and the summer recreation team member.

As an occupational therapist, Eve-Lynn is interested in helping people of all ages and abilities live fuller, more independent lives and has enrolled in D’Youville’s five-year occupational therapy program, leading to a master’s degree.

Karlie Stymus (bottom right inset photo) -- Oakfield-Alabama Central School, is going to be attending Genesee Community College in the fall to study nursing and would like to specialize in working with people with disabilities.

She is particularly interested in learning more about autism and Down Syndrome.

Karlie was enrolled in GVEP’s Health Dimensions program, and she has been active in scouting for several years, rising to the rank of Senior Cadet and participated in many community service projects.

She has enjoyed volunteering to help at Arc events including dances, parades and fund raisers and works for Genesee Speedway, her family’s racetrack.

About the Mary Anne Graney Memorial Scholarship

Now in its 15thyear, the Mary Anne Graney Memorial Scholarship is presented to area high school seniors planning to further their studies in human services, special education or related fields.

It is in honor of Mary Anne Graney, a special education teacher, who died in 2004.

Molly Graney George and the Arc’s Shelley Falitico are chairs of the scholarship committee.

May 28, 2020 - 2:54pm

Press release:

The Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund, announced that it has awarded nearly $1 million to an additional 47 nonprofit organizations, bringing the total grant amount from the Fund to $6.6 million, supporting a total of 156 nonprofit organizations.

This collaborative philanthropic effort was created in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 health crisis and has been coordinated by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, The John R. Oishei Foundation and the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County.

Grants were awarded to organizations serving all eight counties of Western New York that are addressing immediate needs in our community as a result of the COVID-19 crisis in the areas of food, housing, healthcare, childcare, mental health, transportation, and other emergency services.

This is expected to be the final phase of grantmaking to individual organizations from the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund. Additional funds raised will provide microgrants ranging from approximately $500 - $2,500 to grassroots organizations in all eight counties. Going forward, the collaborative effort is evolving into a “Build Back Better” initiative to support developing strategies focused on recovery efforts through collaborative systems work to address specific needs such as sourcing personal protective equipment for nonprofits and food security.

The following nonprofit organizations in Genesee County received a grant (amounts not specified) from the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund in May:

  • Arc of Genesee Orleans
  • Project Stork
  • YWCA of Genesee County

“The sudden arrival of the COVID-19 crisis necessitated an immediate response to meet the significant need in the community with everyone working together on solutions," said Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, president/CEO of Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. "We are grateful that so many foundations, corporations, community leaders and individuals continue to generously contribute time and resources to support more than 156 organizations to date working on the frontlines at a time of great need."

Robert D. Gioia, president of The John R. Oishei Foundation added, “We are just at the beginning of this crisis and it will take a sustained, collaborative effort to continue to assess critical needs and find new, creative solutions to rebuild our community.”

"It’s clear that COVID-19 will have a long-term, serious impact on the people and communities of Western New York," said Nora OBrien-Suric, Ph.D., president of the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York. "We remain committed to supporting nonprofit organizations in our region as they work tirelessly to meet the evolving needs of the community."

"We are facing unprecedented need and are only just beginning to grapple with the effects caused by COVID-19," said Michael Weiner, president and CEO United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. "Extraordinary times call for an extraordinary response and we will continue to support our community and the nonprofits on the ground throughout this unprecedented crisis."

To date, the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund has raised approximately $7 million from 60 local foundations and private sector companies, more than 40 community leaders and approximately 1,900 individuals. To see a full list of contributors, or to join the effort, please visit www.WNYResponds.org.  

On April 8, the Fund announced its first round of grants totaling just over $4.5 million to 74 organizations and on April 29, the Fund announced grants totaling $1 million to an additional 35 organizations. To see the full list of grantees, visit www.WNYResponds.org.

March 25, 2020 - 4:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Arc of Genesee Orleans, news, covid-19, coronavirus, video, live stream.
Video Sponsor

We're talking with Donna Saskowski, executive director of Arc of Genesee Orleans.

March 3, 2020 - 2:25pm

Information from Arc of Genesee Orleans:

In celebration of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, Arc of Genesee Orleans will hold its annual Art Show & Film Festival in Stuart Steiner Theatre at Genesee Community College on Saturday, March 7.

This event showcases talents and abilities of children and adults served at Arc.

Doors open at 12:30 p.m. for the art show (meet some of the artists!) followed by films at 1 p.m. The presentation lasts 75 minutes and films are appropriate for all age groups.

This year, six films from the New York City based Sprout collection will be presented, produced by or featuring individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

In addition, Arc of Genesee Orleans has added a film to the 2020 lineup, produced by staff member Stephenie Hill, featuring Jim and his “Self-directed Life.”

The art show and film festival is free and open to the public.

It has been made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered by the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council and is being sponsored in part by WBTA Radio.

About Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

In 1987 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the month of March as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and invited "all individuals, agencies, and organizations concerned with the problem of developmental disabilities to observe this month with appropriate observances and activities directed toward increasing public awareness of the needs and the potential of Americans with developmental disabilities.

"I urge all Americans to join me in according to our fellow citizens with such disabilities both encouragement and the opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential."

December 17, 2019 - 4:17pm

Photo, from left: James, Curtis, Wendie Davis, Jesse, Justin, and Dorian Ely.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Friends for the Future Self-Advocacy Group from Arc of Genesee Orleans generously donated $100 to the Genesee County Meals on Wheels program today (Dec. 17).

Wendie Davis, the case manager for meals on wheels, accepted the donation on behalf of the Genesee Senior Foundation and the Genesee County Office for the Aging.

Dorian Ely, services administrator, noted that the county has seen about a 45-percent increase in the number of individuals receiving home-delivered meals this year.

Davis, who orders the meals, said that at the beginning of this year, a daily meal order ran about 75 and now it is around 110. This gift will help support a critical program for older adults in our community.

Donations to the Meals on Wheels program in Genesee County may be made to the: Genesee Senior Foundation, 2 Bank St., Batavia NY 14021.

Questions about the work of the Foundation may be directed to Ely at the Office for the Aging 585-343-1611.

November 14, 2019 - 7:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Arc of Genesee Orleans, video, batavia.
Video Sponsor
November 7, 2019 - 5:42pm

Press release:

“Universal Hiring Practices: Hiring Someone with a Disability” will be the subject of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s latest business workshop on Nov. 13.

The Chamber has partnered with the Arc of Genesee Orleans to provide training on the benefits of hiring a person with a disability. The workshop will be held at the newly renovated GO TO Hub at Arc of Genesee Orleans, 64 Walnut St., Batavia.

“It is well known that finding and retaining employees is a problem for employers here in Genesee County,” said Tom Turnbull, president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

“Unemployment is low and the pool of capable workers is shrinking. To meet these hiring needs, local businesses need to explore new and diverse options that are available here in our local communities.”

“Hiring a person with a disabilityis an option employers sometimes overlook but would be wise to consider. This pool of diverse employees will provide a highly productive, community focused, dedicated group of new hires to your employee base.”

The workshop is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. and should last approximately one hour.

This event is free for Chamber and Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District members. There is a $10 charge for non-members.

To register, contact Kelly Bermingham at the Chamber by phone at 585-343-7440 or by email at [email protected].

August 6, 2019 - 10:03am

Arc of Genesee Orleans will hold its 15th annual Family & Friends 5K and Fun Walk on Saturday, Sept. 21 in Elba.

There will be food, music, kids' activities and face painting at a post-party afterward. It all begins and ends at the Day Habilitation Center, 4603 Barrville Road.

Registration / check-in begins at 8:45 a.m. The 5K run starts at 10 o'clock, with the Fun Walk immediately following.

Register by Sept. 16 for best pricing. After that, rates increase to $25 (5K) and $20 (Fun Walk) up to and including race day.

Sponsorships are available.

Funds raised benefit education through the Arc of Genesee Orleans Mary Anne Graney Memorial Scholarship Fund and programs and services for people served by Arc.

Register online here.

For more information, call Sandy at 585-343-4203, ext. 223.

July 16, 2019 - 10:40am


Press release (along with submitted photos): 

It was a first for golfers in Arc of Genesee Orleans Tournament Monday – a scramble format! After 42 years of stroke play, the planning committee switched things up this year, to rave reviews.

“We wanted to appeal to golfers of every skill level,” Arc’s Sandy Konfederath said, “and also speed up play.” 

The tournament is the longest-running charity event at the local private course and also features tennis and bocce divisions.

“Something for everyone,” Konfederath said.  This year the tournament attracted 98 golfers, 37 bocce players and 14 playing tennis.

In golf play, women’s team winners with a 63 were Heather Burbules, Maria Woodward, Francesca Fuller and Tina Lambert. The mixed team of Katie Berger, John Houseknecht, Katie Houseknecht and Buddy Houseknecht recorded a tally of 62 and the team of Steve Harrison, Steve Pies Bruce Briggs and Mat Redmond captured the men’s title with a 61.

This year’s hole-in-one prize on 8 was a 2019 Jeep Compass Latitude 4X4, courtesy of Castilone Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. Unfortunately, no one shot an ace to drive away with the vehicle.

In other on the course contests, Scott Fauth and Francesca Fuller won the longest drive on 7 and 15. In the closest-to-the-pin contests, Tina Lambert won a golf bag, courtesy of C.H. Wright on 8 (4’8”); John Houseknecht earned first prize on 12 (1’11”) with Paul Saskowski second (10’6”) and Karen Percassi third (11’). Kevin Wehner won a Schwinn bicycle, donated by Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle in the top prize on 14 (6’2”).  

In bocce, the top team -- from ESL Credit Union -- was Tim Miller, Jenna Holota, Mary Blevins and Collin Hawes, who also won the Golden Pallino contest.

On the tennis courts, first-place team honors went to James Bellamy and Diane Bonarigo; Gary May earned top score and second-place team went to Augusts Rolfe and Calvin Klemmer.

Gold sponsors were Turnbull Heating & Air-Conditioning, Crickler Vending, MTE Turf Equipment Solutions, Relph Benefit Advisors, Toshiba and Tompkins Bank of Castile/Insurance Agencies/Financial Advisors.

Silver sponsors were: Western New York Concrete, The Batavia Daily News, Graham Corporation, The Bonadio Group, Alan & Cathy Barcomb, Hoffman, Hanafin & Associates, In Memory of Ralph Houseknecht Sr., Castilone Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Parkview Health Services, Genesee Valley Penny Saver and The Insurance Center.

Also supporting the event were seven golf sponsors, three tennis sponsors, four bocce sponsors, three cart sponsors, two entertainment sponsors and eight Friend of Arc sponsors.

Door prizes, silent auction and basket raffle items were donated by dozens of area businesses and community members. The winner of the $1,000 cash drawing was Bruce Briggs with ticket number 04201.

Funds raised benefit programs and services for people with disabilities served by Arc of Genesee Orleans. The tournament is named in memory of Danny Lullo, a local businessman who came up with the idea to hold a tournament to benefit Arc programs and services for people with disabilities in our community.

Ed Carney is the event chairman. Deb Fischer chairs bocce and Peggy Lamb chairs tennis.





July 1, 2019 - 6:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Arc of Genesee Orleans, batavia, news.


At the Arc of Genesee Orleans site on Walnut Street, Batavia, today, the Down Syndrome Parent Support Group of Genesee County Inc. presented a check for $10,000 to help fund the estimated $100,000 cost of remodeling a portion of the ARC's former production facility.

The remodeled facility will become the "GO TO Hub," a place for community prevocational and day habilitation services.

The change in the use of the building become because of changes to service delivery for ARC-type programs throughout the state.

The vision of the Arc’s GO TO Hub is to offer career development and lifelong learning, in a welcoming and inspiring space. When completed, stations will include a teaching kitchen, art and ceramics area, technology center, exercise area, simulated office and meeting rooms with mobile partitions.

Previously, ARC received a $25,000 donation from the Golisano Foundation and $10,000 from Howard Ouriel.

Donations are still being accepted. To find out more, contact Shelley Falitco at (585) 343-4203.

Top photo: Kelly Anstey; Donna Saskowski; front row -- Corinne Phelps, Colleen Fisher, Missy Cook, Lisa Losdon; back row – Gracia Leavy, Sharon White, Wanda Gilbert, Vinnie Tjhumg, Tammi Burbules, Kim Travale, Dawn Fisher, president of Down Syndrome Parent Support Group of Genesee.



May 2, 2019 - 3:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in Arc of Genesee Orleans, news.

Above, honoree Henry Valerych, front center holding "Arc Spirit Award," and his beloved family of "advocates."

Submitted photos and press release:

Arc of Genesee Orleans Board of Directors paid tribute to an agency founding father at Wednesday’s Annual Meeting & Awards Banquet held at Park Place at Batavia Downs.

Henry Valerych was presented the "Arc Spirit Award," in a touching ceremony that included a military color guard by local veterans and music from St. Joe’s of Batavia Brass Ensemble.

“We are honored to present the Arc Spirit Award to a man whose life is a reflection of his dedication to his family, the community and his country,” said Arc Board Member Kevin Fisher.

Valerych is a veteran of the Navy where he served four years and then fulfilled a lifetime of service in the Army, retiring as a Master Sergeant.

“As a Genesee County agency founding father, Henry and his wife, Anne, helped create and grow our agency over the last half century,” Fisher said.

Earlier this year, Henry stepped down from his leadership position with the Arc Board and has been granted Board Member Emeritus status.

In the early years, Henry Valerych wore many hats. When it came to public relations, he helped spread the word by typing a newsletter in his basement and delivering it door-to-door. He also served as Membership Chairman since the agency was founded and has helped raise more than half a million dollars to help grow our agency. 

The Valerych family has spent more than 50 years advocating for their loved ones, and the sons, daughters, sisters and brothers of hundreds of local families. In an interview on the history of our organization, Valerych was asked “What can the community do to help people with disabilities?” His answer was simple…“treat people with disabilities, like you treat everyone else.”

Business Partner of the Year honors went to Intergrow Greenhouses of Albion. Director of Community Employment Services, Melissa Cotter told banquet attendeesthat Intergrow’s David Purvee and his team exemplify our mission to “Be a partner for people with disabilities, and a gateway to opportunities for each person to experience their desired potential.”

“The individuals we serve who work at Intergrow have been given the opportunity to earn money, work in an integrated setting, make new friends, and be a part of a growing compan,” Cotter said. "Our job coaches report that all the employees at Intergrow make sure to make the people we serve who work there feel welcome and a part of their team.”

Friends of Arc Awards were presented to:

  • Child Welfare Association of Orleans County for being an active supporter of the Arc of Genesee Orleans and Camp Rainbow for more than 20 years;
  • United Way of Genesee County for its ongoing commitment to raise and designate funds in support of Arc programs and services and for the volunteer service opportunities for the individuals Arc serves through the United Way backpack program;
  • Batavia Community Garden for welcoming Arc’s Batavia based Community Pre-vocational program, cultivating new interests, friendships and community connections.

Persons of the Year Awards were given to: Joshua Tiede, Self-Advocate; Katie Acomb, Supported Employment; Nick Fuller, Pre-Vocational; Alice Torres, Residential; Francine Caltagirone, Day Habilitation; and Kurt Hoffman, Community Services.

Arc Executive Director Donna Saskowski presented Staff Recognition Awards to: Maryja Andrews, bus driver; Paula Knaak Sr., production manager/community PV; Carole Mitchell, senior QA technician; Kristie Rada, assistant director of Medical Services; Karen Stymus, residential administrative specialist; Kimberly Travale, coordinator of Day Hab Services; and Bethany Willis Sr., support broker.

During the annual meeting portion of the event, the following were elected officers for the coming year: President, Debrah Fischer; Vice President, Jane Scott; Treasurer, Marlene Hill and Secretary, Deborah Riggi.

Board members receiving three-year terms were Debrah Fischer, Kevin Fisher, Susan Maha and Michelle Mahler, and the following were elected to Arc’s nominations committee: Kevin Fisher, Carolyn Laney, Susan Maha, Michelle Mahler, Jim McMullen and Carl Tuohey.

The Master of Ceremonies for the Arc Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony was Paul Figlow.

"Arc Spirit Award" recipient Henry Valerych at the podium.

"Arc Spirit Award" recipient Henry Valerych shaking hands with members of the color guard.

Arc Persons of the Year: Francine and Alice in front; Josh, Katie and Nick in back.

Arc Staff Recognition Award recipients: Bethany Willis, Karen Stymus, Carole Mitchell, Kim Travale, Paula Knaak and Maryja Andrews. Award recipient Kristie Rada was unable to attend.

Eileen Corcoran, far left, of Arc of Genesee Orleans, presented the Batavia Community Garden with a Friend of Arc Award. Accepting were: RaeAnn Engler, Leslie Moma, Bob Gray, Jocelyn Sikorski and Debra Rosenbeck.

Arc Board President Deb Fischer, left, presented a Friend of Arc Award to Genesee County United Way’s Tammy Hathaway and Melissa Stein.

October 16, 2018 - 1:03pm

Arc of Genesee Orleans annual Chili & Chowder Fest & Bake Sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Arc Community Center.

It is located at 38 Woodrow Road in Batavia.

There will also be grilled cheese sandwiches for purchase in addtion to the hearty, homemade chili and chowder. Take-outs available.

Early tickets will be available only from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16.

Tickets, both presale Friday and day-of-the-event Saturday, are available only at the Arc Community Center on Woodrow Road.

All proceeds benefit people with disabilities.

There will be 100 theme baskets raffled off. Need not be present to win. Drawings will be at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 17.

Want to donate a basket or get more information? Call Arc of Genesee Orleans at 343-4203.

August 7, 2018 - 3:22pm

Arc of Genesee Orleans will hold its 14th annual Friends & Family 5K & Fun Walk on Saturday, Sept. 15 in Elba.

There will be food, fun and music, plus kids' activities, including face painting.

Cost is $20 for the 5K and $15 for the one-and-a-half-mile Fun Walk; but both rates will increase by $5 on race day for those not preregistered. For nonparticipants wishing to attend the post-event party, cost is $5.

There is a small processing fee for online race/walk registrations.

Participants can register for the 5K and Fun Walk online here.

The race will be timed by PCR Timing Service of East Rochester.

Money raised will benefit education through the organization's Mary Anne Graney Memorial Scholarship Fund, and programs and services for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities served by Arc, and their families.

Sign up today for sponsorships, which range from $100 to $1,000. Aug. 15 is the cut-off date to put sponsor's names on T-shirts.

On race day, check-in begins at 8:45 a.m. The 5K starts at 10 o'clock, with the Fun Walk immediately following. The starting line is at the Arc Day Habilitation Center main entrance at 4603 Barrville Road, Elba.

For more information, call Race Director Sandy Konfederath at 343-4203, ext. 223, or email her at:  [email protected]

June 27, 2018 - 4:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in Arc of Genesee Orleans, news, Camp Caregiver Day.

Photo: Arc of Genesee Orleans Board Member Deb Riggi and daughters Cassidy and Masha are encouraging caregivers to sign up for Camp Caregiver Day, Aug. 4 in Lyndonville.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Empowering Families Program at the Arc of Genesee Orleans is trying something new this summer -- an event called Camp Caregiver Day.

"This is a day to give back and re-energize caregivers whose lives are committed to caring for their loved ones with disabilities," Empowering Families Advocate Bethany Willis said. “Caregivers aren’t only parents; they are also often siblings, extended family, neighbors, and friends.

"As the definition of caregiver expands we want to expand the types of support, resources, and experiences we provide.”

Arc Board Member Deb Riggi and her husband, Mike, are parents of Masha and Cassidy, 14-year-olds with Down syndrome.

“I would encourage moms, dads and everyone in a caregiver role to register for this day,” Deb said. “Being a caregiver is rewarding, but can also be very challenging; Sometimes a break is just what’s needed."

Camp Caregiver Day, on Saturday Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is open to caregivers in Genesee and Orleans Counties and will be held at the Arc of Genesee Orleans' Camp Rainbow in Lyndonville. It is located at 2272 Yates Carlton Townline Road.

Arc Community Relations Coordinator Sandy Konfederath calls it a perfect setting and shares the significance of Camp Rainbow in the Arc chapter's history.

"It was the very first program on our Orleans side and has provided a summer day camp experience for children of all abilities since 1970," Konfederath stated. "Caregivers will find it a great place to relax, unwind and meet other caregivers in our community."

Camp Caregiver Day is a free event and includes lunch. Some optional activities may have a small fee. To make it easier for caregivers to attend, the Arc is providing respite and sibling care.

In order to plan appropriate staffing for respite, caregivers need to call and register by July 20 by contacting Bethany Willis at 585-344-1678, ext. 229.

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