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Blackwell succeeds Burleigh as Pathfinder Chaplain

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Pastoral succession continues over three decades of services
supporting people with Down syndrome

WEBBurleigh and BlackwellEdmeston, NY, January 23, 2024 ... The ringing of the chapel bell at Pathfinder Village several weekends ago marked the transition of spiritual leadership at the nationally recognized community for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. The Rev. Douglas Burleigh, Village Chaplain since 2009, introduced the congregation to their new pastor, the Rev. Ben Blackwell of West Edmeston.

“This is a wonderful place, with wonderful people who live and work here. It has been a joy to work with them, to walk with them, and to be a part of their lives for the past 14 years,” said Pastor Burleigh in recalling his service to the Village. “I leave with the joy of knowing the residents and staff who are dear to my heart.”

Burleigh, MDiv, who lives in Fly Creek, is well loved among the community members, and recently was honored as one of Pathfinder’s Community Heroes for his exemplary service in meeting residents’ spiritual needs. Burleigh is also retiring from his chaplaincy role at The Community Hospice of Albany, part of St. Peter’s Health Partners, a hospice agency that serves over 4,300 patients and their families annually in eight upstate counties.

“Spirituality has a significant role in the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Grief and loss, as well as the opportunity to celebrate joys and achievements, and to know fellowship and love, these are very much a part of each of their lives,” added Rev. Burleigh. “It has been my privilege to minister to them around these and other needs.”

“I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunity to serve at Pathfinder Village,” said Rev. Blackwell, the grandson of a minister who served congregations for over 50 years. “Being new to this ministry, my hope is to build relationships with the residents. It will be in those relationships where I will learn how I may be of service in guiding them in their spiritual journey and well-being.”

“The thirty-plus years of providing spiritual guidance at Pathfinder is foundational,” Blackwell added. “I hope to build on that existing foundation. This takes place in building those relationships with individuals, learning their spiritual needs, and serving and teaching them. Some adjustments will help increase engagement: I’ve worked closely with the Program and Enrichment staff. We’re excited about these steps that will move us forward in building on the spiritual foundation here at Pathfinder.”

Blackwell attended Practical Bible College, Johnson City, and worked extensively in youth ministry in the Owego area before 2003. After moving to Otsego County, he served as the assistant director of youth ministry at the Burlington Flats Baptist Church, working with over 40 teens each week. Building on 16 years as a youth minister, he transitioned to substituting at Sunday services at Burlington Flats and for other local congregations. He is now starting his fifth year as the senior pastor of the West Edmeston First Baptist Church and serves as the secretary for the area council of churches.

Blackwell is employed as a Desktop Support Technician II at NYCM, and volunteers in the community with the Tri-Town Youth Commission. He and his wife, Elizabeth, and three children reside in West Edmeston.

Although Pathfinder Village is not a faith-based organization and does not promote doctrine, early in its history its leaders recognized the role that spirituality can play in centering and benefiting people with intellectual disabilities. Non-denominational services at the Village have been offered regularly since the All-Faiths Community Chapel was dismantled piece-by-piece and restored at Pathfinder’s campus in 1986. Weekly services provide opportunities for fellowship, to express one’s faith, and the celebration of traditions. Individualized spiritual counseling services have been offered by Village Chaplains as well. During the height of the pandemic, video services were recorded and shared on YouTube, and individuals received counseling through online sessions.

The chapel building originally stood one mile from its present location in West Burlington and was a gift from the Wyoming Conference of the United Methodist Church. Pathfinder’s first Village Chaplain was the Rev. Mark Terwilliger, who served as the pastor at the First United Methodist Church of Edmeston at that time. Other full-time chaplains included Lyle Linder, Paul Towers, Beverly Butler, Lorraine Zimmerman, Connie Schroeder, and Sherry Acre.

Pathfinder Village is an internationally respected open-access community and services provider in upstate New York; it was founded in 1980 to provide people with Down syndrome and other disabilities an independent and fulfilling lifestyle. As it works to provide quality supports for individuals with intellectual disabilities, the Village also offers highly successful educational, day services, vocational/pre-vocational, and outreach programs.  To learn more, visit https://pathfindervillage.org, or visit our social media on Facebook and Instagram.

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Karen Knavel named new Village CEO

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New leader is a lifetime advocate for people with intellectual disabilities, brings experience in all facets of human service organizations

kk 2024 web ceo messageEdmeston, NY, January 17, 2024 ... Karen M. Knavel of Willoughby Hills, Ohio, is the new president and chief executive officer of Pathfinder Village, announced William F. Streck, MD, the chair of the Village’s Board of Directors. Ms. Knavel, the former chief executive of New Avenues to Independence, Cleveland, has held leadership roles for over 25 years at non-profit agencies that serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Pathfinder Village, a nationally recognized leader in person-centered services for those with Down syndrome and other disabilities, is a livable community that offers diverse and high-quality residential, educational, vocational, health, enrichment, and other services throughout the lifespan. Ms. Knavel, 54, is the fourth person to serve in the top executive role since Pathfinder began in 1980; she succeeds Paul C. Landers, M.Ed.

In making the announcement, Dr. Streck said, “Karen combines a passion for helping and improving the lives of those with disabilities with demonstrated excellence in executive and financial leadership. Pathfinder Village has been blessed with such leaders and we welcome her to the Village community to sustain and enhance that history.”

“I’m honored to join this community and thank the Board of Directors for having faith and confidence in me to lead Pathfinder in shaping our future,” said Ms. Knavel. “My passionate belief that everyone has unique gifts and talents to share informs my work daily and inspires me to continue creating possibilities for people with disabilities.”

Ms. Knavel was hired following a year-long national search among executive-level candidates with expertise in disabilities, healthcare, housing, staffing, and non-profit operations. She brings a wealth of strategic, operational, and hands-on experience, having served in varied roles including chief operating officer, director of community relations and housing, staff development specialist, and supported living coordinator. She will work with Mr. Landers and the Village’s Leadership Team over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

Named New Avenues’ CEO in 2016, Ms. Knavel led her agency to become a leader in the delivery of services for people with I/DD during a transformational era. Serving Northeast Ohio, New Avenues offers supervised residential facilities, residential supports and day services for individuals living in private homes, and inclusion services for adults who want to be actively engaged in their communities.

A lifetime advocate for people with disabilities, Ms. Knavel has served on the Ohio Health Care Association as I/DD Board Chair since 2021, and on the Board of Representatives of ANCOR, the national advocacy group for the I/DD community. She also served as a grant reviewer for the Ohio Department of Education and contributed to research projects for the Social Security Administration, Columbus Children’s Hospital, retired Judge Linda Rocker, and late U.S. Representative Steven LaTourette.

Ms. Knavel earned a Juris Doctor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Columbus, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History at Walsh University, North Canton. She is the mother of two adult children and enjoys nature, hiking, and reading.

Among Pathfinder’s key accomplishments during Mr. Landers’ tenure were the creation of Pathfinder Produce and the Village’s Adult Day Services initiatives to provide job training and work opportunities to adults with I/DD. The Village has also increased its service capacity with the addition of a state-of-the-art community health center, several off-campus homes, and the expansion of its West Campus. Other achievements included the start-up of Otsego Academy, a post-secondary program; Camp Pathfinder, a summer camp for adults with intellectual disabilities; and the Aging Initiative, a series of program enhancements, staff training courses, and capital improvements that support seniors with I/DD who may also have dementia and mobility impairments.

Pathfinder Village is an internationally respected livable community and services provider in upstate New York; it was founded in 1980 to provide people with Down syndrome and other disabilities an independent and fulfilling lifestyle. As it works to provide quality supports for individuals with intellectual disabilities, the Village also offers highly successful educational, day services, vocational/pre-vocational, and outreach programs. To learn more, visit https://pathfindervillage.org, or visit our social media on Facebook and Instagram.

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Bell Choir to help Deck the Hall!

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COOPERSTOWN, NY … The Pathfinder Village Hand Bell Choir will help the National Hall of Fame and local families ring in the holidays at the museum’s annual Holiday Celebration on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m.

From noon through 5:00 p.m., local residents will receive free museum admission with the donation of a new, unwrapped toy or at least five non-perishable food items. The food and toys will benefit the Cooperstown Food Bank and Toys for Tots. Throughout the day visitors can experience hands-on activities and family-friendly programs.

The Village Hand Bell Choir, which has performed for many years at the Hall of Fame's holiday event, was founded in 1982 and performs at area celebrations, schools, club gatherings, and other events. The group is under the direction of Mandy Simons, the Village’s Music and Expressive Arts Specialist; they perform using a three-octave set of Schumerlich bells originally donated by regional Rotary Clubs.

Other activities at the Hall of Fame that day include viewing the current exhibits and making a holiday craft at the museum’s Learning Center.

Pathfinder Village is an internationally respected, livable community and services provider in upstate New York and was founded in 1980 to provide people with Down syndrome and other disabilities an independent and fulfilling lifestyle. As it works to provide quality supports for individuals with intellectual disabilities, the Village also offers highly successful educational, day services, vocational, and outreach programs.  To learn more, visit pathfindervillage.org or visit our pages on the popular social media sites, Facebook and Instagram.

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Pathfinder Village announces Community Heroes and Programs of Excellence Awards

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October 12, 2023 … Pathfinder Village honored its Community Heroes and Programs of Excellence during its Family Day on Saturday, October 7. The staff of the Bassett Health Center Edmeston-Burlington, Pathfinder School, and Pastor Douglas Burleigh were recognized before gathered families, board members, and other stakeholders.

The awards acknowledge how individuals and programs have improved the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through sustained and relevant person-centered services. Pathfinder Village, a livable residential community and services provider, founded in 1980, has been a leader in defining best practices in the Down syndrome field for decades.

In making the Community Heroes presentation, Mr. Landers recalled how Donald Pollock, MD and Van Ness Robinson of NYCM worked to open Bassett Healthcare Network’s first-ever community clinic in Edmeston in 1973. When it outgrew its South Street facility, the community clinic relocated to Pathfinder’s Butler House in 1990. It moved again in 2015 after Pathfinder raised funds to build a contemporary and larger facility, the William F. Streck Community Health Center. This building is named for Bassett’s past president and CEO, William F. Streck, MD, who also serves as chair of Pathfinder’s Board of Directors.

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In presenting the award to Bassett staff members Theresa Scrivener, Pamela Simmons, and Bonnie Conrow, LPN, Mr. Landers said, “It's hard to describe how important it is to have the clinic here given the complex needs of our individuals: Healthcare is best administered when there is familiarity between the clinician and the patient.”

“Having this clinic here has given us a deep connection between the clinician and the patient,” he continued. “It’s the way medicine is meant to be delivered. Simply put, the health center is another tangible asset at Pathfinder that creates an environment where ‘each life may find meaning’.”

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A Program Excellence award was given to the staff of Pathfinder School, a K-12 program that offers academic instruction, therapies, and other services to children with diverse physical and behavioral needs from 15 regional school districts. Mr. Landers said the school is Pathfinder’s “most-enduring program” and continues the affirming legacy of the Otsego School, an Edmeston-based home-school that was founded in 1922 to educate children with Down syndrome by Florence Chesebrough, RN.

Mr. Landers said the decades-long operation of the Otsego School set the inclusive tone for the entire community, and that long-standing acceptance encouraged the expansion of Pathfinder’s educational services in 2014 through its post-secondary program, Otsego Academy. He praised current Sr. Director of Education Maura Iorio for steering the educational program through some of its greatest changes and challenges.

“The children in our school are very different today, they have different needs than when Pathfinder opened,” he said. “With Maura’s leadership, and our dedicated faculty, therapists, and staff, Pathfinder School has redefined itself as a more diverse educational setting, delivering credible, creative services to a more complex student population. But the story is still the same … today families can find a place where their loved ones can grow, learn, and mature. Pathfinder School continues to be a place of hope, a reminder to all of us of the human potential.”


DougwebMr. Landers also presented Pastor Douglas Burleigh a Program Excellence Award for his 14 years of providing spiritual and faith services to residents and families as part of the Village’s Enrichment program. The Rev. Burleigh, who also serves Community Hospice of Albany, will retire from his position at the end of the year.

“Pastor Doug has served through some really challenging times,” said Mr. Landers, referencing Rev. Burleigh’s counseling during the pandemic and in helping residents who have experienced the passing of friends through aging and dementia.

“Doug is always available in times of need and is deeply connected to this place. If you spend time with him, you understand that he cares about you, he cares about our community members, and he cares about Pathfinder’s mission,” concluded Mr. Landers.

The awards were announced during October, National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, to underscore the roles and contributions that people with Trisomy 21 make in their communities.

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KWC offers Lunch and Learn webinars on aging and enrichment

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Edmeston, NY, October 5, 2023 … The Kennedy Willis Center on Down Syndrome at Pathfinder Village is hosting a four-part Lunch and Learn webinar series this autumn, Nurturing Your Best Self through Music, Art, Movement & Mindfulness. The noontime series will share useful strategies for families and direct support staff who care for older adults with Down syndrome, dementia, and other disabilities.

The series is part of the Center’s and Pathfinder Village’s observance of October as National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. October was first designated as a national observance by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 and has been recognized every year since. The month is focused on celebrating the abilities and accomplishments of people with Trisomy 21.

Series registration is $30 per attendee; online information and a registration link are at kwcdownsyndrome.org. The series will be facilitated by E. Adel Herge, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA of Jefferson Elder Care, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, and Brittany Goodrich, Director of the Kennedy Willis Center, the research and advocacy arm of Pathfinder Village. For over four years, Jefferson Elder Care and the Kennedy Willis Center have collaborated on creating staff training modules, online content, and outreach programs to present best practices in aging for older adults with Down syndrome.

“People with Down syndrome are living longer than ever before, and the changes associated with aging may affect a person’s participation in activities that are important to them,” said Dr. Herge. “The cognitive and physical changes with aging and the onset of dementia make it particularly challenging for individuals to stay active and engaged.”

“Our noontime Lunch and Learn webinar series will explore the relationship of participating in meaningful activities with health and well-being,” added Director Goodrich. “Our knowledgeable presenters will discuss ways you may use music, art, movement and mindfulness to help the people you support stay active, involved in activities, and experience joy.”

The sessions will be on Wednesdays at 12 p.m. and will feature:

Oct. 25   Your Creative Self: The Value of Art, even if You're Not Artistic: Anne Dudley-Smith is the Gallery Director for The Arc Otsego's Main View Gallery, a studio that celebrates the creative powers and insights of individuals with intellectual disabilities. She will discuss how to structure art activities for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities and how to involve people in creative processes to achieve wellness goals.

Nov. 1   Fun Fitness Ideas for All Ages & Abilities: Zoe Curtis is an experienced group fitness instructor who specializes in POUND workouts, ZUMBA, and other health movement formats. She has coached for over 12 years in ways that allow people to enjoy movement, make exercise fun, and build their self-confidence while providing an inclusive atmosphere for people of all ages and abilities. She has led in-person and online classes for gyms, private groups, centers for people with disabilities, senior living communities, and substance addiction recovery centers.

Nov. 8   Discover Your Musical Joy: How Music Can Heal Us: Join acclaimed sound healer Jimbo Talbot in this session focused on facilitating transformative music and sound programs to promote health and wellness for people with disabilities. The founder of DrumQuest, Mr. Talbot has led drum circles at Pathfinder Village for over 10 years and offers a variety of programs to meet audience needs. He is a trained Remo Health Rhythms® facilitator, Village Music Circles® Global Drum Facilitator, a graduate of Music For People®, and a graduate of Ithaca College of Music.

Nov. 15   Being Mindful, Positive & Connected: The final webinar is a panel discussion by spiritual providers who have extensively worked with individuals with intellectual disabilities who are seeking advice on life's big issues such as loss, faith, and other topics. Our panel includes the Rev. Douglas Burleigh, Fly Creek, the chaplain at Pathfinder Village and Community Hospice of Albany; and Sr. Mary Veasy and Sr. Susan Lindinger, who provide pastoral care and counseling at Divine Providence Village, Springfield, Pa., a residential community that serves adult women with disabilities and dementia.

To learn more about the Kennedy Willis Center and its outreach initiatives, visit kwcdownsyndrome.org or https://pathfindervillage.org/innovation-kwc. The Center was established in 1996 with a three-fold mission: to provide education opportunities for families and the community at large regarding best practices in developmental disabilities, to serve as an information and life planning resource, and to host and support studies by accredited research organizations related to Down syndrome and related disabilities.

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Pathfinder to launch “I Am” campaign to celebrate National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

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Edmeston, New York, September 27, 2023 … Pathfinder Village will celebrate the talents and community connections of individuals with Down syndrome through a new “I Am” campaign as part of its celebration of October as National Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

During the nationally observed month, the Village will feature Down syndrome facts and updates on its Facebook and Instagram social media, and will concurrently highlight Pathfinder’s self-advocacy group, Council Rock, through regular posts. Group members will share “I Am” statements to highlight their individual strengths, goals, and roles in the community.

“Council Rock is Pathfinder’s residents’ advisory and advocacy group that volunteers at events and supports other community activities. The group also is a forum for individuals to share their concerns about issues that affect their lives, including equal access, choice, and public policy,” said Council Rock Advisor Brittany Goodrich, the Director of the Kennedy Willis Center on Down Syndrome at Pathfinder Village. “Through this new campaign, we hope to share our inclusive message for individuals of all abilities and encourage people to consider and share their own “I Am” statements.”

The “I Am” campaign aligns with a statewide campaign announced earlier this year by the state’s Office for People With Developmental Disabilities called “Look Beyond My Disability.” OPWDD’s campaign encourages the public to recognize and combat stigmas that people with developmental disabilities encounter in their daily lives.

In addition to social media posts, Pathfinder will also make several announcements and offer outreach events during National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. As part of Pathfinder’s biennial Family Day on Saturday, October 7, the Village will announce its Community Hero Awards that recognize community members who have promoted Down syndrome awareness and have provided valuable assistance and support to Pathfinder. The Family Day event will also recognize the achievements of outgoing President and Chief Executive Officer Paul C. Landers, who is retiring after a
15-year tenure leading the organization.

To share its expertise in Down syndrome and aging, the Village’s Kennedy Willis Center will host a four-part webinar Lunch and Learn webinar series, “Nurturing Your Best Self through Music, Art, Movement & Mindfulness” starting on Wednesday, October 25. Registration is $30 for the entire series; each session begins at noon and is hosted by Mrs. Goodrich and Dr. Adel Herge, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA of Jefferson Eldercare, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia. To register, visit pathfindervillage.org/innovation-kwc/education.

Pathfinder Village is an internationally respected open-access community and services provider in upstate New York and was founded in 1980 to provide people with Down syndrome and other disabilities an independent and fulfilling lifestyle. As it works to provide quality supports for individuals with intellectual disabilities, the Village also offers highly successful educational, day services, pre-vocational and outreach programs.  To learn more, visit pathfindervillage.org or visit our fan page on the popular social networking site, Facebook.

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The Spirit of Community unfurled at PV fundraisers

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COOPERSTOWN, NY, September 17, 2023 … The spirit of community was unfurled as tennis enthusiasts, golfers, and friends of Pathfinder Village gathered on Monday, September 11, at the Pathfinder Village Tennis Classic and the Pathfinder Village-Baseball Hall of Fame Golf Invitational. Culminating with an awards banquet at The Otesaga Resort Hotel, the benefits raised over $85,500 for residential and student scholarships for people with intellectual disabilities.

“Nowhere else in this region do we have such an event; two tournaments, two sports, two non-profits—Pathfinder and the National Baseball Hall of Fame -- all come together for a day of fun, fellowship, and fundraising,” said Village Chief Executive Officer Paul C. Landers. “For 42 years and 14 years, golfers and tennis players have gathered at the south end of Otsego Lake to celebrate and support two internationally renowned organizations. It has been an honor to be part of this remarkable tradition in Cooperstown and we are confident it will continue for many more decades.”

The evening’s banquet highlight was a presentation by Village resident Carrie Bergeron, who was joined by her father, Tim of Dolgeville, and sister, Katie Peglow-Bergeron of Fairport. A children’s book author and lifelong advocate for people with Down syndrome, Carrie spoke of how Alzheimer’s disease impacts those with Trisomy 21 and movingly related her decision to join the Pathfinder community.

“I was able to live independently in my cozy apartments with self-direction support for 18 years,” said Carrie to a standing-room-only audience. “I now need 24/7 care for the memory loss I have been experiencing gradually. After months of planning, I moved to Pathfinder Village in June. It’s only been three months, but it already feels like home to me…. Thank you all for the scholarship that helps me live and thrive at Pathfinder Village!”

Baseball Hall of Fame Ambassador Rollie Fingers, who spent the afternoon finishing out the 18th hole with golfers, spoke on the growth he saw during his weekend visit to Pathfinder and was featured during an interview with Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch. The seven-time All-Star relief pitcher charmed guests with tales about his mustache: how he and his teammates grew facial hair to earn $300 bonuses from Oakland A’s owner Charles Finley, and how a fiery little girl once kicked him in the shin because she mistook him for Peter Pan’s nemesis, Captain Hook.

Tournament Chairs—Leatherstocking Golf Course Host Pro Tim Quirk and Community Volunteers Pat and Bob Hanft of Cooperstown—announced tournament winners and the expected proceeds of the day’s competitions. The Golf Invitational was won by the Community Bank team of Tim Miller, Dave Weaver, Brent Patry, and Theo Basdekis, who were paired with Springfield Country Club Host Professional E.J. Altobello of Springfield, Mass. (118; -26). In all, 92 amateurs and 22 regional golf pros played in Monday’s round.

The 14th annual Tennis Classic at the Har-Tru Courts of the Cooperstown Country Club featured a full roster of 32 players organized in two flights. Flight A winners were Sheri Holohan and Eric Hage, both of Cooperstown, who defeated Cay Franck of Cooperstown and Chris Clark, New Hartford, at the end of one set (6-1). Flight B winners were Stephanie Bauer and Jill Poulson, both of Cooperstown, who defeated Mark diLorenzo, Cooperstown, and Doug Walters, New Hartford, following an eight-game pro-set (8-1).

The Golf Invitational follows a two-best-ball format, dates to 1982, and has raised over $3 million for Pathfinder scholarships; it has enjoyed long-time support from Presenting Sponsor NBT Bank and Corporate Sponsor Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast. The golf event also raised $15,000 this year in support of the Hall of Fame’s educational programs.

Monday’s Tennis Classic followed a modified round-robin, mixed doubles format, and was sponsored by Presenting Sponsors Bob and Pat Hanft, and The Sokolik family of Darien, Conn. Trophy Sponsors included Strategic Financial Services, New Hartford; Dairy Farmers of America, Kansas City and Syracuse; and Team Bunny of Cooperstown. Since 2010, this social and competitive amateur tournament has raised more than $270,000 for scholarships.

Other Golf Invitational results included: Second Place Team (120, -24) Christopher Levy, Owen Burns, Justin Nadeau, Matthew Barry of Pursuit Lending, Pro Drew Quirk; Third (121, -23) Denny Mirabito, Matt Curtis, Erin Quirk and Lin Vincent, Pro Bob Meheran; Fourth (123, -21) Mike Thornhill and Joe Pucello of Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast, with Andrew Vilacky and Jim Potts, Pro Eric Egloff; Fifth (124, -20) Dan Simmons and Bill Cartier of Sysco, Dylan Chase and Devin Chase of Directive IT, Pro Derek Murphy. Professional Skins Game winners included E.J. Altobello (birdie on #7, hole-in-one on #9); Drew Quirk (birdie on #2); and Bruce Zabriski (birdie on #6).

For more information about the Golf Invitational or the Tennis Classic, please contact the Development Staff at Pathfinder Village at (607) 965-8377, ext. 116. Pathfinder Village is a private, internationally respected livable community and services provider in upstate New York and offers people with Down syndrome and other disabilities an independent and fulfilling lifestyle. As it provides quality supports for individuals with intellectual disabilities, the Village also offers highly successful educational, day services, pre-vocational, and outreach programs. To learn more, visit pathfindervillage.org, or visit our social media on Facebook and Instagram.

Photo Captions:  Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers (third from left) poses on the 18th green of the Leatherstocking Golf Course with the Community Bank, NA team of Tim Miller, Theo Basdekis, Brent Patry and Dave Weaver, along with Springfield Country Club Golf Professional E.J. Altobello (far right). The team came in first at -26 in the recent Pathfinder Village-Baseball Hall of Fame Golf Invitational. (National Baseball Hall of Fame photo – Milo V. Stewart).

B. Tennis Flight A Winners Bill Schaeffer

Winners Sheri Holohan and Eric Hage, center, along with runners-up Cay Franck, left, and Chris Clark, right, were the Flight A finalists for the 14th annual Pathfinder Village Tennis Classic, played at the Har-Tru Courts of the Cooperstown Country Club on Monday, September 11. (Pathfinder Village Photo-Bill Schaeffer.

b2ap3 large C. Tennis Flight B Winners

 Winners Jill Poulson and Stephanie Bauer, center, along with runners-up Mark DiLorenzo, left, and Doug Walters, right, were the Flight B finalists for the 14th annual Pathfinder Village Tennis Classic, played at the Cooperstown Country Club on Monday, September 11. (Pathfinder Village Photo-Lori Grace).

 

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Pathfinder athletes show heart & hustle at MLBPAA skills clinic at Doubleday Field

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COOPERSTOWN, NY, September 7, 2023 … The Pathfinder Village All-Stars showed heart and hustle last week at Doubleday Field. For the third summer, members of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association hosted a skills clinic at the game’s storied field to benefit people with Down syndrome and other disabilities.

Progressing through fielding, pitching, and batting stations, Pathfinder’s athletes brought their A-game and listened intently as the former big leaguers made recommendations and offered encouragement. The universal appeal of the National Pastime was unmistakable, and the ‘plink’ of bats hitting balls, accomplished smiles, and enthusiastic cheers filled the afternoon.

Last week’s clinic included over 60 players from Pathfinder Village, Edmeston, a nationally recognized leader in services for people with intellectual disabilities. This year’s MLBPAA coaches included Clint Hurdle, the former manager of the Colorado Rockies and Pittsburgh Pirates; Tom Carroll, a retired pitcher with the 1974-75 “Big Red Machine” Cincinnati Reds; Jonah Bayliss, a past relief pitcher for Kansas City and Pittsburgh; Gary Holle, a former first baseman and pinch hitter for the Texas Rangers; Frank Seminara, a past starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres and New York Mets; Dickie Noles, the 11-season player whose relief pitching in Game 4 helped the Phillies win the 1980 World Series; and Evan Scribner, the right-handed pitcher who played for San Diego, Oakland, and Seattle. Rick Bernardo, an All-American first baseman who played on three College World Series teams for the University of Maine and played for the Rangers’ farm teams and the Taiwan Lions, also joined in on the coaching duties.

“This clinic we host for the residents of Pathfinder Village has become one of my favorite days of the year,” said Mr. Hurdle. “To collaborate with our small group, and to watch and make the day happen puts a smile on everyone’s heart.”

“All the MLBPAA members who volunteer their time had their hearts tugged in as well,” he added. “In baseball terms…it was a five-run home run!”

Along with MLBPAA members, the skills clinic was organized by dedicated volunteers, spearheaded by Monica Clark of Pathfinder Village and Dr. Joe Dutkowsky of Cooperstown, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon with Bassett Healthcare Network, who has spent his career creating opportunities for people with disabilities. Other volunteers at Doubleday included Dan and Cindy Codi of Marlboro; Karla and Christian Hurdle of Anna Maria Island, Florida; Dr. Michael and Carole Lachance of Cooperstown; Dan Jason of Schenectady; and Brandon and Brayman Clark of Edmeston, among others.

“It’s almost magical when these special athletes play baseball with former major league players,” said Dr. Dutkowsky. “It’s transformative, a judgement-free zone where those who have achieved at the highest-level share with persons with Down syndrome and other disabilities the fundamental joys of what human beings can do with a ball, a bat, and a glove.”

“The annual clinic with the former elite players has grown each year,” said Pathfinder’s President and Chief Executive Officer Paul C. Landers. “There’s a real affinity between these men who have played baseball at its most competitive level, and Pathfinder’s residents, who show the same love and commitment to the game.”

Each Pathfinder athlete received a personalized jersey courtesy of Baseball Fantasy Camps for Kids, specially created by the NOVUS Clothing Company of Latham. The athletes also received autographed balls and will have personalized baseball cards created to commemorate their 2023 Doubleday experience.

Pathfinder Village is a non-profit, livable community that supports people who have Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. Through quality residential, educational, vocational, and enrichment programs, individuals grow toward fulfillment and independence while giving back to our local communities. Pathfinder offers many avenues for community inclusion through special events, adult day services, vocational services, a Bakery & Café, and Pathfinder Produce, the weekly fresh produce market that is open to the public on Thursday afternoons. For more information, visit Pathfinder Village’s social media or its website, pathfindervillage.org.

To see more photos, click here to visit Pathfinder's Facebook album.

Banner picture: Retired relief pitcher Dickie Noles, who helped the Phillies win the 1980 World Series, works with Pathfinder Village athletes on fielding during the third annual skills clinic held by members of the MLBPAA at Doubleday Field, Cooperstown. (Pathfinder Village photo).

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Former Colorado Rockies Manager Clint Hurdle assists Gavin B. with his glove during the skills clinic. (Pathfinder Village photo).

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Photo Captions: Former New York Mets starting pitcher Frank Seminara is all smiles as Pathfinder athlete Theresa C. refines her pitching at the skills clinic held last week at Doubleday Field, Cooperstown. (Pathfinder Village photo).

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The "Big Rig Shindig" returns to Pathfinder!

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Educational event highlights working trucks and equipment for families to discover

Edmeston, New York, September 5, 2023 ...  Trucks, tractors, heavy equipment, and other working vehicles will be front-and-center at Pathfinder Village’s second annual “Big Rig Shindig” on Saturday, September 23, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

This low-cost, educational family-fun event will highlight the role of working vehicles in our communities and provide children with a novel way to learn about specific industries from area businesses and organizations. The event also offers networking opportunities so that business owners and representatives may talk about their services, careers, training in their fields, and more.

“The ‘Big Rig Shindig’ is a fun day to showcase vehicles that are tough and tactical, and represent our local heroes and helpers to children,” said event organizer Monica Clark, Pathfinder’s Manager of Fund Development and People Engagement. “We all know youngsters who are fascinated by big equipment -- this is a great way to encourage their interests and to offer an introduction to possible careers. Our event helps build community, exhibits hardworking machines, and teaches children about industries and on-the-job safety.”

Weather and call dependent, the rescue helicopter from LifeNet of New York, stationed in Sidney, is expected to make a special appearance during the event.

Event Admission is affordable: $5 per single person/$10 per car. There are remaining exhibitor slots, free of charge. All exhibitors must complete a registration form and have a Certificate of Insurance to participate. A printable form is available on the Pathfinder website, pathfindervillage.org/events. Volunteer opportunities are also available; more information is available at the Pathfinder Facebook page or by calling Mrs. Clark at 607-965-8377 x 116 during regular business hours.

About Pathfinder Village: Pathfinder Village is an internationally respected, livable community in upstate New York and was founded in 1980 to provide people living with Down syndrome and related disabilities an independent, engaging, and fulfilling lifestyle. As it works to provide quality supports for older individuals living with intellectual disabilities, the Village also offers highly successful educational and pre-vocational programs, including its post-secondary program, Otsego Academy, and its community-based day services for regional residents. To learn more about Pathfinder Village, please call (607) 965-8377, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., visit the website at pathfindervillage.org, or visit our social media on Facebook and Instagram. 

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MLB Alumni to coach skills clinic for Pathfinder Village

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COOPERSTOWN, NY, August 20, 2023 … The love of our National Pastime will joyfully reunite MLB Player Alumni and Pathfinder Village residents at Cooperstown’s historic Doubleday Field during a third annual skills clinic set for Tuesday, August 29, starting at 1:30 p.m. Members of the press are invited to attend this event.

Over 60 players from Pathfinder Village, Edmeston, a nationally recognized residential community and service provider for people with Down syndrome and other disabilities, will attend to refine their hitting, fielding, and throwing under the tutelage of past professional players. This year’s MLB Players Alumni Association members will include:

• Clint Hurdle, the former manager of the Colorado Rockies and Pittsburgh Pirates.
• Tom Carroll, a retired pitcher with the 1974-75 “Big Red Machine” Cincinnati Reds.
• Jonah Bayliss, a past relief pitcher for Kansas City and Pittsburgh.
• Gary Holle, a former first baseman and pinch hitter for the Texas Rangers.
• David Palmer, formerly with the Montreal Expos, who pitched five perfect innings against the Cardinals in 1984.
• Dickie Noles, a relief pitcher for the 1980 World Series-winning Phillies.
• C.J. Riefenhauser, the left-handed pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays; and
• Evan Scribner, the right-handed pitcher who played for San Diego, Oakland, and Seattle.

“Doubleday and Cooperstown are hallowed grounds for everyone who loves Baseball,” said Mr. Hurdle. “At our past clinics, it was heartening to see the one-hundred percent effort and the recognition that the athletes have done something that they didn’t know they could do. It really hits home.”

“We all feel like a million bucks lining up on the baselines at Doubleday,” Mr. Hurdle added. “Our instructors get ‘infield dust’ in their eyes. Sharing Baseball with adults with special needs – it re-ignites our passion for the game and shows that Baseball really can celebrate the human spirit and unite all of us.”

The event is organized by MLB Player Association staff and volunteers, including Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky of Cooperstown, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon with Bassett Healthcare Network, who has spent his career creating opportunities for people with disabilities. Other volunteers include Dan and Cindy Codi of Marlboro, Dan Jason of Schenectady, Greg Aidala of Albany, Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of Albany, Brandon Clark of Edmeston, and Carole and Michael Lachance, MD of Cooperstown.

Each player will receive a personalized jersey courtesy of Baseball Fantasy Camps for Kids, specially created by the NOVUS Clothing Company, Latham. The players will also receive autographed balls, trading cards, and have their own baseball cards created as mementos of their 2023 Doubleday experience.

Pathfinder Village is a non-profit, livable community devoted to supporting people who have Down syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. Through quality residential, educational, vocational, and enrichment programs, individuals grow toward fulfillment and independence while giving back to our local communities. Pathfinder offers many avenues for community inclusion through special events, adult day services, vocational services, a Bakery & Café, and Pathfinder Produce, the weekly fresh produce market that is open to the public on Thursday afternoons. For more information, visit Pathfinder Village’s social media or its website, pathfindervillage.org.

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"Mommy and Me" sessions set for PV Pavilion

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Edmeston, New York, July 27, 2023 … Pathfinder Village will launch an exciting new summer music activity, “Mommy and Me” for babies and young children on Wednesday afternoons at 1 p.m., starting August 16. The four weekly sessions at the Pathfinder Pavilion will foster social development and other benefits through music, movement, and play.

Each session is $20 per child and pre-registration is required; to learn more or to register, please email [email protected]. Additional children from the same daycare setting may register for a reduced fee of $5.
The “Mommy and Me” sessions are open to parents, grandparents, daycare providers, and others caring for young children, ages 0-5. Based on the popular Kindermusik curriculum, the sessions will be hosted by Pathfinder’s Adult Day Services Pre-Vocational Program and co-led by Layla Hazlett, OTR/L, an experienced pediatric occupational therapist who serves as the Village’s Director & Clinical Coordinator of Adult Services.

“Members of our Pre-Vocational Skills Programs love meeting young children, and music is the universal language that we all love to experience,” said Mrs. Hazlett. “These fun classes will offer healthy play, opportunities for language development, and will help with foundational motor skills. But mostly, we’ll have fun using instruments like maracas, drums, and tambourines, explore favorite children’s songs, and enjoy group games.”

“The ‘Mommy and Me’ sessions will help prepare young children for new social activities and learning experiences as they change gears for pre-school, new daycare settings, and kindergarten this fall,” added Mrs. Hazlett. Sessions will include snack time with treats and drinks served from Pathfinder Produce’s new Kitchen to Go, a portable kitchen that offers school and community educational programs to promote healthy eating and other food and nutrition topics.

About Pathfinder Village: Pathfinder Village is an internationally respected livable community in upstate New York and was founded in 1980 to provide people with Down syndrome and related disabilities an independent, engaging, and fulfilling lifestyle. As it works to provide quality services for older individuals living with intellectual disabilities, the Village also offers highly successful vocational and educational programs, including its post-secondary program, Otsego Academy. To learn more about Pathfinder Village, please call (607) 965-8377, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., visit the website at pathfindervillage.org, or visit the Village’s Facebook and Instagram social media pages.

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Classic Car Cruise-In set for Pathfinder Village

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NYCM Employees host community event for car & ice cream enthusiasts

Edmeston, New York, July 18, 2023 ... Meet Syracuse University’s Otto the Orange, dance to Elvis’ hits, savor ice cream treats, and enjoy gleaming restored vehicles at this year’s Cruise-In at Pathfinder Village on Thursday, August 3, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Organized by employees of NYCM’s Casualty Department, this community event will include voting for the “Best of Show” vehicle. The Cruise-In is free and all are welcome.

Volunteers will serve free Gilligan’s of Sherburne ice cream with all the toppings, including Pathfinder’s signature flavor, “Pathfinder Palooza,” which premiered at last year’s Cruise-In. Listen to classic music hits with a special performance by Elvis Tribute Artist Don Brown, and see Otto, SU’s beloved mascot, who will be inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Ind. with the Class of 2023 later this summer.

Co-Chairs Kim Mack and Pete Smith of NYCM invite all area vintage car owners to share their vehicles with fans at the Pathfinder Pavilion. No advance registration is required. The second annual “Best of Show” trophy will be presented that evening; last year’s inaugural award went to the Hunter Family of West Winfield for their 1947 MG TD roadster.

“We hope all classic car lovers will join us for an evening ‘just for fun.’ It’s about embracing community, enjoying a great setting, learning about some fantastic, restored cars, and celebrating the long partnership between NYCM and Pathfinder,” said Mrs. Mack. “We’re grateful to Gilligan’s, Don Brown, our friends at Syracuse University, and our local car enthusiasts for supporting a night of community fun.”

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About Pathfinder Village: Pathfinder Village is an internationally respected livable community in upstate New York and was founded in 1980 to provide people with Down syndrome and related disabilities an independent, engaging, and fulfilling lifestyle. As it works to provide quality supports for older individuals living with intellectual disabilities, the Village also offers highly successful vocational and educational programs, including its post-secondary program, Otsego Academy. To learn more about Pathfinder Village, please call (607) 965-8377, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., visit the website at pathfindervillage.org, or visit the Village’s Facebook and Instagram social media pages.

 

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Pathfinder celebrates 295 years of staff service

2023-Pathfinder-Village-Staff-WEB Staff Honorees in 2023 were celebrated at a special luncheon on June 20 at the Pavilioin

Edmeston, New York, June 21, 2023 ... Pathfinder Village recognized the dedication and diligence of its employees celebrating five-year service anniversaries at a luncheon at the Pathfinder Pavilion on Tuesday. Altogether, 26 staff have devoted over 295 years of service to Pathfinder residents, students, day service participants, and families.

During his comments, Village President & Chief Executive Officer Paul Landers noted that all honorees had made a conscious choice to work in the intellectual disabilities field and that each person has adopted Pathfinder’s set of core values to guide their daily work.

“We are a group that believes in community for the greater good,” said Mr. Landers. “It isn’t a mission statement or a checklist, it’s the acknowledgment that everything we do should move us closer to living our beliefs. We genuinely care … believing that 40 years from now, our work will stand strong. We set an example, give back, inspire others with a sense of purpose, and impact our community in positive ways.”

This year’s honorees include Ancillary-Environmental Services Team Member Eva Pickens, who has 40 years of service to Pathfinder, its individuals, and their families. Direct Support Professional Cindy Holbert and Coordinator of Enrichment & Community Life Charleen Orendorff are both marking their 35th anniversaries. Christine Chase, the Manager of Ancillary Services, and Stephanie Sitts, the Transition Coordinator for Pathfinder School, are celebrating their 25th anniversaries.

Direct Support Professional (DSP) Cody Ray is marking his 15th year in Residential Services. Adult Day Services (ADS) Site Supervisor Destiny Curl, Overnight On-Call Manager Gina Murfitt and ADS Pre-Vocational Staff Cheryl Winton are all celebrating a decade of service.

Those honored as new members of the “Five Year Club” include (by department): Administration & Development - Executive Assistant Sally Trosset; Adult Day Services - Supported Employment Coordinator Rose Davis, Pre-Vocational Staff Amanda Geier, Pathfinder Produce Worker Eric Mackiewicz; Clinical Services – Behavior Specialist Josh Simmons MS BCBA; Education Services – Occupational Therapist Brittney Crouse, Classroom Aide Samantha Hanslmaier; Nursing & Health Services - Director of Health Services Caitlin Corns RN, School Nurse Monica Sparaco RN-BC, BSN; Residential Services – DSP 2.0 Chelsea Keach, Residential Support Staff Connor Deforest, DSP Karen Rifanburg, Gilbert House Manager Dorothy Vertucci; DSP Brittany Emerson, DSP 2.0 Koral Hoag, and DSP Curtis Wright.

 

Pathfinder Village is an internationally respected livable community and services provider in upstate New York. It was founded in 1980 to provide people living with Down syndrome and other disabilities an independent and fulfilling lifestyle. As it works to provide quality supports for individuals with intellectual disabilities, the Village also offers highly successful educational, day services, vocational/pre-vocational, and outreach programs.  To learn more, visit http://pathfindervillage.org, or visit our social media on Facebook and Instagram.

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Photo Caption: Pathfinder Village veteran staff members were honored at a special luncheon at the Pathfinder Pavilion on Tuesday, June 20 for their collective 295 years of service to the residential community and services provider that serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Front Row (l to r): Stephanie Sitts, Christine Chase, Eva Pickens, Charleen Orendorff, Cindy Holbert. Back Row: Rose Davis, Destiny Curl, Connor Deforest, Amanda Geier, Cody Ray, Caitlin Corns, Brittney Crouse, Samantha Hanselmaier, Sally Trosset, Monica Sparaco, and Eric Mackiewicz.

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Join us for our 25th annual Summer Concert Series

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Edmeston, New York, June 13, 2023 … Join the Pathfinder Village community as it celebrates its silver anniversary Summer Concert Series. A mainstay of the area’s summer arts scene, Pathfinder’s concerts feature free, live performances on Monday evenings in July and August, starting on July 10.

“Our 25th annual Summer Concert Series is at a new day and time, which includes many new artists playing different types of music,” said event planner Monica Clark, the Village’s Manager of Fund Development & People Engagement. “This year we’re excited to offer affordable food concessions so that families and music lovers can enjoy a light supper while they relax during the live shows at our Pavilion.”

“We love the energy and the feeling of community that happens each summer during our Pathfinder concerts,” added Mrs. Clark. “We appreciate the tremendous support we’ve enjoyed for 25 years from the New York State Council on the Arts, other donors, regional arts organizations, our artists, and community members.”

Pathfinder Village is a non-profit, livable community and service provider for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. The Village engages the public through its micro-business, Pathfinder Bakery and Pathfinder Produce, and community events to support inclusion and equity for people with intellectual disabilities.

The concert concessions will be organized by volunteers from the residents’ advocacy and advisory group, Council Rock. Along with drinks and snacks, the Council Rock members will sell ice cream treats from Gilligan’s of Sherburne and a light supper menu; details are at Pathfinder’s Facebook events page. Food sale proceeds will benefit Council Rock activities.

The musical performances of the Summer Concert Series are made possible with public funds from the Statewide Community Regrants Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and administered by The Earlville Opera House. Additional support is provided by private donors, Stewart’s Shops Holiday Match Program, and WGY’s Christmas Wish.

To find out more, please call (607) 965-8377, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or visit pathfindervillage.org.

In 2023, Pathfinder Village’s Summer Concerts will be on Mondays evenings and include:

  • July 10, 5:30 pm  Crushing Midnight Duo (New!): Less is more as the Crushing Midnight Duo -- vocalist Leslie Borden and guitarist Dave Harris -- play their own "unplugged" and bluesy tinted versions of '80s and '90s rock, pop, and country hits and other timeless classics.
  • July 17, 5:30 pm  The Real-Time Dixieland Band: Mark Sands and The Realtime Dixieland Band have been pleasing CNY audiences since 2017.  The group includes some of the area’s finest concert musicians and has fun with New Orleans-style jazz. Their repertoire includes songs by history's most renowned jazz artists including Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Billie Holiday, and Fats Waller. They also include contemporary music by Jimmy Buffet, John Denver, and more.
  • July 24, 5:30 pm  SPECIAL SUMMER PERFORMANCE (New!) The Magic of Chris Wheel: School psychologist Chris Wheel has been entertaining audiences for 15+ years with his artistry, combining sleight-of-hand, parlor tricks, and his own engaging brand of comedy. A frequent performer at the Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital, Chris promises to amaze you, wanting more, and leave you laughing. (This performance is funded outside of the SCR/state arts council grant).
  • July 31, 5:30 pm  Ten Gallon Matt (New!): Stetsons and six-strings are back in fashion as Ten Gallon Matt shares his repertoire of classic and outlaw country favorites. Ten Gallon Matt authentically pays homage to Willie, Waylon, and Hank, and showcases crowd-pleasing hits by Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, and other country superstars.
  • Aug. 7, 5:30 pm  Grit N Grace Duo (New!): Grit N Grace has been entertaining regional audiences with their unique blend of high-energy country, rock, and dance music. Enjoy their duo's eclectic covers of hits from Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, to ZZ Top and The Doors!
  • Aug. 14, 5:30 pm  Midland Park (New!): Midland Park is a new quintet that showcases its members' versatility on horns and other instruments while revisiting favorites from the'60s onward. You won't want to miss their renditions of hits by The Beatles, Neil Diamond, Chicago, The Eagles, and others.  
  • Aug. 21, 6 p.m.  The Small Town Big BandThis 14-piece swing music band is comprised of people from all walks of life who enjoy making music together. The ensemble features brass, reeds, rhythm, and vocals, and performs hits from the 1930s to the present in the Big Band style.
  • Aug. 28, 5:30 p.m.  Josh BreenCountry singer and guitarist Josh Breen returns to the Pavilion to share his soulful renditions of classic standards and modern favorites.

Pathfinder Village is a non-profit, planned community devoted to supporting people who have Down syndrome and other intellectual/developmental disabilities. Through quality residential, educational, vocational, and enrichment programs, individuals grow toward fulfillment and independence while giving back to our local communities. Pathfinder also offers many avenues for community inclusion through concerts, events, adult day service offerings, the Bakery & Café, youth soccer games, and Pathfinder Produce, the weekly fresh produce market that serves the public on Thursday afternoons.

The Pathfinder Pavilion will ring with live music again this July and August, as the Village celebrates its silver anniversary Summer Concert Series. This year’s free live performances will be held on Monday evenings, with food concessions available for guests.

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Eight staff achieve DSP 2.0 credential

WEB3-BLOG-PV-2023-DSP-2.0-Graduates Pathfinder Village's latest DSP 2.0s

Edmeston, New York, May 31, 2023 ... Pathfinder Village announced the graduation of eight staff through its Direct Support Professional 2.0 program last week. This training program aligns with direct care and human service competencies using a multi-tiered approach to build employees’ skills, provide one-on-one mentoring, and offer theme-based classroom sessions.

The newest DSP 2.0 graduates are Mackenzie Bigford, Brittany Harty, Koral Hoag, Chelsea Keach, Katie Kujawski, Angela Lund, Danielle Sheldon, and Gregory Winton. The newly credentialed DSP 2.0s work primarily in Pathfinder’s residential homes but also provide vital supports to people with intellectual disabilities as they participate in community-based services and activities, receive medical services, and pursue pre-vocational/employment activities and personal interests.

“This group of Direct Support Professionals dedicated the last nine months to completing a robust professional development program,” said Pathfinder’s Chief Program Officer Kelly A. Meyers. “I’m inspired by their growth, the confidence each person has gained, and how they’ve all demonstrated care and compassion for individuals they support.”

“The DSP 2.0 training is an incentivized program that offers staff the skills and guidance they need to commit to a career in direct care,” said Program Specialist and staff trainer Michelle Banks. “The requirements of DSPs have increased over the past decades, and the quality of care that frontline staff provides is rooted in mastering direct care responsibilities, being pro-active advocates, and developing trust with the individuals and families they serve. Our DSP 2.0s are more involved in resident programming and deliver improved services.”

Pathfinder Village also offers further advancement opportunities through its DSP 3.0 program. This eight-month course is focused in working with an aging population and offers case management experience and professional mentoring in collaboration with the Village’s Kennedy Willis Center on Down Syndrome and Jefferson Eldercare, Thomas Jefferson University of Philadelphia.

Village administrators recognize having a trained, knowledgeable Direct Support Professional workforce is critical, as there are growing numbers of aging individuals in the US with cognitive declines and dementia. The development of the DSP 2.0 and 3.0 trainings extends Pathfinder’s decades of work in aging programs and infrastructure supports for people with intellectual disabilities.

Pathfinder Village is an internationally respected livable community and services provider in upstate New York and was founded in 1980 to provide people living with Down syndrome and other disabilities an independent and fulfilling lifestyle. As it works to provide quality supports for individuals with intellectual disabilities, the Village also offers highly successful educational, day services, vocational and pre-vocational services, aging and outreach programs. To learn more, visit https://pathfindervillage.org, or visit our social media on Facebook and Instagram.

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10th annual Splash Path 5k a success

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Edmeston, NY, May 25, 2023… For a decade, Pathfinder Village’s Splash Path 5k and Fun Walk has colorfully celebrated community and offered an inclusive athletic event for people of all ages and abilities. This past Saturday, the color run and festival achieved a new fundraising milestone, $30,000, in support of the Pathfinder Produce Mobile Market and vocational programs for adults with intellectual disabilities.

“Saturday’s tenth annual event was a wonderful celebration of how the public, businesses, athletes and non-profits can collaborate to support meaningful programs and services that benefit our entire community,” said Event Chair Monica Clark. “Over the ten years of Splash Path, we’ve invested over $160,500 in community-focused inclusion projects and wellness initiatives. We’re grateful to our loyal sponsors and participants who have made Splash Path such a success.”

Splash Path 5k proceeds and health-focused grants have been the chief revenue sources for Pathfinder’s food distribution and fresh produce prescription programs to help address community health and food insecurity issues in our area. Pathfinder Produce, founded in 2013, and its Mobile Market, started in 2018, are vital microbusinesses operated through the Village’s Adult Day Services, which provide community-based training and vocational opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities throughout our area.

Over 450 runners and walkers registered for Saturday’s 5k. Special recognition was paid during the color burst ceremony for sponsors, participants, and volunteers who have contributed to the event’s success consistently since 2014. Recognized community sponsors included: 10 Years: The Landers Family, Ryno Graphics; 9 Years: Aqua Valley, NYCM Insurance, Gordon B. Roberts/One Group; 8 Years: The Bonadio Group, Chobani, Preferred Mutual Insurance, Prolifiq Sign Studio.

Recognized participants included: 10 Years: Nancy Knorr; 9 Years: Lucille Adsit, Angela Benson, John Knorr, Zoe Curtis; 8 Years: Brenda Crowder, Erin & McKenzie Stevens. Recognized volunteers included: 10 Years: The Edmeston Fire Department, Monica Clark, Caprice Eckert, Lori Grace, Paul Landers; 9 Years: Brandon Clark, Kathy Landers;  8 Years: Zoe Curtis ZUMBA Fitness.

Direct Support Professional Cheryl Winton of Pathfinder’s Adult Day Services was recognized for her outreach in working with area businesses from the communities of Edmeston, New Berlin, Sherburne, Cooperstown, Oneonta, Norwich, Hamilton, and Utica in support of the Splash Path ticket auction. Other sponsors, The Bonadio Group, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, JPMorgan, NBT Bank, NYCM Insurance, One Group, and Preferred Mutual Insurance also provided items for the participants’ goodie bags.

Complimentary Chobani products and special 10th anniversary cupcakes from Pathfinder Bakery were served at the 5k finish line to Splash Path visitors. A custom commemorative quilt made from all prior years’ Splash Path tee shirts, created by Kathy Landers of Cooperstown, was also displayed.

Title Sponsors this year included Brown & Brown of New York and Directive IT, Oneonta. Other key sponsors included NYCM Insurance and Bishop Printshop, Edmeston; The Bonadio Group, Syracuse; Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield, Utica; Principle Design & Engineering, PLLC, Norwich; Otsego County Government; Altonview Architects, Cooperstown; Access Therapy, Clifton Park; Reese-Marshall, Norwich; ABM Fire Equipment, Milford; J.P. Morgan, Greenwich, Conn.; Carlo Masi Sons & Daughter, Utica; Tarrytown Expocare Pharmacy, Austin, Texas; and Williams Tire & Auto, Pittsfield. For a complete list of event sponsors visit Pathfinder’s website at https://pathfindervillage.org.

Along with the 5k event, the day featured six food trucks/vendors and 25 craft/business vendors. Festival attendees also enjoyed live music by Josh Breen, outdoor games, and the beautiful community grounds of Pathfinder.

Pathfinder Village is a livable community and service provider for those with Down syndrome and other disabilities.  Pathfinder Produce’s Mobile Market works with area agencies and healthcare partners to transport fresh fruits and vegetables to area families living in food deserts; the Mobile Market also creates meaningful, community-based vocational opportunities for adults with disabilities.

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Pathfinder Village Foundation elects new Trustees

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The Pathfinder Village Foundation announces that Linda V.W. Clark, Patricia R. Hanft, and Raymond E. Holohan have been elected to the Board of Trustees.
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"Color Our Community" to Celebrate WDSD 2023

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Pathfinder Village invites community members and local families to “Color Our Community” in blue and yellow on March 21, World Down Syndrome Day 2023. WDSD is a celebration that highlights the talents and inclusion of people with Down syndrome in communities around the globe.

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CEO Landers to retire

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Paul C. Landers, M.Ed., Cooperstown, will retire as the president and chief executive officer of Pathfinder Village, announced William F. Streck, MD, the chair of the Village’s Board of Directors.

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Pathfinder hosts over 340 Ghosts & Ghouls for Halloween

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Pathfinder Village pulled out all the stops with its eighth annual Community Trick-or-Treat event on Saturday. Over 340 trick-or-treaters enjoyed a safe and spooky afternoon visiting Pathfinder’s livable campus.

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“Pathfinder Village helps people find their
way in life to independence, success, and
maturity — all the things you want for your family.”
Marian Mullet | Founder of Pathfinder Village