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Pathfinder Village Celebrates National Down Syndrome Month

“Staying Connected” at Pathfinder Village during October, 
National Down Syndrome Awareness Month


Edmeston, New York, September 29, 2020 … Now in its 40th anniversary year, Pathfinder Village will observe October as National Down Syndrome Awareness Month with engaging community-based events centered on the theme of “Staying Connected.”

“For the seven months of the pandemic, Pathfinder’s focus has been on following health protocols and keeping individuals and staff safe through thoughtful strategies,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Paul C. Landers. “At the same time, we’ve addressed ways to keep individuals, their families and friends connected socially, and to provide as many opportunities for being a community as we can. We’ve explored safe ‘push-in’ day services, expanded into virtual programming and site-specific day programs, and leveraged the many event settings that our beautiful campus provides.”

Several recent community activities for individuals included a concert-on-the-lawn to celebrate autumn, a virtual walk by community members to show support for the Alzheimer’s Association’s “Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” and virtual chapel services by Village Chaplain Douglas Burleigh.

“Our frontline staff and leadership team are flexible and creative in re-interpreting how vocational, educational, enrichment and other services are delivered to Pathfinder residents, students and other service recipients,” explained Mr. Landers. “As New York State continually assesses and adjusts, all non-profit human service agencies must do so as well, and Pathfinder’s leadership and experience are shining through in this most-challenging time.”

Part of the month’s “Staying Connected” focus will include video, picture, and pen pal exchanges with community partners including NYCM of Edmeston; Colgate University, Hamilton; the State University of New York, Oneonta; past Camp Pathfinder campers, and Village families.

Other planned observances during the month will include:

Oct. 1, DrumQuest Circle: Longtime musical partner Jimbo Talbot, Syracuse, and a native of Cooperstown, will lead the community in physically distant yet musically connected drum circles at the Pathfinder Pavilion. Learn more at Drum Quest

Oct. 2, Citizenship/Voter Education Classes:  Eligible Pathfinder Village adults who value their roles as citizens and the voting experience will receive instructions on how to vote by absentee ballot this presidential election year. To learn more about voting as a person with disabilities, visit the website of the National Down Syndrome Congress’ “Your Voice, Your Vote”.

Ongoing, Cards of Light Campaign: Pathfinder Village has accepted the “Cards of Light” challenge from its aging services partner, Second Wind Dreams® of Roswell, Ga. In this art project, Village artists will create individualized greeting cards to share with persons who have dementia, including those living at nursing homes, attending senior day programs, and other care settings. Learn more here

Oct. 16, “Art for Well Beings” Workshop:  Instructor/Painter/Printmaker Judy Gittlesohn of California, will lead a special virtual art session with Village artists to explore expression through color, form and technique. A Golden Paints Certified Working Artist, Ms. Gittlesohn’s abstract work is created through translating geometric forms and layering many applications of acrylic paints. The artist has worked steadily in the community bringing art to at-risk youth, people with disabilities and to the general public. Learn more here

Etsy Store Launch: Students in Pathfinder’s two-year post-secondary program, Otsego Academy, will observe October as National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month by exploring business start-ups and craft careers by opening their own Etsy online business. These young adults will “learn-by-doing” in all phases of planning, production, and fulfillment as they create whimsical craft items for holiday sales.

Pathfinder Produce Weekly Market Promotions:  The Pathfinder Produce weekly fresh fruit and vegetable market reopened in June, and has, along with its Mobile Market operation, steadily served the produce needs of Otsego County residents.  During October, the market will offer sales specials and promotions, and a pop-up market at NYCM is planned for October 16. 

Other Projects: Various video presentations will be shared through Pathfinder’s social media during October to engage fans, friends, and family members, and to celebrate the talents, contributions, and interests of people with Down syndrome. Additionally, safe options for celebrating Halloween will be offered to Pathfinder service recipients and Pathfinder School students. (No Community Trick-or-Treating Haunted House will be open to the greater community this fall).


Pathfinder Village is an internationally respected open-access 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, pre-vocational and outreach programs.  To learn more, visit, or visit our fan page on the popular social networking site, Facebook.

“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