Awards, golf tournament’s new location, upcoming events
Awards, golf tournament’s new location, upcoming events
Jessica Levesque and Jill Turchiarelli
Card Project Brings Birthday Joy
Birthdays are a cause for celebration and participants in People Inc.’s Advocacy Program have been making sure that those we serve receive acknowledgement on their special day.
“Some people don’t have family, friends or coworkers to wish them well on their birthday,” said People Inc. employee, Jill Turchiarelli, who also receives services from our agency. “I suggested the birthday card project so we could celebrate individuals in some way. A birthday is your day to shine!”
Each year, about 4,000 cards are mailed to participants who receive support from our residential, service coordination and community habilitation programs. Cover artwork, which is selected via a contest, is designed, and submitted by individuals our agency serves. The most recent card features artwork by Jessica Levesque, an advocate and participant in our Arts Experience Program. The feeling of excitement one experiences when receiving a birthday surprise inspired her design. “When you receive a card, it’s the thought that counts,” Jess said.
Jill and Jessica agree that celebrating birthdays is important! “We are happy to have so many on board with us to develop ideas, display creativity and spread appreciation for individuals we serve!” said the enthusiastic ladies.
Young Adults Tour Two Amazing Companies
Two groups from our Young Adult Life Transitions (YALT) Program have been active in the community learning about local businesses.
University at Buffalo YALT program participants recently toured New Era Cap Company in Buffalo. They learned the history of the headwear manufacturer, types of jobs the organization offers and met employees and executives. The tour was capped off with pizza and wings!
Participants in our Niagara County Community College YALT program worked with Alex, an engineer from Yahoo, as part of Young Audiences of Western New York. He taught the participants about virtual reality, 3D printing and gave them a tour of Yahoo offices in Lockport. Everyone had a fun time!
Frederick Wins Prestigious Award from LeadingAge New York
People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick has earned the 2016 Professional of the Year Award from LeadingAge New York. This award honors a long-term care, housing and service professional’s contributions to the well-being of the elderly or chronically ill in his or her community. An award ceremony will take place on May 25, in Saratoga Springs. LeadingAge New York is the only statewide organization representing the entire continuum of not-for-profit, mission-driven and public continuing care for seniors.
Buffalo State College Recognizes People Inc. Partnership
Buffalo State College recently named People Inc. its 2016 Student Employer of the Year. The award recognizes an employer who is active in the college’s community and provides quality career opportunities to Buffalo State students and graduates. People Inc. will receive the honor on April 26 as part of Buffalo State’s Student Employment Week. Thank you Buffalo State, we love our partnership!
People Inc. Volunteer Honored
Senior Companion Program volunteer, Jacqueline Brooks, was recently recognized for her dedicated service during Mayor’s Day of Recognition on April 5. Jacqueline provides daily services to two program participants, including help with nutritional meals and planning fun outings. In true Jacqueline form, she recently stepped up without hesitation when she learned that a fellow volunteer had become ill and needed someone to fill in. Jacqueline, thank you for your dedicated service!
L-R: Maria Whyte, commissioner, Department of Environment and Planning of Erie County; Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown; Jacqueline Brooks, People Inc. Senior Companion Program volunteer; Luvena Moore, People Inc. Senior Companion Program coordinator; and Oswaldo Mestre, Jr., director Office of Citizen Services.
2015 Annual Report Now Available
People Inc. is inspired and proud of all that has taken place over the past year. We value the team we work with every day, and are encouraged by the scope of our community partnerships and support from dedicated community members. To view our 2015 Annual Report, click here.
Concetta Ferguson Promoted to Senior Vice President
Longtime staff member Concetta Ferguson was recently promoted to senior vice president. She started with our agency as a volunteer in October 1986, and worked in direct care. Currently, Concetta is responsible for new program development, service coordination and non-traditional community-based programs. She oversees self-directed services, community habilitation, in-home respite services, environmental modifications and life quality coaching. Congratulations, Concetta!
Job Opportunities in the Southtowns
We are hiring for several positions for our southtowns locations, including: group home, community based instructors, program instructors, registered nurses. Learn more at two of our upcoming People Inc. Open Interview Day events: Thursday, May 5, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Erie 2 BOCES Chautauqua Cattaraugus, 8685 Erie Road, Angola and on Wednesday, May 11, from 2 to 5 p.m., at North Collins Memorial Library, 2095 School Street, North Collins. Walk-ins welcome. Can’t attend? Apply online.
DDAWNY Minimum Wage Increase Update
The Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY) launched a “bFair2DirectCare” campaign with fellow associations throughout the state asking Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the Legislature to fund the minimum wage increase in the state budget. Thank you to those who supported this effort!
On April 1, the New York State Legislature passed the state budget, which contained a change in the minimum wage increase by region. There was an agreement to allocate some funding to offset the costs to providers. Unfortunately, it was not near the amount requested, but the campaign’s message resonated with the Legislature. DDAWNY agencies will continue to demonstrate the invaluable expertise and compassion that our workforce brings to their jobs.
Elmwood Health Center Featured in HEALTHeLINK Newsletter
HEALTHeLINK recently featured our Elmwood Health Center in its latest newsletter. The article, called “Health IT changing health care at Elmwood Health Center,” is about how HEALTHeLINK and the usage of health IT has changed the way our Elmwood Health Center operates. Click here for the newsletter.
Seniors Unlimited Accepting Participants
Participants are being accepted for People Inc.’s Seniors Unlimited, a social day program that meets the needs of adults who have developed dementia or memory loss, which may have been caused by Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease or other illnesses. Our program provides caregivers with an opportunity to work, run errands or take a break.
In recognition of Older Americans Month in May, Seniors Unlimited will host an Open House on Saturday, May 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 2635 Delaware Avenue, Suite A, Buffalo. A free lunch and resources will be available. Complimentary respite for individuals with memory loss will be provided. Attendees will receive a coupon for a free Seniors Unlimited trial day.
For more information or to RSVP for our event, call 716.768.2371.
Recent news stories that include information from People Inc. and agency representatives.
“Ride sharing will benefit disabled and aging New Yorkers:” An “Another Voice” contribution by Denise Bienko vice president, People Inc., The Buffalo News, April 8, 2016.
“Education debt can be forgiven:” People Inc. included. Buffalo Business First, April 8, 2016.
“Learning by Doing:” People Inc. included. Western New York Family Magazine, Special Needs Supplement, April 2016.
“Not-for-profits rally in support of minimum wage hike, asks for state support:” People Inc. president and CEO Rhonda Frederick interviewed. WIVB-TV Channel 4, March 11, 2016.
Daily Mail: From being ‘treated like a snowflake’ to assuming they’re stupid, people with autism reveal how NOT to talk to them
People with autism have revealed their frustrations and things they wish people knew about the condition.
Self: This Model With Down Syndrome Just Made History
“The Fearless campaign’s message is one of inclusion: ‘Beauty belongs to everyone.’”
Today Style: Teen with Down syndrome sets sights on Miss America pageant
“Jenny hopes Mickey’s story inspires not only kids with special needs, but their parents and the rest of the community as well.”
April 2016
Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn
Golf Anyone?
New Location!
Great Experience!

We are gearing up for our 15th Annual People Inc. Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament, which will be held on Monday, August 22, and will take place at a new venue, the Orchard Park Country Club, 4777 South Buffalo Street, Orchard Park. A beautiful round of golf, silent auction items and dinner are all part of this fun day. Registration is now open, plus a variety of sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, click here. To register, visit our Fundraiser and Event Registration page, or contact Stephanie Sullivan at or 716.817.7269.
Give a Mother’s Day Gift that Gives Back: Support People Inc. at Giveback Day 2016!
Looking for a Mother’s Day gift that also supports a great cause? As part of Giveback Day 2016, ten percent of everything purchased at Reeds Jenss on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. will be donated to People Inc. upon designation. This includes home décor, Vera Bradley merchandise and much more! Enjoy a free catered lunch, meet and greet with professional athletes and shop new Embrace The Difference® pieces. This year’s event will be held at Reeds Jenss, 4000 Maple Road, Amherst. If you are not able to attend the event, 10 percent of any purchase made at the following Reeds Jenss locations will be donated to People Inc. upon designation: 3515 Abbott Road, Orchard Park, and 1401 Military Road, Niagara Falls.
Cookbooks on Sale
Our Treasured Recipes from People Inc. Senior Living cookbooks were so popular this past holiday season, we ordered a limited amount of additional books! If you, a friend or family member loves to cook, be sure to purchase your book soon. They make great gifts for Mother’s Day! The cookbooks include a bound collection of recipes that are rich in family traditions.
People Inc. Senior Living provides affordable and safe apartments to independent seniors with 19 locations throughout Western New York. For apartment information or to purchase a cookbook, call 716.817.9090. Cash or checks accepted, payable to People Inc.
People Inc. Pine Senior Living Presents Pet Therapy Benefits and Apartment Open House
When: Thursday, April 28, from 3 to 6 p.m., presentation at 4 p.m.
Where: People Inc. Pine Senior Living, 6231 Tonawanda Creek North, Lockport
Gwen Warren of Therapy Animals of Western New York will present information about the benefits of pet therapy and the difference between a pet therapy animal and a service animal. Apartment tours and refreshments available.
Info: Free event; registration encouraged by calling 716.433.3381
>> Learn more

Museum of disABILITY History Exhibit Grand Opening for “In Celebration of Down Syndrome”
When: Saturday, May 7, 2 p.m.
Where: Museum of disABILITY History, 3826 Main Street, Buffalo
Individuals who have Down syndrome will be honored in an exciting new exhibit, which explores historical myths and facts, as well as stories of successful employment and popular culture.
Dr. David Wright, professor of history at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, will be the keynote speaker. He is author and co-editor of eight books, including, Downs: The History of a Disability. Photography by Eva Stoijink from her book, Down’s Upside: A Positive View of Down’s Syndrome, will be on display as a centerpiece of the exhibit. “Unspoken Voice,” an artwork exhibition by Bailey Bastine, an artist who has Down syndrome, will also be viewable during the event.
The exhibit is supported by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities and a donation from the Down Syndrome Parents Group of Western New York, Inc.
Info: Free event; registration encouraged by calling 716.629.3626
>>Learn more

Headway’s 17th Annual Spring Gala

When: Thursday, May 19
Where: The Foundry Suites, 1738 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo
The event includes an evening of silent auction bidding, basket raffles, live music and dinner. Proceeds benefit Headway of WNY, an affiliate of People Inc., to ensure that individuals in Western new York with brain injuries and other disabilities have access to advocacy, resources and support systems to enable them to live as independently as possible.
Info: For tickets or questions, call 716.408.3100 or click here