Time is running out to register for our golf tournament!
Time is running out to register for our golf tournament!
Gaining New Skills through Respite Program
Gina Prenatt’s smile is sure to boost spirits! A participant in People Inc.’s After the Belle Respite Program since 2012, she enjoys hands-on sensory activities, gardening and loves painting and crafts. The program has helped her to gain new friends and social skills, things that staff members and parents take much pride in and appreciate.
Gina, age 12, who has a rare neuro-genetic disorder called Angelman syndrome, lives with her parents in South Buffalo. “In addition to expanding her social skills, the After the Belle Respite Program is a second home for Gina,” shared her mom, Kim. “The program offers a break for Gina; she loves being able to get away and to spend time with her extended respite family.”
While not at the respite program or school, Gina spends a lot of quality time with her baby cousins Jaxson and Raina, with whom she is very close with. She can also be found hanging out with her aunt’s dog, named Levi, and is often seen laughing when they are together. Since she is non-verbal, Gina uses sign language to communicate and expresses the sign for dog when she wants to see him. “Gina and Levi have an unconditional bond,” shared Kim.
The program that Gina attends is just one of People Inc.’s Afternoon Respite Programs located throughout Western New York and Rochester, providing young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities various experiences to develop and enhance their skills. Program participants are currently being accepted and instructor employment opportunities are available for people who truly want to help others achieve their goals. To learn more, contact Elysa Duncan, at ejduncan@people-inc.org or 716.683.7100, ext. 238.
Success Continues for Six Guys, 6,000 Miles
You may recall learning about the Six Guys, 6,000 Miles documentary from our past agency communications and information shared in media stories and social media channels. The film chronicles a one-of-a-kind, cross-country trip taken by four participants in People Inc.’s Guys Group, and two of our agency’s life quality coaches. The documentary has been entered into film festivals and featured at various events. We’re happy to provide some updates and achievements that we are proud of:
- It has been two years since the group took their trip and a year since the documentary was created. Two of the participants, Jon Caldwell and Nick Feeterman, have been discussing plans to take another trip to California in 2020.
- In August 2016, the Museum of disABILITY History and Film and Speaker series featured Six Guys, 6,000 Miles to two sold-out crowds, including an opportunity to take photos with the cast.
- Six Guys, 6,000 Miles has been featured at a variety of film festivals, including Buffalo Dreams Fantastic, Canadian Diversity, Docs Without Borders Film Festival and IMPACT DOCS Awards. The film won “Best Featured Documentary” in the Canadian Diversity and IMPACT DOCS Awards Festivals. During the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, the film was named “Best Family Feature” and was also nominated for the “Best Western New York Feature Film.”
- Most recently, the film was featured in the Love International Film Festival, held July 18-22 in Beverly Hills, CA, where it was nominated for “Best Documentary.”
- This September, the film will be played at the Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival. For more info, go to thebnff.com.

DVDs of the award-winning film have been sold all across the country. They are for sale at the Museum of disABILITY History store, 3826 Main Street, Buffalo, NY, and online. The video is available to rent or buy online at vimeo.com. To arrange a screening of the film for an event, email info@museumofdisability.org or call 716.629.3626. Updates are periodically posted on the “Crossing Borders WNY” Facebook page.
Gloria Stalker and Russell Salvatore
Gloria’s Wish Comes True Thanks to Senior Wishes
Gloria Stalker, 69, had a wish to create a family memory to last a lifetime with a special dinner at Russell’s Restaurant in Williamsville with her daughter and granddaughter. A tenant at People Inc. Burchfield Commons Senior Living in West Seneca for the past two years, Gloria has health problems and was not sure if she would be able to make this dream a reality. Thanks to Senior Wishes, Gloria’s wish came true on August 2.
A Western New York non-profit program, Senior Wishes enriches the lives of eligible seniors by granting them a meaningful wish that they would not be able to fulfill by their own means.
Gloria shared: “It was a wonderful experience that I will remember the rest of my life.” An extra touch was added to their evening when restaurant owner, Russell Salvatore, visited their table. Gloria was delighted to meet him and to share valuable time with her family!
People Inc. CEO Named to the Power 100 Women
Congratulations to our President and CEO, Rhonda Frederick, who ranked sixth on Buffalo Business First’s Power 100 Women. It is a list that highlights the most influential women in the eight counties of Western New York.
Now Screening for Volunteer Ombudsmen Training for Fall Training
Volunteers are needed to assist seniors through the People Inc., Center for Elder Law & Justice and the New York State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. Volunteers, called ombudsmen, play an important role by advocating and promoting the rights of residents who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties. Ombudsmen are trusted advocates for the elderly and provide problem-solving skills. Phone screenings are now open to review eligibility of interested candidates for the program’s upcoming training sessions. This opportunity is ideal for those who work in professional fields, as well as recent retirees. Schedules are flexible with a minimum of two hours per week.
Volunteers are needed throughout Western New York. The program is currently screening for the upcoming fall season for two training sessions in Amherst and Silver Creek. If enrolled in the program, volunteers must attend all six sessions, which will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on the following dates: October 9, 10, 11 and 30 and November 1 and 2. To learn more about the training sessions and their location, call 716.817.9222.
Headway of WNY Available for Outreach and Awareness Events
Headway of WNY, an affiliate of People Inc., is a non-profit support and advocacy agency whose mission is to ensure that individuals in Western New York with brain injuries, other disabilities and seniors have access to advocacy, resources and support systems to enable them to live as independently as possible. Staff members and volunteers are available to set up informational tables at local health fairs and/or veterans events to spread the word on the subject of brain injury prevention and awareness. If you know of an opportunity for Headway to help get the word out, contact Ginny Haynes, advocacy and support specialist, at ghaynes@HeadwayofWNY.org or 716.408.3110.
There’s Still Time to Support People Inc.’s Golf Fundraiser and Auction
The 16th Annual People Inc. Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament is about a week away, on Monday, August 21, at the Orchard Park Country Club in Orchard Park. Participants will enjoy a BBQ lunch, golfer gift, a round of golf, cocktail hour, silent auction and gourmet dinner.
Registration to form a twosome or foursome is still open until August 15. To register, click here. Plus, tee signs to promote your business will be accepted until August 14. To learn more, click here.
We are grateful to our top sponsors! Hole-In-One Sponsors include: KeyBank, Long Associates Architects, Northeast Mechanical and Parkview Health Services. Eagle Sponsors include: Allied Mechanical, Inc., Calamar, Creative Structures Services, CSI Contract Specialists, Hodgson Russ LLP, Towne Auto, Vanner Insurance Agency and Walsh Duffield Companies, Inc.
For more information, contact Jennifer Robinson at jrobinson@people-inc.org or 716.817.7269.
Online Auction Supports People Inc.!
You can help support People Inc. through our online Bidding For Good auction! Some items include: Hotel night at Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, certified authentic Buffalo Sabres Jersey autographed by #55 Rasmus Ristolainen, Kate Spade New York purse, theatre tickets, gift certificates to museums and amusement parks, carpet and dry cleaning services, plus lots more!
The online auction, held in conjunction with the People Inc.’s 16th Annual Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament and Auction, will end August 20, at 12 p.m. Click here to start your bidding! Event proceeds will assist people with developmental disabilities, special needs and seniors in leading more independent and productive lives.
Please check our Bidding For Good auction often as new items will be added throughout its duration. For more information, contact Jennifer Robinson at jrobinson@people-inc.org or 716.817.7269.
Pampering and Treats Open House at People Inc. Marigold Senior Living
The Pampering and Treats Open House event will be hosted by People Inc. Marigold Senior Living. A health presentation will be made, compliments of Grand Island Chiropractic, which includes: Five-minute chair massages, spinal screenings and Graston Technique® information. Additionally, products will be available for sale. The Anderson’s Food Truck will also be onsite. Attendees will have a chance to win an Anderson’s $25 gift card. Seniors and their families are encouraged to attend the event as apartment tours will be provided. Apartments are for independent seniors age 62 and over who are income eligible. Two benefits of People Inc. Marigold Senior Living are the affordability and safety features.
When: Monday, August 28, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: People Inc. Marigold Senior Living, 3026 Grand Island Boulevard, Grand Island, NY
Info: Registration encouraged. To RSVP or for more information, call 716.773.0907

People Inc. Elmwood Day Habilitation Basket Raffle
Staff members and program participants of People Inc.’s Elmwood Day Habilitation are hosting a basket raffle fundraiser with more than 60 baskets filled with gift certificates to restaurants, the Medina Railroad, local comedy clubs, ski resorts and hotels. There will also be themed baskets for dogs, Christmas and sports memorabilia, plus a 50/50 drawing and food trucks! The big ticket items include four wine tours and a door prize to Rocky’s Big City Sports Bar and Grill at the Eastern Hills Mall.
When: Saturday, September 9, doors open at noon and the drawings will take place at 3 p.m.
Where: People Inc. Elmwood Day Habilitation, 2128 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY
Info: Connie Williams, cwilliams1@people-inc.org

Rivershore Foundation Annual Dinner
The Rivershore Foundation will host its eighth annual dinner in September with Honorary Chair Senator Robert Ortt. Many honorees will be recognized including People Inc., who will receive The Community Impact Award. The event includes a cocktail reception, hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, dinner and silent auction. Community members can provide support by purchasing event tickets, having their business be a sponsor or donating an item for the auction. Event proceeds will benefit the Hinman Street Apartment Project in Youngstown, which will support people with disabilities to live independently.
When: Thursday, September 28, from 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Where: Niagara Falls Country Club, 505 Mountain View Drive, Lewiston, NY
Tickets: $100 per person
Info: Click here or contact Denise Pollock at 716.524.2266, ext. 234
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Featured Job of the Month: Bi-Lingual Medicaid Service Coordinator
People Inc. is hiring for a variety of positions throughout Western New York and Rochester. Our featured job of the month is bi-lingual Medicaid service coordinator. The role includes assisting people with developmental disabilities in gaining access to necessary and appropriate services and supports. Requirements include a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology or human services; must be bi-lingual in Spanish/
English; and one year of experience working with people who have developmental disabilities or one year of case management. To apply or view other openings, click here.
Author Diana Katovitch to Present
As part of its Dialogues on disABILITY Speaker Series, the Museum of disABILITY History will host author Diana Katovitch who will conduct a free presentation on Saturday, September 9, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., at the Museum of disABILITY History, 3826 Main Street, Buffalo. Katovitch will focus on her book, Beautiful Children: The Story of the Elm Hill School and Home for Feebleminded Children and Youth. The book is published by the Museum of disABILITY History.
The Elm Hill School was the first school for children with intellectual disabilities in the United States, founded in 1848 in Barre, Massachusetts. During the discussion, Katovitch will review her research, the progressive nature of early special education and the importance of disability history.
The presentation is ideal for those with an interest in the history of special education, as well as for parents, college students, college/university staff and K through 12 teachers. The softcover book costs $9.95 and will be for sale at the event. Event registration is encouraged. To RSVP, email David Mack-Hardiman at dmack@people-inc.org or call 716.629.3626.
Recent news stories that include information from People Inc. and agency representatives.
“Abandoned History: More springs you can visit in Niagara County:” Series of abandoned history-themed, research-based articles by Museum of disABILITY History Founder James M. Boles, EdD. Lockport Union Sun and Journal, August 6, 2017.

“People Inc. to host annual golf tournament:” Event information included. Amherst Bee, August 2, 2017.

“NFTA awards People Inc.’s Carpet Cleaning Done Right Enterprise contract to clean Buffalo Niagara International Airport:” Information about People Inc.’s Carpet Cleaning Done Right Enterprise included. Niagara Frontier Publications, July 11, 2017.
Western New York Family Magazine Presents Family Fun Thursdays
People Inc. is a proud sponsor of this free, family-friendly event and happy to partner with Monkey See, Monkey Do …Children’s Bookstore to present local authors, Dave Bauer and Molly Pitman. Our very own Engelic Everett will also be one of the featured authors. Engelic will read her children’s picture book, Olivia the Bully, which discusses bullying with children at an early age, sharing the values of friendship, understanding and loving one another. An entrepreneur, Engelic lives and thrives with Down syndrome. She is a small-business owner, award-winning self-advocate, published playwright and children’s book author. Additionally, staff and participants from People Inc.’s Arts Experience, a fine arts day habilitation program for people with developmental disabilities, will help kids create a craft. Come join the fun!
When: Thursday, August 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: 44 Prime Street, Buffalo, NY (Great Lawn/Boardwalk, Canalside)
Info: wnyfamilymagazine.com
ABC News: 9-year-old with Down syndrome belting Whitney Houston will melt your heart
“Footage of a boy with Down syndrome performing a Whitney Houston classic is bringing smiles to millions on the internet.”

CNBC: Revolutionary day care for Alzheimer's sufferers: Dementia villages
“Glenner Town Square bathes the senses in sights and smells to reflect a person's younger days.”

People: Father Builds a $35 Million Theme Park for Daughter with Special Needs
“Among many attractions, Morgan’s Wonderland includes a fully-accessible train, playground, and Ferris wheel. The water park features a wheelchair-accessible river ride and areas with warm water to help those with muscular conditions.”