New program benefits charities, resources for memory loss
New program benefits charities, resources for memory loss
Keller is Ready for her Close Up
Pursuing a dream to be an actress can be challenging, but Keller Vogelsang is doing just that and already has some experience on her resume. This past year, she was in a local play called Face It, and in 2014 landed the lead role of Dorothy in People Inc.’s Arts Experience adaptation of Wizard of Oz. Keller, 32, who was born with Down syndrome, is active in our Arts Experience and Community Active People programs.
On May 7, Keller shared her goals with attendees at the grand opening of the Museum of disABILITY History’s new exhibit, “In Celebration of Down Syndrome.” The exhibit features vibrant multimedia and Hollywood memorabilia honoring the lives of individuals who have Down syndrome, explores medical history, myths and facts, as well as success stories and popular culture. Keller is highlighted on the Opportunities and Independence portion of the exhibit.
While at the event, Keller shared some of her favorite things. Here are a few of her top picks:
Hobbies: I love to write, especially theatre scripts. I just like having fun with friends.
Restaurant: Panos and Red Robin.
TV Show: Glee, Vampire Diaries, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Once Upon a Time.
Movie: Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.
Book: Anything by Nicholas Sparks.
If you could be an actress on any TV show, who would it be:
I would want it to be about me so I can play myself.

“In Celebration of Down Syndrome” will be on display until the end of the year. You can view Keller’s story, along with those of other individuals by visiting the Museum of disABILITY History, 3826 Main Street, Buffalo.
Grant Funds Help Individuals Achieve Goals
Adolescents and young adults with intellectual disabilities will focus on learning new skills with help from a grant People Inc. recently received from The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation. Through our Life Quality Coaching Program, two life quality coaches will assist participants in achieving personalized life-changing goals, such as moving into an independent apartment or securing meaningful employment.
This past year, Jen Giolando, a program participant reached her goal of becoming a basketball coach. “I found a whole new side of myself,” Jen said. Click here to see her story. 
We are thankful for the funding so individuals with disabilities can continue developing skills to foster their independence. To learn more, click here.
Rivershore, Inc. has New Office Location
Rivershore, Inc., an affiliate of People Inc., was invited by Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center to be part of its new Golisano Center for Community Health. Rivershore’s administrative and service coordination offices have a new location at 533 Tenth Street, Suite 100A, Niagara Falls, NY 14301. Email addresses remained the same. The new main phone number is 716.524.2266. Rivershore is pleased to be part of an integrated service model in Niagara county.
People Inc. Earns Buffalo State College Student Employer of the Year Award
In our last e-newsletter issue, we shared that 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 its students and graduates. Chanice Johnson, recruitment coordinator, accepted the award on April 26. We are grateful to Buffalo State College for this honor and look forward to our continued partnership!
L-R: Charles Kenyon, associate vice president/dean of students; Hal Payne, vice president for student affairs; Chanice Johnson, People Inc. recruitment coordinator; Katherine Conway-Turner, president; Lynn Rogers, student employment coordinator. Photo courtesy of Bruce Fox.
In the Community
Kudos to our employees who gave back to the community by selling newspapers last month for Kids Day, a fundraiser organized by The Buffalo News. Volunteers from our North Forest office headquarters in Williamsville and 4286 Delaware Avenue location in Tonawanda raised nearly $700 for Variety, a children’s charity which benefits Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, the Robert Warner MD Center for Children with Special Needs, Children’s Charities of Western New York and Cradle Beach. 
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.
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.
To RSVP or to arrange a tour on a different day, call 716.768.2371.
Recent news stories that include information from People Inc. and agency representatives.
“Volunteer fosters communication at skilled nursing facilities:” People Inc. and the New York State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program featured. The Buffalo News, May 10, 2016.
“Giving a Name, and Dignity, to a Disability:” Museum of disABILITY History Curator Douglas Platt was interviewed. New York Times, May 7, 2016.
“Enjoyable and Affordable Senior Living with People Inc.:” People Inc. Seneca-Cazenovia Senior Living featured. South Buffalo News, April 20, 2016.
“Seniors Live in the Community they Care about and can Afford:” People Inc. Senior Living featured. Dale Association Power Up Newsletter, page 21, May/June 2016.
“People Inc. Focus on Abilities:” People Inc. Supported Employment Program featured. In Good Health, page 8, May 2016.
Huffington Post: Man with Down syndrome Opens Cool Snow Cone Shack
“We were told Blake wouldn’t be able to do things, and we looked past that,” Mary Ann told ABC. “You don’t know us. You don’t know our child, so don’t label him. We haven’t, and he turned out great.”
New York Times: Advice for Alzheimer’s Caregivers
The journey can be just as emotionally and physically demanding for caregivers, but that mental and physical stress is often overlooked because the focus is on the patient.
Nieman Reports: Reporting on Disability with Sensitivity, not Sensationalism
“When people with disabilities are portrayed as only heroes or victims, it's harder to address the issues that affect them.”

May 2016
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Registration Now Open for Golf Tournament
Our 15th Annual People Inc. Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament will be held on Monday, August 22, at a new venue, the Orchard Park Country Club, 4777 South Buffalo Street, Orchard Park. A round of golf, silent auction 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 Denise Bienko at or by calling at 716.817.7470.
Make a Difference by Becoming a Supporting Member
People Inc. Supporting Members pledge a recurring gift of $10 a month or a one-time gift of $100 or more. We are grateful to KeyBank, who has partnered with us for the second year in a row and has pledged to match new Supporting Member gifts, up to $10,000! This commitment will further help individuals with developmental disabilities, special needs and seniors lead more independent and productive lives.
Our Supporting Members recently experienced first-hand how our programs benefit individuals we serve at an appreciation event. To view event photos, click here (password: Thankyou).
To learn how to become a Supporting Member, click here. 
Embrace The Difference® Benefits People Inc.
Need a gift for an upcoming graduate? You’re in luck! The Embrace The Difference® jewelry collection has a variety of pieces to choose from which make unique gifts. Ten percent of your purchase will be donated to People Inc. upon designation.
We are thankful to Robyn Zimmer, creator of Embrace The Difference®, and Reeds/Jenss, who recently hosted a Give Back Day event on April 30, where People Inc. was one of several organizations to benefit from a portion of product sales. We appreciate our supporters!
The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
When: Thursday, May 19, 1 to 2 p.m.
Where: People Inc. Marigold Senior Living, 3026 Grand Island Boulevard, Grand Island
Memory loss is not a normal part of aging. Learn the facts at this free educational program, presented by the Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter.
Info: To register, call 1.800.272.3900

Headway’s 17th Annual Spring Gala
When: Thursday, May 19, 6 to 9 p.m.
Where: The Foundry Suites, 1738 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo
The event includes a silent auction, basket raffles, music and dinner. Proceeds benefit Headway of WNY, an affiliate of People Inc., to ensure 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

NYS Assembly Minority Task Force on Protecting the Rights of People with Developmental Disabilities
When: Thursday, May 26, 5 to 7 p.m.
Where: Museum of disABILITY History, 3826 Main Street, Buffalo
The task force is eager for feedback regarding important issues facing individuals with developmental disabilities.
Info: Email or call 518.455.5073

RACIN! Sports Friendraiser
When: Saturday, June 11, 1 to 4 p.m.
Where: Southeast Works, 181 Lincoln Street, Depew
Cost: $5.00 at the door
Enjoy fun activities while raising money for child-sized push chairs. All ages and mobility levels welcome. Rollin’ Athletic Club and Inclusion Network (RACIN!) is to improve the physical, social and emotional lives of people with developmental disabilities.
Info: 716.200.9105