New agency affiliation, upcoming community events
New agency affiliation, upcoming community events
People Inc. and Southeast Works Announce Affiliation
We are pleased to announce that Southeast Works, a not-for profit agency based in Depew that supports individuals with developmental and other disabilities, will become an affiliate of People Inc. Pending approvals, the affiliation is expected to become effective in the fall of 2016. There will be no job losses as a result of this change, and all Southeast Works staff will be retained. The affiliation will make our organizations stronger, provide improved services for individuals with disabilities and allow both of our agencies to better prepare for managed care and future changes. To learn more, view our press release here and articles that ran in Buffalo Business First and The Buffalo News
Shaunte Gains Confidence
We first introduced you to Shaunte Hill in our 2015 annual report. When she started attending our After the Belle Afternoon Respite Program, support and flexibility was what she needed to gain confidence.
Over the past year, she has been reaching new heights. Staff members have helped her with socialization and life skills by encouraging her to attend community outings, including a recent tour of WIVB-TV Channel 4.
People Inc.’s afternoon respite programs provide an opportunity for individuals with developmental disabilities to benefit from socialization, arts and crafts, assistance with homework and community activities. It’s a win-win as parents and guardians have time to work and complete errands.
Shaunte’s progress has been seen in her school and family-life environments as the respite program is more than a caring and safe place to go. “She talks more, makes more of her own choices and has developed an engaging personality,” said Joan Meehan, her advocate and family-friend. “She has really come out of her shell.”
Our afternoon respite programs for children with developmental disabilities, ages four to 21, are now accepting participants. To learn more, call Elysa Maurer, program director, at 716.817.9215.
DD Day Keynote Speaker Megan Bomgaars says “Don’t Limit Me”
Our team of staff volunteers had fun spreading the word about our programs and services on May 26 at the 28th Annual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day (DD Day) at The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls. The conference, which celebrates the contributions of individuals with developmental disabilities, is the largest of its kind in the United States. Attendees experienced a new feature at our booth space – a photo opportunity to be on the cover of mock People Inc. Magazine! Pictured here is Shanita Wilson, who had fun posing for her photo.
The conference’s highlight was keynote speaker Megan Bomgaars, age 23, who stars in Born This Way, a reality show on A&E that follows seven young adults who have Down syndrome. Megan is a well-known self-advocate with Down syndrome, an artist and a rising entrepreneur, with a business called Megology. She shares her experiences and makes presentations on a variety of topics across the country, including excerpts from her “Don’t Limit Me” video, which went viral. Her mother, Kris, is known as her “Dream Maker,” and the two are strong advocates together.
Megan answered questions about the show’s ins-and-outs and even shared episode one with the crowd. Megan, an aspiring film producer, has dreams like many young adults to live on her own, get married and have a child – something that she and her mom have different opinions about and openly discuss on the show.
Whether you were a teacher, human service provider, parent or an individual with a disability, Megan shared many “Don’t Limit Me” tips with attendees, including:
1. Be your own advocate and develop your strengths.
2. Partner with family and friends – seek help when needed to be the best person you can be.
3. If you are a teacher, don’t limit your students (including those with disabilities) by having low expectations. Don’t make someone with a disability a classroom mascot.
4. Include people with disabilities in your circle of learning
5. Don’t limit people with disabilities by teaching them to depend on others – everyone should learn to work independently.
6. Speak up for yourself. 
Megan Bomgaars
Megan and her mom Kris, who was also in attendance, happily shared that the show has been renewed for a second season, to start later this summer. While in town, they visited the Museum of disABILITY History, a project of People Inc. Megan and Kris viewed the Museum’s “In Celebration of Down Syndrome” exhibit, which includes a cast photo from Born This Way. To view photos from their visit, click here.
People Inc. Receives Grant from First Niagara Foundation
People Inc. received a $5,000 grant for our Girls Night Out Group, a unique mentoring program for young women with intellectual or developmental disabilities, from First Niagara Foundation. We are thankful for these funds as the grant will support participants in overcoming obstacles as they transition into adulthood, learn to live independently and develop life skills. To learn more, click here.
Rhonda Frederick Named LeadingAge NY Professional of the Year
Please join us in congratulating our President and CEO, Rhonda Frederick, for earning the 2016 Professional of the Year Award from LeadingAge New York. The 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. Rhonda was honored at a luncheon last month in Saratoga Springs, where this video aired. 
Allies in Action Celebration
Last week, we honored our Allies in Action participants and their newly formed friendships. Through our Day Programs, Allies in Action teams up an individual who has a developmental disability with an “ally” who can help them achieve a goal. Last month, an event was held to recognize the friendships between staff and the participants, along with the productive relationships our agency has made with businesses and agencies throughout Western New York.
Job Opportunities Available
Are you looking for a job you’ll love or know someone who is? We are hiring for several positions including group home, behavior technicians, community based instructors and registered nurses. Learn more at our upcoming People Inc. Open Interview Day: Thursday, June 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at our administrative office, 3332 Walden Avenue, Suite 100, Depew. Walk-ins welcome. Can’t attend? Apply online. Spread the word, and stop by for some lunch from the 716 food truck, which will be on location from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.!
Healthy Living Participants Complete Program
Participants of our Healthy Living Workshop Program recently completed a six-week course to learn about managing the symptom cycle that often occurs with chronic health conditions. They received tips for action planning, physical activity, healthy eating and breathing techniques. “This was a great group who enjoyed brainstorming and supporting each other,” said Becky Orton, Healthy Living peer leader and manager for People Inc. Marigold Senior Living. For information about how your organization can host a Healthy Living Workshop Program for chronic health conditions, including diabetes, call Becky Orton at 716.773.0907.
Recent news stories that include information from People Inc. and agency representatives.
“Golisano Center for Community Health dedicated at Memorial Medical Center:” Rivershore, Inc., an affiliate of People Inc., included. Niagara Gazette, June 9, 2016.
"Training Available to Become a Volunteer Ombudsman to Advocate for Seniors:” People Inc. New York State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program featured. Buffalo Healthy Living, June 2016. 
“Abandoned History: Odd Fellows Orphanage:” Series of abandoned history themed research-based articles by Museum of disABILITY History Founder James M. Boles, EdD. Lockport Union Sun and Journal, May 25, 2016
“Supporters of Lyft, Uber urge Upstate approval:” People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick interviewed. WBFO 88.7, May 20, 2016. 
June 2016
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Three Ways to Support People Inc.’s Golf Fundraiser and Auction
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 included. Here are a few ways to support our event:
1. Businesses can form a twosome or foursome team. Click here to register.
2. Not a golfer? A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available, including tee signs to promote your business.
3. Contribute an auction item. We are accepting donations, such as daytrips, spa packages, theatre and sporting event tickets, sports memorabilia, gifts cards for restaurants and more!
For more information, click here or contact Denise Bienko at or by calling 716.817.7470.
People Inc. Senior Living Yard Sales: If you’re a yard sale fan, check out these events! Both sales will provide information about People Inc. Senior Living, including apartment tours and income eligibility.
- People Inc. Willow Senior Living Multi-Family Yard Sale: Friday, June 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 3990 Forest Parkway, Wheatfield (between Shawnee and Townline Road, off Niagara Falls Boulevard). For info, call 716.694.1486.
- People Inc. Iris Senior Living Multi-Family Yard Sale: Thursday, June 16 and Friday, June 17, both days from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 4150 Sowles Road, Hamburg. For info, call 716.648.3255.
“Couponing and Stretching Your Food Dollars” Workshop, hosted by People Inc. Pine Senior Living and Catholic Charities
In this free presentation by Catholic Charities, participants will learn how to buy fruits and vegetables on a budget, compare unit prices to find bargains, read and compare food labels, identify whole grains and stick to a budget. Participants will receive a $10 Tops gift card, a booklet with recipes and tips on buying healthy low-cost foods, along with a reusable grocery bag. Apartment tours of People Inc. Pine Senior Living and refreshments will be available.
When: Thursday, June 16, from 3 to 6 p.m.; presentation at 4 p.m.
Where: People Inc. Pine Senior Living, 6231 Tonawanda Creek North, Lockport, NY
Info: Call 716.433.3381. Registration encouraged. 
Bridging the Gaps: WNY in Support of Veterans Symposium, sponsored by Headway of WNY, People Inc. and Catholic Charities
The event will identify key issues and service gaps to address community needs. A distinguished speaker panel will feature New York State Senator Robert Ortt. This free presentation is ideal for service providers and veterans; includes a continental breakfast.
When: Wednesday, June 22, from 8 to 11 a.m.
Where: Ramada Amherst/Getzville Hotel and Conference Center, 2402 North Forest Road, Getzville
Info: To register or to learn more, email or call 716.408.3100.
Museum of disABILITY History Presents Mubu’s Summer Costume Party
Free, fun-family event for kids of all ages: Whether a princess, super hero or favorite character, children are encouraged to dress up and have some fun! Prizes will be awarded for best costume, including a family category. Enjoy snacks and book readings. Learn about Mubu the Morph, a fun book series about self-confidence, for children grades K to 3.
When: Saturday, July 16, from 10 a.m. to noon
Where: Museum of disABILITY History, 3826 Main Street, Buffalo.
Info: For more information, call 716.629.3626. Registration encouraged. 
RACIN! Sports Friendraiser
When: Saturday, June 11, from 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’s (RACIN!) mission is to improve the physical, social and emotional lives of people with developmental disabilities.
Info: 716.200.9105

Down River 5K Run and One Mile Walk N Roll, hosted by The Family and Friends Down Syndrome Association of Niagara, Inc.
When: Saturday, June 25, 11 a.m., with registration at 9 a.m.
Where: Fort Niagara State Park, Shelter 3F, 1 Maintenance Avenue, Youngstown
Info: To register, click here.
Chicago Tribune: Actors with Down syndrome take Spotlight at Chicago Shakespeare Theater
“But it didn't take long before even the most skeptical parents began to see how the process unfolds and the children thrive.”
Today: Dad Honors Daughter with Cerebral palsy by Running Marathons – in all 50 States
“Ely originally set out on his 50-state marathon with the intention of checking it off his bucket list, but it ended up turning into something so much more.”
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