Walter's Community's Posts (31)

 

 

For Ozone Park’s Barbara Bocklage, taking on a puppy from Canine Companions for Independence was a no-brainer.

Bockage worked with handicapped children before retirement. Searching for a sense of purpose, she stumbled upon Canine Companions for Independence, a national nonprofit that trains assistance dogs to children, adults and veterans with disabilities at no cost to the recipient, after a conversation with her sister.

“My sister is a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House. There’s a dog there that came from Canine Companions named Rico,” said Bocklage. “I’ve been wanting a dog, and after my sister spoke with Rico’s owner, she helped me get in contact with her to learn more about the program.”

Canine Companions for Independence places 8-week-old puppies into the homes of puppy raisers where they learn basic commands and socialization skills. Once the dogs are about 1 1/2 years old, they are returned to the Canine Companions for Independence regional headquarters in Medford, NY, where they begin six months of professional training with the organization’s nationally renowned instructors.

After they undergo training, the pups are then matched with a child, adult or veteran with disabilities, and spend two weeks at the facility with their recipients. The pups then attend a graduation ceremony where the volunteer puppy raiser is invited to ceremoniously pass the leash off to the new recipient.

“You can give money to any charity, but do you really know where it goes?” Bocklage said. “That’s the best part of Canine Companions. We carry the load and then we get to give the dog to the person who was matched with the dog.”

Bocklage started the application process to receive her puppy, a golden retriever named Kimber, back in September 2017. Once she brought Kimber home, Bocklage was ecstatic and knew that this was meant for her.

“Ever since I retired I was looking for a sense of purpose,” Bocklage said. “I’ve always had dogs and after not having one for 10 years, it was time. After finding Canine Companions, I knew it was right for me.”

“My husband didn’t want a dog, but he’s the one who gives her treats for her potty training,” Bocklage said, laughing. “My 23-year-old niece is ecstatic about Kimber. Even my sister, who is highly asthmatic, wants to come over all the time to see the dog.”

Kimber has become quite popular in the neighborhood as well.

“She’s the star of the block,” Bocklage said. “She’s also a man-magnet. I was walking her through the neighborhood once with her little yellow vest on and a man who was working on cement came running over and said, ‘I have to pet this dog!’ She’s the best little girl.”

In the next year or so, Kimber will return to the Canine Companions for Independence headquarters for additional training. Bocklage knows that returning Kimber will be hard, but acknowledges that she will light up the lives of the people she comes in contact with.

“She was the happiest hello and will be the hardest goodbye,” Bocklage said. “Everyone falls in love with her, and I think that has something to do with what her purpose is. It makes everyone light up.”

For more information about becoming a puppy raiser, visit cci.orghttp://qns.com/story/2018/03/14/ozone-park-woman-finds-purpose-joy-training-future-assistance-dog/

 

 
Read more…

The Discovery Health Center

 

 

The Discovery Health Center is recognized by NCQA as a Level III Patient-Centered Medical Home, meeting their highest level of recognition. The Department of Health certified Article 28 Health Center provides services for our students and residents, as well as select services for the broader community. We facilitate partnerships between patients, their families, and their physicians.

 

 

Primary Care: We are a central resource for all healthcare needs, providing services for children and adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and other special needs. Our primary care team includes physicians and nurses that are dedicated to helping patients live the healthiest life possible.

Specialty Care: Services include Audiology, Cardiology, Nutrition Experts, Gastroenterology, Ophthalmology, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, Physiatry, Podiatry, Neurology, Psychiatry, and Pulmonology.

Dentistry: Providing general dentistry to the community, including preventative examinations, cleanings, restorative treatment, gum evaluation/treatment, and other minor procedures. We have a relationship with our local hospital to provide sedation dentistry. We specialize in compassionate and comprehensive care, especially for people who require more care and support.

Clinical Services:  Counseling, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Early Childhood Services, Assessments and Evaluations, and Assistive Technology are all part of our clinical services.

Assessments and Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Evaluations: We offer multidisciplinary diagnostic evaluations individually tailored to each person’s unique needs. Our team of highly skilled, experienced and licensed clinicians work together over a period of one to five days to examine an individual’s functioning and needs within their particular physical and social environments. At the conclusion of the assessment, they meet with individuals and their families to make recommendations to maximize improvement and independence in the areas of school, health and daily living.

We accept Medicare, Medicaid and most Private Insurances. Individual insurance coverage will vary and prior approval may be required. Private pay and school district requested assessments are also available and can be customized for an individual discipline assessment or a more comprehensive, intensive assessment.

Universal Design & Assistive Technology Institute: The Center has long been a pioneer in developing universal design solutions that improve functioning and quality of life for people with disabilities. As an example, our Flex-table™ is commercially available and speaks to the thoughtfulness of The Center’s design innovation; the design accommodates people with different physical needs, allowing them the experience of eating and interacting together. The IndieGo is a current project, focused on developing a new technology to expand opportunities and access for people who use wheelchairs.

Doctors and Key Staff: We are proud to have a diverse staff providing a variety of specialized services. To view a full list of staff please contact the clinic.

To Schedule an Appointment Call: (845) 707-8400

Hours of Operation:  9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Monday through Friday

Some services available evenings and weekends by appointment.

We accept Medicare, Medicaid and most Private Insurances.

Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in cooperation with Crystal Run Healthcare.

The Discovery Health Center Announces “Patient Portal” through eClinicalWorks, featuring leading edge technology to promote healthcare and allow our patients convenient access of their medical records. Click Here to Download Information on How to Sign-up for “Patient Portal”

http://www.thecenterfordiscovery.org/medical-clinical-services/

Read more…

HURLEYVILLE – U.S. Senator Charles Schumer publicly introduced a new bill on Thursday at the Center for Discovery’s Maker’s Lab he says will allow people with medical disabilities to become more independent and stay in their own community.

The Disability Integration Act of 2015 – written and sponsored by Schumer in December – would improve long-term services for medically disabled people, Schumer said.

It allows for a disabled person to receive the same care at home – or in a setting of their choosing – that they would receive at a live-in facility. It would do so by prohibiting public entities and insurance companies from wait-listing people, capping their services or screening them out.

Schumer said states that comply with the bill could see a five percent increase in their Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, which determines federal Medicaid expenditures for each state.

Schumer said he isn’t against live-in facilities that provide care for the medically disabled.

“But there ought to be a choice,” Schumer said.

Schumer chose to unveil the bill at the Center for Discovery because he says it is a place that treats its 300 daily and residential children and adults with medical disabilities equally, and helps them become more independent.

One example is the recently opened Maker’s Lab, which is a think tank and invention center where projects are created for the elderly and people with disabilities.

Patrick Dollard, president and CEO of the Center, praised Schumer for the bill. He said it could pave a path for a variety of housing options for disabled people that could take them out of their homes and help them become even more independent.

“I think, overall, the idea is brilliant,” Dollard said.

Funding for the bill has not yet been figured out, Schumer said. But he pointed to the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 – which financially supplements insurance benefits for disabled people – that was funded by closing corporate loopholes.

“We will find the same amount of money here,” Schumer said.

The cost of care for disabled people could be reduced by helping people with disabilities become more independent, Dollard said.

“It forces people who provide services to anticipate people getting better,” Dollard said.

SOURCE:
http://www.recordonline.com/article/20160107/NEWS/160109551

Read more…

 

As Aevary Kiernan belted out “Circle of Life” with her classmates during The Center for Discovery’s three-show run of “The Lion King,” there was hardly a dry eye in the room. For her mother, Jill Kiernan, it was an especially emotional moment.

Aevary grew up asking her parents when she would get a chance to participate in a school performance like her brother and his friends. She watched others act in school plays, compete in sporting events and dance in recitals. It broke her mother’s heart that the 13-year-old didn’t have the same opportunities.

But all that changed when Aevary began attending school at The Center for Discovery last summer. Aevary travels more than an hour each way to the specialty center that is internationally recognized for its innovative education and treatment program for children and adults with complex disabilities, medical frailties and Autism Spectrum Disorders. With The Center’s whole-person, whole-community approach, a diverse team of professionals come together to incorporate music, dance and recreation therapies along with the more traditional occupational, physical and speech therapies.

Aevary’s life was truly changed the day she came home, grinning from ear to ear, holding a letter about auditions for “The Lion King,” her mother said. The young Rafiki would jump out of bed on rehearsal days, and enthusiastically engage in conversation with others about her upcoming play.

Over the seven years since The Center for Discovery began its drama program, Senior Director of Music Therapy Conio Loretto, who directed “The Lion King” and The Center’s previous three shows, said drama has become one of The Center’s most successful therapeutic tools. Between productions, the music therapy department along with a multidisciplinary team offers drama classes, to teach everything from acting to stage directions.

A general audience may take for granted all the little things that go into putting on a performance, said Rachel Chaiet, production manager and occupational therapist at The Center. The students and adult residents at The Center for Discovery face a wide range of challenging and complex disabilities. Some of the teens and adults have sensory challenges that make it hard for them to adjust to lighting changes or have makeup applied to their faces. It is important for performers to follow directions, maintain focus and be flexible when things don’t go according to plan, but this can be a significant challenge for many of those who participated in The Lion King.

Those challenges are why many students like Aevary, in other educational settings, never get the chance to participate in activities. But recreation therapist Erin Atkins said that at The Center, staff simply assess the areas in which a student is successful, and create opportunities around their skill set and interests. The script and costumes were adapted for the actors, but the whole experience of the play was just like any other school production. And everyone’s expectations were blown away.

“Because we’re raising the bar for them, they meet it,” Chaiet said.

The acting was professional, and no detail was overlooked in the production’s performance and design, Jill Kiernan said. But it went further than that.

“One thing that really impressed me was seeing how these kids helped one another, and cheered each other on,” Kiernan said. “There was no sense of competition, but a strong sense of camaraderie.”

Drama teaches students empathy and social skills, Loretto said, as they explore their character, learn to help each other with lines and build meaningful friendships, both on- and offstage. Those skills and characteristics may not always stand out to an audience, Loretto said, but the students have grown in so many ways through their experience.

“I think that’s the biggest compliment, if you’re watching our shows and you don’t understand what it took to get us there,” Loretto said. “That’s what we want.”

This show was a whole-community effort. Staff, students and residents from every department at The Center for Discovery pitched in, building sets and designing costumes. The Hurleyville Maker’s Lab, a public space for innovation and creation, helped design and build props and costumes. The Maker’s Lab Director Mark McNamara taught the production crew how to use lab equipment like the laser cutter, helping Atkins and her team create stunning wildlife props.

Coming together around this type of production is all part of helping the individuals at The Center be their best selves and live their best lives, Loretto said. He would like to see some of his actors find opportunities to act in the community in the future. Students like Aevary, and all those on stage during The Lion King, are proof of how life-changing it can be to provide an opportunity.

“It’s always been my philosophy that you follow where the work takes you,” Loretto said. “And if this is what the kids need, then this is what we provide for them.”

SEE THE MUSIC VIDEO HERE: https://youtu.be/WLWM-EqdDG0

Read more…

School Program

Education: Our school program educates children ages 5-18 with complex disabilities including medical frailties and Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Center is committed to meeting the educational and health needs of each and every child in our care. Employing our HealthE6 model, we aim to educate and support the whole child with evidence-based methods and meaningful interprofessional collaboration. Our nature-based curriculum is aligned with New York State education standards and our programs are taught with consistency and excellence. Content is delivered through Explicit Instruction that is systematic, direct, engaging and success-oriented. Our students, when ready, participate in pre-vocational and vocational opportunities to prepare them for adult life and careers.

Residential: Our residential facilities and program are designed to help each student develop to their fullest potential. Our picturesque setting includes outdoor learning environments, spaces for creative and therapeutic pursuits, and comfortable homes. Activities such as performing arts, yoga, gardening and organic farming, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, snowshoeing, skiing, and various team sports provide opportunities for individuals to learn, grow, and have fun.

Admissions and Transition Services at The Center for Discovery guides families through the process from initial inquiry to day of admission.

We receive referrals for day and residential programs from school districts, physicians’ offices, families, service providers, etc.

Funding for services at The Center comes from a variety of sources including New York State Education Department (NYSED), the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and private payment contracts.

Please call us at (845) 707-8889 to discuss what services may be best for your family , or to submit a referral.

http://www.thecenterfordiscovery.org/pediatric-services/

Read more…
Amazon Verified Purchase
Read more…

The creativity and collaboration at the heart of The Center for Discovery were on full display  as clinicians and educators gathered for the annual SEED talks at the Michael Ritchie Big Barn Center for Environmental Health, Education and Research.

The SEED (Synergistic, Experiential, Evidence-based, Discoveries) talks were created in 2012 as a way for staff to share their innovations and current projects with each other. What began as a clinician-only event has spread to this year including more than 100 staff members, from occupational therapists and teachers to farmers and dance therapists. With such a big staff spread across varying departments and campuses at TCFD, Manager of Clinical Innovation and Special Projects Jason Kean wanted to design an event that would enhance communication across disciplines and reinforce the collaboration that already happens on its own at The Center every day. It’s certainly working, Kean said – the content of the 15-minute talks presented by staff are of the highest quality, and each year the event becomes more inspirational.

Senior Director of Music Therapy Conio Loretto has presented a SEED talk each year, and he said the day serves as a vehicle to share the innovation and creativity happening at The Center, and be inspired by it.

“It celebrates the collaborative spirit that is The Center,” Loretto said.

This year, Loretto presented a talk with a teacher and a behavior specialist who shared their team effort in using music to help a student regulate his emotions. As they played video of the student singing songs he wrote in order to calm himself down, other staff were moved to tears.

It was the first year the SEED talks were held on a teacher conference day, so the entire teaching staff could participate in the event. It’s so beneficial, Education Director Jeff Bordeman said, because teachers get so focused on what’s happening in their personal classroom that they don’t have a chance to see their work as a piece of what’s going on across the whole Center. Teachers got to see things they hadn’t thought of, Bordeman said, and now they have fresh ideas to try in their own classrooms.

It’s all about inspiring that creativity in order to come up with the ideas that will help The Center’s students and residents most, said Nicole Kinney, Chief of Clinical Services.

“It’s a culture, really, of ‘I have a cool idea, it’s going to be supported,’” Kinney said. “I think that drives people to want to do more.”

Christine Ertola and Sherma Williams, co-directors of the Therapeutic Dance Department, helped present their team’s work in using dance choreography and music to teach students how to complete farming tasks like weeding, raking and feeding the pigs. When Williams told her they had been asked to help the farm team, Ertola said her first reaction was that they didn’t know anything about farming, and dance and farming didn’t belong together. But they quickly realized they had exactly the expertise needed to teach unfamiliar body movements. Soon enough they were dancing in the fields.

“We’ve done a lot of different things, but this one was definitely out of the box,” Williams said.

Sometimes there’s risk involved in trying a new technique, Loretto said, but The Center knows how to take creative risks that pay off. The SEED talks show that.

“They represent the risks we take here, to try something new and go down whatever path the work is taking us,” Loretto said.

Read more…

HARRIS, N.Y. — A cookbook collaboration between New York City Italian Chef Cesare Casella and The Center for Discovery CEO Patrick H. Dollard has been recognized with an international book award.

“Feeding the Heart: Recipes, Flavors and the Seed to Belly Philosophy of the Department of Nourishment Arts” received a gold award in the category of Best Adult Non-Fiction Informational E-Book in the 2017 Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY Awards).

“Feeding the Heart” shares dozens of delicious whole foods recipes, as well as stories about how The Center for Discovery’s “Food is Medicine” philosophy brings together farmers, chefs and nutritionists to cultivate a food program that promotes health, healing and quality of life among students and residents who all have complex disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders and medical frailties. Casella serves as chief of The Center’s Department of Nourishment Arts, and Dollard has led the nonprofit for more than 30 years. The book shares emotional stories about caretaking, food and farming, and gives insights into the passion behind the work at The Center for Discovery.

The IPPY Awards are the world’s largest international and regional book awards competition. The annual awards contest seeks to bring increased recognition to thousands of exemplary independent-, university- and self-published titles. This year’s contest drew 5,000 entries for 117 categories. The winning books create an excellent and diverse reading list for those exploring ways to solve the world’s problems, Independent Publisher said in announcing the list of winners.

Cesare Casella is an acclaimed New York chef and restaurateur known for the ever-present rosemary sprouting from his shirt pocket. As Dean of Italian Studies at the International Culinary Center, Casella’s Tuscan roots have guided him through a career that celebrates simplicity and quality of ingredients. His newest venture is Casella’s Salumi Speciali, where he makes salumi from American raised rare-breed heritage pigs in Hurleyville, NY, near The Center for Discovery. Casella has written several other books, including “True Tuscan” and “The Fundamental Techniques of Italian Cooking,” and he was the man behind celebrated New York restaurants Beppe, Maremma and Salumeria Rosi.

The Center for Discovery is a residential, educational and research facility in Sullivan County, NY, recognized internationally for providing highly innovative and effective care for people with complex disabilities, as well as advancing medical research in the field. Hundreds of students and adults come to The Center from across New York and other states for education and healthcare. The Center’s Department of Nourishment Arts manages Thanksgiving Farm, the site of 150 acres of certified organic and biodynamic farmland that produces more than 60 types of vegetables, flowers and herbs, and is home to egg-laying hens, beef cattle, pigs and sheep. Thanksgiving Farm feeds all The Center’s residents as well as many of its 1,500-member staff, and brings healthy food into the community through its 300-member Community Supported Agriculture program.

Read more…

The Story Behind The Book

The Story of a Man Searching for Life Long Answers

"Why, God, Not Me?"

Walter Scherr is a man who wanted to fight and possibly die for his country but instead was held back by an unknown and ugly disease.

Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941 bringing with it, America's presents into WWII. 

The man - Bowen, Francis N.

Private

508th Parachute Infantry Regiment

Date of Death: June 15, 1944

Buried: Plot E, Row 13, Grave 6                                                                         

Normandy American Cemetery

Colleville-sur-Mer, France

Awards: Purple Heart  

The man - Francis Bowen who grew up in Queens, New York a man his friends probably called him Fran, Frank, or Franny but it is later discovered that everyone actually called him by his middle name Nelson; a person who had lived during the Great Depression; a person trying to make the best of what was a very troubling time in American history; a person helping his family the best way he knew how with odd jobs and finding any way possible to survive this depressing and hopeless time.

During this time of struggle Francis had found himself engaged to be married to Ada Murphy; little did they know that their marriage would be ripped away from them because of the ensuing war.  America had been sucked into WWII in 1941 when the Japanese had attacked and Francis, along with many other young men in Queens, went off to enlist willingly to fight during the Great Crusade against fascism. 

All of that had changed for Francis after June 6th 1944 on Normandy's Cotentin Peninsula, D-Day. 

Francis had an older brother Harry (Harold) and a sister Sissy (Gertrude) and later her daughter and niece he will never know Ginger Rica, and that is where our story begins.  

When war was finally declared and America took and bear arms to fight against evil in the world, Walter had to stay behind.  Feeling as though he was stripped of his obligation to engage in this historic and heroic time in American history

Walter had to carry this heavy burden on his shoulders all of his life.  Struggling to understand why he was left behind to survive while others were sent to fight and die in their prime of their lives.  

To help with his grieving and lack of clarity to why his life was spared, Walter had sought after an individual that had lived in the same community he grew up in and experienced the same lifestyle he had.  Then, Walter had found that link in Francis Bowen.  By reaching out to this man and living his life vicariously experiencing the thought of leaving his family, friends, his home and everything he had ever known to be shipped off across a vast ocean to fight to protect all that he knew and loved back home.  

At the age of 90, Walter decided to go to Omaha Beach where the historic battle of Normandy had taken place.  This trip was to put to rest why he survived when so many didn't.  It turned out to more than he had bargained for.   

The night before Walter's landing at the beaches of Normandy, he had prayed that the weather would be equal to what the troops had experienced that day before their landing on the beach so many years before.  Little did he know that his request was answered and bad weather is exactly what he got.  Gale force winds and pelting rain was almost enough to cancel his mission to find Frances Bowens grave site.  

When ready to disembark from his ship the crew decided to hold him back not sure if a man his age would make it down the gangplank.  To his surprise a fellow passenger and new found friend had lifted Walter in his arms and carried him down the gangplank placing him into a waiting wheelchair below.

After overcoming several obstacles traveling through this great historic site

Walter and his group had finally found France's grave site.  Not knowing for sure

if they had found the correct location a little magic saved the mission; rubbing sand on the grave stone revealed the name of Frances N. Bowen.

After returning from Normandy Walter still wanted answers.  Walter has written an award winning book called "Walter's Way" to help him understand what his role in life eventually played out in American history.  Where Frances' role of sacrifice was to defend and serve his fellow solders as a medic in defending this great nation.  Walter's role had been to excel in every aspect in his life bringing with it compassion to his fellow Americans the best he could.  

His book goes in to great detail as to how he survived tuberculosis and moved on to working with Sperry Industries to serve his nation in a different capacity bringing in new technologies to support and protect our great military that is in harm's way every day.  Recognizing the caregivers of the world, to which he would not have survive his condition if it were not for them.  This brings us back to Frances a man who came to the aid of his fellow solders as a medic and sacrificed his short life for ours.

Early in March of 2017 Walter had the great honor of meeting a woman who was a niece of Frances Bowen.  It was a surprise to him; Walter had been looking for nearly 4 years for anyone to step forward as a friend or family member.  The plea came via his Facebook page which had been setup to help support his new book "Walter's Way".   

Curiously, a woman whom declared herself to be the daughter of Ada Murphy the woman previously engaged to Frances Bowen before his leaving for duty in Europe.  The daughter, Muriel McVey now Muriel Schwartz searching for stories surrounding WWII she came across Walter's Facebook page filled with information on his book as well as a post titled "A Page Dedicated to Finding Relatives of Francis N. Bowen".  

Realizing what she had found Muriel remembered an old friend Ginger Rica, niece to Francis Bowen.  Last time the two spoke was when they were in their teens; it took a little work but with the power of Facebook Muriel had finally found Ginger to tell her the news.  

A few months later Ginger Rica had the pleasure to surprise Walter at his residence in Naples Florida.  As the hours of the afternoon went on the two swapped stories and made each other laugh, Walter had his first opportunity to hear firsthand about the man he had hoped would put to rest, "Why, God, Not

Me?"  

Read more…
Morgan Parker
Amazon Verified Purchase
Read more…

A longtime Ozone Park pizzeria and restaurant has new owners, a new look and a new menu — but its identity remains the same.

Aldo’s Pizza & Restaurant held its grand re-opening on Feb. 19 under the leadership of Anthony and Joe Livreri, brothers raised in Glendale who also own Mr. Bruno’s Pizzeria in East Elmhurst. They brought with them a revamped menu with traditional Sicilian fare and more than 30 varieties of pizza, but upholding the Aldo’s name was also a priority.

 

“It’s been here for so long and it’s got such a good name,” Anthony Livreri said. “I just wanted to bring the place back up to what it was. It was in the wrong hands for a short period of time.”

When the pizzeria’s namesake owner, Aldo Calore, retired from the business in 2014, the new management made a mess of the place, he said. When he went to see what the Livreri brothers had done to renovate the space, Calore said that he knew it was in good hands once again.

“It’s beautiful. These guys know what they’re doing,” Calore said. “They do everything excellent and they go out of their way to buy good stuff, not cheap.”

Although the Livreri brothers have been running Aldo’s since Jan. 2, the dining room was under renovation and was opened for the first time at the re-opening party on Monday, Feb. 19. The room was filled with Italian cheer as friends and family members came to congratulate the brothers on their latest venture, eat from a buffet of fresh entrees and drinks from the updated bar.

The brothers describe their new menu as simple and traditional, with meals such as lamb chops, skirt steaks, rib-eye steaks, a variety of fish, pasta and a large selection of appetizers and salads. The pizza menu is anything but simple, however, with a brand-new, 26-foot showcase in the restaurant that is stocked with everything from buffalo chicken, Thai chicken, grandma, upside down, cheese steak and rigatoni vodka pies, to rice balls, paninis and potato croquettes.

Above all, with many years of experience and multiple successful restaurants, the Livreri brothers know that the people are the most important thing. They used to own a few places in New Jersey, but coming back home made Joe Levriri realize the biggest difference with their latest location.

“The people are different in New York,” said Joe Livreri. “New York is New York; you can’t change it no matter where you go. You could talk to one person and talk to another person and you feel like you’re at home, where you’re supposed to be.”

 

http://qns.com/story/2018/02/20/new-owners-hold-grand-re-opening-aldos-pizza-ozone-park-hope-revive-neighborhood-fixture/

Read more…

Jericho Project opened its first Queens-based Veterans Resource Center in Ozone Park last Friday.

The 35-year-old nonprofit organization's original mission was to fight homelessness. In 2006, the group started the Veterans Initiative, which now serves 750 veterans annually.

The initiative includes two state-of-the-art residences for veterans in the Bronx, housing placement, and employment services, as well as developing programs for eviction prevention and legal assistance.

CEO Tori Lyon met Councilman Eric Ulrich three years ago. Since then, Ulrich has allocated over $400,000 to Jericho Project’s efforts through the City Council’s Veterans Fund.

Ulrich connected Jericho Project to the a local chapter of the Knights of Columbus, and the two organizations were able to create an office space within the hall.

“If a veteran is getting evicted, or if a veteran is homeless or about to be homeless, we can help them find an apartment and even help them pay their rent with financial assistance,” Lyon said. “We have a lot of connections with employers who are interested in hiring veterans, and we work very individually with the veterans to find something that works with their goals and what they like to do.”

Jericho Project career counselor and Air Force veteran Tony Rivera helps veterans prepare resumes and conducts mock job interviews.

“I can’t guarantee veterans a job, but one thing I can do is assist them with preparation for employment and making them job ready,” he said. “When you’re being interviewed, it can be brutal, so I’ll help them learn how to address some of these questions with techniques rather than go in and get blindsided.”

Once Rivera and the veteran completes the resume, he sends it to Jericho Project’s employment specialist, who will then contact “veteran-friendly” local employers. He also encourages the veterans to send out resumes on their own.

“With you doing your part and us doing our part, chances are that someone will call you,” Rivera said.

Kimberlin Vasquez, an employment specialist with the group, said that local employers include property managers, retailers, startups in Brooklyn and seven different security guard companies, such as Watch Guard 24/7 in Middle Village.

“It all depends on the veterans and what skill set they bring,” she said. “We have a vast network of community boards where we can reach out to employers to present the skill set our veterans bring in.”

For older veterans, there are also stipend-based opportunities for those who are just looking for part-time work.

Jericho Project invited community members to the Veterans Resource Center’s open house last Friday. The center’s two staffers have already visited local homeless shelters, job centers, American Legion posts and VFW halls to get the word out.

“The plan is to help veterans and help get them out of homeless shelters and off the street,” said outreach coordinator George Mills. “We’re trying to make it a one-stop shop. If they need VA assistance, I’d get them into the VA, and there’s a psychiatric staff from NYU that’s available for post-traumatic stress.”

The new Veterans Resource Center at 135-45 Lefferts Boulevard will be open, for now, on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to Mills, their availability will expand if they see there is the need for their services.

“We have a wide array of services and Queens is very underserved in veteran services, so we are definitely happy to have a presence here,” Lyon said.

Read more: Queens Ledger - Veterans Resource Center opens in Ozone Park http://queensledger.com/bookmark/27534997/article-Veterans-Resource-Center-opens-in-Ozone-Park

 

Read more…

100% OF PROCEEDS FOR CHARITIES

Walter has been profiled in Fortune Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and  Newsday. He is a career businessman who participated in the tech boom of the 1990s, produced a Hollywood film, and helped set up a successful oil & gas company with his sons.

 

Inspired by a meeting with Mother Teresa — who told him to always “honor the caretakers” –, he has long been a philanthropist, and through the Vera and Walter and Scherr Foundation all proceeds from this book will be for the benefit of The Center for Discovery.

When people ask Walter what it takes to be happy, his response is always the same:

First, a moral code to follow.

Second, a cause to serve, and

Third, a goal to believe in.

 

Read more…

The Story of a Man Searching for Life Long Answers

"Why, God, Not Me?"

Walter Scherr is a man who wanted to fight and possibly die for his country but instead was held back by an unknown and ugly disease.

Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941 bringing with it, America's presents into WWII. 

The man - Bowen, Francis N.

Private

508th Parachute Infantry Regiment

Date of Death: June 15, 1944

Buried: Plot E, Row 13, Grave 6                                                                         

Normandy American Cemetery

Colleville-sur-Mer, France

Awards: Purple Heart  

The man - Francis Bowen who grew up in Queens, New York a man his friends probably called him Fran, Frank, or Franny but it is later discovered that everyone actually called him by his middle name Nelson; a person who had lived during the Great Depression; a person trying to make the best of what was a very troubling time in American history; a person helping his family the best way he knew how with odd jobs and finding any way possible to survive this depressing and hopeless time.

During this time of struggle Francis had found himself engaged to be married to Ada Murphy; little did they know that their marriage would be ripped away from them because of the ensuing war.  America had been sucked into WWII in 1941 when the Japanese had attacked and Francis, along with many other young men in Queens, went off to enlist willingly to fight during the Great Crusade against fascism. 

All of that had changed for Francis after June 6th 1944 on Normandy's Cotentin Peninsula, D-Day. 

Francis had an older brother Harry (Harold) and a sister Sissy (Gertrude) and later her daughter and niece he will never know Ginger Rica, and that is where our story begins.  

When war was finally declared and America took and bear arms to fight against evil in the world, Walter had to stay behind.  Feeling as though he was stripped of his obligation to engage in this historic and heroic time in American history

Walter had to carry this heavy burden on his shoulders all of his life.  Struggling to understand why he was left behind to survive while others were sent to fight and die in their prime of their lives.  

To help with his grieving and lack of clarity to why his life was spared, Walter had sought after an individual that had lived in the same community he grew up in and experienced the same lifestyle he had.  Then, Walter had found that link in Francis Bowen.  By reaching out to this man and living his life vicariously experiencing the thought of leaving his family, friends, his home and everything he had ever known to be shipped off across a vast ocean to fight to protect all that he knew and loved back home.  

At the age of 90, Walter decided to go to Omaha Beach where the historic battle of Normandy had taken place.  This trip was to put to rest why he survived when so many didn't.  It turned out to more than he had bargained for.   

The night before Walter's landing at the beaches of Normandy, he had prayed that the weather would be equal to what the troops had experienced that day before their landing on the beach so many years before.  Little did he know that his request was answered and bad weather is exactly what he got.  Gale force winds and pelting rain was almost enough to cancel his mission to find Frances Bowens grave site.  

When ready to disembark from his ship the crew decided to hold him back not sure if a man his age would make it down the gangplank.  To his surprise a fellow passenger and new found friend had lifted Walter in his arms and carried him down the gangplank placing him into a waiting wheelchair below.

After overcoming several obstacles traveling through this great historic site

Walter and his group had finally found France's grave site.  Not knowing for sure

if they had found the correct location a little magic saved the mission; rubbing sand on the grave stone revealed the name of Frances N. Bowen.

After returning from Normandy Walter still wanted answers.  Walter has written an award winning book called "Walter's Way" to help him understand what his role in life eventually played out in American history.  Where Frances' role of sacrifice was to defend and serve his fellow solders as a medic in defending this great nation.  Walter's role had been to excel in every aspect in his life bringing with it compassion to his fellow Americans the best he could.  

His book goes in to great detail as to how he survived tuberculosis and moved on to working with Sperry Industries to serve his nation in a different capacity bringing in new technologies to support and protect our great military that is in harm's way every day.  Recognizing the caregivers of the world, to which he would not have survive his condition if it were not for them.  This brings us back to Frances a man who came to the aid of his fellow solders as a medic and sacrificed his short life for ours.

Early in March of 2017 Walter had the great honor of meeting a woman who was a niece of Frances Bowen.  It was a surprise to him; Walter had been looking for nearly 4 years for anyone to step forward as a friend or family member.  The plea came via his Facebook page which had been setup to help support his new book "Walter's Way".   

Curiously, a woman whom declared herself to be the daughter of Ada Murphy the woman previously engaged to Frances Bowen before his leaving for duty in Europe.  The daughter, Muriel McVey now Muriel Schwartz searching for stories surrounding WWII she came across Walter's Facebook page filled with information on his book as well as a post titled "A Page Dedicated to Finding Relatives of Francis N. Bowen".  

Realizing what she had found Muriel remembered an old friend Ginger Rica, niece to Francis Bowen.  Last time the two spoke was when they were in their teens; it took a little work but with the power of Facebook Muriel had finally found Ginger to tell her the news.  

A few months later Ginger Rica had the pleasure to surprise Walter at his residence in Naples Florida.  As the hours of the afternoon went on the two swapped stories and made each other laugh, Walter had his first opportunity to hear firsthand about the man he had hoped would put to rest, "Why, God, Not

Me?"  

Read more…

Wrap For A Cause News8 Interview

(WTNH)-Wrap for a Cause is a brand new, revolutionary fundraising program that helps raise money and awareness for local and national nonprofit charities. Laura Saggese recently launched her first Wrap for A Cause vehicle program at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund Walk in NYC. Saggese says her overall mission is to create awareness for charities and causes through vehicle wraps. She says she wanted to give a voice to not just one charity, but any organization that may strike a chord with any individual.

Each vehicle wrap is underwritten by the corporate sponsor and includes the tagline “Fueled by Sponsor Name.” Each wrap also promotes the agreed upon cause/charity and carries the Wrap for a Cause URL. Corporate sponsorships are split between the college/university and Wrap for a Cause. The college/university uses their share to support campus programs and Wrap for a Cause uses their share to pay for wraps and make monthly donations to the selected charity. They then donate 10% of the net proceeds to the selected cause.

Read more…

Wrap For A Cause Press Release

Contact: Alisa Picerno; 860.217.0595; alisa@alliancesbyalisa.com

Upping the Pace: Second NYC-Metro University Enlists with Operation Valiant Veterans

Wrap for A Cause Mobile Nonprofit Organization, Pace University Alum and Scherr Foundation Executive Director Partner to Raise Funds for School’s Veteran Scholarship Program –

(New York, NY) – November 6, 2017 Operation Valiant Veterans is taking the New York metro-area by storm. Pace University is the second institution of higher learning to join Laura Saggese, co-founder of Wrap for a Cause – a mobile marketing company for non-profit organizations and charities – honoring the commitment and sacrifices of our veterans this Veteran’s Day by wrapping a van in the University’s fleet with a message that promotes Pace veteran scholarships and support services. Teaming with Pace University is the Vera and Walter Scherr and Family Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to educational leadership and whose founder – Walter Scherr – is an award-winning author of “Walter’s Way” and an alumnus of Pace University.

“We are incredibly thrilled to have Pace University partner with us as we raise awareness for its outstanding Veterans scholarship program,” said Saggese. “University Veteran programs and scholarships like the ones offered at Pace help ease the transition from military to civilian life. These programs and scholarships provide veteran students with a sense of community support, while pursuing educational goals. It’s this sense of community involvement and achievement that really speaks to Wrap for a Cause.”

Kim Turner, with Pace University’s Development and Alumni Relations, explains how raised funds will be allocated. “We are partnering with Wrap for a Cause to benefit eligible veteran students pursuing their undergraduate degree. Funds may be used for scholarship awards or to provide other education-related financial relief.”

Offering assistance with education as a pathway to success for our veterans is what drew the attention of Walter Scherr, Executive Director of the Scherr Foundation, to underwrite Wrap for a Cause’s Operation Valiant Veterans: Pace University campaign.

“Part of our mission statement aims to ‘honor those who dedicate their lives and make career choices  that inherently add value to our society, and whose life work advances the greater good.’ Our Veterans have dedicated themselves to the greater good and we wish to honor their commitment by helping them pursue avenues that will support their efforts into the future,” said Scherr.

“We are launching our campaign on Veteran’s Day, but we plan to run it through the holidays,” explains Saggese. “November is also National Non-Profit Month, and that’s all the more reason for people to donate until the end of the year.”

To sponsor  sponsor an Operation Valiant Veterans campaign van or to make a donation, visit www.wrapforacasue.org.

The mission of Wrap for a Cause is to help local and national nonprofit organizations raise awareness and funds through a memorable, mobile marketing campaign that vibrant vehicle wraps. To learn more about becoming a corporate sponsor, fleet vehicle participant or charity beneficiary call 1-888-392-9729.

About the Scherr Foundation: The Vera and Walter Scherr and Family Foundation was formed in 2007 by Walter, his daughter Laura, and son Robert. The focus of the Foundation’s outreach is on education and people with disabilities. The Foundation’s mission is: To provide a secure and safe environment that empowers people to reach their full potential. The Foundation is also committed to honoring those who dedicate their lives and make career choices that inherently add value to our society, and whose life work advances the greater good. For more information about the Scherr and Family Foundation, visit www.waltersway.org.

About Pace University: Since 1906, Pace has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in Lower Manhattan and Westchester County, NY, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. A 2017 study by the Equality of Opportunity Project ranks Pace University first in New York – and second in the nation – for Economic Mobility based on students who enter college at the bottom fifth of the income distribution and end up in the top fifth. www.pace.edu

rebased on data from the Equality of Opportunity Project’s Mobility Report. Cards. www.pace.edu

Read more…