The Center For Discovery

At The Center for Discovery, people with disabilities work hard to find a way forward as they shape lives of meaning.

The supports we offer are grounded in the land and our community of care and education, which for many years has integrated food and farming, science and research, and health and wellness.

We are a vibrantly successful program that encourages people with intellectual and physical challenges to defy expectations, while simultaneously evolving new models for living.

What happens here matters everywhere.


Walter J. Scherr is a highly successful international businessman who overcame many obstacles through persistence, honor, and commitment. He grew up during the depression in Ozone Park, Queens, was diagnosed with tuberculosis at a young age and then quarantined at a large sanitarium for a number of years. Walter never forgot what it meant to be removed from society because of a disability nor the compassionate care that he received from his caregivers.

Walter was first introduced to The Center by his respected surgeon, Dr. George Todd, who invited him to tour the agency’s advanced programs and facilities. In response to what he witnessed and the high quality of care provided, Walter established the Vera and Walter Scherr Scholarship Program to provide financial assistance to Center staff looking to pursue an advanced degree or continuing professional education/certification. This innovative program not only served to assist The Center by enhancing its workforce, but also provided the means to honor caregivers and recognize those who committed themselves to the caring profession.

More recently, Walter and the Scherr Family have gone on to champion the development of a Maker’s Lab and Learning Center featuring the use of such technologies as 3-D printers, laser cutters and CNC routers. In this environment, the engineering, artistic and design talents of people in the larger community will be joined with the specialized skills of The Center’s long-established Advanced Rehabilitation Technology Design group. Their objective: to create and encourage new technologies and devices that assist people with special needs, disabilities and age-related conditions – and share them with the world.

Learn More About Walter’s Life Through His Book: Walter’s Way

See Article About Walter in the Wall Street Journal

Holbrook, N.Y. (PRWEB) May 09, 2018

American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (AP) CEO Lon T. Dolber was formally acknowledged by The Center for Discovery (The Center) as its 2018 Honoree at the non-profit organization’s annual “Evening of Discovery Gala,” which was held May 2, 2018, at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers in New York, N.Y, and attended by prominent guests within the spheres of business, health care and entertainment. The event, which was underwritten by AP so proceeds would benefit the non-profit organization, raised more than $1 million in gross revenue to support The Center’s essential programs and services.

The “Evening of Discovery” is the signature fundraising event for The Center—an internationally-recognized research and innovation center that provides high-quality programs and unique opportunities for personal growth—that serves nearly 1,200 children and adults annually who have complex disabilities, medical frailties and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Dolber, a major philanthropic leader with a long history of giving back to the community, was chosen as the 2018 Honoree for his exceptional leadership and dedication to The Center’s mission. “Beyond my humble appreciation for being recognized by The Center is the privilege of spending time together year after year with The Center’s residents, students and their staff, joined by AP employees and affiliated colleagues for a weekend Adventure Team Challenge,” said Dolber of the honor. “Each time has created wonderful, transformative experiences for everyone involved; by taking the time to see the reflection of humanity in any shape or form, you inevitably see a reflection of yourself. Corporate social responsibility is a significant part of AP’s mission statement and a big part of what draws investment professionals and staff members to AP, all with common values for making a difference in people’s lives locally, nationally and even globally.”

“We are thrilled to recognize Lon Dolber as our 2018 Evening of Discovery Honoree and our 10-year partnership with AP to provide extraordinary outdoor and athletic experiences to the residents and students at The Center,” said Patrick H. Dollard, president and CEO of The Center. “Lon is not only a respected leader of a highly successful financial services firm, but someone who has emerged as one of our most passionate advocates with a unique gift for bringing people together to achieve transformative things.”

In 2001, Dolber founded AP—a privately-held, independent broker/dealer that services financial advisors across the United States—with the vision of like-minded financial professionals to provide unbiased advice for the investing public. AP’s strong infrastructure supports the client service needs and investment oversight of more than $25 billion dollars in assets under management. Additionally, as AP’s chief investment officer with 38 years’ experience working in the financial services industry, Dolber’s financial product and service knowledge as an investment professional—combined with a strong technological background—has provided both the firm and the industry with leadership and strategic thinking to the business challenges of the day, as well as opportunities for the future.

The Gala, which was attended by more than 800 guests, kicked off with a cocktail reception that was followed by formal dinner programs and a performance by Dolber’s That Motown Band. Many among the guest list hailed from Fortune 500 companies, the stage and screen—including longtime supporters of The Center actors Aidan Quinn (“Elementary”), Lorraine Bracco (“The Sopranos”) and Didi Conn (“Grease”), as well as prominent members of the financial services industry: Xtiva Financial Systems, Inc., Gerstein Fisher, Franklin Templeton Investments, Hilton Capital Management, Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. Also in attendance were co-host of Good Day New York Rosanna Scotto, lead anchor for WABC Eyewitness News Bill Ritter, owner of the New York Islanders John Ledecky, and former head coach for the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns Eric Mangini. The event afforded various opportunities to lend financial support to The Center, such as through an auction—conducted both online and live at the Gala by famed auctioneer Guy Bennett—that offered unique experiences, including a guest appearance on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”; VIP tickets to daytime and primetime talk shows, and sold-out concerts; and exciting excursions, such as an exclusive tour of the Vatican and Papal Basilicas in Italy, which drew the largest single donation of $17,000.

Dolber, who also serves as the vice chairman for World T.E.A.M. Sports (WTS), is the organizational force behind the partnership with WTS, a non-profit organization that brings adaptive and able-bodied athletes together by empowering individuals through inclusive athletic events. The Center has partnered with AP and WTS since 2010 to present the Adventure Team Challenge (ATC) for challenged athletes from The Center. Groups of The Center’s participants partake in a series of athletic, recreational and outdoor experiences to provide a sense of achievement and teamwork for those with significant physical and behavioral disabilities. Each year, a number of AP employees, friends, disabled veterans and others volunteer to serve as team members and assist The Center staff in providing essential logistical support to these events. Dolber has also been instrumental in implementing, supporting and participating in other socially responsible events, including the Return to Kilimanjaro Expedition; 11 Face of America (FOA) bike rides; the Coastal Team Challenge; and the cross-country Sea to Shining Sea and Ottawa-to-Washington, D.C., CanAm Veterans Challenge bike rides.

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Walter Scherr, Author of Award Winning Walter's Way, is a career businessman who was also an Associate Professor at Farmingdale State School and PhD candidate at NYU, He received his bachelor’s degree from Pace College attending night school, and his master’s degree from Hofstra University over the course of 15 years. He overcame many obstacles through persistence, honor, and commitment. He is a devoted family man, and an active philanthropist.

Co-Founder of The Vera and Walter Scherr and Family Foundation. Husband, father of four, grandfather of 11, and great grampy of 2. Principle and Board member of 1st publicly traded Facsimile Company. Director, CFO, Executive Vice President: Veeco Instruments Inc. General Manager of UPA Technology Division, Group Vice President at Litton Industries, Managing Director Sperry LTD.

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