Monday, February 28, 2011


The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties is pleased to announce that Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker will be the inaugural presenter for our Leadership Speaker Series. He will speak about "How to Change the World with Your Bare Hands" at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at the Stanley Center for the Arts.

"Many people may be hearing the name 'Cory Booker' for the first time, but it won't be the last. He has been the mayor of Newark, New Jersey since 2006 and has become a superstar.
His commitment to education, reducing violent crime by 40 percent, and investing $40 million in the transformation of city parks through a public/private partnership are among his bold and innovative actions. Degrees from prestigious universities begin to tell his story, but his achievements in Newark have made him an iconic mayor - a mayor to watch," said Mary Lyons Bradley, Foundation Trustee and event committee member.

Widely considered a rising star on the American political landscape, Booker was elected mayor of Newark for two consecutive terms. Under his leadership, Newark's mission is "to set a national standard for urban transformation by marshalling its resources to achieve security, economic abundance and an environment that is nurturing and empowering for individuals and families."

Graphic designer Michelle McCarrick Truett also serves on the planning committee. She said, "I jumped at the chance to help with the Cory Booker event. I'm particularly looking forward to helping with outreach in our community to assure that as many people as possible are able to come see him speak - his message and attitude of rolling up your sleeves, getting involved and being brave is imperative in helping any community reach a new level."

The series Brick City on the Sundance Channel chronicles the efforts of Mayor Booker and the residents of Newark as they work together to realize the city's mission.

Cory Booker earned his B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University, a B.A. in Modern History from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and completed his law degree at Yale University.

The Leadership Speaker Series is sponsored by the Corporate Partners Program of The Community Foundation. Details on purchasing tickets for this event will be available in the spring.

The Community Foundation has been a force for improving lives and promoting philanthropy throughout Herkimer and Oneida counties since 1952. The Foundation has made more than 4,700 grants totaling over $37.2 million in support of causes ranging from education to health care, the arts to the environment. Grants are generated by the more than 270 funds that comprise The Foundation’s endowment, established and advanced by area individuals and families. For more information about The Community Foundation’s work in Herkimer and Oneida counties, visit or call (315) 735-8212.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Red Cross to honor "Great Heroes" at upcoming breakfast including Community Foundation

WKTV reported that the American Red Cross is honoring what it calls "unsung heroes of the Mohawk Valley."

On Wednesday, the Mohawk Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross announced details of their annual Great Heroes Breakfast to be held Thursday, March 31 at 7:30 a.m. at Herkimer County Community College and celebrate this year's recipients.

Eve Van de Wal will be honored, receiving the Michael Cianfraco Tribute to Humanity Award. The award is named for the former Red Cross Executive Director who passed away in 2001.

Also honored will be Margaret O'Shea, who leads the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties.

"I grew up in this community, and have been actively volunteering because I love it. It's my home," Van de Wal said. "So to be honored for whatever small difference I make here, is especially meaningful to me."

Since July, our local chapter of the American Red Cross has helped out in 48 household fires, 18 of which were just in the past six weeks.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Communities working together can save Herkimer

The Little Falls Times reported that the Herkimer Home State Historic Site is closed through at least April 1, and is slated to remain closed not only for the entire 2011 operating season, but permanently.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2011-12 budget proposal cuts Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation spending by more than eight percent, from $228 million to $209 million. The proposal does not include any funding for Herkimer Home, which needs roughly $320,000 to remain open.

“It would be a shame to lose the site,” Little Falls Mayor Robert Peters said during a telephone interview on Monday. Peters was one of 40 people to meet at the home of American Revolutionary War hero Gen. Nicholas Herkimer last Wednesday to brainstorm how to keep the site operating. “It’s an important place to our community, and to other surrounding communities as well, and it would be a real tragedy to see it closed. We need to come together and prevent this from happening.”

Peters said he and other city and county officials discussed the matter prior to the Feb. 9 meeting and have continued discussing what they believe can be done to ensure the site will open in 2011.

“The city, should a group come forward and raise the money, or at least a portion of the money, needed to keep the site secure and to maintain it, would be willing to provide 10 hours a week from its Department of Public Works to maintain the building and grounds,” said Peters, who is also president of the Herkimer County Conference of Mayors. “I would hope other communities would follow the city’s lead and would come forward to provide similar services. In addition to maintaining the grounds, the city would also be willing to make any emergency repairs that would be needed.”

In an effort to draw increased attention to the historic home just outside of the city of Little Falls on State Route 169, and to bring in additional tourists, Peters said a “Taste of Little Falls” type event and Victorian fair could take place Labor Day weekend throughout the city and at the site.
“The food event would be held throughout the city on Friday, with the Victorian fair held at Herkimer Home on Saturday and Sunday,” said Peters. “An event like this would bring people to the city who might choose to stay at one of our places in town, eat at one of our restaurants or shop at one our stores. It would also draw people to the site and generate revenue for its operation.”

Assemblyman Marc Butler said during last Wednesday’s brainstorming session visitors to Herkimer Home generated about $6,800 in revenue in 2010, adding $30,000 of the site’s roughly $320,000 budget goes toward operational expenses, with the rest paying for salaries.
Butler also said last week a nonprofit group or surrounding municipality could sign a lease with the state, essentially forcing the local entity to maintain the site while the state maintains ownership.

“The assemblyman said the local group or municipality could then keep any profit generated from the site,” said Peters. “An agreement like that is something the city would be willing to explore with a group or another municipality. The city is also willing to extend water service to the site, which would provide water to a portion of the town of Danube. These are all things the city can do to improve the site and is willing to discuss as we collectively work to keep the site open in the years to come.”

Read more here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Join us for a FREE Presentation this Thursday… Sign-Up today! (Limited seats still available.)

ADHD & Autism: Navigating the Medication Maze
Presented by Dr. Andy Lopez-Williams

Practical advice for parents, adults, therapists, teachers, and physicians in evaluating the role of medication in treatment plans.

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION: A significant portion of persons with developmental and mental health problems require both psychological and medication treatments. The state-of-the-science indicates that the combination of psychological and medication treatments often results in greater improvement in patient symptoms compared to either treatment alone. The pressure for primary care physicians to prescribe psychotropic medications is increasing. However, primary care physicians often report that prescription of psychotropic medication can be complex and often welcome assistance in the decision-making process. With the rise in availability of psychotropic medication, an increase in the concern of safety has been witnessed. A more recent example of these concerns has been demonstrated in the case of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and antipsychotics. In the last decade, public and professional awareness of the potential adverse side effects of increased suicidality in children and adolescents taking SSRIs has led to a overall decrease in the use of these medications in children and adolescents, which has arguably led to an increase in the use of antipsychotics to treat mental health symptoms in children and adolescents — an increase that has been accompanied by much feverous debate. This example is but one of many that highlight the fact that the pharmacological treatment of mental health disorders in children and adolescents often lacks the empirical support to safely and ethically guide practice. Dr. Lopez-Williams will provide an overview of the considerations and logistics of various protocols to assess the need and response to medication. He will also provide more detailed and practical information on how to conduct medication assessments and provide case examples.

Oneida Family YMCA
701 Seneca Street
Oneida, NY 13421
Thursday, February 17, 2011
6:30pm to 8:30pm

Open to the Public

Important: Space is limited. Individuals must reserve their seat before the date of this presentation.

To register or for more information, please contact
or call 315.732.3431.

Andrea Bass
Marketing Director
ADHD & Autism Psychological Services and Advocacy, PLLC
258 Genesee Street, Suite 505
Utica, NY 13502
315.725.7258 (Cell-Primary)
315.732.3431 (Office-Secondary)
1.866.822.2343 (Fax)

Mohawk Valley Leaders April 13th Program: The Development Assessment and Special Panel Discussion

The Development Assessment: A Tool to Enhance Fund Raising Effectiveness

This presentation is being funded by the CORPORATE PARTNERS PROGRAM of The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties: a collaboration of generous area businesses and The Foundation to promote nonprofit excellence and community advocacy.

Presented by Michael Stein

Many nonprofit executives are confronted with the challenge of leading organizational fund raising efforts without necessarily having background or experience in this most critical area. The development assessment process provides organizations with a comprehensive analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of existing fund raising programs. The assessment process focuses on how the organization can maximize current resources and makes recommendations regarding additional resources needed to attain full fund raising potential.

The development assessment is worth considering if an organization:

• Is dissatisfied with current fund raising performance.

• Wants to increase Board involvement, participation and “ownership” of the development program

• Seeks comparative benchmarks by which to evaluate fund raising effectiveness • Is looking for a strategic development plan to complement the overall organizational strategic plan.

• Is preparing for a major capital campaign.

Special Panel: Discussing Online Fundraising

Following the presentation, a panel discussion will focus on efforts locally around online fundraising. Panelists will discuss their organization's current efforts, challenges they are confronting and plans for future efforts. Panelists confirmed as of now:

Date: April 13, 2011

Time: 8:30am-12:00pm

Fee: $5.00 (payable at the door)

Location: RCIL (Resource Center for Independent Living)

409 Columbia St.

Utica, NY, 13501

Family & Community Connections Meeting, February 16

You Are Invited To The F&CC Meeting This Week:

8am, Wednesday, FEBRUARY 16, MLK, Jr. School, 211 Square St.

(Use the intercom to enter through the front door. Or the parking lot side door is also open at this hour.)

Meeting Focus: Mental health services and implications for education.

All interested persons are encouraged to attend and participate!

Principal Mark DeSalvo has asked community agencies to use F&CC sessions as a forum to coordinate with school staff and with each other about their programs, activities, challenges, and successes at MLK Jr. School.

Family & Community Connections (F&CC)

“Working Together To Make Our Community Better”

Summary of Our Last Session:
December 8, 2010 at MLK, Jr. School, 211 Square Street
Present: Michael Babcock, Mark DeSalvo, Dianne Dimeo, Krista Drake, Tim Trent

Key discussion points included:

1. “Needed: Global thinkers to reach a broad constituency in developing a true community school.” Principal Mark DeSalvo invited individuals and agency volunteers to become core advisors with him in shaping the future of MLK Jr. as a true community school. Developing the vision, mission, and objectives for this initiative will be the first step.

2. Public Health Educator Krista Drake explained that Oneida County Health Department provides services for maternal child health, lead poisoning prevention and abatement, immunizations, nutrition, and home visits to assist with family and overall community health.

3. Michael Babcock explained Positive Behavioral Intervention & Supports (PBIS) improve student behavior to improve academic achievement. Fewer behavior distractions and less time out of classrooms for behavior issues means more proactive focus on learning for all students. Key PBIS objectives include: 1) reduce discipline incidents, 2) raise test scores, 3) increase family involvement in student learning.

4. Dianne Dimeo explained that Catholic Charities coordinates with many other agencies, Operation Sunshine, Salvation Army, Neighborhood Center, and the Rescue Mission, for example, in making referrals, assisting, and promoting the self-sufficiency of families and children in need of clothing, transportation, and even holiday food baskets.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Join us for a special Genesis Group General Meeting

Thursday February 17th ~ 7:30am to 9:00am at Hotel Utica
featuring an update on the "MARCY NANOCENTER"
presented by Mark Reynolds, Sr. Vice-President, Planning & Development, Mohawk Valley EDGE

Also on the Agenda:

~ The Genesis Group will present Angela Vanderhoof with a Community Appreciation Award.
Join us we honor Angela for her lifetime of service to our community!

~ John Swann, Director of Public Affairs at SUNYIT will provide an update on their plans for new buildings and projects on their campus.

~ The Genesis Group welcomes Kris Worrell, Editor of The Observer-Dispatch who recently moved to the Mohawk Valley. Join us as we recognize Kris and other new leaders through our Newcomers Program.

~ Do you have Good News or Positive Information that you'd like to share? Do you have a Community Event that you'd like to promote? Come to our Genesis Group General Meeting to make your Announcement.

The meeting is FREE and All Are Welcome, bring friends and colleagues!
Thank you.

Raymond J. Durso, Jr.
Executive Director
The Genesis Group
SUNYIT ~ 100 Seymour Road
Utica, New York 13502
315.792.7187 (T)
315.797.1280 (F)
Genesis is also on Facebook

Monday, February 7, 2011

Upstate Institute's Student Philanthropy Council: Call for Proposals

The Student Philanthropy Council is a student-run grant program operating out of the Upstate
Institute at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. Selected students participate in a noncredit class that combines a seminar on philanthropy and the non-profit sector with actual grantmaking utilizing a $10,000 fund from the Brennan Family Foundation. The work of the Council embodies the mission of the Upstate Institute at Colgate University, which seeks to “create linkages between Colgate University and the regional community to engage students, faculty, staff and residents in research and a reciprocal transfer of knowledge that will enhance the economic, social and cultural capacity of the area and sustain the environment.”

Guidelines for 2011:
The Student Philanthropy Council seeks proposals from non-profit organizations in the central
Upstate New York region (see below for eligible counties) for training and education programs
focusing on health, vocational skills, environmental issues, literacy and college preparation.
Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate:
• A current need within the region for the proposed program and the organization’s plan to
address that need;
• The potential for the program to make a marked impact in the region vis-à-vis the project
• The sustainability of the program and ability to continue to produce changes into the
The SPC will not fund:
• Capital Projects
Grant applications will be considered for projects requests from $1,000 – 6,000.

• Not for profit organizations with current tax-exempt status under 501(c) 3 provisions of
the Internal Revenue Code, or public schools or school districts;
• Program or service area of the organization or school is primarily in one or more of the
following central Upstate New York counties: Broome, Chenango, Fulton, Herkimer,
Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, and Schoharie.

Application and Deadline:
The application is available at The Upstate Institute must
receive proposals by Monday, March 7, 2011. Applicants may submit a pdf version of their
grant application to the e-mail address below, or submit by mail or hand delivery (one original,
one copy). Please address your application as follows: Student Philanthropy Council, Upstate
Institute at Colgate University, 109 Lathrop Hall, 13 Oak Drive Hamilton, NY 13346.
Grantees will be notified of awards by April 14. An awards ceremony is scheduled for the late
afternoon of April 28, 2011.

Two information sessions have been scheduled for potential applicants to meet with members of
the Student Philanthropy Council to discuss ideas and questions. These sessions will take place
on Wednesday, February 9 and Tuesday, February 15 at 6:00-8:00 pm in the office of the
Upstate Institute, 109 Lathrop Hall, Colgate University (for directions to Colgate and a campus
map, please see
For any questions or additional information, please contact Student Philanthropy Council
member Gray Huffard at (203) 428-1999 or Griffin O'Shea at (631)707-3667 or

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Utica/Oneida County Branch NAACP Sponsor Events in Honor of Black History Month

"A Diversity Affair"
To bring together a community of persons in a social atmosphere to CELEBRATE, EMBRACE, and SUPPORT the EQUALITY of rights of all persons and to honor
cultural diversity.

DATE: Saturday, February 5, 2011
TIME: 6-10pm
LOCATION: Daniele's at Valley View
DONATION: $30.00 per person

Music Entertainment will be provided
This is a semi-formal affair

"Annual Black History Program"
THEME:: From Hope to Reality A focus on Education
GUEST SPEAKERS: Mrs. Cheryl Beckett-Minor, Ms. Justine Samuel

DATE: Saturday, February 5, 2011
TIME: 1:00-3:00 pm
LOCATION: Mohawk Valley Community College, Alumni College Center
Light refreshments served

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Oneida city lawmakers to hold hearing on plans for an autism group home

A regional agency is planning to build Central New York’s first group home for young adults with autism spectrum disorders in the city of Oneida.

The Kelberman Center of Utica announced plans earlier this month for the eight-bed facility on Florence Avenue, just blocks from the city’s downtown district. A public hearing on the project will be 6 p.m. today before the Oneida Common Council meeting.

The center currently provides evaluation, diagnostic and intervention services for children and adults in Central New York, as well as family support programs, case management and social and recreational opportunities.

The nonprofit agency has been affiliated with Upstate Cerebral Palsy since 2005, said Colleen Cianfrocco, vice president for community development. Upstate Cerebral Palsy currently operates four residential facilities in Canastota, Hamilton and Morrisville.

The Oneida home would allow young adults with autism to live independently in the community with some supervision. “It’s a chance to live independently,” Cianfrocco said. “That’s the key. That’s what everyone wants in life.”

Original article at the

Spending Cuts, Filing Information, and More from Nonprofit Advocacy Matters

Cuts, Cuts and more Cuts
The National Council of Nonprofits reported in their newsletter, "Nonprofit Advocacy Matters", that Spending cuts were the consistent theme throughout Washington last week as the President, during his State of the Union address Tuesday night, called for a five-year freeze in non-defense discretionary spending. Also on Tuesday, the House adopted a resolution capping spending for the current fiscal year at or below the levels provided in fiscal 2008. This limit is expected to produce budget cuts this year of $55 billion to $60 billion. In addition, the recommendations of the Republican Study Committee to cut $2.5 trillion in spending over the next 10 years were incorporated in the proposed Spending Reduction Act. Among many items, that bill would block spending for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and for national service programs. The legislation is not expected to be brought up in the House, but it does provide a roadmap for the areas that are being targeted for reductions in the future.

Federal Regulations and Job Creation
Federal regulations are frequently criticized for frustrating job creation, and the President and House Republicans are taking steps to identify key problem areas. On January 18, President Obama signed an executive order on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review calling for "a government wide review" of federal rules and regulations to remove those "that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive." The order was accompanied by an op-ed by the President published in the Wall Street Journal. In the House, Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has created a website asking employers to identify government regulations and practices that either help or inhibit job creation. The website asks for responses to the questions: "Where does Washington help, and where does it hurt?" The National Council wants to know your ideas about particular rules or regulations that need improving.

Form 1099 Filing Requirements
There is strong momentum for repeal of the new tax-reporting requirement in the health care law that, starting in 2012, will require nonprofits and for-profit businesses to report aggregate payments to vendors in excess of $600 for goods and other property. A bill introduced last week by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE), S.18, has bipartisan support and is paid for by rescinding prior appropriations. A second proposal introduced by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), S.72, has no offsets. A House bill, H.R.4, has broad bipartisan support. President Obama expressed support for repeal of the requirement during his State of the Union address.