Greystone’s Leap for Autism (Aired on January 30, 2022)

Samara Enders, Director of Philanthropy at Greystone Programs, is interviewed by co-host Sarah McConnell-Claitor and Jonah Triebwasser about the annual Leap for Autism and other aspects of Greystone’s work with developmentally disabled individuals. Greystone Programs is a privately-run non-profit organization that provides essential services and life-enriching opportunities to
more than 600 children, adults, and families with autism and other developmental disabilities. The organization operates 17 group homes in Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster counties of New York State as well as providing after-school and school- break programs. While part of their funding is from government sources, the nonprofit relies on private donations as well. Their annual fundraiser is a skydive at Skydive the Ranch in Garrison, NY, an event that brings 60 to 70 donors to jump from airplanes in support of Greystone—the sixth annual Leap for Autism.

Learn More:
Greystone Programs:
Skydive the Ranch:
NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities:
Autism Spectrum Disorder:

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Abilities First Schools and Adult Care (Aired on January 23, 2022)

Melissa McCoy, the Chief Advancement Officer of Abilities First, Zooms into RadioRotary to describe this organization that provides schools for children and group homes for adults with developmental disabilities. The name Abilities First is meant to signify that the organization values what people can do, what they can learn, and what they accomplish rather than their limitations or disabilities. They provide a continuum of care with no fees for the services. The staff and volunteers work with children who have many different disabilities, and at age 21 individuals in the program transition to adult care. Most of the children travel to the schools from home although some board at the school. Services are available to residents in the six mid-Hudson counties, from Putnam and Orange through Green and Columbia, although the schools are mostly in Dutchess County.

Learn More:
Abilities First:
Abilities First on Facebook:
NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities:
Dutchess Country Department of Behavior and Community Health:

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Diveheart Improves Lives with SCUBA (Aired on January 9, 2022)

Downers Grove, IL, Rotarian Jim Elliott, founder of Dive Heart, and Tinamarie Hernandez, Executive Director of the Diveheart Foundation, visit RadioRotary to describe the work Dive Heart does in providing the experience of SCUBA (Self- Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) to persons with disabilities, including veterans with PSD. The experience of floating free underwater is
especially important to those who have lost the use of their limbs, but it has also been shown to benefit persons with all kinds of differences, such as autism, cerebral palsy, ALS, traumatic brain injury, or ADHD. Dive Heart provides trained instructors to work with individuals across the United States, and also provides training in how to use SCUBA with persons with disabilities. The SCUBA experience has been shown to build confidence and self-esteem, changing perspectives and even providing relief from pain.

Learn More:
Diveheart Foundation:
Downers Grove Rotary Club:
SCUBA Therapy:

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Addiction Services at MHA Dutchess (Aired on December 19, 2021)

Mental Health America of Dutchess County (MHA) is a wide-ranging nonprofit that deals with many parts of mental health and well-being. This RadioRotary interview with David Campanaro, Division Director of Addiction Services at MHA and Joseph Ventimiglia, Clinical Supervisor and Director of the Chemical Dependency Crisis Center, focuses on alcoholism and other addictions. The MHA Crisis Center is often the first stop for a person with a substance use disorder who is seeking help with recovery. After withdrawal at the Crisis Center, the addict stays for a few days (sometime longer) as the professionals there locate a suitable treatment program. Bolger House, Florence Manor, and Dowling House are community residences run by MHA where those with substance abuse disorder can experience long-term recovery. MHA also provides therapy as needed in their Sober Supported Housing apartments.

Learn more:
Mental Health America of Dutchess County:

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December 27, 2021 · Posted in Addiction Recovery, Dutchess County, Hudson Valley, Mental Health  

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