2019 Camp Happiness
Every year, the Elks Lockport Lodge #41 bring people Empower supports to Camp Keenan for a week of summer camp. It is a great time filled with games, outdoor activities like canoeing and friendship in the warmth and sunshine. New this year was a helicopter visit that amazed participants with its ability to land on camp grounds. As is obvious from the smiles on everyone’s faces, this experience is enjoyed by all. From the bottom of our hearts, Elks Lockport Lodge #4, thank you for funding, organizing and volunteering at this amazing outdoor experience for the people we support.
Enjoying the Summer During Inclusive Golf Program
Since becoming an accredited agency in 2018, Empower has made an effort to develop new programs that provide greater access to our community and development opportunities to the people we support. Through grants from the National Alliance for Accessible Golf and the Empower Foundation, Empower created the agency’s first-ever inclusive golf program. During the program’s first session, five people supported by the agency went to Niagara Frontier Country Club and learned golf basics with Empowered to Work Coordinator Mike Marra and NFCC Golf Pro Dan Antonucci. Throughout the six classes, students became more comfortable with their surroundings and improved their golf skills. A second session of the program that includes five students with disabilities and five without disabilities will take place later this month.
Artpark Bridges Program Includes Day Hab Without Walls Participants
For the second year in a row, Empower was invited to participate in Artpark’s Bridges Program. Artpark’s Bridges is a year-round community-engagement program that provides the Western New York population with empowerment, integration, healing, and creative expression tools through drama, art therapy, and interactive initiatives.
Last year, theater instructors came to Empower’s Day Hab hub and gave theater instruction to participants leading up to the Odyssey production that was held at Artpark in August.
This year, dance teachers came to Empower to teach students what specific dance movements are called and how to execute them. They also explored musical instruments, including African drums. Then, students from different organizations, including Empower, People, Inc. and the Buffalo Public Schools met at Artpark and worked together to install and enjoy the interactive art displays.
People supported by Empower enjoy getting out in our community, having the opportunity to express themselves through art, and meeting new people. Thank you Artpark for making these experiences possible.
Day Hab Goes Under the Sea
Two thirds of Empower’s 300-person workforce is made up of direct care workers like Jodi Bevilacqua, who works directly with people supported by the agency at Empower’s Day Hab Program. Each day, Jodi goes out of her way to engage the people we support and make the facility more cheerful. Most recently, Jodi helped participants make Under the Sea themed crafts which they then hung in Day Hab’s foyer. Thanks, Jodi, for all you do.