St. Patrick’s Day Spring Formal brings out local seniors

Despite the snowy day, the Southern Tier Activity Association’s First Annual “St. Patrick’s Day Spring Formal” went on without a hitch at Good Times of Olean. Seniors from several local nursing homes and centers, joined in on the fun, moving and grooving to live music from “The Kokomo Band.” The band played a variety of music, mixing in Irish and Elvis tunes.

The ReHabilitation Center’s Linwood Senior Center, along with The Olean Pines, Houghton, Absolut Care, The Motherhouse, and Eden Heights were all represented at the dance.

A group of nursing home and senior activity directors organized the STAA over 30 years ago, building on the benefit of interaction and idea sharing between like organizations. They now coordinate the annual Golden Olympics, have held a large Bingo event, and this year decided to introduce the St. Patrick’s Day Spring Formal. 
To learn more about The Rehabilitation Center’s Linwood Center, click here.

Day Hab joins in on Olympic fun

As the Winter Olympics excitement came to a close last week, so did a special International project that our day hab program participated in. Each classroom, 11 in total, was given a country to focus on for two weeks in February. They decorated, learned, shared fun facts, made crafts, and dressed in the  colors of their respective location. There was no lack of creativity, as the rooms were decked out in Olympic medals, flags from around the world and educational facts.

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2018 Weekday Jackpot

Weekday Jackpot 2018

The Weekday Jackpot is back!
The Weekday Jackpot gives you 51 chances to win $100-$1,000 with weekday drawings from April 23rd – July 2nd, with a special $1,000 drawing on July 2nd.
How to get tickets:
Stop into our Rehab Center Admin Building at 1439 Buffalo Street in Olean or, print the form below and mail in with a check or cash, and we will send you your ticket!

2018 jackpot flyer

Tickets are $25 each (double your chances with two!)

Proceeds from the Weekday Jackpot Drawing benefit The ReHab Foundation Learn More Here.

GAP program offers time for friendship


The group of friends, each one carefully carrying hot chocolate, tea, sandwiches or bagels laden with cream cheese, found a warm place around the fireplace at Tim Horton’s on a cold Thursday afternoon.

It’s always a special time, one among many, offered through Respite’s site-based GAP program for a group of people who gather each day from different programs, schools or their home to enjoy a few hours together sharing stories, playing games, socializing and even line dancing. Continue reading…

Foundation Donations Help Provide Safety and Security for Local Family

Foundation Donations Help Provide Safety and Security for Local Family

While a miracle may have saved his life almost 50 years ago, today it’s the generosity of Foundation donors that provided needed safeguards for John and his mother.

In 1966, while walking home from school, John spotted his brother and some friends on the other side of the street. He waved, then darted across the street. The next thing he remembers is waking up from a coma in the hospital three months later.

“It’s a real miracle he lived,” Nova, his mom, said.

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Foundation Wish Tree Brings Happiness and Hope to Local Families



Over 15 families and 150 individuals had the opportunity to exchange gifts this holiday season thanks to The Wish Tree, a collaborative project between The Rehabilitation Foundation, The Olean YMCA and the N. Union and Walmart Olean Subway locations. The project began six years ago when Shelley Pollock, Foundation Board member and Subway owner offered to host the wish trees at her Subway establishments.

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Donation provides interactive music event

Rachel Bell’s accordion sang into the halls of the Allegany building in a recent concert, stirring the packed Linwood Activity Room with a curiosity about the instruments and upbeat response to her French and English country dance music.

The musical performance was offered to the people we support in memory of the late visually-impaired David Shipley, who had attended Allegany’s day services and loved music and theatre.

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Foundation presents scholarships/awards to deserving staff

Recently, the Rehabilitation Foundation’s annual Scholarships & Awards reception honored several staff members and departments with grants to fund their dreams and goals which will return to benefit the Agency.

Each year it’s a tall order to go through the requests and choose a person to receive each particular scholarship or award. For their conscientious deliberation in selecting the award winners and scholarship recipients, the Foundation thanks Jen Eaton Miller, Tracy Karl-Lebrenz, Lisa Hennig, Patrick and Gloria Carroll, and the scholarship committee. Continue reading…

Foundation exceeds fundraising goals on #nygivesday

On“Giving Tuesday,” The Rehabilitation Foundation surpassed its fundraising goal of $1500 in participation in #NYgivesday.

#NYgivesday is a 24-hour challenge to celebrate nonprofits across New York State. The day brings together nonprofits to raise awareness, collect donations, and build a stronger sense of philanthropy throughout the local communities.

The Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation (CRCF) brought a local touch with “Cattaraugus Gives,” the first giving day in Cattaraugus County. Continue reading…

Wish Tree Project




The Wish Tree is a wonderful opportunity to give a Christmas gift to a person the Agency supports at a time when they otherwise might not receive one. The project is a collaboration between local businesses and organizations who come together with the community to provide meaningful Christmas gifts to people the agency supports and their families.

Each Holiday Season, the wish tree is hosted by community locations.

Thank you to our 2017 locations!

  • The Olean YMCA – 1101 Wayne Street, Olean, NY
  • Subway in Walmart Olean –1869 Plaza Drive, Olean, NY
  • Olean Subway – 502 N. Union Street, Olean, NY

All year long, you can make an online donation to go directly towards the Wish Tree Project. $25 sponsors one person, and $50 sponsors a family of two, and $100 sponsors a family of four. Anything you can donate helps put one more gift under our Wish Tree!

Online donations will be used to supplement the gifts purchased by the community to ensure everyone who has submitted a request will have gifts to open on Christmas morning. The Wish Tree Committee collects, wraps and works with agency staff to deliver gifts in time for the Holiday. Join us in making someone’s Holiday a little brighter this year!

Fill out my online form.

Questions? Call the Foundation at 716-375-4730 ext. 562 or e-mail:




Comedy Night brings out community support

The Foundation’s annual Comedy Night drew hundreds to this year’s laugh-in featuring two nationally-renowned comedians in a rave performance in early November.

The event, hosted at Good Times of Olean, offered the community an opportunity to laugh and dine together while making an important contribution to the ReHab Center’s mission of supporting people with disabilities.

D.J Demers, a Canada native; and his opening act and MC, Jose Barrientos, who is currently living in Los Angeles, were just as hilarious off stage as on. While the audience was enjoying  Italian cuisine, the comedians casually slipped into the venue prior to the show and inquired about the Olean area to customize their act to the audience. That effort paid off later in uproarious laughter and applause.

“When they walked on that stage, they didn’t hold back and had the crowd laughing from start to finish,” a member of the audience said.

Barrientos warmed up the crowd by satirically poking fun at growing up Mexican in America. His act continued to stir laughter without compromising its meaning with a comedic rendition of his reaction if he was ever mugged.

Following Barrientos, Demers, who is hearing impaired but dynamic and natural, kept up the comedic momentum. By making fun of his hearing aids at times, his gentle, self-deprecating humor showed just how the once America’s Got Talent contestant has succeeded against stiff competition. In the end, Demers real life teasing resonated with the crowd which knows well the ReHab Center’s work in the community. Continue reading…

Family Care, a gift of the heart

It’s hard to imagine the historic old house, now a beehive of activity as a home and family care residence, was once the site where Verne Cummins ran the Cummins Cider Mill.

The former cider mill was artfully redesigned with a vaulted cathedral ceiling and winding stairway to an upper loft to make room for an expanding family.

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Community Habilitation and Respite, a lifestyle of caring

Community Habilitation and Respite, a lifestyle of caring

Maureen and Nasir enjoy working out together at the Olean YMCA.

Fresh out of college and armed with a degree in Recreation Leadership, Maureen Boza started her career with the ReHab Center bursting with enthusiasm to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the people we support.

When she began in 1979, it was as a care professional at a former residence on State Street. A year later, Maureen became recreation director for SubCon, a grant-funded position she held for eight years. When she married and began her family, she took a leave of absence from the Agency. Continue reading…

Mari Howard to receive prestigious C-Level leadership award

Mari Howard, president and CEO or the ReHabilitaton Center and Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara,  has been a visionary and driving force behind the ReHabilitation Center’s rise as an emerging leader among NYSARC chapters in the state and vital collaborative partner in the Western New York community.

     Her significant achievements have been well noted by other leaders in the Western New York business community. Most recently, she has been named among 20 of Western New York’s most effective business leaders by Business First. She will be presented with the prestigious C-Level award at Buffalo 612,’ the newspaper’s sixth annual awards luncheon on October 19 in Buffalo.

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Leadership Cattaraugus tours Agency production sites

Terry Johnston, Kathy Melvin, Diana Enders, Brian Eddy, and Nancy Giardini proudly teamed up to show off InTandem Solutions’ new branding.

Leadership Cattaraugus, comprised of more than 20 area professional members, toured the Charles Ried and SubCon campus in late September to gain a greater understanding of the entrepreneurial social enterprise in which the Agency is engaged.

“The ReHab Center has been a long-time community partner and an active supporter of Leadership Cattaraugus,” Brian Eddy, director of marketing and business development, said. “Each year we host site tours from this group at SubCon Industries and The Employment Connection.   This year we presented to a large group of 20 representatives from a variety of area businesses.  Their mission is to “grow a network of informed, active leaders who work collaboratively to build a better community. ”

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Walmart stands out as employer of people with disabilities

Walmart shines in Olean as an employer of people with disabilities

Walmart employees from the ReHab Center Nate Sledge and Bernie Snyder take a moment from carting to stand with Mary Coss, Walmart’s Human Resources Director, in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month which runs throughout October.

The Rehab Center is proud to celebrate Walmart Supercenter in Olean for employing five people the Agency supports.  Thanks to Walmart’s commitment to the community as an employer of people with disabilities, it has helped each to reach greater independence in their lives, gain in self-confidence, and succeed on the job. Continue reading…

Comedy Night brings in unique, award-winning talent

Comedy Night features two award-winning comedians

The Rehabilitation Foundation’s Comedy Night is set for Saturday, Nov. 4 at 6p.

m. at Good Times of Olean, 800R East State Street. The Foundation is bringing in two award-winning, nationally touring comedians with a unique skill set.

The featured comedian of the annual event, which raises funds for The ReHabilitation Center, is D.J. Demers who is hearing-impaired. Demers was diagnosed with a hearing disability at age 4.  As a young boy, he found a way to make friends with laughter. “Comedy and making my friends laugh was a way for me to connect with people and be something other than a boy with hearing aids,” he stated at America’s Got Talent last year.

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Celebrating our Caring Staff

The following awesome staff are among the more than 850 employees of the ReHab Center, all of whom in his or her own way is doing outstanding work with a single-minded focus on supporting the people.  To each we say THANK YOU!


Big 6 Residence

Big 6 Direct Support Staff include: (front left) Sonya Pesock, DSP III and SRI behavioral tech; (back) Alissa Munday, DSP I; and Teresa Morey, DSP III mentor; and (front right) Kristen Holly, DSP II.


They’re a team of professionals, each lending a unique skill and bright smile to the Big 6 residence. Their years of service blend well to support each other as they all support the residents.

Kristen has been with the Agency for four years. She had been in the Army National Guard for seven years and was assigned to go to Kuwait when she found out she was pregnant. She applied to the Agency then and left her military career. Continue reading…

Service to others over self: celebrating our outstanding staff

As we move through a week of celebrating and expressing sincere gratitude to our staff for their outstanding support of and service to people with disabilities, one quality stands out among many. They all are focused on service to another. They get up very early or work late, on weekends, on holidays, despite inclement weather – to be there for another person, and to be fully present, alert, attentive and responsive as they actively support people who are reaching for greater independence and greater quality of life through achieving their goals. They are champions of our mission – in accountability, innovation, learning, positivity and perhaps most of all – in trust.

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Congratulations to all our staff, continued . . .

Nancy Ogden, Supervisor of Linwood Center

Nancy is supervisor of the Linwood Center which is the Agency’s senior community center. She began her career with the Agency close to 27 years ago working at the Children’s Intermediate Care Facility on Fall Road.

Then, from 2000 to 2003, she was a Direct Support Professional at Osgood residence. In 2003 she accepted a position as a day care assistant at the Linwood Center, then managed by Cattaraugus County and operated in the former Allegany High School.

Eight years later, the Linwood Center merged with the ReHab Center and Nancy found herself back at the ReHab Center.

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Congratulations to all our staff for Staff Appreciation Week!

All our staff make it possible for the ReHab Center to support more than 850 people with disabilities across three counties. 

They get up every day and go to work to support our people in a million different ways, but always with the intention to do their best to ensure that each will reach their goals and gain even a small measure of independence that day.

And, if they aren’t in a position to provide direct support, they support those who do. Together, we are the team that makes our mission such a great success.

Without them there would be no ReHab Center, no home and day services for Billy Jo or the many others who attend Day Hab, Community Hab, LifeSkills, the Youth Residence, 18 residencies, supportive apartments, seniors in the Linwood Center, Medicaid support services SubCon Industries, InTandem Solutions, Employment Connection, and the young and old throughout the community who need and receive our support.

As one of the largest employers in Olean, without each of our 484 staff members, the economic, social and cultural quality of the area would not be as significant or profound. 

The Rehab Center thanks all our staff for making us an awesome, flourishing place, creating beautiful lives for many who might never have found the enrichment and means to greater independence the Agency offers them.

The following individuals were named by their supervisors and managers for their exceptional service and commitment. But, that equally applies to each of our fantastic, caring staff.

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Agency provides a lifetime of enrichment

Agency provides a lifetime of enrichment

A bright smile spread across Billy Jo Olkosky’s face as he shared memories from his many years at the ReHabilitation Center, which has been home, rehabilitation provider and employer for most of his 67 years.

“It’s been a long time,” he said, smiling at his mother, Estelle, and step-dad, Keith, who stop by once a week to visit him and take him home for an occasional weekend and for holidays. Continue reading…

Learning job skills at PreVoc Bingo

Learning job skills at PreVoc Bingo
prevoc bingo


Learning is often a subjective experience, drawing from each person’s individual strengths.  But, for everyone at the table from the PreVocational training program, a round of Careers Bingo stirred their creativity, igniting their interest and spiking their unique learning edge.

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Meredith Doyle 006Where dreams come true . . .

Sweetness goes a long way at Cuba’s newest business enterprise. It’s in rich supply in the delicious, creamy chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, even strawberry cheesecake fudge Meredith Doyle sells to benefit the Palmer Opera House in Cuba.

Starting a business had always been a dream of the SubCon employee, a dream she never stopped believing in.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to have a business and I’ve always loved fudge. So it’s a perfect match,” she said, adding she continues to work three days a week at SubCon.
“I love seeing everyone come in.”

She talked the idea over with her parents, Connie and Michael, who assisted with the purchase of the fudge kettle and other items needed to open the fudge shop in the Opera House.
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St. Bonaventure’s ArtMobile visits Day Services

BAM 001The Day Hab classroom buzzed with activity as would-be artists from Day Services made colorful fish, traced maple leaves, and other craft projects under the direction and guidance of five interns from St. Bonaventure University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts this week.

“The interns from the center’s ArtMobile brought all the materials and are helping the people make art projects and crafts,” Deena Holcomb, Day Hab DSP, said.

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Linwood champions in Golden Olympics

Golden 1There’s nothing like a little competition to stir up some fun.  It may also be the impetus for creative ingenuity which bolsters self-esteem which the disabled and elderly too often feel a loss.

It may explain why a wheelchair tennis champion like David Wagner, left a paraplegic at age 21 after an accident in the California surf, would pursue his lifelong dream to be an Olympic tennis player and go on to become the world’s leading wheelchair tennis player.

This same spirit prevails at the Golden Olympics, sponsored by the Southern Tier Activity Association (STAA), in which the champions at Linwood Center placed this year.

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Love of people drives the music and service

Tim and Emily

Tim Hollamby and Emily Sullivan in “Les Miserables” 2012.

Tim Hollamby’s career path led him in several directions. But, one thing they all have in common is his love of people, expressed in his acting and music as well as support of people with disabilities as a Health Homes Care Manager. Locally, he’s a well-known actor and singer but he also supports people with physical and mental health issues and developmental disabilities for the Agency.

He always knew he wanted to help people and make a positive difference in their lives. But what exactly that looked like evaded him for a while. After his time at the State University of New York at Fredonia where he studied Sociology and Psychology, he worked a couple jobs in the area until he was alerted to his current position as a Health Homes Care Manager by a friend who also works for the Agency. Continue reading…

Dine & Donate with Good Times of Olean

June 12th-June 18th – Dine & Donate with Good Times!

As part of Good Times of Olean’s “Dine and Donate Program,” we are be teaming up to create awareness and raise funds for The Rehabilitation Foundation!


Good Times will give back 25% of all Dine-In orders that are placed through our Online Ordering site, NetWaiter


Good Times will give back 10% of all online orders whether they are for dine-in, pickup or delivery, when placed through the online ordering site NetWaiter
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