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.

His family donated $500 to the Foundation for a concert in his memory. The afternoon event included an interactive opportunity for individuals to experience playing some of Rachel Bell’s instruments.

“We had the chance to play dulcimers, drums, watch an accordion show and sing along with Rachel Bell,” Elena Bombardier, Foundation director, said.

“It was greatly appreciated and fun was had by all!”

Rachel Bell is a local musician and performer, and owns both Rachel Bell Music and Crabapple Jam Music.

Click here to learn more about the Foundation, or to make a donation to support our programs or services.



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.

The Jacob J. Karl Memorial Staff Scholarship was presented to Jessica Preston who has worked for the Agency for more than five years beginning her career as a Lifeskills Treatment Supervisor and is currently a Community Employment Specialist.

Jessica applied for the Jacob J. Karl Memorial Scholarship to assist in obtaining her M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Buffalo.

“This degree will help me understand the needs of the people we support and help them reach their goals.,” she wrote in her application.

The second award, The Carroll-Sherwood Memorial Award, established in remembrance of the parents of Patrick Carroll and Gloria Sherwood-Carroll, was presented to the Youth Residence for the Sensory/Comfort Room.

“A Sensory Room at the Youth Home would support the agency’s mission by teaching the people we support various coping skills that they can utilize when they are becoming upset or anxious,” the department wrote on its application, adding “Staff would be able to use the Sensory Room as a learning opportunity by pointing out to the people we support what behaviors they are displaying and walking them through various ways they can use their senses to help manage these behaviors.”

The next award, The Charlotte Frost Memorial Nursing Award, named for the mother of a child with a disability who was one of the founding members of the ReHab Center serving as president of the board for 10 years, was a graduate of the Buffalo Children’s Hospital School of Nursing. Her inspiration continues in this award which was awarded to Valerie Dunshie, who has been employed at the Agency since 1991, initially as an LPN and then challenged herself to “grow and became an RN in July of 2000,” her nominator wrote.

Another wrote, “Valerie has been with Family Care for many years. Valerie is an absolutely amazing Registered Nurse and is a vital asset in making our program run successfully.”

The Mary Tremaine Memorial Staff Award was awarded to Jodie Olson, who is a Family Care Home Liaison and oversees half of the Family Care homes in the Community.

Her nominator wrote, “Jodie walks through the door every morning with an upbeat and positive attitude. She comes in prepared to face any challenge head on with a smile on her face and most importantly, a sense of humor.”

The Rebecca Ann Hellier Memorial Scholarship, which honors the memory of a bright and loving young woman who lived for many years at our agency’s home for children and young adults on the West Fall Road, was awarded to Sarah Krist. She said the scholarship would help defray the cost of attending Jamestown Community College. She has been employed with the agency for 10 years, and is currently a Logistical Support Coordinator.

“Earning my degree will allow me to further my career with the Rehabilitation Center. Many job bids require a degree. I would someday like to supervise my department and again, finishing my degree will help me be able to meet this goal.” Sarah wrote.

 The Eaton Family Memorial Award recognizes two staff members who consistently give 110 percent and best embody the qualities of someone who goes unnoticed, always hardworking and not seeking credit for their accomplishments. Patti Buchanan, DSP III, and Allison Sampson, DSP II, were named recipients..

The Roger Hennig Memorial Arts Enrichment Grant, which was established in 1998 in memory of Roger Hennig, whose life exemplified what people can achieve regardless of disability, was awarded to the Family Peer Support Services’ drum circle project and Day Hab’s Canvas paint Parties.

Roger, who had muscular dystrophy, did not let his physical limitations deter him from getting the most out of life. He graduated from Olean High School in 1970 and participated in The ReHabilitation Center’s workshop program.

“We would like to offer the families we support and the Parent Support Groups we facilitate continuing drum circle experiences throughout this next year,” Jean Knapp wrote.

“The Family Peer Support Services Program believes this will involve approximately 32 families in the Olean area and beyond.”

The second recipient of the Roger Hennig Memorial Arts Enrichment Grant was awarded to Day Hab.

“We would like to have a canvas ‘Painting Party’ for each Day Hab program,” Gigi Dupont, director, wrote.

“They could take their canvas’s home after they have completed them. I would like to do this in winter so they can make a “snowman” canvas art. This project will benefit approximately 30 individuals we support.”


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.

“Year-round these groups work hard to provide services that make our community better. Take the opportunity to give back during Cattaraugus Gives!” Kirk Windus, CRCF Communication and Fund Development Coordinator, said. To encourage participation, The Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation offered $5,000 in incentives to participating organizations.

The Rehabilitation Foundation took on the challenge, and beat their originally set goal amount.   A generous donation from Peterson Roofing Co., Inc. started off the day and the remaining came in from various community donors.

Participating local organizations raised a total of $28,560, according to the CRCF.

#NYgives Day occurs the same day as Giving Tuesday which is the national holiday occurring after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday that is  powered by social media and collaboration.

All of the money raised by the Foundation goes to people in the community with disabilities and the ReHabilitation Center which is the largest supporter of individuals with developmental disabilities and behavioral health issues in Cattaraugus, Allegany and Chautauqua counties.

“It is really based on the needs at the time and benefits a combination of ReHab Center and individuals and families. ,” Elena Bombardier, Foundation director, said, “We are extremely thankful to all of our supporters, that give us the opportunity to give back to the people we support and others in the community. ”

While #NYGivesDay may be over, there is still time to give to the Foundation’s Annual Campaign or to sponsor an individual or family as part of The Wish Tree Project.


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. The 2017 locations are:

  • 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

Trees will be up Tuesday, November 21st through Sunday, December 17th.

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.

These days, it is home to Verne’s nephew, Jerry Cummins and his wife, Deb, who raised their four children there and now provide family care support to Jeff, Bruce and Rhonda who are as much a part of the family as their own four children and seven grandchildren.

“The cider mill is not owned by the family anymore. It’s out in Portville, but this area here was where the mill was,” Jerry said, gesturing to the large open living area, seasoned with a nautical theme reflecting Jerry’s years in the Navy amid large comfortable furniture for the home’s many occupants.

Jerry was born in the house, moved away, but returned with Deb to take care of his aging parents and her mom. Verne passed away in 2007 at the age of 95.

Today, Jerry is a retired paramedic with Allegany Rescue EMS. Deb, who was a nursing assistant at Olean General Hospital where she worked with children with some disabilities, still feels a strong commitment to nurturing and supporting others. For both, it was a natural decision to support people in the Family Care program in their home.
Both Jerry and Deb have a long history of supporting people with disabilities which has set the tone for the entire family. Their compassion and understanding for others is reflected in their children who are also in caring professions, and even in their grandchildren who grew up among the people the family has supported in the Cummins’ home throughout the past 25 years.

“I’ve always had an overwhelming need to help other people,” Deb said. “As a child, I thought I’d like to be a nurse, then I saw a different plan. I like being able to interact with people and help them.

“Our being together like this is a blessing. As my children were growing up, they learned to not be afraid of people with disabilities. Because of it, my children and grandchildren are comfortable with people who are different.”

Deb shared an incident involving her son who was a security guard at the casino at the time. When he noticed someone in a wheelchair having a seizure, he immediately stepped in to help, surprising people around him who were unsure how to react.

“It’s just a seizure,” Deb recalled him saying to the people as he stepped in to help the young man.

“My son knew all about seizures from his experience with the people here,” she said. “Too often people are afraid of people with disabilities. Our work in Family Care has been a real benefit to all of our children and grandchildren.”
Her loving, but no-nonsense nurturing style has won her the respect of her children, grandchildren and the many people she and Jerry have supported over the years.

“I tell Deb and Jerry, you guys are my second mother and father,” Jeff said, smiling affectionately at Deb.

“Jeff is going to stay with us as long as we can take care of him,” Deb said.

Jeff worked at SubCon for 30 years on jobs from the loading dock to folding boxes and assembling cups.
The other residents include Bruce, who has lived with the Cummins for five years and attends Continuing Day Treatment, CDT, and Rhonda who attends Lifeskills. They have bonded almost as siblings.

“Jeff is like my big bro, and Deb is like, mom,” Bruce said.

Before Deb and Jerry stepped up as Family Care providers, they tested the waters by providing respite which is a short term care.

Suzanne Pitti and John who has lived with the family for 27 years.

There are more than a dozen Family Care Providers, who provide a caring home to 23 individuals.

Another caring Family Care provider is Suzanne Petti who has been providing Family Care for 27 years to John who works for the Agency’s SubCon Cleaning Solutions. He earns an income from his job and is able to purchase his own clothes and care for his own, beloved cat, Sylvester.

Suzanne describes John as kind, neat, responsible and an important part of their family.

Raymond, who works a the Agency’s InTandem Solutions and was formerly a person we supported, also lives in a Family Care residence.

He is a perfect example of someone who has matriculated out of the Agency’s work center and is now employed in the “real world” working environment of InTandem Solutions. He began his relationship with the ReHab Center as a child in the former Children’s Learning Center.

Family Care providers ensure all medical appointments are met, medications are taken on time, and encourage people to learn new skills to live more independently which include personal hygiene, cooking, recreation, employment and money management, and keeping their rooms clean. They keep a regular schedule, usually go to work or attend day services, and usually participate in family vacations and holidays.

Family Care providers ensure all medical appointments are met, medications are taken on time, and encourage people to learn new skills to live more independently which include personal hygiene, cooking, recreation, employment and money management, and keeping their rooms clean. They keep a regular schedule, usually go to work or attend day services, and usually participate in family vacations and holidays.

The Family Care program was started in New York State 85 years ago. The Agency’s program was begun by Mike MacWilliams in 1988. Currently, the Agency has 13 providers who support 23 people with disabilities.

Each Family Care provider receives monthly room and board payments for each individual living in the home. A

Difficulty of Care payment is also allocated monthly according to the needs of the individual.

For more about the Family Care program, please contact Linda Cavana at 375-4747, ext. 157.



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.

When she returned, it was as a Direct Support Provider for Community Habilitation and Respite (which includes Saturday Rec and GAP), a position she has held now for 24 years.

Currently, Maureen visits five people twice a week in the course of a month. At other times, she has visited up to 10 people. Her visits entail going into the homes of people with disabilities who live with their parents. In this role, which is much like that of a mentor or life coach, she helps the people she visits set goals and become more independent.

“This program is very person-centered,” Maureen said. “When we do the intake, we ask the individuals what goals they want to work on.”

During some of her visits, she takes the individuals into urban areas such as the YMCA where they ride the bike, walk the track or go swimming, and a wide range of activities through which they learn other real world life skills.

“When I go into their homes and teach them life skills, that helps them be a better part of their family. If they have siblings, I help them interact with each other. Sometimes we play games,” she said. “Everything – from learning to eat healthy foods to learning social skills – is a teachable moment.”

She also ensures the individuals’ needs for items their families could not provide are met. She purchases boots or clothing for them at her own expense.

“Maureen really shines. She shows the love, care and respect the Agency is all about,” her supervisor, Mary Ellen Gangemi, Behavioral Health Services Manager, said.

Mary Ellen said Maureen’s creative ideas, which have led to unique projects with the individuals she supports, have inspired the entire department.

“Maureen’s positive attitude and enthusiastic willingness to do whatever needs to be done is a real asset to the Community Hab and Respite program, and to the whole agency,” Mary Ellen said.

Her open, friendly and out-going personality sets the tone for all her relationships as she builds a trusting rapport with each individual.

“I put myself in their shoes – look at it from their perspective and try to feel what it’s like for them,” Maureen said.

“And that includes their parents.”

As she warmly affirms the people she works with, she helps them learn the skills they need to become more independent.

They soon became like an extended family, gathering for all kinds of occasions and reasons – birthday or Christmas parties, picnics, garage parties.

“We would just find a reason to hang out together, and that includes parents and other families,” she said.

Some of her individuals live in remote areas of northern Cattaraugus County where there is no public transportation. As she built relationships with each family, she also found ways to bring all the families together to create a supportive network that would reduce any sense of isolation they felt.

As some of the individuals are high functioning, they are able to volunteer at places such as The Pines Nursing Home or ring the bell for the Salvation Army’s red kettle at Christmas.

“Volunteering teaches them responsibility,” Maureen said. “All of this makes them part of the community.”

As Maureen’s three children were growing up, they grew up with some of the individuals and learned to naturally care for others and respect people who may be different.

“They loved it because we would play games with them. It taught my kids total respect for people with disabilities,” Maureen said, recalling one occasion when her son was young and as they were sitting at the table together, she turned around and found her son feeding the young man.

“My son didn’t think anything of it. He just did it naturally,” she said, adding today, her son is an adult working in human services.

Maureen’s work is so much more than just a career. It is the lifestyle she loves, one in which she – and her family – receive as much as they give to others with disabilities. She is among 23 other care providers, who provide support to close to 80 individuals.




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.

     Previously, Business First named Mari among its 250 most influential business leaders in 2017, honoring her with the “Power 250 award.” For three consecutive years, the paper has also named Mari among its “Power 100 Women,” which honors Western New York’s 100 most powerful women.

     The ReHab Center is proud and grateful for Mari’s passion, wisdom and energy in steering the Agency through the merger with Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, and the development of a timely response to New York State Medicaid changes which will affect the structure of Agency business.

     She also prioritized the Agency’s commitment to the development of a social enterprise business model to offer integrated work opportunities to the people we support.

     Since assuming leadership as President and CEO in 2014, Mari has been a courageous and outspoken champion for people with disabilities. Her compassion for people with disabilities, knowledge of the issues, direct problem-solving skills have equipped her to address any challenges facing the Agency.

     While it takes a team to make an agency great, it takes a great leader to build a winning team. Mari is that great leader and the ReHabilitation Center and Opportunities Unlimited are a winning team, thanks to her passionate leadership.


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. ”

Nancy Miller, director of the Employment Connection, gave an overview of the Employment Connection’s broad scope of services, including the many successful partnerships with area businesses for job opportunities, unpaid work experiences, and volunteer activities.

“We gave this group, 2017 class, a quick overview of our agency,” Nancy said, noting several of the business leaders in attendance have provided the Rehab Center with competitive jobs or volunteer work for individuals in its programs on an ongoing basis.

Nancy Giardini, production manager, followed up with a tour, which included Brian Eddy, director of marketing and business development; Diana Enders, director of industrial operations of InTandem Solutions; Kathy Melvin, InTandem Solutions’ sales representative; and Terry Johnston, contract manager.

The group watched as the production team put lids on cups, assembled small packages using the Oishei Foundation-funded blister machine, and peeked into the wood shop where fences are built. In the Charles Ried Center for Social Enterprise they learned about the fulfillment process where orders are processed Amazon-style by the InTandem Solutions work crew.

The Leadership Cattaraugus group also received a lesson in the state’s changing regulations leading to transitioning the Agency’s busy manufacturing sector from SubCon to InTandem Solutions.

As New York State policy calls for phasing out traditional work centers such as SubCon Industries by 2019, which is perceived as segregating, the Agency has responded proactively by creating InTandem Solutions which is an integrated work site.

InTandem Solutions, a social enterprise business model which utilizes a workforce of people with disabilities and people without disabilities, offers customized supply chain solutions for assembly, packaging, order fulfillment, warehousing, and liquidated goods processing.

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.

It’s a win-win for everyone. As the six are good at what they do, Walmart wins.  Reciprocally, The ReHab Center, whose mission is to enhance the lives of people with disabilities, also wins through its collaboration with Walmart.

As The Rehab Center celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month throughout October, it will be honoring employers in the community who have hired people with disabilities.

This week, the ReHab Center celebrates Walmart’s long-standing commitment to employing people with disabilities, beginning with Tom Freitag 18 years ago. Thanks to the vision and foresight of Mary Coss, Walmart’s Human Resources Director, in addition to Tom,  Matt Herbert, Bernie Snyder, Nate Sledge, and Gene Williams all have jobs.

“Tom was our first,” Mary Coss, who has been Walmart’s Human Resources director for 22 years, said. “He did wonderfully at his interview and we knew he would do well.”

Tom, who works in the Lawn and Garden section as well as carts at times,  has also worked at The Castle for seven years and was recently honored for 25 years of service at SubCon’s Annual Years of Service dinner.

Matt Herbert, who is another Walmart employee, impressed Mary with his go-getter drive and self-initiative to apply for a job at Walmart. Mary was impressed with his drive to work and hired him.

“We were impressed that he sought out a job on his own initiative,” she said.

Matt was given the Rising Star Award from the Rehab Center’s Employment Connection at SubCon’s annual Years of Service dinner.

Mary said the five employees fit in well among her close to 400 employees at Walmart. They are especially respected for their “work ethic” and “high attendance rate.” She said their disabilities are invisible due to their high performance on the job.

“It’s wonderful. They’re very proud of their work and they’ve never let me down. They’ve always done well,” she said, adding, “Their disabilities are invisible and we don’t cater to them.  They don’t get any special treatment.”

On the other hand, she says they don’t require any special treatment, indicating a good employer brings out the best in an employee, a skill at which Walmart clearly shines.

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.

Demers recently appeared on season 11 of America’s Got Talent. He has been on Conan twice and was the winner of both the 2014 Homegrown Comics Competition and 2013 Toronto Comedy Brawl, was a finalist in NBC’s Stand-up for Diversity, and won ‘Best Br

eakout Artist’ at the 2015 Canadian Comedy Awards.  And yes, he also wears hearing aids.

The host and opening act is Jose Barrientos, who draws attention to social concerns with laughter.  His rise to fame as a comedian began in college as a prankster with a fake Hispanic immigrant accent. Barrientos is also a U.S. Army veteran and internet security professional. He’s been seen on 20/20 on ABC, and has performed for the military and colleges all over the country.

The evening will begin with cocktails and raffles. Dinner is included with event ticket. Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten Free Options Available. Doors open at 6p.m., comedy show begins at 8p.m. Tickets are $35 for 1 and $30 for two or more.

Event sponsors include Northwest Bank, Mazza Mechanical Services, Inc., Peterson Roofing Co. Inc., Community Bank N.A., Olean Medical Group, Kessel Construction, Kel-Kur Electrical Contracting, OneGroup, The Law Office of Carl Vahl and PeaceMaker Mediation, The Bonadio Group, LLP, Nephrology Services Medical Group of Olean & Bradford, Kinley Corporation, A Jason Clemons Salon, Valley Tire Company, Olean Times Herald, Armor Building Supply and Bryans & Gramuglia CPAs, LLC.

Corporate sponsorships, VIP tables and individual tickets are available here or by calling 716-375-4730 ext. 562

Auction Donations are also greatly appreciated!

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.

Sonya, who has worked for the Agency for 13 years, “loves to see their friendly smiles.”

Theresa, who as been with the Agency for two years, feels gifted everyday by the people in her life.

“They make you look at life differently. Despite all the things we deal with, they make you laugh. Even if you’ve had a horrible day before you come here, they make you feel like you’re everything to them.,” Theresa said. “It’s reciprocal.”

Alissa, who has been at Big 6 for a short while, may stand to gain the most for her co-workers’ wealth of experience.

“I wanted to work in the houses, she said.



Deb Lippert

































Deb Lippert, who is a med certified Direct Support Professional II at Seneca Road residence does her job because “she loves the folks!” she said.

She began working for the Agency about 16 years ago, first at Five Mile and then at South Avenue, where she was a house manager for three years.

Then she worked as the Agency’s overnight supervisor before taking a three-year leave of absence due to a back injury.

“As soon as I was medically released to return to work, I came back,” she said.

“I had to start over, but I love the folks. That’s what keeps me here. That’s what brought me back. I love what I do.”
Among the things she loves doing with the people is spending time with each of the six residents at the house, one-on-one, and playing games, and going for walks.


Tami Lapp































Tami Lapp is a med certified Direct Support Professional II at Little 6 where she supports three men.

She has worked with the Agency for 22 years beginning in Continuing Day Treatment at SubCon Salamanca before going to Fall Road where she worked for two and a half years, then, to Buffalo Road, Five Mile, South, Garden along with a couple former Agency residences.

She’s been at Little Six for seven years.

“I look forward to being with my guys and making them happy,” she said, showing a photo of the three of the men together.

“I love seeing them advance. They’re always so happy to see me. They know all my family,” she said, adding the three men get along well and often go on camping trips with her family.

Recently, they were on vacation in New York City.


Lori Quigley































Lori Quigley could be nursing in a big hospital, driving a lucrative career rather than at Five Mile Road where she passes out meds, injections and gives treatments.

“This is where my heart is,” she said, warmly. “The folks became my family and that’s more important.”

And, she knows a lot about family. As the mother of six children, ages 13 to 23, and grandmother to a seven-month-old, she knows the unique qualities and care that goes into ensuring strong and healthy relationships in a family.

“We are a big family here,” she said, describing the dozen people – most with higher needs – who comprise the Five Mile Road family.

“We all get along and everyone looks out for each other. This gives the folks a sense of security,” she said. “We flow together as a team.”

Lori worked at Fall Road for four years before coming to Five Mile Road less than a year ago.


Jeanne Graves































Jeanne Graves is a Direct Support Professional II at the Little 6 residence where she works overnights.

She began her 29-year career with the Agency at Buffalo Road, before going to Osgood and then Little 6.

“I cherish the day that I walked into the Residential Office on the corner of 3rd and West State St. back in 1988.
I met with Linda Manross and Paul Nelson, interviewed for a position and was hired as a CLSI (Community Living Skills Instructor is what DSP’s were called back then), beginning on May 10, 1988.

I began working with the people we support, under Linda’s supervision, at the Buffalo Road Residence. I have sooo many fond memories.

I am sincerely thankful for the opportunity to work for Linda (and others along the way); I learned so many things and I learned them from the best.

Working with the folks has been a marvelous and heartfelt experience that I will forever treasure,” she emailed.


Shayla Sands































Shayla Sands, who has worked for the Agency for more than eight years, is a DSP III Senior at Henley. She considers the people she supports her second family.

“You spend more time with the people in the residence than you do in your own home,” she said, adding she has an 11-year-old daughter “who loves the residents as much as I do.”

Her daughter was still in a car seat when Shayla came to the Agency. She has grown up in the homes where Shayla has worked, which include Little 6, Moss, Delaware. She has also worked for med transport liaison.

Shayla is responsible for the residence and loves to do home cooking for the people.

“The people love the casseroles I make for them,” she said.

“We also go on outings,” she said. “We do a lot of walking. We go everywhere.”

On a personal note, Shayla and her daughter love to go kayaking, often doing an all day trip down the Allegany from Portville.


Brenda Childs































Brenda Childs returned to her first love supporting people with special needs after close to 20 years away.

She had worked at Cuba Memorial Nursing Care in the late 1980’s but left to raise her children.

Five years ago, she returned to health care and is a DSP III/SRI at West Fall Road.

“It’s so rewarding. You get to make a difference in someone’s day, every day,                                                                                                                                                                                        ” she said.
“In this house especially, it takes a certain kind of person because it’s very challenging.”

And Brenda is that “certain kind” of person. As the mother of three children with an active eight-year-old granddaughter, she has a caring heart that is passionate about people and helping them feel valued.

“This is our “family” and this is their daily lives,” she said.

“When I get back from vacation I get such a warm greeting from the people” Some of the residents even Facetime her while she is away. She loves being a part of this “Family.”



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.


Cathy Skiver

Cathy Skiver has worked for the Agency for four years and is a Direct Support Professional III Mentor at Buffalo Road, home to 12 residents.

Her position is a long way from her customer service job at BJs, but there’s an aspect of that job which draws from that skill set.

“Ultimately, you’re making a positive difference in their lives,” she said, adding she jokes with many of them and they joke right back at her.

They seem to thrive on her no-nonsense straight-shooter personality.

“I have the satisfaction of knowing I have a relationship with all of them,” she said. “They know I’m no pushover and I don’t baby them. They respect that.”

Cathy’s been a mentor since March which has helped her redefine her professional approach.

“It’s your approach that helps them accept working on their skills,” she said, describing an incident in which she helped a resident learn how to use his tablet utilizing a fun and inclusive approach.


Brian Delgado


Many of Brian Delgado’s family works in the medical field, making him no stranger to caring for people with medical needs.

He is a Direct Support Professional III at Osgood where he has worked for more than two years.

As a strong yet sensitive professional, Brian’s biggest challenge is “seeing the deterioration” in one of the residents who has recently been diagnosed with dementia.

“I love them and have a relationship with them. It’s different from any other job.”

“Being here day after day, assisting them, developing strong relationships with them makes them like family,” he said, adding, “I show them the most respect and they, too, make you feel appreciated.”

Brian has strategized an interpersonal relationship style that assists the residents to be more independent.

“It’s wonderful to see them progress up steps toward independence,” he said. “It feels good to assist them to do things day by day that start out small but evolve into something bigger.”



Allie Sampson


Allie Sampson is a Direct Support Professional II at Five Mile Road and is also in her first semester of nursing school.

She worked for three years, then was promoted to a DSP III and worked as the agency’s overnight supervisor for two years. When she decided to go to nursing school she reduced her schedule to part-time.

“I fell in love with the people,” she said. “I love helping people who can’t help themselves. It’s about helping them gain more independence.”

She has an associates degree in culinary and hospitality management from the Culinary & Wine Institute at Mercyhurst University.

Since many of her credits will transfer, Allie plans to graduate as an RN in a year.

In addition to her out-going friendly style, she “plays a mean sax,’ she said, laughing, “I’m really a music head.”

More than anything, Allie loves the people she supports and often shows it by singing to them or playing music for her MP3.

“Music really touches them,” she said. “They love it.”


Angie Travis


Angie Travis, who is a Direct Support Professional I, has worked overnights at Hinsdale for two and a half years.

Her job may be more challenging than those at other residences.

“We do bed checks every two hours to keep them dry. Some of our people get rotated every two hours to maintain skin integrity,” she said.
“I really like it,” she said, “Honestly the staff here is very welcoming to the people and to the other staff.”

She said, the up beat nature of the staff energizes the people also.

“In the morning, when I’m getting them up, I go in and ask, ‘You ready to get up and get it going?’ and they respond “Yeah!!’ They’re so happy. They know they have more freedom to express themselves,” she said, adding the staff’s positive attitude is changing the atmosphere at Hinsdale.

“It’s really rewarding. They appreciate you here,” she said, adding she comes from a close family and seems to know naturally how to ensure a happy Hinsdale family.




Debra Greene


While Debra Greene finds great satisfaction in watching the people she supports on Delaware Avenue achieve their goals, running the residence like a family comes closer to home for the mother of four and foster mother to more than 20 children.

“It’s about helping them reach greater levels of independence,” she said. “I love seeing their progress.”

But, as a Direct Support Professional III or a “senior,” keeping an eye on the entire residence and ensuring everyone gets along may top her list of priorities and tap her parental diplomacy skills.

“We’re synchronizing as a family,” she said, smiling thoughtfully. “Some days that’s easier than others. We take it one day at a time.”

Some are learning to fold towels or count money.

“We give them awards when they accomplish a goal which may mean going on an outing of their choice,” she added.

Debra puts a lot of extra time into her work at Delaware Avenue, and “a lot of my heart,” she said.






Wanda McConnell



Wanda McConnell is a Direct Support Professional II at South Avenue where she has worked for 12 years.

She’s had a long career with the Agency, beginning at SubCon Salamanca where she worked for her first ten years.

She began working residential 16 years ago at Henley Street where she provided full-time relief. Then, she was asked to work at the former State Street and 10th Street residences.

“When this position at South Avenue opened, I was chosen,” she said, adding at the time, South Avenue was considered a behavior house, a designation that no longer applies to that residence.

While she’s comfortable working with people with behavior issues, she’s equally comfortable working with all six residents.

“I talk calmly to disarm a negative experience. We have a good understanding a healthy respect for each other.,” Wanda said.








Val Stuckey


The warm scent of fresh baked bread drifted through the Delaware Avenue residence in the early morning near the end of Val Stuckey ‘s overnight shift.

“I can bake all night long here if I want to and I often do,” she said. “The residents love it and I love to bake!”

Val, who is a Direct Support Professional I, is a natural caregiver.
She’s a minister and has three grown children who are also involved in the ministry.

She also has an elderly mother for whom she cares every day after her overnight shift.

“I like helping people, making a difference in their lives and making them happy,” she said.

She majored in child care development when she was in high school and considers her work at Osgood Residence a successful career outcome.

After high school she worked in special ed and later with mentally challenged elderly people.







Kathy Anderson


Kathy Anderson is a Direct Support Professional III or senior at Wiltse and has worked for the Agency for 23 years.

She has worked in Lifeskills but especially likes working as a DSP in residential.

“My heart is in residential,” she said. “I like the home-setting.”

Kathy has two grown children and four grandchildren. She loved raising her children as a stay-at-home mom, which is a transferable skill greatly appreciated by the people she supports.

As any parent knows, keeping the peace among other members of the family is an art and a challenge. It seems she’s the artist in residence at Wiltse.

“I work on synchronizing the house helping it function as a family.

Everything you do at home, you do here,” she said, adding she also gives medications and takes the residents on outings.

“I love it! It is so rewarding.”







Megan Roberts

Megan Roberts’ gentle presence is calming, yet affirming, to the five people at the Delaware IRA Residence where she has worked for two years.

As a Direct Support Professional III, she mentors other staff in the house with her caring style and smart approach to supporting the people.

“I love these guys. They’re awesome,” she said,

And it’s clear they feel the same about her.

As she helped one of the men who was trying to walk to the table for afternoon snack, he hugged her and thanked her.

“it’s real easy to come to work each day,” she said. “I enjoy being with them.”

Megan has been taking care of people with special needs for seven years professionally.

“It comes naturally to me,” she said. “I like taking care of people.”


Vic Farr

Vic Farr has worked for the Agency for 13 years beginning at Henley, then Five Mile, Buffalo Road, Fall Road and South before finally landing at Seneca Road as a Direct Support Professional III.

In a career previous to the ReHab Center, Vic was a cook. Today he shares his culinary skills with the six people he supports and they love it.

“I cook for them,” he said, proudly but – as a man of few words – humbly.

“They love it when I cook. I try something new every time.”

He is committed to the people and enjoys taking them out in the community to lunch or to various places and events they select and enjoy.

“They are like family. I like taking care of them and making sure they’re safe and healthy,” he said, alluding to his healthy cooking.

He has three children, three grandchildren, “and one on the way,” he said, smiling as only a grandpa can.






Kassie Farr



Kassie Farr is a Direct Support Professional III Senior at Osgood Residence where she’s worked for more than four years.

There are six residents whom Kassie, as other DSPs in the Agency, treat and relate to as family.

As the mother of two little girls, Kassie went through both pregnancies while working at Osgood and the residents went through them right alongside with her.

“They love the girls. They get really excited to see them” she said.

“After I had my youngest, who is only five months old, they all wanted to see her.”

Kassie describes Osgood as a ‘Happy place, where we’re friends and that includes my coworkers.”

It’s also a busy house.

“We do a lot of laundry. The bedding gets washed daily, and we cook breakfast and pack their lunches,” she said, adding another DSP makes breakfast casseroles three days a week.

“The people love those, and they love pancakes and waffles,” she said, laughing, “Cereal is just the end of the world.”


Alyssa Richardson


Alyssa Richardson, who has always wanted to work in the medical field, got her chance when she began working at Fall Road where she was a Direct Support Professional II.

While working with the people there, she fell in love with them and found her passion for a professional caring opportunity.

She is now in her second year of nursing school.

“It was the push I needed to get on the path to a medical career,” she said, “but it’s time encompassing. So I cut my work schedule to part time working as a DSP I at Prospect.”

“It’s the folks,” she said. “They are family.

I am always so happy to see them and they are so happy to see me.”

Alyssa is also the mother of two little girls, with whom the people in the residence enjoy visiting.

She hopes to work in behavioral health after nursing school.

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.

A couple years ago, Nancy became supervisor. Today, she continues to work tirelessly for a group of seniors she loves and cares for by developing engaging programs.

“It’s always something different everyday,” she said, “It’s the hugs, the smiles.”

She has been married for 20 years, has three children and a nine-month-old grandson.


 Jacki Close, Supervisor of Prevoc Services

Jacki loves to vacation in Virginia Beach.

Her favorite sports – to watch or play – are hockey and softball.

And, even with summer coming to a close, her favorite food is watermelon.

Her favorite historical person is Joshua Chamberlain.

And, her favorite music performer is Pink.

She loves the movie, “Frailty.”



Lora Alderman, Program Secretary

Lora says her favorite vacation spot is Richlands, North Carolina.

“Every vacation, I spend with my “Kids” and my Husband. Not only do I get to spend time with the people I love most in life, I get to do it near the beach, My favorite sport to participate in is Skiing.

My favorite food? I can only have one? NO… I LOVE food! However, chicken and biscuits are pretty high on the list!

My favorite actor is Mark Wahlberg.

My favorite performer is Carrie Underwood.

My favorite movie of all time is “The Sound of Music,” the original one of course.


Deb Cygan, Senior Support Secretary

I love to vacation anywhere there is sun and sand but there has to be a casino nearby! Football is my favorite sport; not to play….just to watch.

Scampi-style scallops are my all time favorite food, but I’ll eat them anyway.

Yes, I have a celebrity crush – it’s ELVIS!!!! His voice is just incredible.

I guess I’d have to say that the United States military personnel are my heroes. It is because of their sacrifices that we are able to enjoy freedom.

My favorite music group, performer:  I’m all ELVIS but do enjoy Maroon 5 (Adam Levine!!!!). My favorite movie is “Gone with the Wind.”



Margaret Hines, Director of Human Resources

Margaret loves to vacation almost anywhere, especially in a warm place.
“The hotter the better,” she says.

She loves to watch football and participate in golf.

She loves popcorn, especially while watching Johnny Depp on the big screen.
Her personal hero is a 91 year old woman at the gym every morning

Her favorite music performers are Adele, Van Morrison, and Barbra Streisand. And, her favorite movie is “Hello Dolly.”





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.

DSP listens to an endearing residence

As the son of a minister, Dan Tennies brings a deep compassion to the 12 people he supports as a Direct Support Professional at Buffalo Road IRA. But, he speaks it in the language of his contemporary youth culture with a surprising sensitivity.

As he reaches to support one of the residents at the breakfast table, an intricately designed tattoo on his upper arm reveals his appreciation of angels and the Blessed Mother. Despite a tough exterior, the long-haired, metal-loving DSP says he’s found what he’d been looking for since graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in Journalism.

“This is a job worth doing,” he said. “I floated around a bit after college because I wanted to do something meaningful.”

Dan has been at Buffalo Road less than a year, but has already established warm relationships with the people there.

“I’m not a people-person,” he said, admitting why he chose not to pursue a career in journalism, “but I love interacting with the people here. It amazes me how much I love this.”

As most of the ReHabilitation Center’s DSPs, Dan gives credit to the people themselves with whom he enjoys a comfort level for his own job satisfaction and success.

“It’s so easy to relate to the people,” he said. “It’s them. They’re easy to be with.”

Mornings at Buffalo Road are hectic. Getting the people up, dressed, fed breakfast and off to their respective day programs doesn’t faze Dan who is finishing up his overnight shift.

“I fly in the morning. It can get crazy here,” he said, moving quickly as he delivers an item from the fridge to the table anticipating a resident’s need. “I know what they need before they say it.”

As a woman wheeled up to Dan, he stopped to chat with her bringing a smile to her face.

“She said she knew Labor Day had been Jerry Lewis’ telethon,” he said, as she smiled up at him. “I listen and they feel heard. It’s that simple.”

Despite the busy pace of the morning, Dan’s ability to multi task comes naturally and keeps the momentum of the morning upbeat and positively charged.

“I’m running a lot but am also laughing and joking with the people,” he said, collecting a couple dishes from the table and putting them in the sink.

“It’s very hands on. I’m happy when I’m here. When I step into this house, everything else just fades away and I forget everything except the people. They are so grateful and friendly.”

And, it’s apparent. From the cleanliness of the house to the happy atmosphere in it there is a healthy balance of mutual respect and appreciation among the residents who enjoy Dan’s friendly demeanor as much as he enjoys theirs.

Role model of compassion

Tim Harvey’s success as a mentor was won with the same attitude that has defined his career at the ReHab Center for the past 31 years. Simply, he takes personal responsibility for his work and the work of his team. He leads by example.

He began as a worker at SubCon Industries in 1985. When a Direct Support Professional position opened up at Garden Avenue, he bid on it. He worked there – first on overnights, then on days – for seven years. He was promoted to a higher DSP level at another house which is now closed until finally going to Henley Street where he’s worked for 17 years.

“I’m happy I fit in where I did,” he said, adding at one point in his career he served a stint as an assistant manager but preferred being a mentor.

“Being an assistant manager wasn’t my calling. Being a mentor really suits me. It’s like coaching.”

Role modeling may be the best form of coaching for Tim.

“My main way of coaching is to be a role model – do my job and do it the best I can so they can see,” he said, adding “you can tell someone ten times how to do something but they may not get it until you show them. Then, they learn.”

While today, as a mentor, Tim is actively engaged ensuring the six people he supports on Henley Street work on their goals as they take steps toward greater independence, he’s also mentoring new DSPs to succeed on their professional goals as well.

“I feel a responsibility to make sure that the people who come in have the knowledge to mix well with the veteran staff that’s there,” he said.

And, that’s only part of it.

Tim had just begun working for the ReHab Center when his first daughter was born. A year later, a second daughter. Throughout the years raising his youngsters, he was also building a family in the residences. He was

Throughout the years raising his youngsters, he was also building a family in the residences. He was father to his family almost as much as to the people in the residences.

Both of his daughters are now successful opera singers. The eldest tours internationally and the other performs with the Cincinnati Opera. As young children, they often visited the residence where Tim worked, and the residents enjoyed watching them grow.

There was a synergistic relationship among both Tim’s families. As his daughters grew up and their music careers took them away from home, Tim found himself giving more attention to the residence.

“They became more of a family to me after the girls moved away,” he said, adding the years have strengthened the bonds among himself and the residents, some of whom he has known for more than 20 years.

“You go in and they’re happy to see you. If they see you out in the community, they’ll holler down an aisle in the store to you,” he said. “They want to share their lives with you. It makes me feel good and feel needed. It sounds cliché but it’s not. It’s so true.”

As a mentor, Tim equally shares with the new staff his compassion for the residents.

“I ask them, ‘What if they were your mom, your dad, your daughter?” he said, wincing. “But, when a new DSP comes on board, they might not have that perspective yet.

“They might complain about the hours or what they have to do,” he said, smiling.

“But, over time, I see them change in their caring and empathy. The change is gradual and they might not see it themselves. Slowly, they begin to feel the same way for the people. They begin to feel they are family.”

Theresa Abdo, Community Prevocational trainer

Theresa Abdo has worked for the Agency for 18 years. Since 2014, she has worked for the Employment Connection’s Pathways as a trainer in its prevocational training program. She offers coaching and guidance to the people who are reaching for greater independence in order to move into employment in the community.

“Theresa’s people skills and positive attitude, her ability to manage situations calmly, her flexibility and openness to new ideas, and her dedication to the people and her work are a huge contribution to the program’s success,” Nancy Miller, Director of Vocational Services, said.

Through her kind, yet direct, coaching, people in the prevocational program, many of whom are still working for SubCon Industries, learn skills that will enable them to enter the job market. She helps them identify what they especially like at the job as they consider future jobs.

Every day she takes a small group of individuals to volunteer at local non-profits such as Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, St. Bonaventure, Washington West Elementary School or Olean General Hospital.

“At each of these sites she provides the perfect balance of support and guidance as each of the people learn different tasks including inputting data in a library computer, sorting and packaging food items, providing customer support, or cleaning up after a basketball game.

“Our relationships with the sites are excellent due to her efforts. Theresa is a role model for other employees as we move into more community-based services!” Nancy said.

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.

A couple years ago, Nancy became supervisor. Today, she continues to work tirelessly for a group of seniors she loves and cares for by developing engaging programs.

“It’s always something different everyday,” she said, “It’s the hugs, the smiles.”

She has been married for 20 years, has three children and a nine-month-old grandson.


Stay tuned to read more about our awesome staff  tomorrow and throughout the week. . . 

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.

“We’re so grateful to the ReHab Center,” Estelle said. “He’s safe and happy and you can’t imagine how much peace that gives me.”

“Billy started out in regular school but when he had to repeat kindergarten, the nurse told us he needed special classes,” Estelle said, recalling that Billy Jo lost some cognitive ability due to a series of high fevers as a young child.

“He was a beautiful child. Now, he’s a handsome man,” she said, smiling warmly back at her son.

“I like it here,” Billy Jo said, pausing as he reflected on his experience. “It’s nice. I have friends and I like my teacher, Sandy. I like math and can do addition and subtraction.”

“He also colors beautifully,” Keith added. “He doesn’t go outside the lines and especially likes flowers.”

“My favorite color is purple,” Billy Jo said, adding he also loves music, especially drumming, rock and roll, matchbox cars and going to old car shows with Keith.

He is an active participant in the ReHab Center’s recreation programs which have taken him to the Bahamas, Hershey Park, Pa.; Florida, Niagara Falls where he rode on the Maid of the Mist.

While Billy Jo needs to use a wheelchair, that hasn’t slowed him down. He continues to work at SubCon where he’s worked for 45 years and is now active at the Linwood Center. He enjoys bowling with his friends and attending shows and going out for dinner. He also attends St. Mary of the Angels parish regularly.

“Billy is a great guy,” Deborah Poydock-Whipple, his MSC, said. “He may take his time to absorb what has been said to him before responding, but when he says something, he speaks from his heart.”

“Billy Jo is very independent with his care,” Michael Reynolds, Agency treatment supervisor said, adding, “He does not require any treatment at this time.”

In his early life, Billy attended several local schools in which the ReHab Center held special education programs.
He began attending the Agency’s Lifeskills program in 2004.

For a few years, Billy Jo lived with others with disabilities in Rev. John and Lenore Lounsbury’s home in Olean which was one of the Agency’s first Family Care residences. About 10 years ago, he moved into the Delaware Street residence, which he shares with people he considers family.

Today, while Billy Jo could retire, he enjoys his job at SubCon well enough to still work there occasionally.

“Billy Jo set a good example to other people in his residence. He wanted to go to work every day,” Estelle said, proudly about the achievements his son has made at the ReHab Center.

“I like it. I have friends there,” he said, smiling to his mom.

Community Support helps to make these opportunities possible for people like Billy Jo. Every year The ReHabilitation Center supports over 850 individuals with developmental disabilities and behavioral health concerns, from young children to aging adults.

You can help! Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation, or supporting one of the our annual events!

Checks can also be mailed to:

The Rehabilitation Foundation

1439 Buffalo Street

Olean, NY 14760

Thank you!


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.

Excitement surged around the table in the SubCon dining area as each career skill was called out sending players scrambling to see if that particular job-related item was on their individual Bingo card.

“Most are in PreVoc here,” Chuck Meyers, Community PreVocational trainer, said as he called out job skills, sounding like a Bingo caller, laughing and helping the participants find matches.

“Each Career Bingo card has different skill sets for a position for which a person would be paid.”

Learning comes in a spirit of fun and light competition among the players as each one hopes to win a prize, but also more seriously anticipates placement in a job that would entail using some of the skills they’re learning about.

“You learn about different jobs in PreVoc,” Kim said.

“I like to fold,” Gail added, as she considered a PreVoc job she would like in the Pathways program.

Pathways is a pre-employment program that allows participants to learn on-the-job skills while volunteering for a local organization. Many gain valuable skills in work behavior, follow through, and actual experience that opens employment doors for them.

Darcy and Josh have both participated in Pathways, working at Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry. Darcy has completed her training and Josh is continuing in the program.

“Josh helps with carry-outs and restocking shelves,” Chuck said. “He’s very cooperative and attentive to the needs of his supervisors.”

“I like learning about jobs,” Darcy said, delighted at finding an item on her Bingo score card. “Last year I was in Pathways. I’m working here (SubCon) now, packing and lidding cups.”


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.

Cuba’s Friends of Architecture, under Michael’s leadership, began restoration of the antiquated opera house 10 years ago and is now operating it as a business incubator.
In addition to the Sweet Meredith Fudgery, it’s home to the Cuba Cheese Museum, The Perfect Blend coffee shop; and Light of the Moon, a uniquely creative consignment shop. All rent proceeds support the opera house.

“It makes me feel really good that I can sell fudge that benefits the Opera House,” Meredith said.  “I get to see lots of people and that feels good.”

Meredith Doyle 003“Peanut butter is the business’ best seller. My favorite is chocolate,” she said, showing the abundance of flavors behind the glass.

“Meredith’s pretty independent,” Michael said, “she only needs a little help.”

The Friends of Architecture wrote its first grant for reconstruction for $.5 million.
“There were a lot of naysayers in the beginning,” Michael said.

“There was just a handful who believed the opera house was worth saving.”
After another grant came the hard work of demolition, cleaning, and restoration.
Today, the economic development project is a beehive of activity in a village that, like other New York State towns and villages, is reinventing itself with an eye toward customer service as well as economic development.

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.

“Liz Whipple set it up before she retired.  We’re grateful to her for this.  Everyone is enjoying it.”

The interns seemed to enjoy it almost as much.

BAM 005“We typically go around to different libraries and schools during the summer months.  We do an art project for different age groups,” Lindsay, a junior majoring in math and minoring in education, said.

Lindsay especially appreciated Paul’s enthusiasm as he worked on his art project tracing a maple leaf design.

“This is the first time we’ve worked with people with disabilities,” she said, approving the work of her prodigious art students at her table.

“We have students also come to the center and we take them on tours around the Quick Center. Then we set up projects that relate to what they see in the center’s gallery.

“It’s a great way for them to learn.”

Liz said the idea to have the ArtMobile visit Day Services came to her during a visit to the Olean Library a couple years ago outside which the ArtMobile was doing an art craft.  She thought it would benefit the people in Day Services.  Due to the ArtMobile’s popularity, it was two years before it was available for this visit.

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.

Realizing the great benefit healthy competition provides, a group of nursing home activity directors organized the association’s Golden Olympics 31 years ago.  The Linwood Center and other adult day programs including Total Senior Care all compete vigorously in the annual event.

Recently, 15 people from the Linwood Center were among 84 others from area senior day centers or nursing homes competing in this year’s Golden Olympics held at Good Times.

“We placed second in Division 3,” Nancy Ogden, Linwood Center Supervisor, said, proudly.

Golden 2They competed in bowling, trivia, spin the wheel, basketball, ladder ball, shuffleboard, corn hole (which is bean bag toss.)

“They love this and they’re very competitive. They get very excited about it and plan for it for months,” Nancy said.

“They’re already asking about it for next year.  It’s such a great time.”

“It’s an exciting time for them,” Nancy said, adding  Olean’s Mayor William J. Aiello, who is committed to the Golden Olympics,  always speaks at opening ceremonies and remains to talk with the participants.

Participating facilities and divisions included, in Division 1, The Pines of Machias, Allegany Absolut, and Cuba Memorial.  In Division 2 were The Pines of Olean, Houghton Absolut and Salamanca Absolut.  Division 3 included The Linwood Center, Total Senior Care, and Allegany MotherHouse. The welcome was given by Kathy Bower, president of STAA.  Music was provided by David Battistoni

While these are high energy activities, exercised very much in the moment, bring so much joy and camaraderie to the seniors, perhaps it may include a bit of wistful self-interest.

“Some of them have friends in the nursing home, and some will later enter the nursing homes themselves,” Nancy said sensitively, aware of their declining abilities over time.

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.

“I help people and try to keep them independent and living in their own homes for as long as possible. It’s very rewarding,” he said, adding he also links them with other necessary services in the area, when and where appropriate.

The people he supports must have a dual diagnosis of a physical or mental health issue to qualify for the Medicaid-reimbursed Health Home Care Management support services Tim provides.

“I have a lady in Franklinville who had no income, was on food stamps, and couldn’t support herself,” he said.

“I took her to the county building and applied for assistance for her. Now she’s able to support herself and is making progress.”

Another woman in Portville who had poor memory issues and is in the early stages of dementia was declining. “I took her to DENT Neurology in Buffalo, which her insurance covers. I went with her, took notes for her. There are challenges for her, but we caught it early,” he said, adding, “But there are some cases where I just wonder, ‘Where do I start?’

“I took her to DENT Neurology in Buffalo, which her insurance covers. I went with her, took notes for her. There are challenges for her, but we caught it early,” he said, adding, “But there are some cases where I just wonder, ‘Where do I start?’

Tim’s creativity drives him to help the people he supports find solutions to their problems, consider other options and ideas. But, it also has a more personal and dynamic expression in theater and music for him.

Acting allows Tim a freedom unlike anything else in his hard working career with the Agency.

Bill Steffen

Bill Steffen, center with rose, Tim Hollamby just behind him, and cast in rehearsal for “Seussical, the Musical” 2015.

“I belong on stage,” he said. “Just acting, stepping out of my comfort zone is fun. I forget who Tim Hollamby is when I’m acting.”

His first acting role was in The Sound of Music when he was in 10th grade. It was directed by Bill Steffen, who is also a Direct Support Professional at Day Hab and an actor, director and lighting engineer.

“Bill was the one who started my acting career. I owe everything
to him.” Tim said.

The following year, in the winter of 2005, he was in Titanic, which was his first of many productions with Olean Community Theatre.
Most recently, he’s well known in Olean for his acting role in The Big Meal, this past winter’s production with Olean Community Theatre.

“The Big Meal was challenging because I played so many characters,” he said.

His favorite role was Lumiere, the candlestick in Beauty and the Beast.

“I just stepped into the character. It was a lot of fun,” he said.

While Tim loves acting, his multi-faceted creativity shows up in his singing, which is his passion. In a recent concert in Portville’s Pioneer Park, he dedicated a song to his mom who was recovering from a long term illness which he prefaced with, “This one’s for you Mom. I’m so glad you’re here.”

“I sang my first song when I was four. It was Blue Suede Shoes,” he said, laughing. “After that I was hooked. On the stage – It’s where I am most comfortable.”

Recently, he and his best friend Andrew Barr launched their band, ‘The Nyce Guys,’ in which he sings and Drew plays guitar. He has written the lyrics of several of their songs and Drew has written the music, all of which are available on iTunes. It seems to be a dynamic duo, to which both of them bring their unique talents which synchronize into some great tunes.

Tim will be performing at the following events and concerts:

Friday, July 7th – National Anthem at the Olean Oilers game – 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday July 12th – Olean Community Theatre Music in the Park – Portville Pioneer Park 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Sunday July 23rd – Olean  Community Theatre Performance at The Taste of Olean/ Art in the Park – 3:30 p.m. – War Vets Park

Saturday August 5th – The Nyce Guys LIVE! at Angee’s Restaurant – 6– 9 p.m.



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
Continue reading…

Creativity in Day Hab knows no limits

Smiling, bashfully, Johnny studied a Day Hab 004Facebook picture of his dog on Deena Holcomb’s cell phone.

“Go show your friends the picture of your dog,” Deena, who is a Day Hab DSP, said urging Johnny to interact with his Day Hab peers.

“Who’s that right here?” Deena continued, pointing to the picture on her phone in Johnny’s hands.

“Gigi,” Johnny whispered as a blush spread across his face.

The dinner-table kind of conversation moved on to Michelle who reported she’d listened to music the night before and ate spaghetti for dinner. And, Katie said she went for a long walk on the spring-like evening the night before. Nick reported he went to his mom’s house, watched TV and ate goulash and a salad. He added that weight control which included daily exercise was one of his goals.

“At Day Hab we work on goals and friendship,” Deena said, adding Nick’s goals include exercise, math and healthy plate portion.
Day Hab 015

The group helps each other, often getting something for another, or picking up a bag for another, or helping someone find the right word to describe something.

“These are my friends,” Nick, who comes to Day Hab three times a week, said.

Nick volunteers for Meals on Wheels on Fridays and Mondays, a job he loves

“It’s an awesome opportunity for the guys,” Deena said, adding they hand out packages of food to the people. “They know exactly what the job is and they all have a good relationship.”

“It’s a lot of fun. Other people do it with me,” Nick said.

Angel loves reading and writing poems.

“My favorite book is The Hunger Games,” she said.

“Angel loves to write about animals,” Bill Steffen, DSP at Day Hab, added. “She wants to be a writer.”

Andrew, who was celebrating a birthday, loves rock stars and rock music.

“Who’s your favorite rock band?” Bill said, coaxing the tall young man to share with the group.

“Led Zeppelin,” he admitted shyly as the group cheered with a “YEAH.”
Stephanie, who loves art, was busy making a birthday card for Andrew.

“Yesterday was Andrew’s birthday but we didn’t know it,” Stephanie said, looking over at Andrew.

“So, I’m making his card now.”

What would their lives be like if they didn’t have Day Hab to come to, a place where they can share their stories, make friends, create cards for each other or write poems about favorite animals? While Day Hab is only one of the Agency’s many day programs and support services, it’s a special place where many gain support and encouragement to pursue their goals, even dream a bigger dream for themselves than they would have without the guidance of Deena and Bill.


YOU can help support Day Hab and the many other programs the ReHabilitation Center offers people with disabilities in the community with your financial contribution. Learn More about The Rehabilitation Foundation or Make a Donation


Artwork by Katie
Katie's art

Artwork by Stephanie

Stephanie's art

A Story about Bobo Baggins


Bobo Baggins

Modern motherhood breathes fire

“We are all  ‘Mother.’  We are the stewards of our planet and we are working together to resolve these intersecting issues.”            

– Kim Baker, Lifeskills Manager

Kim and Ashleigh at Women's marchΜotherhood is an idyllic, radiant ray of humanity’s most beautiful primal drive. It is the expression of unconditional love while nurturing the vulnerable and helpless infant in the predatory jungle of life.

While instinctual, these qualities of upholding, supporting, nurturing, and embracing those who are vulnerable are among the best qualities of evolved humanity.  One doesn’t need to be a mother to support the voiceless and marginalized. This fact was never more evident than during the Women’s March on January 21 which was one of the largest marches in history drawing more than 4 million participants in cities across the U.S. in addition to Washington, D.C.

Kim Baker, who is the manager of the Agency’s Lifeskills department, and her daughter, Ashleigh, both of whom have a history of supporting the disabled and marginalized, including environment and conditions in the third world, marched in Washington.

“The entire globe moved on Saturday. They marched in Antarctica, in France and Alaska,” Kim posted on Facebook regarding the march.

“Today I marched for my family, each of my friends, their children and grandchildren, for people with disabilities, the LGBTQIA Community, our environment, for human rights, for comprehensive affordable health care and so much more. And, I did it with the most important person in my life. My daughter.”K & A

They marched to defend the most marginalized among us. They marched for racial justice, for families and education, equality and respect, religious freedom, anti- xenophobia, gender-based violence, LGBTQIA rights, safety and security for immigrants and support for people with disabilities. “Those are the things that brought me to the march.” Kim said,

“Ashleigh and I talk about world issues, things people need help with, and the barriers they face. Sometimes those barriers are just ridiculous.”

“Those are the things that brought me to the march.” Kim said, “Ashleigh and I talk about world issues, things people need help with, and the barriers they face. Sometimes those barriers are just ridiculous.”

Victims are often voiceless. The child forced to wed, the abused who risk greater injury if they talk or try to defend themselves, the human who could have those basic needs met if the program had funding. Even Western countries socialize women to be passive, demure, and conflict avoidant, which also makes it difficult for them to address issues.

“This was a global opportunity to address needs, advocate, and to remind the world that these things exist even though they may not impact us individually. For people to know we have not forgotten them.”

“We are all ‘Mother.’ We are the stewards of our planet and we are working together to resolve these intersecting issues.

“On this Mother’s Day, I wish for my daughter to be able to walk into any room, in any country, in any culture and be respected as an intelligent, autonomous being. I want for all the voiceless, invisible, and disempowered to ‘believe they can breathe fire’,” Kim said, quoting Jessica Kirkland.

14th Annual Seafood Fest – A Success!

Seafood Fest ’17 exceeds fundraising goals


As the annual Seafood Fest auction sailed through the Old Library Event Center on Friday, March 24th,  attendees from Olean and beyond outdid themselves this year in support of The Rehabilitation Foundation. Prizes were won and gourmet food was served including a bountiful buffet with various seafood dishes, beef tenderloin and chicken. It was a fun night out for all full of excitement and entertainment.

“It was an exceptionally successful sold-out year,” Elena Bombardier, Foundation director, said, adding, “We exceeded this year’s fundraising goal.”

Continue reading…



The following is reprinted from a news bulletin by the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of WNY:
Yesterday, in the State Capitol, Governor Cuomo and the leaders of both Houses, along with the mental hygiene committee chairs, promised a group of bFair2DirectCare demonstrators that they all support the addition of funds to increase direct care salaries. The Governor said he would not sign a budget that didn’t include $55 million for direct care providers. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein and members of the Senate Republican Conference including Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan were unified in their support and all commented on the effectiveness of the campaign and the unanimity it evoked among legislators. The Governor noted that this funding would come on top of the increase provided to bring workers up to the minimum wage, with a total 6.5% wage increase occurring over two years.

The announcement was made as participants in the bFair2Direct Care coalition (of which DDAWNY is a partner), held an event at the State Capitol today, where we expected the announcement that the State Budget will include funding to make a first step towards providing a living wage for workers in our field. This event is the culmination of many months of work by DDAWNY and other organizations across the State working to get funding to mitigate one of the key issues, salary, contributing to the disability field’s recruitment and retention issues.

The announcement from the Legislative Leaders and the Governor comes as a result of the more than year-long, statewide bFair2DirectCare advocacy campaign. Staff, self-advocates, board members, families and volunteers from across the state have worked hard to make their representatives in Albany understand the desperate need for this funding. State Senator Frederick Akshar called the campaign, “the greatest grass roots effort I’ve ever witnessed.”

While there is no guarantee of the precise details until the budget is passed, today’s announcement essentially ensures the budget will include a 3.25% increase in salaries for 100 and 200 code employees effective, January 1, 2018, with another increase of 3.25% for 100, 200, and 300 code employees effective 4/1/18. These increases are in line with the $45 million per year State share, $90 million annually, that was part of the living wage proposal so strongly advocated for by the participants of the bFair2DirectCare campaign. (The $55 million State investment announced by the Governor reflects the expansion of the investment to cover OMH and OASAS programs as well for the same group of employees.)

You will receive additional details on what is in the budget once it has passed, but with the announcement today, it certainly is good news and a long time in coming.

   The Rehab Center is grateful to all our employees who wrote letters, made phone calls and advocated on behalf of a living wage for our hard-working DSPs by urging Governor Cuomo to include $45 million in the state budget for a wage increase.  


Linwood Center ignites new purpose for seniors

Linwood Center ignites new purpose for seniors

Linwood Center w RayThe wisdom of their years is only amplified by the joy they share at the Linwood Center.

After a lifetime of hard work, raising families, fighting and surviving wars, recessions and many hard northern winters, today 30 seniors enjoy their well deserved day in the sun.

As an adult day center, the Linwood Center is a deeply honoring and welcoming place for adults over age 60. While some are fully independent and just need the social interaction of others of their own generation, others may need a little extra support to remain independent in their homes.

Services include: breakfast and lunch, exercise, trivia games, armchair travel, live bands, games and cards, volunteer opportunities, day trips and fishing trips.

“There are no TVs here,” Nancy Ogden, who has been with the Linwood Center for 13 years and is currently its supervisor, said, adding all the activities and events are mind, body and community stimulating.
“Maybe we view one or two movies a month, but everything is geared toward providing a therapeutic activities, socialization, assistance with personal care and case management.”

The center promotes an improved quality of life while providing respite and guidance to family members and caregivers. It offers a friendly environment for veterans, retired people, and those who live alone and want the daily companionship of others.Veterans, retired people, those who live alone and want the daily companionship of others. For one, in particular, the Linwood Center has given him a new lease on life after the death of his wife.

Chuck Tyler 002When Chuck Tyler’s wife died in 2006, he slipped into a deep, dark depression, and remained alone at home for well
over a year. After he began coming to the Linwood Center, he found his life again.

“Now, everything is better because of Linwood. This place helps a lot of people more than anyone realizes. You have to associate with other people to be mentally intact,” he said, smiling as he headed back into the bright cheerful room full of friends waiting for him to play Bingo.

Others with some physical and cognitive challenges also enjoy a special bond of friendship encouraged by a caring and experienced staff.

The Linwood Center, which is sponsored by the ReHabilitation Center and located in its Allegany site on Nine Mile Rd., has a long history in Olean.

It was begun 35 years ago by the Cattaraugus County Department of Aging in Christ United Methodist Church at 633 Linwood Avenue.
Later, the Linwood Center was moved into the now closed Allegany High School where it remained until it was relocated to its current location on May 1, 2015.

“The old school closed in 1990. It had no upgrades and always had issues with temperature. We needed a new location,” Nancy said.

Tumbleweed 007 - dancing ladies“We became part of the ReHabilitation Center on January 31, 2011, but didn’t move until after construction was completed.”

In addition to providing a great community for friendship and support, the Linwood Center encourages members of the community to share knowledge and resources through special events.

“We have guest speakers regularly from the Department of Aging who discuss nutrition and staying healthy along with other services they provide,” Nancy said. “These services promote an improved quality of life while providing support to family members and caregivers.”

For more information about the Linwood Center, call Nancy Ogden at 716-375-4740, ext. 120.

2017 Weekday Jackpot


The Weekday Jackpot is back!

The Weekday Jackpot gives you 51 chances to win $100-$1,000 with weekday drawings from April 24th – June 30th, with a special $1,000 drawing on July 4th. 

How to get tickets:

Stop into  our Rehab Center Admin Building: 1439 Buffalo Street in Olean or, print the attached form and mail in with a check or cash, and we will send you your ticket! Weekday Jackpot Form 

Tickets are 1 for $30  or 2 for $50 (double your chances!)

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

2017 Winners List:

Week 1 – April 24th – 28th

M – $100:John Firkel
T-$100: Sister Mary Immaculate
W-$100: Ellen T. Bald
Th-$100: Lucia Scotty
F-$500: Janae Kosciol

Week 2 – May 1st – May 5th

M – $100: Russell Tierson
T-$100: Brett Marzec
W-$100: Dave Kime
Th-$100: Cathy Foss
F-$500: Liz Gaines

Week 3 – May 8th – May 12th

M – $100:Mary Deibler
T-$100: James Schifley
W-$100: David Straight
Th-$100: Nancy Wonderling
F-$500: Rhea Shaw

Week 4 – May 15th – May 19th

M- $100: Melford Greene
T-$100: Philip Gabler
W-$100: Margie Kosinski
Th-$100: Helen Zaleski
F-$500: Paula Ayers