April 2014

Calling All Artists!

Unity House of Cayuga County, Inc. is introducing a new fine arts and crafts festival this summer. Art Flaire is scheduled for Saturday, June 14 from 10:00am – 4:00pm outside on the beautiful park-like grounds of the Case Mansion and First Presbyterian Church in Auburn. We are seeking high-end artisans to exhibit and sell their artwork during the show. Booth space is $60 for a 10’ x 10’ spot. Applications with three representative photos of artwork and non-refundable payment are due (postmarked) by Wednesday, April 30. Acceptance/non-acceptance letters will be mailed by May 9.

All proceeds from Art Flaire will benefit Unity House. Show information, art standards, and the application form are available online: www.unityhouse.com. For more information, email artflaire@unityhouse.com or call 315-253-6227 x313. Art Flaire will become an annual event – we hope you’ll join us for this inaugural festival!

March 2014

Unity House sponsored three foursomes for the United Way of Cayuga County’s annual mini golf tournament on March 19. Held indoors at the Holiday Inn in Auburn, the event attracts hundreds of locals as a fundraiser for the United Way. Unity House’s three teams – the Sultans of Swing, the Mighty Minions, and the Green Gang – had a lot of fun for a good cause.

Every year, the United Way teams up a for-profit business with one of the non-profit agencies that they support. Unity House was matched with the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce on lucky hole #13 this year.

Many thanks to the United Way of Cayuga County for all they do in our community!



February 7, 2014

Go Red for Women

Unity House wore red on February 7 to help save women’s lives. In collaboration with the local chapter of the American Heart Association, all employees were encouraged to wear red to raise awareness of the 11th annual National Wear Red Day.

At Auburn Day Hab, consumers and staff got in the spirit by putting on their best red clothing and enjoying red Jell-O in support of Wear Red Day.

National Wear Red Day brings women together in the fight against their No. 1 killer – heart disease. Funds raised nationwide support swifter action for women’s health, increased funding, and more research, all for the ultimate goal of saving women’s lives.


November 19, 2013

Ithaca Chili’s will donate 10% of food sales with voucher

Unity House has partnered with Chili’s Restaurant in Ithaca for a fundraiser. On Wednesday, December 4 from 11:00 am – 11:00 pm, Chili’s at 608 S. Meadow St., Ithaca, will donate 10% of all sales from any guest that presents a fundraising voucher. Simply print the voucher below and present it when paying your bill. And please share them with friends and family – anyone can participate!

Afterwards, Unity House will receive a donation check for 10% from Chili’s for sales from the day. Eat well and support Unity House – the more meals our friends purchase on December 4, the larger the donation made by Chili’s.

Click this link to download the voucher:


October 2013

Unity House Director of Marketing & Development Kelly Buck received the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Chairman’s Award for Excellence. The award was presented at the Chamber’s 104th annual dinner on October 16; Kelly was the co-chair for the event. Kelly is finishing her second three-year term on the Chamber board. The award was given “in recognition of your outstanding contributions to the Chamber of Commerce and Cayuga County.” During her six years on the board, Kelly has also served on the Advocacy Committee, the Member Services committee, and as chair of the Phyllis Goldman Encouragement Award committee.


September 2013

For the first time in several years, Unity House fielded a co-ed softball team this fall. The strategic plan Development Committee coordinated this effort to encourage exercise, fun and camaraderie amongst UH staff and to help build awareness of Unity House out in the community.

The Auburn Parks & Recreation Department manages the 5-week co-ed softball program every year. The league consists of 10 teams in two divisions, and games are played at the softball complexes at Casey Park school. Unity House fielded a team of 16; each game, five women and five men were required to be on the field. Most players were from Auburn but several traveled up from Tompkins County to participate.

We ended the season with a 3-2 record, had a lot of fun, and are ready for more next year!

Camp Casowasco

This year’s Camp Casowasco theme was the groovy 70's. About 55 hip camper cats spent their time making cool peace necklaces, jivin’ to the Grease soundtrack, and just chillin’ with their friends. There was a funky time lunch party on Wednesday afternoon with more than 100 in attendance. Even our cool cat Day Hab guys and gals came along to get down with our peeps.

The final evening’s awesome event had our groovy campers boogy-oogy-oogying to the hits of the 70's. They enjoyed snacking on some fine cheese and chocolate fondue, and the fave part of the evening: breaking the hip hap'n piñata. Can you dig it?

Everyone had a far out time and we can't wait to see what theme pops up next summer! Catch ya later!


August 2013

Unity House employees enjoyed their annual Staff Appreciation Picnic on August 9. The event was held at the Party House in Seneca Falls, and about 100 staff were present. This year’s theme was Halloween – everyone was urged to come in costume, and the games and décor had a spooky flair.

“This is one of the few times that we get to come together outside of work to relax, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company,” said Executive Director Liz Smith. “It’s really important to do this – it gives us a chance to thank our employees for the wonderful job they do for the agency and for our consumers.”

At the picnic every year, employees are honored for their longevity on the job. This year, 57 were recognized for being with Unity House five or more years. Darlene Podolak, the senior-most staff member acknowledged at the picnic, has worked for the agency for 20 years.

Liz continued: “Every picnic is different from the last. The planning committee clearly loves what they do, enjoys working together, and really puts time and creative effort into the music, food, and games. I look forward to it every summer.”


June 2013

Unity House employees “walked the walk” on June 18 when they participated in the JPMorgan Chase & Co. Corporate Challenge. Twenty-eight agency staff members carpooled to Syracuse for the annual 3.5-mile run/walk event open to groups of employees from organizations within the business and public sectors.

Teams gathered in Onondaga Lake Park, each with its own “headquarters” tricked out with tents, food and drink, music, chairs, and more.

“This event is put on every year just for companies, and some of the food spreads these businesses put out for their employees are amazing,” said Human Resources Director Sara Glauberman. “The Corporate Challenge is a great way for Unity House to promote exercise and wellness. This is our second year participating and our numbers really went up. It’s so much fun to see all the other groups – there are so many people! – and there’s a big friendly competition over who has the coolest t-shirts every year.”

This year, Lynch’s Furniture of Auburn was the sponsor of Unity House’s neon lime green shirts. All participating employees either ran or walked the course along Onondaga Lake, enjoying the beautiful summer evening and the camaraderie of 7,000 like-minded individuals.


May 2013

In honor of National Drug & Alcohol Treatment Court and Mental Health Awareness Month, Unity House hosted the 8th annual Timothy Durant Recovery Walk on May 21. The event started in front of City Hall with remarks by Auburn Mayor Mike Quill and Drug Court Judge Michael McKeon. Then nearly 60 walkers – comprised of the three agencies’ staff, clients, and friends – walked down South Street to Clymer and back, finishing at Grace House for an open house.

“It was the largest turn-out we’ve ever had,” said Grace House Director Pam O’Conner. “Despite the storm that blew through, 60 people walked and about 40 came back to Grace House for the open house afterwards. I don’t think we’ve ever had that many people in the house all at once before!”

Refreshments were served – compliments of the Grace House residents – and guests viewed an exhibit of consumer artwork presented by the Cayuga County branch of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).

The first Recovery Walk was held in 2006. Tim Durant, a former Unity House client and employee who was part of the Drug Court team, helped plan the first walk, then passed away unexpectedly one week before the event.


May 2013

Ithaca Day Hab celebrated its 3rd annual Spring Sing event on May 8. Themed “Don’t Stop Believing,” more than 25 consumers had the opportunity to step up to the microphone and share their talents. The wide selection of cover tunes included Lady GaGa, Whitney Houston, and Jerry Lee Lewis, plus two renditions each of “Beat It” by Michael Jackson and Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.”

Led by staff member Steve O’Mara, Spring Sing has grown so popular over the years that the concert was standing room only. A number of parents, friends, staff, and consumers came out to cheer on the performers. Props representing “the big city” were handmade by staff and consumers over the preceding months. Equipment used in the event was purchased with grant funds generously donated by the Legacy Foundation and the Ithaca Savage Club.

Spring Sing coincided with an agency fundraiser in collaboration with Doug’s Fish Fry. Doug’s concession trailer was parked out front all day, drawing dozens of faithful seafood lovers to pick up lunch and dinner take-out. Doug’s will donate 10% of the day’s proceeds to Unity House.


February 2013

Go Red for Women

Unity House wore red on February 1 to help save women’s lives. In collaboration with the local chapter of the American Heart Association, employees were encouraged to wear red to raise awareness of the 10th annual National Wear Red Day.

At Auburn Day Hab, consumers and staff got in the spirit by coloring red dresses for a decorative clothesline they made, putting on their best red clothing, and enjoying red Jell-O in support of Wear Red Day.

National Wear Red Day brings women together in the fight against their No. 1 killer – heart disease. Funds raised nationwide support swifter action for women’s health, increased funding, and more research, all for the ultimate goal of saving women’s lives.

January 2013

Unity House wishes you and yours a very happy new year! Best wishes for 2013!

December 2012

The Auburn Day Hab staff have been making their lists and checking them twice! For several years, employees have made sure that every day hab consumer receives a present for the holidays. They have been able to use “re-gift” items donated by the staff and in addition, the managers and many direct care workers have purchased items with their own money to ensure that gifts could be given to all. In the true holiday spirit of giving, they then wrap and hand out the gifts at their annual holiday lunch.

December 2012

Auburn UES employee Tiffanie McLean’s home suffered a fire on Thanksgiving weekend. - More...

November 2012

Four Unity House consumers from Auburn Day Hab and two staff members participated in the 2012 Walk for Health. The event is put on by the Cayuga Community Health Network every year to celebrate National Rural Health Day and the Great American Smoke-Out, a smoking cessation awareness day.

More than 60 people gathered outside of the Cayuga County Court House for the mile-long walk that twisted and turned through historic and scenic parts of Auburn and ended with a health-related press conference in front of Auburn Memorial City Hall. Among those who joined Unity House reps were Auburn Mayor Mike Quill and Cayuga County Sheriff Dave Gould.

September 2012

After months of planning, Unity House sponsored its first staff “Corporate Challenge” in late September with great success. The wellness event took place at the Throop Fire Hall, and included four events – a one-mile relay race, a tug-of-war competition, an obstacle course, and a Minute-To-Win-It contest – plus a chili cook-off. Ten brave teams of four employees each enrolled, and the afternoon unfolded with much laughter and good-natured rivalry.

About 60 people were present to cheer on their teammates and co-workers. Chili judges Paul Joslyn and Sue Morley had the tastiest job, and after the challenge was over, everyone enjoyed a yummy hot meal together, trying out ten different types of chili, home-made corn bread, and cold drinks.

“This was a good opportunity for the agency to come together, to collaborate as teams, and to see others from sites they may not otherwise get to see often,” said planning committee member Sue Mikowski. “The feedback has been tremendous, and I can see this becoming an annual event.”

July 2012

Auburn Day Hab consumers like to get fit outside in the summer! Instructor Mary Jo Pelc (second from right) has been offering aerobics for years on Tuesday mornings. In the summertime, she mixes it up by taking the class outside to Market Street Park. Day Hab had the costumes on hand from other events, and staff got the idea to do an “island theme” on a whim. Everyone had a great time “hula-ing” to the music!

June 2012

On June 13, eight 6th graders from A.J. Smith Elementary in Union Springs and two chaperones walked to Unity House’s group home on Oak Drive to help with a gardening project. Part of “A.J. Makes A Difference Day,” all 6th graders ventured out into the community to help others. Among other locations benefiting from their volunteer work were The Seward House, the National Women’s Hall of Fame, Auburn Nursing Home, and the Finger Lakes Center for Living.

At Oak Drive, the children helped plant perennials and flower pots, in addition to donating a handmade birdhouse for the back yard. Teacher’s aide Gretchen Weir said: “We hope the students will get a sense of community service that will carry into their older years. It’s important to give back to your community. This project also gives them a chance to learn about gardening; some never get a chance to do that.”

Thank you, A.J. Smith 6th graders!

April 2012

Unity House’s annual board dinner on April 23 was a huge success. The event at Highland Golf Club was sold out at 100 people. The mix of board members, community leaders, staff, consumers, and friends of Unity House made for a real celebration.

The keynote address was given by Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Andrew Fish, who spoke about the importance of board service and how it ties into volunteerism in Cayuga County. This was followed by the highlight of the evening – the presentation of two awards: the 2nd annual Fred Atkins Community Service Award to Suzanne Norton of the St. Alphonsus food pantry, and the new Open Arms Award to Maria Fleischman of the Creation Station. The dinner wrapped up with the singing of “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” led by professionally trained opera singer and Unity House employee Steve O’Mara.

Congratulations to award winners Sue Norton and Maria Fleischman. Special thanks to our corporate sponsor, Key Bank, and to our table sponsors – Owasco Beverage, Welch Allyn, and the Auburn Knights of Columbus.

March 2012

Unity Employment Services hosted its 6th annual bowling outing at the Auburn Sicz Club on March 2. The event is meant to boost morale, reward consumers for their good work on the job, and encourage those who are still seeking employment.

In this picture, job coaches Pete Fitzgerald and Dean Tanner try to keep score while joking around with Taras Droczak and Raymond Cereo.

The Sicz Club hosted the outing and offered discounted prices on the three games. Balloons Restaurant donated lunch. High scorers of the day were Taras Droczak and Steve Gould.

Syracuse UES Manager Adam Santana said of the day: “We had a lot of fun, the food was great, and the consumers were very excited about the awards. Bowling was fun, but from what I remember, Steven [Gould] whooped me! I knew I was in trouble when he pulled out his bowling glove and told me he was taking a bowling class. Yes, he won but he taught me how to control my curve!”

January 2012

Unity House’s first Ithaca Winter Wonderland Ball was a big hit. About 60 consumers and staff attended, dressed in their finest. The gala event was held at the Oasis Night Club, and live music was provided by The Tarps, who played vintage rock covers and other tunes that filled the dance floor.

The evening kicked off with a motivational talk by Rik Daniels, a wheelchair-bound community member. He then sang a song he wrote about living with a disability, and wrapped up his presentation by getting the dancing started.

The winter ball was open to the public, and many consumers and staff brought dates, family members, and friends. Partner organizations were invited too, and members of the Savage Club and residents from the Racker Centers joined in.

Refreshments were provided by Oasis, and the club’s atmosphere was warm and inviting, complete with balloons and lighted dance floor. Organizers say the Winter Wonderland Ball will become an annual event, and they hope even more folks will attend next year.

December 2011

To celebrate the holidays, Ithaca day hab hosted a sing-along on December 14. A number of consumers accompanied staff member Steve O’Mara on holiday favorites while other consumers and employees sang along.

The “Holiday Sing” featured newly purchased musical equipment – keyboard, microphones, amplifier, bench, and video camera – courtesy of a grant from the Legacy Foundation.

“These gatherings broaden our coverage of music appreciation for consumers of all backgrounds and abilities,” said Steve. “Music develops all the senses, and it is especially gratifying to see consumers who are almost non-verbal pick up a microphone in an effort to participate.”

The new equipment has become a focal point at day hab, according to Steve: “Consumers are attracted to it – they can see, touch, hear it. It makes for a more complete musical experience.”

August 2011

A number of Unity House employees gathered at the Case Mansion in Auburn to share fond memories of working there. It is the end of an era – this fall, Unity House will move to a new facility on Grant Avenue, vacating its original home. The agency got its start at 108 South Street in 1977, and has maintained living quarters for consumers with mental health issues ever since. The staff got together on a beautiful summer day and shared snacks and stories of working at the fabled Case Mansion.

The First Presbyterian Church owns the large house, and has formed an ad hoc committee to discuss plans for the facility. The mansion is on the market, and hopes are high that an outside buyer will purchase and rehabilitate the property.

April 2011

Friends and employees of Unity House were treated to a special performance on April 15. Direct care provider Steve O’Mara conceived of the idea of a “Spring Sing” as a way for consumers to express themselves through music. Steve is a former opera singer who has performed with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and the Royal Opera in London, among others.

Starting with five, after three months of preparation and increasing interest, 15 Ithaca consumers were given the spotlight on a beautiful makeshift stage, complete with microphone, red velvet curtains and musical accompaniment. Talent ranged from singing, guitar and keyboard playing, and joke telling. Performing to a full house, the consumers took the stage one by one to show off their skills. They brought down the house!

Watch selected clips from the video here.

March 2011

Two Unity House foursomes participated in the 18th annual United Way of Cayuga County miniature golf tournament on March 23. Held at the Auburn Holiday Inn each year, about 400 golfers turn out to support this fundraiser for the United Way. For-profit companies are teamed with the non-profit organizations that receive funding from the United Way. Together, they sponsor and staff one of 19 golf holes, provide free giveaways as golfers play through, and have special prizes for holes-in-one. Throughout the afternoon and evening, door prizes are given away, DJ music plays, and there are prizes for best team name, lowest score, and most creative golf hole.

March 2011

GRACE House volunteers helped out with the second annual Stone Soup event on March 20. The fundraiser took place at Auburn Public Theatre and raised money for local food pantries. Based on the story of a starving soldier who started making soup with a stone but ended up getting a whole village to contribute meat and vegetables for a hearty stew, the event raises hunger awareness and feeds the needy. GRACE House volunteers assisted with set up, serving soup, selling handmade items, and other jobs as needed.

December 2010
Pet-Friendly Visit

Just in time for the holidays, several animals visited Ithaca Day Hab. Consumers and staff enjoyed greeting a number of dogs and even a llama named Deacon Blue!

Staff at day hab organized the visits through Cornell Companions. According to their website, Cornell Companions is a pet visitation program sponsored by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. Cornell Companions is dedicated to the development of the human-animal bond. Volunteers and their pets visit people with disabilities and nursing home and hospital patients, with the belief that animals enhance the lives of all people. Volunteers consist of Cornell students, faculty and staff, and individuals from the Ithaca area community.

“Our consumers loved it!” said Assistant Program Manager Deb Martin, who organized the visit. “Animals are beneficial and therapeutic to our consumers. Since many of our consumers live in pet-free group homes, opportunities to interact with animals are limited. All were engaged and saying positive things to staff and the dogs.”

November 2010
Gratitude Dinner

In celebration of all the things we have to be thankful for, Unity House’s Mental Health Drop-In Center will be hosting a free Gratitude Dinner the night before Thanksgiving:

Wednesday, November 24
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Calvary Food Pantry
90 Franklin Street, behind Byrne Dairy gas station

Free and open to anyone who has visited the Center at any time in the past, and their families. Please register in advance, either in person, email, or call 315-252-1039, so we know how much food to prepare.

The Drop-In Center is a safe, comfortable, nurturing spot run by people receiving mental health services for people with mental health issues. The Center is open:

Wednesdays 6:00 – 10:00 pm
Saturdays and Sundays 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

The Gratitude Dinner is sponsored by Unity House and Calvary Food Pantry with support from Auburn Rotary.

September 2010
Fall Beautification Days

Two Unity House independent living alternative (IRA) homes received extensive garden rehabilitations this fall. Unity House owns dozens of properties spread over six counties, and it is difficult to maintain gardens at all sites. Yet the beauty and tranquility of a lovely garden is therapeutic for our consumers.

Collaborative beautification days took place at the Danby IRA on September 24, and at the New Life IRA in Auburn on October 1. Each site welcomed about 12 staff volunteers who came out to help clear and replant a designated garden area – Unity House’s maintenance crew had prepped each plot ahead of time. Donations of tools, plants, weed barrier, bulbs, mulch and more were graciously made by Home Depot and Lowe’s in Auburn, and Home Depot in Ithaca. Staff also contributed perennials and shrubs from their own gardens.

So many hands yielded amazing results. Within a few hours, the gardens were transformed, and the consumers and staff at each house have committed to help maintain them during the growing season.

August 8, 2010
Auburn’s Great Race

For the third year in a row, Unity House sponsored a team for Auburn’s Great Race, which took place at Emerson Park. This year’s team was comprised of QA Specialist Molly Malone (5K runner), Day Hab Assistant Director Jessica Janssen (bicycle), and Director of Support Services Amber Amidon and her husband Rich (canoe). The group participated in the short course, coming in 25th out of 38 teams in the mixed age division, with a final overall of 291 out of 413. They beat last year’s record, completing the course in 1:48:39, and then stayed to enjoy the lakeside after-party.

“We’re hoping this will become a Unity House tradition,” said Molly. “It’s been a lot of fun!”

August 6, 2010
Annual Staff Appreciation Picnic

More than 100 Unity House employees gathered at Myers Point Park in Lansing to celebrate another good year with the agency. The organizing committee planned a great outdoor event, including a catered picnic, games, karaoke, and a “Unity House Has Talent” show. Many staff were recognized for milestone anniversaries with the agency.

Special thanks to the planning committee for making the annual picnic possible: Amy Carioggia, Lisa Frank, Thia Harriett, Pattie Park, Renee Post, Candi Saxman, Michelle Stage, Doreen Wagner, and Judy Weimer

July 17, 2010
Finger Lakes Wine Festival

Unity House sent 28 volunteers to the Watkins Glen International Raceway on Saturday, July 17 to help with the 17th annual Finger Lakes Wine Festival. More than 90 wineries from across the Empire State were present. Volunteers worked a 4-hour shift, then got to enjoy the fest, receiving free staff t-shirts, tasting wines, enjoying live music and vendor booths, and some even took pace car rides on the racetrack. The Glen rewarded Unity House by donating nearly $700 to the agency.

June 25, 2010
Electronics Recycling Day

As part of its strategic plan implementation, Unity House’s Technology and Infrastructure Committees recently co-sponsored an agency-wide technology e-cycling event. Staff were asked to round up old, broken, unused electronic equipment, cords, toner, etc. for this green initiative.

“We didn’t have any idea what to expect,” said Technology Committee member Mary Fishlock. “The event was very successful – we were shocked by how much stuff was delivered on collection day.”

Hard drives have been removed and cleaned, and the items will now be “responsibly recycled” through Regional Recycle Computer and Recovery of Victor, NY. The company will provide packing boxes, which will be loaded up and taken to the plant near Rochester for disassembly and recycling.

Equipment Received

Towers 10
Printers 10
Monitors 21
Keyboards 20
Scanners 2
TV 1
Laptop 1
Fax machines 4
Stereo 1
Microwave oven 1
Tape recorders
Cell phones
Power cords
Telephone cords
Ink and toner cartridges

June 12, 2010

Auburn celebrates local inventor Theodore Case and being “The Birthplace of Talking Movies” at its second annual Founder’s Day event on Saturday, June 12. In 1977, Unity House got its start in the Case Mansion at 108 South Street, and still maintains a community residence for adults with disabilities within its walls. In partnership with the City of Auburn and the Auburn Downtown BID, Unity House will host an open house at the Case Mansion from 2:00 – 4:00 pm on June 12. All are welcome to walk through the public spaces and grounds of this beautiful historic structure. Click HERE to learn more about the Case Mansion and Ted Case’s groundbreaking work in putting sound on film.

May 11, 2010

On April 15, Unity House consumers, staff, family, and friends gathered at the Springside Inn in Auburn for a gala dinner dance. This Unity House tradition was organized by Program Managers Barb Gregg and Tammie Miner to “applaud and recognize the consumers for the beautiful people they truly are,” said Barb.

“Some of our consumers mentioned that they had never ridden in a limousine and most had never had an occasion to really dress up in formal attire or attend anything like a prom, so the idea for a fancy dinner and dance developed,” explains Barb. “The folks at the Springside Inn worked with us to arrange a wonderful dinner at a cost that was affordable. We decided on a Broadway theme since the Springside was hosting a Broadway series which fit right in with our vision of a black tie event complete with ‘celebrities.’ The red carpet was laid, each person’s name was placed on a star, and gold, silver and black balloons were hung about the room. We even arranged to have our own ‘paparazzi’ take pictures as guests arrived in limos we rented for them!”

About 30 consumers attended, many accompanied by family and friends. A number of Unity House staff joined in the festivities as well, for a total of more than 60 guests. Limos transported consumers from their homes to the dinner, and several Auburn businesses assisted with evening wear, beauty services, flowers, and music. Attendees enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner while a slide show of activities from the past year ran in the background.

“There were lots of oohs and ahhs, smiles, laughter and dancing,” said Barb. “It truly was the best special event for residential consumers that we’ve ever had.”

Special thanks to these people and local businesses that supported the gala dinner dance:

Alliance Church thrift store (evening wear)
Hairlooms (hair and beauty services)
J & J Limousine (transportation)
Jim Van Arsdale (music)
Peter Brooks Beauty School (haircuts)
Springside Inn
Theresa Chapman (corsages and boutonnieres)
Tutor Club of Cayuga Community College (evening wear)
Wayne Fuller (music)

April 20, 2010

Public invited to ribbon-cutting celebration at Catherwood Road facility

Unity House of Cayuga County, Inc. announces the grand opening of its new facility in Lansing Village Place, 15 Catherwood Road, Ithaca. Elizabeth Werner, executive director of Unity House, cordially invites the Ithaca community to a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception to celebrate the agency’s move. The event will take place from 3:00 – 4:30 pm on Tuesday, May 11; no reservations are necessary.

“This advantageous site will offer easy accessibility to multiple venues of interest to our consumers – the YMCA, restaurants, Pyramid Mall, and more,” said Werner. “Our new location features plenty of free parking, beautiful office suites, is on the public bus line, and best of all, provides better service to our consumers. Significant renovations have taken place, we are all moved in, and we invite the community to celebrate with us.”

The move to Catherwood Road offers tremendous opportunity for creative expansion of Unity House’s Ithaca-based programs. The agency’s day habilitation program serves nearly 45 adults with disabilities a day, and these new facilities offer space that is five times larger than the former downtown facility.

“The new day habilitation site at Catherwood Road provides much-needed additional space,” said Program Director Darlene Podolak. “There is now room to work together in small groups or find a quiet place to enjoy a book. The individuals who receive our services have increased opportunity to develop and apply their skills in an environment that can accommodate everyone’s needs and interests. The space is beautiful and better represents to the consumers the value that they and their contributions have in the agency.”

April 6, 2010

Consumer Guitar Concert in Ithaca

Unity House offered guitar lessons to its Ithaca consumers this spring through the Tompkins County Office for the Aging College of Lifelong Learning program. Assistant Director of Residential Services Louis Pelino taught ten participants in the 6-week course. The group met for an hour every Tuesday on Court Street.

“This is the third year I’ve run the course,” said Louis. “Guitar is an extremely popular instrument that many people want to learn how to play, and the class has always had a good turnout. Most of the participants are proud guitar owners and musical enthusiasts. We learned about the basics: tuning, simple chords, singing, and having a good time.”

The idea for a culminating concert came from one of the class participants who was eager to show off the group’s talent. The class chose songs, arranged a set list together, and performed a 4-song set at Unity House’s new day hab space on Catherwood Road.

March 25, 2010

In response to a grant application, Metro Mattress of Syracuse has awarded Unity House two twin bed sets for its consumers. The sleep sets, part of the “50 Beds in 50 Days” promotion sponsored by Metro Mattress this spring, were delivered to Unity House apartments in Dryden and Ithaca, two of seven independent living sites run by the agency in Tompkins County. Unity House cares for approximately 65 adults with disabilities in the Ithaca area. These much-needed beds included a mattress, box spring, and steel frame.

February 25, 2010

Consumers and staff at Auburn day hab dig out after the big snow storm in February!