Happy Holidays, Everyone!

In November, we started a new Thanksgiving tradition.  We prepared the farm for winter.  We dried and processed herbs.  We protected our precious trees.  We sheared the sheep. We moved forward on our Children’s Specialty Hospital construction.  We decorated!

And before getting caught up in the hectic pace of the season, we took extra time to reflect and be grateful.

Here are some brief highlights from the month of November:

Happy Holidays!  A Note from TCFD President, Dr. Terry Hamlin

Friends and Supporters,

On behalf of our 1,700 staff members here at The Center for Discovery®, I would like to wish you and your families a very happy, healthy, and safe holiday season. This year, perhaps more than ever before, we hope you find peace and joy in whatever holiday you celebrate as well as in the small moments of every day.

Your support all year long has kept everyone here safe, healthy, happy and loved.  Although we are still battling through this pandemic, we remain hopeful that 2022 will bring new possibilities and opportunities for our residents, students and staff.  Together, as a collective, we can overcome any challenges that may come our way.

Thank you for being a part of our community today and every day.

Happy New Year to you and your families!

TCFD Student on Boat Deck

Because of You…. Everything is Possible

You are the wind behind our sails.

You make everything possible here at The Center for Discovery.


During this holiday season, we want to thank you for seeing as we do – beyond the challenges of our residents and students – to beautiful possibility.  Your heart and support leads to miracles – big and small – here on our campus.

As you celebrate the holidays with family, friends and colleagues, please tell them about our life-changing work and ask them to be a part of our community by supporting our Annual Appeal!  It takes just one click: https://thecenterfordiscovery.org/annualappeal2021/

We are the gold standard of education and care of those with complex conditions – because of you.

TCFD Specialty hospital outside drawing

Children’s Specialty Hospital Update

We are making great progress on the construction of our one-of-a-kind Children’s Specialty Hospital!

The concrete slab for the medically fragile wing, which will be a new addition to the building, is set to be poured mid-December.  In the meantime, rooms are being framed in an Autism-focused wing, as well as the Health Clinic and classroom sections of the already existing building. And, the demolition of the old auditorium is underway, making way for the state-of-the-art Alemany Learning Center.

Holiday in Hurleyville 2021 – Mark Your Calendar!

The holidays are being celebrated in a big way on Main Street in Hurleyville!

Please clear your calendar for this Saturday – December 4th! Dress warm and plan for a whole day of family-fun. Santa will be out early visiting (10am), followed by a history hike, yoga and spin class, snowshoe demonstration, book signing, dance performance, luminary walk and of course the Christmas tree and Menorah lighting!

Our Recreation Therapy team did the heavy lifting of the star, lights, and Menorah so we know it will be spectacular!

After the tree lighting at 5:30pm, there will be two different entertainment options. The Sullivan County Chamber Orchestra will perform a holiday family concert at 6 p.m. in the Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre ballroom. Tickets are available by calling: (845)798-9006.  And, at the same time, there will be a showing of the new animated Disney movie, Encanto.

It is sure to be a fun-filled day (and evening) for the whole family!

Shopping @TCFD & on Main Street

As you see Santa, hike, take in a dance performance, and marvel in the beautiful holiday lighting, don’t forget to do some holiday shopping!

The Hurleyville General Store is the perfect place for meaningful gifts.  Baskets can be hand-picked from our own DNA Chief Cesare Casella’s meats and cookbooks, as well as his dear friend and TCFD DaVinci Master Chef Maria Loi’s Greek delicacies.

If you are looking for a delicious charcuterie and cheese board or some sweet panettone for a gathering, head down the street to La Salumina. These amazing Italian delicacies should not be missed!

And please do not forget our DayHab Market.  The one-of-a-kind gifts are made right here at The Center by our residents and students!  All sales go right back to our incredible DayHab program. The online shop features a carefully curated selection of products like soap and handwoven items to home goods and winter accessories. To browse and shop, visit https://www.tcfdstaff.org/store/c2/DAYHAB_ONLINE_MARKET_.html. Upon visiting, you will be prompted to register for an account. After creating an account, you will receive an automated email informing you that your access has been granted. Once approved, you’ll be able to shop the Dayhab market.

Integrated Arts Seminar Series Update

Our Integrated Arts Clinical Innovation Seminar Series is the perfect way to take a break during the hectic holiday season! It is free to register and an incredible way to learn from the best teachers and clinicians!

There is only one seminar left – Thinking Outside of the Box: Innovations from the Assistive Technology Lab – on Wednesday, December 15th. To register, visit: https://bit.ly/TCFDClinicalInnovationSeries2021.

In case you missed the previous seminars, you can view them by visiting our YouTube playlist here: https://bit.ly/TCFDClinicalInnovationSeminarSeries2021.

We want to thank everyone involved for this enriching series which is being viewed by teachers, clinicians, therapists, family members, and more – even on an international level!

From Our Oven to Yours!

‘Tis the season to share food!  From Our DNA ovens to yours – a fan-favorite recipe for a crowd – Farmer’s Mac & Cheese.Enjoy!

Farmer’s Mac & Cheese



2lb fresh cauliflower cut into florets

½lb whole wheat penne pasta

1gal water

½ tbsp   sea salt

½ tbsp   extra virgin olive oil

6 tbsp   salted butter

½ cup all-purpose unbleached flour

¼ tbsp   Dry mustard

1 tbsp   Worcestershire sauce

1 qt whole milk

1 lb mild cheddar (or cheese of choice)



½ lb fresh bread crumbs

½ tsp  fresh thyme

1½ oz salted butter (melted)



  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cook for 6 minutes. Lift out of the water with a strainer. Allow to drain.
  2. Add pasta to the same water and cook until just barely tender. Drain.
  3. Toss cauliflower and pasta with olive oil. Set aside.
  4. Make the cheese sauce:
  5. Make a white “roux” – Melt the butter, stir in the flour, salt and dry mustard. Cook 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not allow to brown.  Remove the pot from the flame. Add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return the pot to a medium flame. Cook until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens.
  6. Add cheese to sauce. Stir until cheese melts and is incorporated. Stir in Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Mix in cauliflower and pasta.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Butter a 10”x12”x4” deep baking pan.
  10. Add the pasta, cheese sauce mixture to the pan.
  11. Mix bread crumbs, thyme and melted butter. Sprinkle over mac and cheese.
  12. Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes, until bubbling and just browning around the edges.
  13. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting into 12 servings.

Giving Thanks and Embracing at The Center

We ushered in the holiday season making baskets for the homeless, starting a new tradition – our very own Thanksgiving Day parade, making cider, taking a break for fresh air and exercise or sound healing – and of course, decking the halls.

We look forward to a New Year full of infinite possibilities.  We are so grateful you are with us for this journey!  Let us walk together into 2022 toward greater health, wellness and many wonders.

Onto 2022!