HARRIS– The Center for Discovery welcomed hundreds of friends, family, volunteers and residents to their Thanksgiving Farm in Harris to enjoy some great food, camaraderie and celebrate the volunteers and staff who have made 2023 a success.

Dr. Theresa Hamlin, president of the Center, said, “It’s been since 2019 that we have been able to have a Harvest Festival and today brings me tremendous joy

“Now more than ever, the Center has become a sanctuary of hope,” she said. “And our emotional state is contagious.

“We help our immune system get better with happiness,” Dr.  Hamlin said. “Health, healing and happiness are positive emotions.”

Dr. Hamlin then led the hundreds of attendees in a big smile to start the program.

Award winners included Paul Guenther, who was presented the Thomas P. Morahan Lifetime Achievement Award.

“We bought a place here 59 years ago,” Guenther, who is now a Grahamsville resident with his wife, Diane, said. “I have been involved with this community for a very long time.

“The Center for Discovery is an extraordinary organization led by extraordinary people,” Guenther said. 

Center for Discovery CEO Patrick Dollard said it was Guenther’s continued support of the Center, and most notably his ability, as a  board member at Northwell Health,  to bring New York’s largest healthcare provider  and The Center for Discovery together as partners in the search for healthcare solutions for  children and young people with developmental disabilities, that helped earn him the award.

“Both groups have a lot of respect for each other,” Guenther said. “It’s an amazing group of healthcare providers.”

Also honored were David and Pat Atkinson, who created the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability. They were awarded the Green Shovel for Sustainability and Environmental Leadership. 

And in a surprise presentation, the first-ever Ricky Award was presented to employee Jim Cashen. The award, named after  Richard Humleker, who has been an employee at the Center for more than 40 years, is meant to recognize a staff member who gives selflessly of himself while bringing good cheer and happiness to the center.

Read the article in the Sullivan County Democrat