TCFD: A Month of Discovery

Dear Friends,

It has been another rewarding month here at The Center, thanks to the creative, innovative, and dedicated work of our community – near and far. From our upcoming Evening of Discovery Gala and a new Board Member, to the beginning of maple syrup season and getting to know our new leadership team, we continue to make incredible progress here at The Center for Discovery.

Here’s a brief look back at the last few weeks!

Welcoming Dr. Donald Landry to the TCFD Board of Directors

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Donald Landry as a Center for Discovery Board Member. Dr. Landry will bring decades of vital healthcare knowledge and experience to an already robust team. Edward C. Sweeney, Board Chair states, “I am confident our devoted staff and the many individuals we care for at The Center for Discovery will benefit greatly from his service.”

To read the full press release, click here.

Our 2024 Evening of Discovery Gala: Honoree & Other Details:

We are thrilled to announce that TCFD Board Chair, Edward C. Sweeney, will be honored at our upcoming Evening of Discovery Gala, taking place on May 7th at Cipriani 42nd Street in NYC. As Board Chair, Ed has been an invaluable leader of our organization for more than a decade.

We are also pleased to share that CBS Sunday Morning News Correspondent and Humorist Mo Rocca will be the emcee of the event. Additionally, there will be a special performance by Phillipa Soo, Emmy and Tony-nominated and Grammy-winning actress, singer, and author, who starred in the original cast of Hamilton.

The Evening of Discovery Gala is The Center’s largest fundraising event of the year, with proceeds benefiting some of TCFD’s most transformative programs including organic farming and nutrition, the Animal Assisted Intervention and Education program, the Integrated Arts program including recreation and music therapy, assistive technology, and capital improvements across TCFD’s campuses. Monies raised from the event also support the 1,700 staff members with benefits such as daycare and summer camp for their children, ride share transportation, as well as tuition reimbursement and scholarships.

This year’s event will feature cocktails, a formal dinner, entertainment, and live and silent auctions.

For more information on the event, sponsorships, tickets, journal ads, or to make a donation, click here.

Get to Know: Amy Davidoff, Esq.

Get to know Amy Davidoff, Esq., The Center for Discovery’s new General Counsel, who joined our team in early 2024.

How did you get into law?

As a child, I had the opportunity to spend considerable time at my father’s law firm. Witnessing the complexities of the profession and observing my father’s dedication to his clients showed me a pathway to a future career. I developed a genuine appreciation for the law and its profound impact on individuals. I knew it was how I could combine my desire for learning new things with my passion for making a tangible impact on individuals’ lives.

You’ve been here for a few months now; what would you say are some of the first priorities/projects in your new role?

The Center is so diverse and encompasses so many different initiatives. My priorities are to ensure uniform legal compliance throughout the organization and help mitigate risks while fostering a culture of integrity and ethical governance. Building strong relationships with key members of every team is integral to my role. Ultimately I aim to help protect the organization’s visions and values so that the mission can be accomplished with the confidence that the organization’s legal interests are well protected. Together we can make a positive impact on society by inspiring change on a global scale.

What excites you most about your role at The Center for Discovery?

As a General Counsel, no two days look the same and I’m constantly seeking to expand my knowledge base. Every day I am reminded of my responsibility to use my knowledge and skills to positively influence the lives of everyone a TCFD. This dual passion for learning and impact pushes me to deepen my understanding of the law and leverage it as a powerful tool for advocating for and empowering our individuals and organization.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I am a third generation graduate of Monticello High School, following in my paternal grandfather and father’s footsteps.

Congratulations to Michael Rosen!

Michael Rosen, TCFD’s Executive VP of Development, Marketing, and Strategic Communications will receive this year’s Caryn Schwartzman Spirit Award from the Autism Science Foundation during an event in New York City on April 4th. This award recognizes outstanding research advocacy by family members of a person with autism.

Congratulations, Michael! An incredible and well-deserved award for your incredible work and advocacy in the field, and at The Center.

For more details, click here.

TCFD’s Version of Chopped!
Terry Hamlin - New Role

Our 2nd annual SAG cook-off was a huge hit between participants, staff, and our renowned chefs!

Fourteen residents within our adult program joined Chief of DNA, Chef Cesare Casella, and DaVinci Master Guest Chef, Raffaele Solinas, for a friendly cook-off competition that took place at the Big Barn.

The participants and chefs were divided into two teams – red and blue. The red team was led by Chef Solinas and TCFD Captain, Kadeidra, and the blue team led by Chef Casella and TCFD Captain, Jeffrey.

Each team presented three dishes chosen by team captains, which included: Caesar Salad, Lasagna, and Tiramisu (YUM!). Team members helped to prepare each of their dishes using both standard and adaptive equipment. Not only was the event an incredible social opportunity for everyone involved, but a unique way to highlight each person’s abilities and celebrate everything we do here at The Center – as a team.

And, in case you’re wondering, the RED team took home the victory (and a close one it was!). To watch the short video, click here.

A special shout-out to DNA’s Executive Chef, Peggy Parten, Chef Cesare Casella, and our celebrity guest Chef Solinas! And of course, to our residential, recreation therapy, and so many other internal teams for all of their involvement in making this a tremendous success.

Terry Hamlin - New Role

Following the Yellow Brick Road to…the Big Barn Stage!

Auditions for this year’s Discovery Dramatic Arts main stage production were held with a record number of students and residents auditioning – nearly 50! Callback auditions happened next with several actors asked to read and sing for various roles. The very difficult casting decision was made and rehearsals are now underway with a cast of 25.

There are many exciting staging ideas afoot incorporating much technology, with a show that will be unlike any our Discovery Dramatic Arts Team has done before. Our technical crew of students and residents from across TCFD are already busy making costumes, sets, and props. The show will be performed in late May and to say we’re excited is an understatement.

Until then, we’ll make sure to share behind-the-scenes action with you all.

Terry Hamlin - New Role

It’s Maple Syrup Season!

Hello to the sweetest season of them all – Maple Tapping season!

Each year, students and residents at The Center collect thousands of gallons of sap, which upon being boiled down in our beautiful accessible sugarhouse, will produce well over 200 pints of delicious maple syrup.

And, did you know that it takes nearly 40 gallons of sap to provide 1 gallon of maple syrup?

BRB, while we go prepare our pancakes!

‘Visit Hurleyville is Back!’

It’s been a while, but the @VisitHurleyville Instagram account is back! Follow along on social media for everything that’s exciting in Hurleyville, like new store openings, restaurant specials, events, and more.