02/01 – ‘Cupcake Wars’ in Pittsfield, MA

The 4th Annual Cupcake Wars will be held on February 1, 2018 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Berkshire Hills Country Club. Bakeries from throughout Berkshire County, including Linda’s Pastries,Berkshire Pathways – A Program of Viability and Simply Sweet, will compete for the best cupcake in the following categories: Best Tasting, Most Creative, Best Presentation and People’s Choice.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. The price includes an Italian dinner prepared by UNICO and cupcake tasting. At the end of the evening, a dozen full-size cupcakes from each bakery will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Pick up your tickets at the NAMI Berkshire County Office, 333 East St, Rm 417, Pittsfield (Phone: 413-443-1666), at Elm Street Hardware, 129 Elm St, Pittsfield (Phone: 413-442-9558) or online by clicking the “Buy Now” button below. 

They are also selling tickets for a Lake House Guest Cottage Raffle that we will be holding during Cupcake Wars on February 1. The gift certificate is for a 2-night stay worth $1,400 that can be used anytime between and now and January 2020. Tickets are $10 each. You do not have to be present to win. To view photos of the Lake House in Lanesboro, click here to visit their Facebook page.

12/08 – Holiday Dinner in Holyoke, MA

Viability Holyoke Community Living Holiday Dinner (Cena de Fiesta Navideña)

For Consumers, Homeshares and Staff (Para Consumidores, Cuidadoras y Empleados)

Come join us for a Holiday Dinner and enjoy good company & great food.  (Vengan disfrutar con nosotros de una cena de días de fistas.)

DATE/FECHA: December 8, 2017

TIME/HORA: 4pm to 7pm (please do not arrive early)

PLACE/LUGAR: All Saint’s Episcopal Church  |  7 Woodbridge St  |  South Hadley, MA 01075

RSVP: Call Carmen at 413-536-4880 ext. 101 by December 5, 2017

Contact your Supported Living Coordinator if transportation is needed (Comuniquese con su Manejador(a) de Caso si necesita transportación)

12/13 – Winter Open House in Greenfield, MA

Join us on December 13, 2017 for music, craft raffle/demo, slide show and snacks!  Please wear a festive hat and celebrate with us.  Viability, 60 Wells St, Suite 1, Greenfield, MA.

Viability at Business & Innovation Expo of Western Mass

Join us for this year’s Business & Innovation Expo of Western Mass!
The region’s best one-day business event! More than 150 exhibitors and 2,500 attendees are expected for a show that is packed with a number of special programs, speakers, and learning opportunities. Be a part of this incredible day!

Date: Thursday, November 2, 2017
Time: Show Floor OPEN 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. & Expo Social 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: MassMutual Center, Springfield, MA
Cost: FREE ADMISSION with a Business Card

 

A new grant from a wonderful donor!

VIABILITY received a generous donation this week.  Forum House in Westfield received a grant in the amount of $7,200 from the Westfield Academy for our student internship program for students at Westfield State University to assist members in educational pursuits at Forum House.

Open House success!

VIABILITY hosted an open house at the Holyoke Community Living office to celebrate the new programs funded by the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Close to 100 people attended including; Heidi Reed the Commissioner who said; “We are thrilled to be working with VIABILITY and excited to be starting this new partnership in Western Massachusetts.”

 

Getting to Know the Staff

VIABILITY’s Better Together story of the week.  Zoraida Gonzalez (Z) has worked for the company for 29 years as a job coach in our Holyoke office.  Dick recently interviewed her about her work at VIABILITY.

Dick, “When did you become a job coach with the company?”

Zoraida, “July 1988.”

Dick, “What was your first experience like?”

Zoraida, “I was a bit nervous because I hadn’t had much exposure to individuals with disabilities prior to starting here.  It was the 1980’s and the schools still separated special needs students from the other kids. I was 20 years old and my first worksite was a mobile crew of seven cleaning Vanguard Banks. After the first day I knew this was the work for me.”

Dick, “What was your favorite worksite during the past 29 years?”

Zoraida, “ The training program we had at the Springfield Marriott, we helped dozens of individuals secure jobs there and the company was very supportive of our program.”

Dick, “Tell me a story of how you helped an individual.”

Zoraida, “Part of my job includes transporting workers to the site.  One person we serve named Esteban would ride in the front seat. Esteban had an imaginary friend who he would have very animated discussions with in the van and at the worksite. I told him that it was very distracting and that he should talk to me if he wanted the front seat.  He did, and from that day forward he always talked to me in the van and while at work.”

Dick, “You’ve done this job for 29 years, why?”

Zoraida, “Because everyone counts on me, the people we serve, their parents, the employers and the staff from the state who refer to our program. I am lucky to have found a job and a company that I love to work for! “

Dick, “What do you think about the merger?”

Zoraida, “While some staff we nervous I knew that the merger of Community Enterprises and Human Resources Unlimited would make us a stronger company. Dick, I know you count on me to do a good job and make good decisions, I also count on you to do the same.

Zoraida is a Job Coach 2 and oversees four coaches in our DDS employment services.  She helped form Club 25 for staff who have worked here for 25 years or more!

New contract with NY!

 VIABILITY has been awarded its second new contract this year. The New York Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has awarded VIABILITY a contract to operate a Care Giver Respite Program through our New York branch. Brenda Catalano Director said “ I am thrilled to be able to offer this new program evenings and weekends for individuals we serve as well as for additional referrals from OPWDD”. We expect this new service will be an increase in business of over $100,000 in year one. Brenda has already been on the search for new space as our branch continues to grow.

Upcoming golf tournament

VIABILITY’s golf event scheduled for September 18th at the Southampton Golf Course in Southampton MA is well underway. To date we have received over $15,000 in sponsorships for the event. Every day sponsors, raffle and silent auction items keep rolling in. With the tournament six weeks away we will be doing a final push to fill the field and make this our best event ever. Our event goal is to clear $20,000 to $25,000 this year. Proceeds from the Karen Lachapelle Memorial Golf Tournament are used to fund member health and wellness activities for those we serve.

 

Save the Date-10/20/16-HRU Employer Recognition and Awards Breakfast Event – Sponsorship opportunities available

HRU SAVE THE DATE 10.20.16

Please Save the Date, Thursday, October 20, 2016 for HRU’s 2016 Annual Employer Recognition and Fundraiser Breakfast Event from 7:45-9:00 a.m. at Springfield Country Club. Sponsorship opportunities available here.