The smell of Laurie Farrell’s daughter is starting to fade from the box of mementos she brought home from the hospital five years ago. The contents of the hand-painted box — a Beanie Baby, a receiving blanket, a small knitted cap, a crocheted blanket, a tiny gold ring and a bracelet — is all Farrell has left of her little girl. Emily was stillborn in November of 2008. “These are things she wore, and these are amazing mementos for me as a parent,” said Farrell, of Onondaga Hill. “Every year when I open it up on the anniversary date, I can still smell her.”
In a secure courtyard near Syracuse’s Inner Harbor, on a daily basis, you can find a gathering of people engaged in any number of activities. They might be playing Bingo or trivia. They might be working on a small building project. If you head into the indoor area, you might find them baking or preparing snacks. What might surprise you is to find that all of these men and women have Alzheimer’s disease or some form of dementia. The Kirkpatrick Day Program is a social adult day program provided by the Alzheimer’s Association of Central New York. The program, which dates back to the early 1980s, came under the auspices of the Alzheimer’s Association in 1987.
Lauren Dodge knows all too well the pain of losing someone to suicide. “I got involved with [Stand Against Suicide] because of the friends that I lost to suicide growing up,” said Dodge, who lives in Liverpool. “I not only felt the direct heartbreak of losing a friend, but I also saw what their families had to go through after losing their child.” The worst part was that no one was able to talk about it. “Experiencing the loss of a friend to suicide when it was a ‘hush-hush subject’ in high school made the loss very difficult to cope with,” Dodge said. That’s why Dodge became secretary of Stand Against Suicide (SAS), which was founded in 2010 by Tara Dennee in memory of her father, Wayne Olmstead, who died by suicide in 2008. The Elbridge-based organization gained nonprofit status in 2012. It seeks to raise awareness about the risks of mental illness and to encourage those in need to get help. Through a grant from the Pepsi Foundation and local fundraisers, Stand Against Suicide seeks to erase the stigma surrounding the discussion of mental illness and suicide. SAS hosts support group meetings every Tuesday at the Elbridge Community Church for those who have lost a loved one to suicide, for those struggling with depression or other mental illness and their family members and for volunteers looking to help.
This summer has created the perfect storm for shelter overcrowding. Fireworks send many animals running, and their owners don’t always check area shelters. Many have been forced to give up their pets due to financial hardship. Litters of unexpected puppies and kittens end up in shelters after their owners fail to spay or neuter their cats and dogs. And most recently, area flooding has forced homeowners and renters to move, sometimes leaving their pets behind. As a result, local shelters are struggling to keep up with the skyrocketing rate of abandoned animals.
Need something to do this summer? More than 30 local not-for-profits set up booths last week to recruit volunteers at the first of what is hoped to be an annual Volunteer Fair, sponsored by 127th District Assemblyman Al Stirpe (D-Cicero). The event was held at Great Northern Mall in Clay. “We’ve heard a lot of sad stories about how it’s so tough to get volunteers because people are so busy these days,” Stirpe said.
It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that autism has risen to one in every 88 births in the United States. In order to raise awareness about the programs and services available to families affected by autism, the New York State Senate has commemorated April 2013 as Autism Awareness Month.
Beaver Lake Nature Center's Spring Vacation Camp is the perfect way for first through fourth graders to spend spring break (from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, April 1 to 5).
Held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Lysander Town Hall auditorium, this course will include planning for a babysitting job, knowing what to expect of children, selecting toys and games, supervising children, preventing accidents, giving first aid, rescue breathing, care for infants and children and feeding them.
Whether you were an early adapter or have furiously resisted for decades, computers are a fact of modern life and we’re here to help you make the most of them with dozens of computers for public use and classes for everyone from newbies to old pros.
Grapes on ice this Friday
Beaver Lake Nature Center is an Onondaga County Park located at 8477 East Mud Lake Road, four miles west of Baldwinsville off Route 370.
The world is changing rapidly but our mission remains the same: to help you. That’s why we supply tax forms, offer computer classes, sponsor exercise classes, host book groups, provide craft workshops and stock our shelves with thousands of books, CDs and DVDs designed to instruct, empower and entertain you.
$3 pulled pork sandwich lunch Tuesday
Feb. 7 to 15 schedule for Canton Woods Senior Center, located at 76 Canton St., B'ville.
WCNY has launched a new effort aimed at helping local nonprofits. “Won’t You Help a Neighbor?” uses the public broadcast station’s many media resources and connections to promote causes near and dear to Central New York residents.
Now, more than ever, it’s critical to talk about mental illness.
More than 20 years after losing her mother to cancer, Kristin Atkinson is channeling her grief into helping other women. Atkinson of Cicero, Kristin Johnson of Cicero and Tara Polcaro of North Syracuse started The Molly Project as a way to provide comfort to women affected by cancer and their families. Named after Atkinson’s late mother, The Molly Project got its start a year ago when Johnson’s sister called her, looking for a way to help a co-worker with cancer.