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Fall 2013 Town Meeting

Fall 2013 Town Meeting

The Camp Venture Council of Advocates met on Monday September 23, 2013. Present were Meagen, the President, Jen, the Vice President, Lee, the Treasurer and Theresa P, the Secretary. Terry Freson acted as the group’s Facilitator and Agency Executive Director, Dan Lukens took notes. About 90 voting members of the Council were in attendance.

It was beautiful early fall evening that greeted Council members as they arrived for the 6:45 meeting. Gone was the informality of summer. This night, the members were there mostly on time and they moved to their respective seats directly so that the evening’s business could proceed.

Meagan call the group to order at about 6:50 PM, passed on an opening statement and turn the floor over to Dan Lukens, as requested, for a few announcements.

“This year is an election year,” Lukens announced. “Candidates for office must submit a letter of intent (brief note) indicating their intent to run,” he said forcefully. “Thus far, Ryan is the only candidate to submit a note.”

Lukens then reminded the group of the election process as stipulated in the Town Meeting group’s bylaws. “In October I will be sending ballots around to each residence for the primary election. Each Council member is asked to vote and those ballots are to be sent to Barbara Voellinger in Administration. The top two vote-getters from the primary election will run off in the general election to be held at the November 11, Town Meeting.”

Lukens then yielded the floor back to the President who opened the regular session of the Town Meeting with Terry Freson acting as the Facilitator at around 7:00PM.

Jennel was the first speaker and she opened with a robust: “ Good afternoon everybody!” in voice loud enough to wake any member who might have dosed off. Jennel, speaking in the manner of an evangelical preacher, told the group about her appreciation for her friends and staff and most especially for Danielle who she described as a “beautiful woman” in a manner suggesting a quality of great spiritual character.

Susie S, speaking in a child-like voice, asked everyone to be quiet. “My mom’s in a nursing home. I hope she feels better.”

Patrick from Venture Thomas House stepped boldly to the lectern and launched into a rousing oration. Some of what he had to say was not clear but what was apparent was his enthusiastic acknowledgement of his fellow council members, his staff and the Thomas House family. Patrick closed to an enthusiastic ovation as Dan Lukens came to his feet along with the entire room in tribute to this most-esteemed council member.

Peter M. explained to the group that he was the Special Advisor to Executive Director, Dan Lukens. “The staff deserve a raise,” he asserted. “And, this is what we all need to work on in the coming years.”
The Council members and the staff in the room joined in a rousing ovation.

Michael S,  offered a: “Good evening everybody.” He said that he was please with his performance at the talent show and the spontaneous applause heard in the room seemed to suggest that, he had indeed, done a great job. Michael also had a few words for the Yankees and a lament for Alex Rodriguez’s coming retirement.

Eileen grasped the microphone and curtly instructed the room to be quiet. There was a long pause as the group waited for a statement from Eileen which never came.

“Good evening everybody my name is Roger,” Roger said. “ It was a good pay day for me at the workshop. I am pleased.”

Quinton asked if more of the staff in the room could come to Tanglewood. “We need you on Saturdays,” he said.

John F. introduced himself and then offered the group an update on some of the area sports teams. “The Yankees won 6-0 and the Mets won too.” he said referring to games played the weekend before. John also announced with some enthusiasm that he was going on a SPROUT trip.
“Go Yankees!”

Peter S. explained that he had had surgery and said that his doctor had cleared him to go back to work. He also said that he had attended an outing the weekend before hosted by the Haverstraw Fire Department at the park. “They had hot dogs and it was fun,” he said.

Jeff approached the lectern with his usual zeal. Smiling and pointing he offered his warm regards to his friends from Venture East and Horan House.

Susie T. used her time to offer an endorsement to Meagen for her reelection. She also spoke kindly of her staff at the workshop, Marie.

Peter C. also threw his support for Meagen in the coming election.

“Good evening,” Michael C. said. “I sang, I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) in the talent show,” Michael said recounting his performance of the previous Friday evening. And, he was interrupted by a brief but enthusiastic applause. “I hit a home run in our Touching Bases game,” he said and again the room responded. “I had a great weekend with my family. We went to church and shopping. It was really good,” he said.

Dave L. said a few words in honor of Julie Langdon. He also talked about Dawn and said that he did not go to arts and crafts. “I am going to Mary Lou’s in October,” he said but did not explain that she is his sister-in-law.

Jack spoke briefly of his work ethic and his commitment to pitching in when ever possible to help both on the job and at home.

“I am doing alright,” Bernadette announced. “I work at Target and also at the workshop. I do a good job and I enjoy seeing my friends at Venture Industries. I help my staff and I am going on a SPROUT trip. My family came to the talent show and saw me perform. They told me that they were so proud.”
The group applauded warmly for Bernadette.

“About the election,” Ryan said as he leaned across the lectern. “ I am on the ballot and I hope everyone will vote for me.

“I need people and one thing that I have learned from my housemates by their example is about the bond of friendship. They have changed my life for the better and taught me the value of true loyalty, “ Ryan said.

Ryan explained that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was his inspiration and said that he had taught him how to be the kind of man he wanted to be.  “If you are with me,” Ryan said. “I will lead and I know we can and will do great things.”

Judy said that she was looking forward to the Halloween party.

“Today I had a good day,” Kelly said as if to suggest that maybe some days could be better. “I went out to lunch with staff. We went to the pizza place and later I helped at the office.”

“I have something to tell everyone,” Missy offered in a dire tone of voice. “Last Monday at the workshop I fell and hit my head. I had to go to Nyack hospital. They took some tests and I was treated and released,” she said.

“I had a good time performing at the talent show. I sang and everyone was there and it was fun.”

The group clapped enthusiastically for Missy.

Robert mentioned that the past Friday night had been the talent show and he seemed please with that but his tone was more serious than usual. “My mom is in a nursing home in California,” he said with his voice nearly cracking with the words.

Speaking out of order Dan Lukens came to his feet and put his arm on Robert’s shoulder. “Was this guy great in that talent show,”’ Lukens said less as a question than as a statement. The assembled rose in applause for Robert who seemed at least a little lifted by the appreciation of the room.

Merlin talked about performing in the band with Robert and the group from the Academy.

Emerson asserted that he was working hard at the workshop. He said that he liked his job and seeing his friends there. He also said that he was looking forward to the start of the bowling tournament in November.

Marie offered an endorsement for Meagen and her team for reelection.

Jeff bounded to the lectern with his usual verve. “ I sang in the show!” he said in a loud voice as if responding to a Marine Master Sargent. “I had a good time in the park at Haverstaw this weekend. It was great!”

Kevin used his time to profess his love for Julie and said that next year he wanted to be in the talent show.

Nellie said she was looking forward to the bowling season.

Glen said that he had gone to a car show in Pearl River over the weekend and said that it was good.

“Hello everyone,” said Toby. “I am very happy that my annual meeting went so well. Everyone said that I was doing great.”

Harvey had adoring words for the ladies of Venture North which they seemed to appreciate. And, Harvey also poured it on for Marie P. who similarly swooned at the sound of her name but her friend Richard seemed a bit less impressed.

Harvey also had kind words for staff and for Terry Freson and even Dan Lukens whom he describe as a “nice guy.”

Norma said that she loved the staff and agreed with Peter in saying that they deserve a raise.

With the conclusion of Norma’s statement Meagen called the regular session of the Town Meeting at around 7:53 PM and then opened the floor to members of her cabinet.

“How was my song?” Jen asked the group. The applause that follow suggested that they did, indeed, like it. Jen then lamented the Giants loss and said she hoped that they would do better.

Lee express some concern and disappointment with a few things including his Mom’s health.

Theresa also asked the group how the council members liked her performance. There was a brief applause and Theresa yielded the floor without further comment.

The town Meeting adjourned at around 8:05 PM. It was a near perfect early fall evening and council members exchanged pleasantries as moved toward the exits and out into the darkness for their way home. The season for sun and fun was over, the days were getting shorter and the group was back to business. The election was coming and the fall season’s social events were at hand.

It was a great night and with the coming election, an opportunity was there in the coming months for renewal and a new beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2008 Rockland County Autism Symposium Venture Foundation Address
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