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Town Meeting Notes April 2014

Town Meeting Notes April 2014

Easter, spring events and a beautiful song make for an interesting April Town Meeting.

The Camp Venture Council of Advocates met on Monday April 14, 2014. Present were Meagan R, the Vice President who presided in President Jen A’s absence and Lee, the Treasurer. Ryan F. took a place on the dais though there was no official documentation of his appointment. Sarah Lukens acted as the group’s Facilitator and Agency Executive Director, Dan Lukens took notes. About 90 voting members of the Council were in attendance though many arrived late.

Council members arrived in the light of a mild April evening that was much in contrast to the brutal winter weather of the preceding months. The recreation staff greeted Council members as they entered though the room was mostly still empty at 6:45 PM, the appointed starting time for the meeting. Nearly 80 members of the Council would be in attendance but they were slow in showing up.

It was after 7:00 when Meagan opened the meeting and floor to the first speaker.

Mike S. “Yesterday I went home,” Mike announced. “I saw the game. The Yankees won and, oh,” he said interrupting his own train of though tI am going to Hawaii on July 8, and to the Bahamas in a few weeks.” This announcement illicit ed an applause from the group.

Patrick M. was next and he used his time to expound on recent events at Thomas House. And, though it was not completely clear, the sense was that he was relaying his warm feelings for Decamel, a long time staff who was retiring.

Susie S. asked for the attention of the room and then, smiling, announced that she was going home for Easter.

Bernadette introduced herself as member of the Engle House family. “I like my job at Target. I am working hard and making money,” she said beaming with pride. “I am going to Lake George, to the jersey shore in the summer and to my brother’s house for Easter.”

The group applauded warmly for Bernadette whose example as a hard worker and good friend had earned her high esteem.

Judy wished everyone a Happy Easter and shared that she was going home to be with her family for the holiday.

Eileen M. posed for picture before she offered a statement. She said that she too would be spending Easter with her family.

Kevin offer a few kind words for Julie Langdon.

Theresa told the group that she was a hard worker and that she was proud of the work she was doing at the ARC workshop.

Tammy said that she wanted to get a job at Target. She also asked the group to offer a prayer for her friend Joyce.

John introduced himself and wished everyone a Happy Easter. “The Yankees won!” he announced with some enthusiasm to the applause of the room.
After discussing some of the highlights of the game, John had a few kind words for the Council leadership.

David L. directed his initial comments to Julie Langdon whom he asked to take him to Harriman and the dollar store. He then spoke briefly to his aspiration to be more independent and to spend time with family.

“Everybody, Friday is pay day!” Quentin announced emphatically. “Mucho dinero!” he said as the group responded with applause.

Marie P. told the group that she was very much looking forward to seeing her family for the holiday. “I am so happy,” she said. Marie went on to say that she liked her job at the workshop and was also looking forward to the Butterfly Awards party.

Bo delivered a rousing oration. And, though some of the specific were not clear, before he yielded the floor Dan Lukens stood next to him and told the group that they had known each other for nearly 38 years. This drew applause from the group.

Looking rather fit standing before the group, Roger announced: “I lost 10 pounds.”

Mike C. was all smiles as he addressed the group. “The Yankees won last night!” he said happily. “I went to bowling Saturday and the spent the rest of my weekend with my family.” With no less enthusiasm Mike acknowledged his friends from the Nanuet House.

Peter explained to the group with some authority that he was the Special Advisor to Executive Director, Dan Lukens. He also said that he felt that the agency should recreate the Special Olympics as it was when the events were at Clarkstown South High School.

Kellyann wished everyone well and said that she was looking forward to the awards party.

Richard, looking rather smitten, told the group that he calls Marie on the phone.

Nellie asked that everyone say a prayer for Gerry.

Peter K. approached the lectern and referring to a small notebook, shared the recent progress of his bowling game. He also said that he liked being back a Venture West but missed his friends from Rodgers House and indicated that he intended to keep up with them if he could.

Jack said that he had bowled the previous Sunday and was pleased that he had had three good games. He also said that he had been on vacation for a few days but returned in time to go bowling.

Kathleen said with some pride in her voice that she was doing a lot of work at the workshop. Her health was good she said and she shared a recent visit to the foot doctor. She said she especially enjoyed working on Easter baskets for the coming holiday.

Susie T. said she missed her staff Marie and hoped that she had a good Easter.

Peter S. talked about going out to the park and feeding the ducks. And, though his dire tone made it sound more like a chore than an activity, he nonetheless said he enjoyed the outing. Mostly though Peter discussed chores and shopping and the group clapped for him.

Angel spoke with enthusiastic anticipation for the coming Easter Holiday which she said she planned to spend with her family.

Barbara offered warm greetings to all.

Harvey had something nice to say for any number of the women in the room. He mentioned that Barbara was his friend. He also referred to Marie as a, “beautiful girl” and she smiled coyly in response. Harvey’s charm, however, apparently did not go over as well with Richard who seemed a little hurt by Marie’s reaction. Mostly though, Harvey’s words were taken in the good spirit of their intent.

Harvey also made a point of saying that: “Danny is a nice guy.” Dan Lukens thanked Harvey for his kind words and said that he thought Harvey was a great guy too.

“I was atthe Nyack Street fair this weekend and I saw Sarah there,” Zac announced.  He also mentioned that he enjoyed bowling and that he had a good time shopping with his mother over the weekend.

Jean talked about helping out, setting the table and being a productive part of her house family. She also mentioned her concern for Joyce.

Lilian addressed the assembled with a beautifully expressive original song. It was so compelling that usual din of the room fell away in awe as her peers sat with mouths agape for her performance. It was a moment of pure magic and when she was done, the room erupted in ovation. Bowing in the manner of true diva, cries of “Bravo!” were heard as she stepped from center stage.

Emerson was next and it took a little time for order to return to the room. He spoke with pride about his good effort at the workshop. “I work hard,” he said. “I like my friends there.”

Robert announce the coming Spring musical, “The Wizard of Oz” and asked everyone to come out and support the cast. On a sadder note, he told the group that his elderly uncle had fallen down and said that he was concerned for him. “Please pay for my uncle,” Robert said.

Robert was the last speaker in the the Regular Session of the Town Meeting. With the conclusion of his statement, Meagan took the floor to close the session and open the floor to members of the cabinet at around 7:45 PM.

Of the officials on the dais, Lee spoke first.

“I am doing well and my mom is doing well,” he announced. “Its been 10 years that I have been on my job, 10 years,” he said more in the tone of a lament than pride. “I asked what do I get for 10 years?” Lee said referring to question posed presumably to a coworker. “Nothing was the response I got. That’s pretty cold don’t you think?”

Wood Allen could not have said it better. “Well, anyway, come to see the Wizard of Oz,” Lee said and the group rose smiling and laughing in applause.

Ryan took the floor. “I just want to say how grateful I am for allowing me the opportunity to serve the Council.” At first directing his statement to Dan Lukens, Lukens interrupted Ryan to make a point of order.

“Ryan it is important that everyone understand that I do not appoint the leadership of the Council,” Dan Lukens explained. “The President is elected and they appoint the other Council Members,” he said.

Ryan acknowledged that clarification and then continued: “I want to thank Jennifer (President) for the opportunity to be here on behalf of the people. I have to say that it has been wonderful and a joy to be a part of this. Thank you!”

At the conclusion of Ryan’s statement, the Vice President closed the meeting and wished everyone a Happy Easter and Passover.

It was still light when the meeting closed and the members exited the hall into a mild seasonable evening. Spring had come late this year and so it’s arrival was all the more appreciated. It was a great night, a productive meeting and this intrepid family of friends had had their say and made their peace with issues at hand. The spirit of family was a alive and well in their hearts and minds and they were grateful for for it.

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2008 Rockland County Autism Symposium Venture Foundation Address
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