News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
DAILY FEATURES >
 CROSSWORD  
 HOROSCOPES  
 CARTOONS  
 DEAR ABBY  
 EMPLOYMENT  
 DINING & ENTERTAINMENT  
 REAL ESTATE  
 AUTOMOTIVE  
 REMEMBRANCE  
 GOODS & SERVICES

pathfinder village

Hall Of Famer Lee Smith Returns For Golf Tourney

CELEBRITY TOURS PATHFINDER

Hall Of Famer Lee Smith

Returns For Golf Tourney

Hall of Famer Lee Smith and wife Dyana, in back row, toured Pathfinder Village yesterday, along with Hall President Tim Mead, back left. Smith is celebrity host at the Pathfinder Village-Hall of Fame Celebrity Tournament underway today at the Leatherstocking Golf Course.

COOPERSTOWN – Class of 2019 Hall of Famer Lee Smith has returned this week to the scene of his Induction as celebrity host for the Pathfinder Village-Baseball Hall of Fame Golf Invitational, which begins today at the Leatherstocking Golf Course.

The former Chicago Cub will join 23 amateur foursomes on the 18th to support a golf event that raises scholarship funds for Pathfinder Village, the residential community in Edmeston for people with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, AUGUST 6, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, AUGUST 6

Cooperstown Community Band

To Perform At Lake Front Series

14-19eventspage

CONCERT – 7 p.m. Cooperstown Lakefront Concert Series presents the Cooperstown Community Band, featuring local musicians performing everything from marches to showtunes, more. Bring chairs, picnic and relax in Lakefront Park, Cooperstown.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, JULY 20

Reading: ‘The Big Fella: Ruth

And The World He Created’

14-19eventspage

BASEBALL AUTHOR – 1 p.m. Reading by Jane Leavy, author “The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created.” Discuss baseball history, ask questions, get your copy signed. Included with Museum admission. Grandstand Theater, Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown. 607-547-7200 or visit baseballhall.org/events

LANDERS: Pathfinder Success Due To Place, People, Purpose

COLUMN

Pathfinder Success Due

To Place, People, Purpose

CEO Paul Landers called up, from left, Sally Trosset, executive assistant & development associate; CFO Caprice Eckert; Kelly Meyers, senior director of admissions, and Dan Osborn, senior director, quality assurance & ancillary services. (He also called up Development Director Lori Grace, but she was taking this photo.) At right are Landers and state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who was presenting a state Senator resolution honoring Pathfinder.

Editor’s Note:  Here are remarks President/CEO Paul Landers delivered at the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce annual Gala & Celebration of Business Thursday, May 2, in Foothills’ Atrium.  Pathfinder was named the chamber’s NBT Bank Distinguished Business of 2019.

By PAUL LANDERS, Pathfinder Village President/CEO

About 43 years ago, 30 families were told they needed to find a new school for their children because the State of New York was going to shut their doors – this school was the Otsego School, a family-owned boarding school for children with Down syndrome in operation since 1922 in Edmeston.

Thankfully, a group of families, community members and a wise nurse named Marian Mullet did the unimaginable! They built, what is today, a world-renown planned community for children and adults with Down syndrome and developmental disabilities.

It began in a 23-acre cornfield, with a revolutionary mandate – that each life may find meaning.

Thirty countries, 26 U.S. states – they have come searching for this place – to learn, to be inspired, to work and to live. National and international educators, physicians, therapists and developmental disability experts have traveled to Pathfinder to share their knowledge and experiences with New Yorkers all because of the Kennedy Willis Center, our research, education and outreach arm of Pathfinder.

In 1980, we were a school house and seven homes on 23 acres. Today, we have grown to a 300-acre campus with 14 residential homes, a farm and farmhouse, state-of-the-art community health center, youth soccer fields and community hiking trails, chapel, cafe, village inn, research/education center, produce market and agriculture center, an adult day-treatment program operated by Otsego ARC, two off-site residences and two off-site day programs.

Dr. Streck, board chair, says Pathfinder Village now needs its own zip code!

Today, we are also more than Pathfinder Village. We are Otsego Academy, a two-year post-secondary education program; Camp Pathfinder, a young adult summer camp; Chenango House, an Alzheimer’s Care Home; Pathfinder Produce, a vocational training and community business.

In March, our founding CEO Marian Mullet passed away after 91 remarkable years. She was the revolutionary leader who left a remarkable legacy – a legacy that has touched so many, far more than she would have imagined. Today, those of us left to carry out this legacy are merely stewards of her vision and design.

Marian gave us this remarkable place! BUT, more remarkable than this beautiful place, are the PEOPLE and the PURPOSE of Pathfinder…

Here’s a little history about Pathfinder Village that many people don’t know.

The original plan was for the village to be built in Syracuse. But, after much deliberation and, I’m certain, influence from Marian, the board decided to build in Edmeston and remain in this county.

Why? Because they had tremendous confidence and faith in its people! People like: Senator Jim Seward, founding board member (39 years), Dr. Bill Streck, Bassett president, 32 years of service as our board chair, and the men and women of NBT Bank and NYCM, loyal business partners since our beginning.

People like Dan Osborn, 36-year employee who started out as a cook and is now the senior director of quality assurance and ancillary services; Caprice Eckert, 25-year employee who started out as a finance clerk and in my mind is the best CFO in the county today; Lori Grace, 22-year employee, started out as a marketing writer and now is the director of development, and Paula Schaefer, 21-year employee and music director.  She and the talented bell choir remind all of us the power and beauty of humanity.

THE PLACE + THE PEOPLE = THE PURPOSE!

Marian created a space to perfection and we have been blessed with the right people who have guided the village as society evolves. How remarkable is it that after 40 years, our planned community model remains relevant? This is why …

  • It’s Saturday morning in the bakery, people from all walks of life gather to enjoy fine food and fellowship. Nowhere else will you find such a diverse group gathered, everyone is equal.
  • It’s Michael and Holly walking hand in hand late one weekday evening; they have been boyfriend and girlfriend for more than 20 years.
  • It’s a business woman from NYCM attending an off-site leadership workshop at the Village. Taking a break outside, she says to her coworker, “This place is so beautiful; we are so fortunate to have this in our community.”
  • It’s Jared, giving a workshop on diversity at Bassett Healthcare to new hires.
  • It’s dancing under the stars on a warm summer night.
  • It’s friends gathered in the all faiths chapel to celebrate a life lived well and to say goodbye to a good friend
  • It’s a parent who decides to make the trip after years of research and soul searching, hoping that this is the right place for their child. As they head west on Route 80, coming over the bluff, they see Pathfinder and the feeling is almost immediate: This is the place. And later that day, when it is time to leave and their child wants to stay … now they know, this is the place!

This place, its people and its purpose.  This is Pathfinder.  I encourage each and every one of you to come to our café, take a walk on out nature trails, shop at our market, or get your flu shot at the health center.  I promise you, it will be the highlight of your week.

 

Grummons, Pathfinder Village Honored At Chamber Awards
OTSEGO CHAMBER GALA

200 Pack Atrium,

Praising Pathfinder

Village, Grummons

Funeral Director Les Grummons, left, and Pathfinder Village, represented by its president, Paul Landers, right, last evening were honored by 200 well-wishers who filled Foothills’ Atrium at the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Gala & Celebration of Business.  Grummons, of Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, was Eugene A. Bettiol Jr. Distinguished Citizen of 2019; Pathfinder Village, the NBT Distinguished Business.   Behind them, from left, are state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, NBT Regional Executive Jamie Reynolds, and Otsego Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan.  (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Businesses Sold On Pathfinder Village

DISTINGUISHED BUSINESS

Businesses Sold On

Pathfinder Village

Residential Community Training,

Placing Residents In Local Jobs

Paul Landers stops in to see Grant Stubbs, center, who has an apartment where other residents enjoy hanging out, like Andrew Hyman, left. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta

Though with with a song on her lips, Joanna Draper, recovering from a brain tumor, is reclaiming her vocation as a singer. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

EDMESTON – When she was 16, Joanna Draper had a brain tumor removed and was in a coma for a month. Though she recovered, her short-term memory was all but gone, dashing her hopes of continuing to perform in musical theater.

But now, you can find her serenading customers at the Pathfinder Village bakery and café, where she has worked for two years. “I’m doing so well that they let me work here,” she said. “I sing to the customers. I give them a hug if they’re having a bad day. It’s about treating people how I want to be treated, with kindness and a smile.”

“Her parents recognized that she would fit in here as a hire, not as a service recipient,” said CEO Paul Landers. “And since she started working here, her neurologist has seen her memory improving.”

Chamber 2019 Honorees Highlighted This Week

Chamber 2019 Honorees

Highlighted This Week

The two Otsego County Chamber of Commerce’s honorees who will be recognized at the annual Gala & Celebration of Business May 2 at Foothills are highlighted in this week’s Hometown Oneonta & Freeman’s Journal. Learn why Pathfinder Village is the NBT Bank Distinguished Business, and Oneonta funeral director Les Grummons, the Eugene A. Bettiol Jr. Distinguished Citizen.  Each has quite a story to tell. Get the details and much more in this week’s editions, now on newsstands around the county.
AVAILABLE AT THESE FINE ESTABLISHMENTS
TRY FREEMAN’S JOURNAL HOME DELIVERY
With Brainy, Creative Executives, Otsego County’s Future Secure

EDITORIAL

With Brainy, Creative Execs, 

Otsego County’s Future Secure

A couple of months ago, Gerry Benjamin, director of SUNY New Paltz’s Benjamin Center and an expert on Upstate New York, saw the region’s economic future in nurturing and growing what we have.

Craft brewing and yogurt production, in particular, are developing nicely, he said, although neither is generating sufficient jobs at sufficient salaries to begin replacing the manufacturing behemoth that was the Mohawk Valley.

The advantage to incremental growth, of course, is that it can be absorbed organically, with job along I-88 incrementally reviving the declining community centers to the north.

Springbrook, of course, is the poster child, growing to over 1,200 jobs on a simple concept:  Better care for handicapped children can be provided more humanely and at lower cost in proximity to their New York State families.  Win, win.

Paul Landers, Pathfinder Village president/CEO

Two more examples of growing in place – growing and excelling is more like it – may be found in the two organizations that will be honored at the Otsego County Chamber’s annual Gala & Celebration of Business Thursday, May 2, at Foothills.  (Reservations, call 432-4500, ext. 2.)

One, venerable Pathfinder Village, is vigorously placing its Down syndrome and otherwise handicapped residents in real jobs, filling real employer needs.  For instance, with Astrocom in Colliersville unable to find workers, Pathfinder is deployer a half-dozen trainees and two supervisor daily to that aircraft parts fabricator.

Former Pathfinder residents are also working at Golden Artists Colors, Price Chopper, Silver Dollar Optical, NYCM and NBT Bank.

Two, Les Grummons arrived in Oneonta in 1970, having acquired the Rotherby-Murphy Funeral  home, and knowing virtually nobody.

He quickly developed a strategy:  Get on friendly terms with as many people as possible.  He joined the Rotary, the Elks, Moose and Eagles.  He pursued his interest in the Sons of the Legion, rising to state commander.  He served on the board of Catholic Charities, St. Mary’s and Hospice.  He rose to the state Funeral Directors Association presidency, cementing his reputation in the industry.  He was elected to Common Council.

Les Grummons, 49-year proprietor of the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home

In the process, he solidified the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home among the front ranks of such local institutions, a solid business that has provided service and employment to many over almost a half century.

As detailed on Page B1 of this edition, Pathfinder will be honored at NBT Distinguished Business; Grummons, as Eugene A. Bettiol Jr. Distinguished Citizen.

Successful businesses create successful communities.

The state Comptroller Office a few years ago reported that only 29 jobs had been created in Otsego County in 2016 but, one, state data lags and, two, it doesn’t reflect the groundwork that was being done to make way for growth we’re starting to see now.

For instance, Custom Electronics is creating 50 jobs for to make high-storage batteries, building blocks of a renewable future.  A grant has ensured Corning’s 175 Oneonta jobs for 15 years.  Cooperstown Distillery and Andela Products, Town of Richfield, are anticipating  expansions and 10 new jobs each.  Some 50 jobs are unfilled at Amphenol in Sidney.  A little bit of natural gas would allow a distribution center to bring 300 jobs to Schenevus in short order.

Plus, the colleges, schools and hospitals provide a stable base.

And with Paul Landerses and Les Grummonses among us, the current downward trend, we can confidently hope, is temporary.

Chamber Inducts 6 More Of Its Best Into Hall Of Fame

OMMEGANG’S NEW CAFE HOSTS

Chamber Inducts

6 More Of Its Best

Into Hall Of Fame

Stacey Grady Is Elected President;

New Executive Director Introduced

Pathfinder Village‘s contingent last evening accepts the plaque marking the community’s entry into the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame with elation, but also reflection on the accomplishment of its founder, Marian G. Mullet, 91, who passed away on March 17. Pathfinder President/CEO Paul C. Landers holds the plaque, surrounded by his Senior Leadership Team.  From left are William F. Streck, MD, chair of the Pathfinder Village Board of Directors;Kathleen Gozigian, chair of the Pathfinder Village Foundation Board of Trustees; Sally Trosset (behind Gozigian) development  associate & executive assistant;Brittany Goodrich, Adult Day Services & Mobile Market coordinator (behind Landers); Kelly Meyers, senior director of admissions; Maura Iorio, Sr., director of education, and Tina Heyduk, senior director, support services. Pathfinder was one of six honorees at the chamber’s annual meeting at the new Ommegang Cafe, where Stacey Grady, Springbrook director of development, was elected board president.  Also at the meeting, Tara Burke was introduced as the Chamber’s new executive director.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

CLICK FOR SLIDE SHOW OF CHAMBER FESTIVITIES

Chamber To Honor Pathfinder Village, Lester Grummons

ANNUAL GALA MAY 2 AT FOOTHILLS

Chamber To Honor

Pathfinder Village,

Lester Grummons

Pathfinder Village, Edmeston, founded four decades ago to care for children with Down syndrome, employs 200 people.
Les Grummons

ONEONTA – The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce will honor Pathfinder Village and funeral director and community leader Les Grummons at its annual gala at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at Foothill Performing Arts Center.

Pathfinder will be named as Distinguished Business and Grummons as Citizen of the Year.

Pathfinder Village, based in Edmeston, has a four decades’ long commitment to providing community-based and individualized service to residents with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities.  It employs more than 200 people.

IN MEMORIAM: Eleanor L. Wightman, 78; Worked For Pathfinder Village

IN MEMORIAM:

Eleanor L. Wightman, 78;

Worked For Pathfinder Village

SCHUYLER LAKE – Eleanor L. Wightman, 78, a former home health assistant at Pathfinder Village and an active member of the Schuyler Lake United Methodist Church, passed away Monday, February 25, 2019 at Valley Health Services, Herkimer, with the loving support of her family at her side.

She was born on July 22, 1940 in the town of New Lisbon, a daughter of the late Norman and Zida Underwood Chase. She was born in New Lisbon and graduated from Cooperstown High School.

Posts navigation

21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103