News of Otsego County

pathfinder village

News Briefs 03/16/2023
News Briefs

‘AI: Perils and Potential’
Discussion is Next Tuesday

ONEONTA—United University Professions Oneonta will sponsor a panel discussion program on artificial intelligence, “AI: Perils and Potential,” on Tuesday, March 21 at noon in Le Café, Morris Complex, SUNY Oneonta. The panel will consist of SUNY Oneonta President Dr. Alberto Cardelle, UUP Oneonta President and Professor of Africana and Latinx Studies and Political Science Dr. Robert Compton, and Dr. Kjersti VanSlyke-Briggs, coordinator, Ed Tech Program, and professor, English Education. Audience questions and discussion are invited after the panelist’s formal presentations. The program is free and open to the general public, including all segments of the college and Greater Oneonta community. UUP will provide a complimentary lunch. An RSVP at is required to allow for coordination of the lunch order. The RSVP should include your name and contact information.

Pathfinder Produce Celebrates Anniversary March 16

EDMESTON—Pathfinder Produce, a weekly greengrocer and delivery service operated by Pathfinder Village’s Adult Day Services, will celebrate its tenth anniversary on Thursday, March 16 during its regular market hours, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“The story of Pathfinder Produce has been one of empowerment,” said Tina Heyduk, Pathfinder’s chief administrative officer, who oversees the Pathfinder’s Day Services. “Our market began as a project to help curb childhood obesity, address adult health concerns, and improve families’ diets in conjunction with Bassett Research Institute’s 5-2-1-0 community programs. With our weekly market, area residents have enjoyed greater access to fresh produce. In many rural communities that are in USDA food deserts, families must travel over 10 miles to buy an apple.”

“Another way Pathfinder Produce empowers people is that it offers paid employment and vocational training for people with intellectual disabilities. ADS team members have grown in knowledge through their tasks organizing the weekly market and our grant-funded food deliveries,” added Mrs. Heyduk. “They give back to their community. Each team member takes pride in serving their friends and neighbors through our produce-related programs.”

During the March 16 market celebration at the Pathfinder Village Commons, there will be recipe samples, specially-themed baked goods, and customers will receive recyclable shopping bags as part of Pathfinder’s observance of World Down Syndrome Day, an annual global event held annually on March 21. To learn more about Pathfinder Produce, customers may visit the market’s website at or its Facebook page.

Crafters Wanted for
Two Popular Events

RICHFIELD SPRINGS—Applications are still being accepted for two popular craft events in Richfield Springs: the 42nd Annual Friendship Craft Festival to be held on Saturday, June 10 in Spring Park and the 3rd Annual Fall Craft Fair scheduled for Saturday, October 7 at the Cullen Pumpkin, 587 Cullen Road. Both events are sponsored by the Church Of Christ Uniting in Richfield Springs. For information and an application for both events, go to or call Carla at (315) 858-1451.

Pathfinder Village Announces Retirement of Long-time CEO

Pathfinder Village Announces
Retirement of Long-time CEO

Paul Landers To Step Down; Oversaw Major
Program and Facilities Development Over 15-Year Tenure

Paul C. Landers, M.Ed., Cooperstown, will retire as the president and chief executive officer of Pathfinder Village, according to an announcement released earlier this week by William F. Streck, MD, the chair of Pathfinder Village’s Board of Directors. A leader in the human services field for four decades, Pathfinder Village is a livable community and service provider that offers diverse residential, educational, vocational, health, enrichment, and other programs to people with Down syndrome and other disabilities.

Jim Kaat Hosts Golf Tourney

Jim Kaat Hosts Golf Tourney

Jim Kaat with Pathfinder Village resident Grant Stubbs.

Less than two months after earning baseball’s greatest honor, Jim Kaat returned to Cooperstown in support of some new Central New York friends.

Kaat, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame July 24 as part of the Class of 2022, served as the celebrity host for the Pathfinder Village/Baseball Hall of Fame Golf Invitational September 19 at the Leatherstocking Golf Course in Cooperstown.

As the master of ceremonies, Kaat — who won 283 games and 16 Gold Glove Awards during his record-setting 25-year big league career — was featured as the guest speaker at that evening’s fundraiser dinner.


HEART Jazz Ensemble
Performs At Origins Cafe


CONCERT – 5 p.m. The Cooperstown Concert Series presents ‘HEART: A Jazz Ensemble’ featuring the warm, brilliant tones of Melissa Stylianou, Godwin Louis, Chris Dingman and Ike Sturm in an enveloping and powerful quartet. Tickets, $20. Origins Cafe, 558 Beaver Meadow Rd., Cooperstown. Visit


Big Rigs Come to Pathfinder Village


BIG RIGS – 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Trucks, tractors, heavy equipment and other working vehicles will be front-and-center at the first annual “Big Rig Shindig.” Fun program highlights the role of these vehicles in our communities and give kids and adults opportunities to learn about the careers that use them. Admission, $5/person or $10/car. Pathfinder Village, 3 Chenango Rd., Edmeston. 607-965-8377 or visit


Cruise-In Car Show
at Pathfinder Village


CAR SHOW – 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Enjoy a cruise-in car show featuring muscle cars, restored classics, and street rods. Show will include an award for the Best In Show as well as a Name The Flavor contest for a new ice cream flavor. Pathfinder Village, 3 Chenango Rd., Edmeston. 607-965-8377 or visit

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Electric Vehicles and Green Energy Fair 05-21-22

Electric Vehicles and
Green Energy Fair


EV CAR SHOW – 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. HeatSmart Hartwick presents car show featuring Electric Vehicles, their owners, car dealers, and information about purchasing an EV and the benefits of ownership. There will also be booths from solar panel installers, clean heating and cooling, other initiatives to fight climate changes. Husky Park, Wells Ave., Hartwick. 607-293-6654 or visit

Community pays tribute to Bob Schlather

Community pays tribute
to Bob Schlather

CLICK HERE to view the full obituary

Last week, the community lost an exceptional friend in Bob Schlather. Those who attended the Mass at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Cooperstown on Saturday were graciously asked upon entry if they were with a particular organization, to be shown where others from their group were seated. This spoke volumes about Bob, who was involved in a dizzying array of groups and causes encompassing healthcare, human services, education, arts, historical associations, Rotary — basically, anything established for the betterment of the community. And it was with compassion, dedication, gentleness and a legendary and comforting sense of humor that Bob jumped into his volunteer roles as advisor, advocate, contributor and leader. In her homily during the Mass, the Rev. Betsy Jay referred to Bob as “invincible;” he was always there to get things done, and he did so with understated deliberation.

The Glimmerglass Festival was incredibly fortunate to be a keystone cause of Bob’s. He and his wife, Karen, first became involved as volunteers and supporters in 1979, when the Opera was still in its infancy. By 1984 he was elected to the Board and during his nearly 40 years as a Trustee, Bob served as: Treasurer for seven, Vice President of Personnel for four, Vice President of Legal Affairs, Chairman of the Audit Committee, an At-Large member
of the Executive Committee, and importantly, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for an impressive six years — in tandem with Peter Duchin as his President, with whom he then swapped the Presidency and Chairmanship positions for a year.

In Memoriam Tyler Ray, 28 October 27, 1993 – January 6, 2022

In Memoriam

Tyler Ray, 28

Oct. 27, 1993 -Jan. 6, 2022


Tyler Ray

Tyler Ray, 28, of New Berlin, passed away on January 6, 2022 in Albany, NY.

Tyler was born on October 27, 1993 in Cooperstown, NY, and spent his entire life in the Edmeston area.

Tyler attended Pathfinder Village School and worked with Aqua Valley as a bottle labeler. He enjoyed being outdoors playing basketball, riding bikes, ATV’s, swimming in the pool, and playing golf.

He had a heart of gold, a pure genuine soul, and was set in his ways. His laugh was infectious, and his smile beaming. His loves included children, music, dancing, his animals, and all sports.

Pathfinder Village graduates eight in training program

Program graduates (from left) Heather McCoy, Amanda Piech, Ashley Townsend, Rose Davis, Brittany Bond, Jeanette Nutt, Tammy Meyer and Christina Gregory. (contributed)

Pathfinder Village graduates eight in training program

STAFF REPORT • Special to

Eight staff members of Pathfinder Village graduated from training programs on Friday, July 1 from the new Direct Support Professional 3.0 Training Program.

Brittany Bond, Rose Davis and Christina Gregory were among the eight who graduated.

“This program teaches that you need to look at all aspects of a care situation, put yourself in the shoes of the person you are working with,” Amanda Piech, graduate from the program, said in a press release. “You need to understand what they may be feeling but are not able to tell you.”

Piech has been with Pathfinder for 15 years.

Pathfinder Village is an open access community for people living with disabilities and down syndrome in order to help them live an independent lifestyle.

Pathfinder forerunner, ‘The Otsego School,’ helped three imprisoned Japanese-Americans during WWII

The Otsego School. (Edmeston Museum collection).

Pathfinder forerunner,
‘The Otsego School,’
helped three imprisoned
Japanese-Americans during WWII


An Edmeston school for children with Down syndrome welcomed three Japanese Americans in 1943, who had been imprisoned by the Federal Government for no other reason than their heritage.

The Otsego School provided employment opportunities for these three women.

The school in Edmeston has evolved through the years.  Its successor is Pathfinder Village, which today provides a variety of educational and support services for people with Down syndrome.

The Oneonta Daily Star reported June 17, 1922, “The Chesebrough place at Edmeston has been remodeled and will soon be opened as the Otsego School for (children with Down syndrome).” The article indicated Susanne Jones and Florence Chesebrough were in charge of the school.

In early 1943, the Otsego School welcomed three new employees – Mary Hiroshige, Hisae Jeanne Mori and Rose Yasui.

Pathfinder Village celebrates staff service

Pathfinder Village service honorees

Pathfinder Village celebrates staff service

STAFF REPORT • Special to

Pathfinder Village celebrated the service of its staff on Thursday, June 17.

Eight employees had five years of service each while 18 other employees had a combined 200 years of service.

In total, the employees had a combined service of 280 years for Pathfinder residents and students.

Pathfinder is an organization that supports those with Down Syndrome and other disabilities.

“Today, we’re going to take a moment and give thanks to you and be grateful for your efforts,” Paul Landers, CEO of Pathfinder Village said in a press release. “It is important that we acknowledge your milestone achievements as members of our ‘Five Plus Club’.”

Those honored included classroom aide, Patty Slosek, for 40 years, facilities manager Kris Tilbe for 35 years, Kathy Roberts for 25 years and others.

Pathfinder has been supporting those with Down Syndrome and other disabilities since 1980. It is an open access community dedicated to providing those who serve with a chance for an independent and fulfilling lifestyle.

World Down Syndrome Day Celebrated With Happy Feet


World Down Syndrome Day

Celebrated With Happy Feet

NYCM Insurance’s Jeremy Bolton, left, presents Pathfinder Village Ambassador Andrew H. with a sampling of 739 pairs of polka-dotted socks Sunday, March 21, to mark World Down Syndrome Day. In what’s become an annual tradition, NYCM Insurance employees raised $2,097 for the effort this year. “We hope it put a smile on every resident’s face,” said Dan Robinson, NYCM Insurance president/CEO.  The date, 3-21, represents the triplication of the 21st chromosome in the human genotype, which causes 95 percent of Down syndrome cases.  (Lori Grade photo)

Pathfinder Village Names Hand Bell Choir Director

Pathfinder Village Names

Hand Bell Choir Director

Paula Schaeffer Retires After 23 Years

Paula Schaeffer, the outgoing Pathfinder Village Bell Choir director, leads the ensemble during a 2003 performance at the Baseball Hall of Fame. (Milo V. Stewart Jr./Baseball Hall of Fame)

Maisy French

EDMESTON – Maisy French of West Edmeston has been appointed director of the Pathfinder Village Hand Bell Choir, and is planning a virtual concert later this year, it was announced this morning.

She succeeds Paula Schaeffer of Fly Creek, Pathfinder director of Enrichment Services, who has retired after 23 years in the role.

Posts navigation

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