News of Otsego County

pathfinder village

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.

Jean D. Holbert, 82; Survived by 10 Children
In Memoriam

Jean D. Holbert, 82;

Survived by 10 Children

Jean D. Holbert

EDMESTON – Jean D. Holbert, 82, a former farmer who worked at Pathfinder Village, died Monday, Dec. 21, 2020 at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

She was born on Nov.1, 1938 in Olyphant, Pa., the daughter of Bertha & Frank Ceresko.

On Aug. 17, 1957 she married George E. Holbert in Heart Lake, PA.

Jean worked alongside of George on the family farm for many years until the farm was sold in 1991. She then went to work as a care provider at Pathfinder Village and Homer Folks in Oneonta.

Jean was an avid baker, cook and preserver. She loved cooking all the holiday meals, baking the apple and pumpkin pies and serving her pickles. She had a green thumb when it came to growing a garden. She enjoyed putting puzzles together, reading cook books, watching the Buffalo Bills or just sitting around visiting with a cup of coffee and some baked goods. She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

She is survived by her 10 children; Edward Holbert, David (Sue) Holbert, Beverly Fagan, George (Deanna) Holbert, Joseph (Beverly) Holbert, Carol (Greg) Thomas, Nancy (Bryan) Johnson, Roger (Kristen) Holbert, Susan (Art) Holbert, Catherine (Wayne) Holbert, Cindy Holbert, 22 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren, her sister, Ginger and many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband George of 60 years, son-in-law Robert Fagan and daughter-in-law, Elsie Holbert, brothers; Lloyd & Andrew, sisters; Fran, Lottie & Eleanor.

Jean was one of the strongest, kindest persons you’d ever want to meet. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Calling hours were held on Monday, December 28, 2020 at the Dakin Funeral Home, LP, New Berlin, NY. Proper social distancing practices were in place.

A private funeral service was held for the family with Father Kris Boretto officiating.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Dakin Funeral Home.

Pathfinder’s Health Food Helps Everyone

Pathfinder’s Health Food

Helps Customers, Residents

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Pathfinder Produce team members Brandy M., Andrew H. and Eric M. prepared to pack a Mobile Market truck.

EDMESTON – For Pathfinder Village CEO Paul Landers, the “secret sauce” in Pathfinder Produce boxes isn’t the recipes, or even the fresh produce.

It’s the notes the workers tuck inside.

“Each delivery comes with a ‘feel-good card’ that our individuals make,” said Hannah Baulch, ADS coordinator. “And it makes them feel good to write them.”

“I always get voicemails from people telling us those notes make their day,” said Landers. “It’s a message of hope, of love. With our residents, one of the greatest qualities they have to share is joy.”

Pathfinder Produce and The Mobile Market, a micro-business of Pathfinder Village, Inc., has received the Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Breakthrough Business of the Year from the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s a business with a mission,” said Landers. “Our primary goal is always to find employment opportunity for our folks, but this isn’t just a job. They’re serving their community, and they feel that every time they do this work.”

The produce delivery service started three years ago, when Pathfinder Village realized there was a need in the area – a “food desert” – for fresh produce.

“We hijacked the concept that healthy food delivery services like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh pioneered,” said Landers. “But we brought a feel-good quality to it.”

Every week, five employees – all Pathfinder Village residents – sort and pack 120 bags of produce for one, two or three people in a household – and deliver them, Tuesday through Friday, to low-income families, free of charge.

“We wanted to reach families who just don’t cook, but instead buy frozen food or go through the drive-thru,” said Landers.

Baulch said as many as 300 people a week eat the fresh produce delivered to their door.

“It’s about improving rural health outcomes,” she said. “To have something like this that’s accessible, where we can go out and get people these fruits and vegetables, we can help them improve their health.”

And for the Pathfinder residents packing the food, it helps them too. “They improve
their social skills, fine motor skills, and they learn about their own health,” she said. “They’re impacting people in their community.”

Though much of the produce is ordered from Sodexo, the food-service company, Pathfinder Village does run several greenhouses, growing and harvesting lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and more.

“It takes a lot of time to harvest, and moreso now with COVID,” said Baulch. “But it’s great for the residents.”

Landers knew that food without education would go to waste, and every week “Chef Eric,” as he’s known around the Village, researches and creates new recipes to pack with the produce so that families can try different ways of preparing their food.

“He found a role for himself, a pride and purpose,” said Landers.

Others, like Andrew, make short work of packing bags for deliver. “He’ll pack at least 50 bags,” said Baulch. “He loves going into the cooler, following the list and packing it all carefully so the soft items are on the top.”

“They are always ready to come into work,” said Landers. “You never have to drag them!”

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