Summer, 2015 Volume 3, Issue 4
The Official Newsletter of Community Crossroads, Inc.
Guidance, Support and Advocacy News
Volume 3, Issue 4
First impressions are lasting ones - that is why we have been very fortunate to have had
Sheila Prunier onboard for the past 25 years. Sheila is one of the first faces you’ll see as
you walk through our doors or the first voice you’ll hear when you call in to our office. Her
professional enthusiasm makes every visitor or caller know that they matter and are welcome
at Community Crossroads.
In addition, Sheila offers administrative support to several departments and juggles those
multiple roles with ease. She has a passion for databases and is in her element while working
in any of the numerous ones at our agency. Community Crossroads has been fortunate to be
able to retain dedicated employees such as Sheila and we look forward to her continuing her
career with us well into the future.
a smile and a warm welcome
Community Crossroads 12th Annual Silent Auction on May 7th was a night of honoring and celebrating. The event was held at the
picturesque Castleton Banquet Hall in Windham. Castleton graciously donated use of the space and the event was sponsored by
Enterprise Bank. FLIR and SARC. A special dedication was made to a long time Board of Directors member Kathy Murphy, who
stepped down from the Board after helping to guide the agency for 30 years. Kathy was honored by fellow Board members, staff
and many family members.
Other highlights of the evening were the ever popular Wine Table raffle, the decorative Candy Table (created by Sandy Moulton),
and new this year was a Treasure Chest containing over $350 in gift cards.
rds. The Imp
ape once again offered wine tasting
with tasters receiving a complimentary wine glass to take home.
Eamon Anderson provided soothing musical entertainment throughout
the evening, and Meghann Dinsmore was our auction greeter. Our MC
Bill Dillon had fun with the crowd, getting lots of participation in our
raffles for $100 in scratch tickets, donated by the Houle family, and a
GoPro package donated by FLIR. MC Dillon also got the guests
excited for the live auctions which included a guitar signed by
Sammy Hagar, dinner for 4 at the Newburyport Lighthouse,
and a $3000 dinner package donated by Searles Castle.
With the corporate sponsorships, donations from people we
support and their families, vendors, agency staff and other
community businesses, this year’s auction raised over $22,000,
setting a new auction record. (See page 7 for our donor list).
The committe is busy planning next year’s auction with a
Cinco De Mayo theme. Community Crossroads looks forward
to having everyone join us for the next Auction on May 5, 2016.
Save the Date!
Each of our dedicated
can be reached
Public Policy News
“Empowering and eye opening!” Patty Natoli, Policy Partner 2015 graduate,
by Jenn Bertrand
remarked at the June 2015 Policy Partners graduation celebration. A dedicated
mother of a young adult who experiences a developmental disability, Patty wants
to make sure her daughter and others can have the opportunity to lead a happy
and independent life like any other American citizen. Patty gained knowledge and personal
confidence while enrolled in the Policy Partners class. She feels more powerful and is ready
to make a difference. Mick,
her husband and fellow
that funding can go away
at any time, and states
“We must be involved and
talk to people.”
People touched by disabilty
and others aren’t always
aware of NH’s long history
of activism or how our
system of person-centered/
community based supports
Policy Partners Class of 2015 and their Mentors
Back Row (L to R): Mick Natoli, Barbara Strzykalski, Dee Johnson, Karen Hatch, Dennis Powers
is constantly being
Front Row (L to R): Leah Kennedy, Jenn Bertrand, Cathy Spinney, Lisa Beaudoin and Patty Natoli
challenged. “Policy Partners
is a powerful tool for getting
people together who share common interests, engage with themselves and more importantly with
others.” says Lisa Beaudoin, another 2015 graduate.
This group of eighteen Policy Partners provided critical budget testimony and attended key
stakeholder actions that resulted in the Senate restoring much of the funding for developmental
services previously cut by the House. Their work also helped with the passage of a first-in-the-nation
law which prohibits the payment of subminimum wages to people with disabilities. According to
graduate Leah Kennedy, “It gave me the strength to stand up and have my voice heard. It’s
important to advocate and I can make a difference!”
We are seeking nominations for our next class in the fall. If you know someone interested in being
a more involved advocate, contact Jennifer Bertrand at [email protected] for information. Of
course, feel free to nominate yourself as well !
NH State Budget Deliberations
The State budget process has been going on for months. After the Governor presented her
budget, both the House and Senate have approved their own versions. After the House cut
many essential services severely, including $52 million in cuts for Developmental Disabilities,
the Senate restored $46 million for DD services in their budget. Currently select members
from the House and Senate are working in a Committee of Conference to reconcile their
respective budgets. As this is written, the Committee of Conference has agreed to accept
the Senate’s budget amount for develpmental services.
The Governor, disappointed that the budgets of both chambers have not included some of
her high priorities, has vetoed the budget recently approved by the legislature.
There is not enough majority votes in either chamber to overcome a veto, so legislators have
crafted a continuing resolution to keep state government working while the disagreements in
the final budget are negotiated between the legislative bodies and the executive branch over
the next six months.
2015 Scholarship Recipients
Board of Directors
Recently the Community Crossroads’ Development Committee awarded 6 local high
school seniors scholarships. Each recipient received a check for $750. We would like
to acknowledge and reward students whose hearts are in the field of helping people
with developmental disabilities, acquired brain disorders and elder care. It is
important for us to know what support has been provided to our communities by
these students so they are asked to submit essays.
Kenneth Ferreira Jr., President
Linda Steir, Vice President
Kathleen Dayotis, Secretary
The following students submitted their
winning essays to Community Crossroads:
James Watson, Treasurer
Arianna Getty, Pelham High School
Maria Aiello, Pinkerton Academy
Brenna Burke, Salem High School
Denae Walukevich, Sanborn Regional HS
Lauren Strainge, Timberlane Regional HS
Justine Levesque, Windham High School
Pictured is graduate Arianna Getty of Pelham High School with
Community Crossroads’ Representative Payee/Employment
Manager Deanna Johnson (Left) and Jinelle Hobson (Right),
Community Crossroads’ Marketing and Development Coordinator
Laurie Giguere, FSC Liaison
ServiceLink First Annual Kentucky Derby Day Party
Friends of ServiceLink hosted their first annual Kentucky Derby Day Party on May 2nd in
the Belmont Room at Rockingham Race Park in Salem, NH. The spring day brought friends
out sporting fashionable derby attire. A live auction and silent raffle added to the
excitment as the crowd gathered to support Friends of ServiceLink, Inc., celebrate spring,
and view the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs.
Electricity filled the air while guests in derby style hats paraded past the judges hoping to
win the contest for the most stylish or most spirited hats! The hat contest judges, Rep. Mary
Griffin (Windham), County Commissioner Tom Tombarello (Sandown), and WCCM-AM 1110
“Sicilian Corner” radio host Mike Lomazzo (Windham), carefully considered each hat to
decide the winners!
The event would not have been possible without the support of generous community sponsors
and friends. Win, Place and Show sponsors were Tuscan Kitchen, Ford Flowers, Brookside
Chapel and Funeral Home, Enterprise Bank, NH Healthy Families, Piscataqua Savings Bank,
Home Instead Senior Care, Rockingham VNA & Hospice, and Hoefle Phoenix Gormley Roberts,
P.A., Atorneys at Law. Rockingham Race Park generously provided the venue for the event.
Family Support Council
Laurie Giguere, Chair - Salem
Lynne Aboujaoude, Vice-Chair - Pelham
Julie Blomberg - Newton
Karen Carr - Sandown
Carol Dabrowski - Derry
Friends of ServiceLink is a non-profit organization that cooperates and plays an active role in
funding and creating awareness to support the efforts of ServiceLink Resource Center (SLRC)
of Rockingham County. SLRC works to empower all populations to access services, information
and supports that address their unique needs for health, independence and dignity.
Katie Everett - Windham
All proceeds from the Derby Day Party are donated to the Friends Helping Friends Fund, help
for adults age 60 and older, adults with disabilities, and family caregivers that cannot afford
necessary one time services to remain in the community.
Mary Beth Murphy - Derry
Friends of ServiceLink, Inc. is looking forward to May 2016 and the 142nd running of
the Kentucky Derby!
Kim Habib - Salem
Robin Knight - Sandown
Susan Nyberg - Chester
Aleece Pappas - Salem
Karen Ventola - Windham
Does it seem to you that the
world is out of balance? I
watch the news, read the
paper, talk to friends and
family - and someone or
something is always at one
extreme or another. How
do we maintain balance
in a healthy life: a place
between work and leisure; earning and
spending; social connectedness and alone time;
caring for others and caring for ourselves ?
They say with age comes wisdom. The “age”
part I’ve got. The wisdom, I’m not so sure.
Seems the older I get, the more questions I
have - and fewer answers.
A troubling aspect of the balance issue concerns
our young children. So many parents these days
are feeling stressed out in heavy schedule mode.
Driving here for dance lessons; there for karate;
here for gymnastics; there for soccer games.
With both parents working, often full time,
families get overbooked and over frazzled. But
even for the stay-at-home parent, this business
of scheduling is a challenging one.
Do we think keeping our children busy enough
will keep them out of trouble ? I understand
that reasoning, but I’m not quite sure it works.
I remember my own childhooh - yes, I know, a
different world. But I loved the “down times”.
The times in our backyard when I had nothing
else to do but collect rocks. The times at the
lake when I’d spend hours on the wharf looking
up at the clouds.
Do we fear our children will get bored ? What’s
wrong with a bit of boredom ? Doesn’t it lead to
creativity, to entertaining oneself, inquisitiveness,
contentment ? These skills form the framework
for our adult lives. Being OK to be alone, being at
peace with ourselves, not having to frantically
fill our schedules and check off our “to do” lists.
Without balance, we run the risk of becoming
human “doings” rather than “beings”.
Our calendars are full-full-full. Do we need to
actually schedule “down time” ? Maybe. I was
chatting with a co-worker the other day about
vacations. My husband and I take regular
vacations to our Florida condo. When we return,
I’m naturally asked what I did on vacation. My
initial thought is “nothing.” Then doubt creeps
in - perhaps I’d best respond with something to
impress. Ha! I’m exaggerating here, but you get
the picture. In this day and age, we’re expected
to arrange structured events in order to assure
a quality of life.
Continued on Page 6
Family Support Council News
Community Crossroads Family Support Council (FSC) continues working to increase
community awareness, membership, education and training opportunities, and
information on education, transition and other activities.
Our first six-week group music therapy session was very successful! We are in the
process of coordinating more sessions to enable more families to participate. We hope
to start these during the summer. The Council hosted another successful Soundscapers’
event at Sarah Care in Hampstead. It was well attended with several new families
joining us. We also hosted a three-day Digital Stories workshop in April where
families learned to create their own stories.
Dee Johnson, Community Crossroads’ Representative Payee/Benefits Manager, joined
us for our March meeting and gave a very informative talk on “SSI and Medicaid”.
Tom Call, Community Crossroads’ PDMS Coordinator, came to our May meeting to
discuss “HEM 525”, Participant Directed and Managed Services.
In June, the Council was invited and participated at Timberlane High School’s
“Congratulations to Schools Celebration” event held at the Plaistow/Haverhill, MA
Thirteen families from our region attended the Family Support Conference held
May 1st-3rd. A variety of informational trainings were offered as well as continuous
social opportunities for families to meet each other. The Conference was very well
attended and overall, a big success.
The Council re-elected Laurie Giguere as Chair and Lynne Aboujaoude as Vice-Chair.
Mary Beth Murphy of Derry joined us as a new member. We will continue to meet
over the summer to continue working on our goals.
GEMSS: Genetics Education Materials
for School Success
If you support a child with a genetic condition on their educational journey,
GEMSS was created for you!
As part of the NH Leadership Series, an Action Group was formed to help promote
and bring about awareness of the GEMSS website and how it can be used as a valuable
resource. The aim of GEMSS is to assure all children with genetic health conditions
succeed in school life. Children who have genetic conditions are members of neighborhood
schools across the country. In fact, it has been estimated that about 1 in 20 children
have a genetic condition. GEMSS are tools for schools and were developed for teachers,
schools and parents, by the Education & Outreach work group within the New England
Genetics Collaborative (NEGC). The NEGC is a group of specialists and providers from
the six New England States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,
Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Teachers and parents use GEMSS to better understand the needs of students
who have genetic conditions.
There are many ways in which GEMSS can help you, including: developing lesson plans,
providing backup documentation for meetings, IEP development, support for Children
with challenges who are not diagnosed, staff training, preparing for educational and
medical transitions, modifying physical activity/education, support to assist children
to be able to go on a field trip, and help planning for lunch room meals and snacks.
Please visit their website at: www.gemssforschools.org
Save the Date !
Meet the Staff
In addition to our office space, Community Crossroads owns
several properties that are home to many of the people we
serve. As landlords we recongnize the need for a multi-talented
“jack of all trades” who can assist with everyday home projects
while overseeing major environmental modifications needed
to adapt these homes for resident’s needs.
We are very fortunate to have our Property Manager,
Don Johnson, fill that role. Don works alongside many
dedicated provider agency staff to help ensure our homes
continue to meet the unique needs of each person living
Don is our “go-to guy” for so many other projects at our
organization. Because his job responsibilities take him
outside the office and around the region, you may not have
had an opportunity to meet and interact with him as you do our administrative staff.
Rest assured that Don is out there, doing his best (as he has for the past 18 years) to
ensure that everyone lives and works in a safe and healthy environment - and we
appreciate everything he does for us!
Lorraine Butler has served on the
Community Crossroads Board of
Directors since the early 1990s,
representing the town of Derry.
Policy Partners Nominations are Open!
Don’t miss this valuable training opportunity. Learn how to engage in the legislative
process and affect crucial public policies around disability issues in New Hampshire.
Nominate someone you know, nominate yourself! Learn effective communication
strategies and help craft the future of disability supports and services.
Contact Jenn Bertrand at [email protected]
Continued from Page 4
My work life is busy. My vacations are usually not. I like the balance. I love that
my grandchildren have full lives; school, lessons, play groups, etc. I most certainly
don’t want them to be lazy or lack ambition. But I also want them to have time in
their young lives to enjoy a simple world, to play, to know what to do when there’s
“nothing to do”. Because when looking back as adults, having “nothing to do” may
just be one of the highlights of their growing-up years.
Let me know what you think. I always welcome your comments.
Contact me at [email protected]
“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumblebee,
the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain,
and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential,
and fight for your dreams”
Throughout this time, she has also
been an active member of People
Power, the local self-advocacy group.
Lorraine has served as an officer in
People Power on several occasions
and has travelled throughout the
country to attend national conferences.
In addition to these efforts on behalf
of Community Crossroads, Lorraine
has been very involved within her
town of Derry, like advocating for the
installation of a street light to improve
safety in her neighborhood community.
She is known locally as the unofficial
historian for Derry due to her keen
recollection of places and events long
Lorraine is a graduate of the NH
Leadership Series and is very active in
politics, having met numerous
presidential candidates over the years.
She also has experience as a grassroots
campaign volunteer, working on behalf
of candidates she supports.
We are very fortunate to have someone
with Lorraine’s wisdom and experience
on the Community Crossroads Board.
With gratitude to our sponsors and supporters . . .
12th Annual Silent Auction
Thank You !
Community Crossroads, Inc. is grateful for the following list of donors:
We’d like to acknowledge and thank them all!
2015 Silent Auction Committee
Castleton Banquet Hall
Northeast Independent Living Program
Goodsell Law Office
Gourmet Bites Catering & Cafe
Old Sturbridge Village
Granite Bay Connections
Tina & Paul Paquin
Peabody Essex Museum
Shorty’s Mexican Roadhouse
Great American Subs & More
Smuttynose Brewing Company
Southern Wine & Spirits
Hampstead Animal Hospital
Hampsteand Health & Fitness
Pilgrim Lanes & Funtime Arcade
Stars & Stripes Gift Shop
Alliance Home Health Care, Inc.
Karen & Joe Hatch
Andrea & William Powers
Tax Services of Londonderry, Inc.
T-Bones & Cactus Jack’s
Bayside Distributing Company
Pro-Tech Lawn Care
Queen City Cupcakes
The Common Man
Brenda Berkal, DMD
Ideal Body and Wellness Center
Regency Home Health, LLC
The Hunter’s Studio
Blue Seal Feeds
J. Michael’s Sports Pub
Reliant Auto Repair
The Prime Butcher
Bob’s Discount Furniture
James M. Holland, DMD
The Southwick Zoo
Bonie Vie Salon and Spa
JFK Presidential Library & Museum
The Yard Restaurant
Boston Beer Company
Dee & Don Johnson
Anita & Terry Trudel
Boston Duck Tours
Robin Hill Farm
Two Guys Smoke Shop
Roy and Dillon
Uno Pizzeria & Grill
Burlington, MA Quilters Guild
Denis & Elaine Lavin
S.E. Cummings & Associates
USS Constitution Museum
Camp Systems International
Michael & Jennifer Lavin
Salem Wax Museum
Canobie Lake Park
Lazy Dog Beer Shoppe
Center for Life Management
Terri & Tom Lianza
Sarah Care Adult Day Services
Windham Jewelers, Inc.
Chunky’s Cinema Pub
Community Crossroads Board of Directors
LifeShare Management Group, Inc.
Searles Castle at Windham
Woodland Wood Works
Community Crossroads Family Support Council
Lindt & Sprungli (USA), Inc.
SEE Science Center
Lorraine & Bob Wysocki
Community Crossroads Lunch Bunch Ladies
Community Integrated Services
MAS Home Care of NH
Mel’s Funway Park, LLC
Minuteman Health, Inc.
Bill and Ann Dillon
Dr. Joseph Cardarelli, Jr.
NE Patriots Charitable Foundation
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub
North Shore Music Theatre
NON PROFIT ORG
U.S. POSTAGE PD
8 Commerce Drive, Ste 801, Atkinson, New Hampshire 03811
Partner with us . . .
Community Partnership Fund
The Community Partnership Fund is about a different kind of giving - it’s giving back to
the community. Community Crossroads has supported families and individuals who in
turn have contributed immeasurably to their local communities through their
employment, their volunteerism and their relationships.
Please consider making a financial contribution today. As always, 100% of your donation
goes directly to supporting those we serve. You can make a tax-deductible contribution
online at www.communitycrossroadsnh.org or by mailing a check to:
Community Crossroads, Inc.
8 Commerce Drive, Suite 801
Atkinson, NH 03811