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Donor Dollars at Work- A FUTURE SO BRIGHT

Donor Dollars at Work- A FUTURE SO BRIGHT

Recess and Physical Education are some of The School at Springbrook students’ favorite times of the school day, and we love to see everyone out and about on campus. Thanks to our generous donors, we’ve added a new element to our much-loved playground- a sunshade!

This structure provides a cooler place and protection from the sun for students so they can enjoy the playground even more. We hope to add tables, benches, and a poured concrete floor for easier access in the future.

Please consider donating to Springbrook so we can continue to upgrade our facilities and programs with a gift of any amount by texting SPRINGBROOK to 243-725 or by clicking the button below!

Springbrook Honors Triumphant Life and Belden Award Recipients, Justine Leonard, Patricia Meinel

Springbrook Honors Triumphant Life and Belden Award Recipients, Justine Leonard, Patricia Meinel

Michael Basso
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
105 Campus Drive
Oneonta, New York 13820
Phone: 607.725.0687

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 22, 2022

Springbrook Honors Triumphant Life and Belden Award Recipients, Justine Leonard, Patricia Meinel


Oneonta, NY: Springbrook, a leading provider of supports for people with developmental disabilities honored service recipient, Justine Leonard, and longtime employee, Patricia Meinel, with the organization’s achievement awards on September 22, 2022.

The Springbrook Triumphant Life Award is an annual award intended to honor and give special recognition to a person with a disability who has a relationship with Springbrook. The Triumphant Life Award is an acknowledgment of a person’s attitude and triumphs. The winner of this award inspires others. Their success is clearly evident as the person uses their strengths and natural supports to make their dreams come true.


2022 Triumphant Life recipient, Justine Leonard, has had a relationship with Springbrook for over 20 years. Ms. Leonard is an outgoing and compassionate individual who is committed to her community. She has volunteered at various Otsego County nonprofits including the SPCA, The Lord’s Table, and regional daycare centers. Throughout her connection with Springbrook, Ms. Leonard has focused on increasing her independence by steadily decreasing her need for intensive supports. Her dedication to this goal culminated recently as she moved out of a certified individual residential alternative (IRA) home, where supports and services are provided for each resident 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Today. Ms. Leonard lives in a supported apartment, with minimum staffing support, and a roommate whom she has known for over 17 years.

Ms. Leonard’s advocate, Springbrook direct support professional (DSP), Jacob Burrows, nominated her for the award and supported Ms. Leonard as she accepted her award. With Mr. Burrow’s assistance, Justine expressed her excitement at receiving the award and her gratitude for her many friends and loved ones. “I nominated Justine because of how much she does on her own and for herself. She moved into a new apartment, she has a roommate, a couple of staff who work with her, but for the most part she is able to do what she wants, when she wants, every day of the week,” said Burrows.

The Charles A. Belden Special Merit Citation was established in 1994 by the Board of Directors to honor Charles Belden. Mr. Belden served Springbrook in many capacities, including 40 years as a member of the Board. Mr. Belden was highly respected for his wisdom, understanding, and commitment. The Charles A. Belden Special Merit Citation is intended to give special recognition to an employee of Springbrook in acknowledgment of exceptional contributions and outstanding service. The recipient of this award has demonstrated a compassionate spirit and an unusually high level of care for the people served by Springbrook, as exemplified by Mr. Belden during his many years of service.

2022 Belden Award recipient, Patricia Meinel, has been with Springbrook for over 15 years. Throughout her tenure as an Overnight DSP, Ms. Meinel has earned a reputation as a committed and skilled team member. In her role, she practices the tenants of the DSP position while also taking on additional leadership and administrative tasks like medical room counts and checks (ensuring medical safety and quality in the residential setting). At the award ceremony, Margot Summerhill, the parent of an individual supported by Ms. Meinel, spoke of Ms. Meinel’s dedication and professionalism, saying, “I trust Patti’s judgement. For many people, being a DSP is just a job. I think Patti sees it different. She is here every day to ensure the people she supports have a good life.”

While presenting the award, Springbrook CEO Patricia Kennedy, noted that the Belden Award is unique because nominations are submitted by fellow employees and chosen by a committee of employees. “Patti received multiple nominations and each expressed the same sentiment, that Patti is a shining example of what a Springbrook employee is. She is the embodiment of our mission and the work we do,” said Kennedy. Upon receiving the award, Ms. Meinel thanked all who made the award possible, saying, “I am so honored. I love my job. I love the people I work with and that’s what keeps me here. I am so glad that I found my little notch in the world.”

Ms. Leonard and Ms. Meinel were honored, along with the 2022 Springbrook 20, 25. 20, 35, and 40 year milestone employees, at a luncheon on September 22, held at the organization’s Family Engagement Center in Oneonta, NY.


Springbrook provides at-home care, residential and educational services, day services, and clinical, therapeutic, and behavioral supports to over 1,100 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities from across New York State. With headquarters in Oneonta, NY, the organization has offices throughout the Southern Tier and employs more than 1,200 people.


Join us as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Tom Golisano Center for Autism. Take a walk through years of history and education. Learn more of what is to come for Springbrook, our employees, and the people we support!

If you are having trouble with the RSVP button please call 1(607) 644-3946 for assistance.

Event Itinerary

1:30-6:30 pm

1:30-3:30 pm
Enjoy trolley rides around our beautiful campus and a guided
tour of the School at Springbrook. Tours begin every 15 minutes.

3:00-4:00 pm
Join us for a private reception celebrating the donors who made the dream of the Golisano Center for Autism a reality.

4:00-5:00 pm
Join us as we commemorate the 10 year journey of the Tom Golisano Center
for Autism, with speakers representing Springbrook families, graduates of
the Golisano Center, and staff.

5:00-6:30 pm
Enjoy a family-style dinner and music with your Springbrook family and friends

Donor Dollars at Work-Springbrook’s Therapeutic Horse Scholarships

Donor Dollars at Work-Springbrook’s Therapeutic Horse Scholarships

Springbrook’s Therapeutic Horse Scholarships are a great example of Donor Dollars At Work! For the 11th year in a row, we were able to provide this need-based assistance for individuals who receive services from either Springbrook or Southern Tier Connect. Therapeutic horsemanship can include therapeutic riding lessons, grooming, leading, and other equine-related activity. Sessions are led by specially trained instructors and address each individual’s needs. These might include communication, social-skill building, and anxiety reduction or physical goals like improving eye-hand coordination, balance, and strength.

We often hear from parents and care managers about how much the riders are enjoying their experiences with horses, and we love to see smiles like Elijah’s! Now 15, Eli has participated at Athelas Therapeutic Riding in Otego for several years with scholarship support. Parker, 12, is in his second year riding with a Springbrook scholarship –pictured with his instructor Karleen DuMond of Golden Gait in Sidney Center.

Thanks to the many individuals, businesses, and foundations who have supported this opportunity for so many kids and adults over the years! If you would like to contribute towards next year’s scholarships, Giddyap! and click the button below or text SPRINGBROOK to 243-725.

Direct Support Professionals Appreciation Week!

Direct Support Professionals Appreciation Week!

Direct Support Professionals Appreciation Week is here! This week, we take the time to reflect and express our gratitude for every person providing the essential work at Springbrook. Patricia Kennedy, CEO of Springbrook, expresses her appreciation for all of Springbrook’s Direct Support Professionals by saying, “You are the educators, advocates, cheerleaders, partners, and friends to not only the people we support but their families and your coworkers. With these thoughts, I say, on behalf of your entire Springbrook community, THANK YOU! You are essential, not only by definition but by your actions.” Please, take a moment this week (or anytime!) to tell DSPs just how much you appreciate them!

Situation Saturday- Elevating The Ford on Main

Situation Saturday- Elevating The Ford on Main

This Situation Saturday we are highlighting some updates from the Ford on Main project! A great deal of progress has been made on the elevator shaft construction. As part of ADA compliance, the elevator supports the four units reserved as integrated housing for people receiving services from the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). The elevator will also make the building easily accessible to the other 20 affordable, market-rate residential units.

For more about Ford on Main, please see the website with the button below!

Wellness Wednesday- Lisa Visits Historical Places!

Wellness Wednesday- Lisa Visits Historical Places!

This #WellnessWednesday we are sharing some moments enjoyed by SDS participants! Lisa (pictured above) is able to pursue her passion for history through her Self-Directed Services by planning trips to historical places with support from her self-hired staff.

Self-Directing your services with Springbrook ensures flexibility to choose the supports that are right for you and your family, pursue passions and hobbies through events like planning trips to new places, select the staff and schedule of your choice, and choose the technology and expertise to support you every step of the way. For more information about Self-Directed Services, visit the website with the button below!

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