It took a little bit longer than usual but it seems that spring has finally taken route in Rochester and the Cariola Community couldn’t be more thrilled. The much anticipated spring weather provides wonderful scenes outside my office window, preschoolers are once again playing in the courtyard and learning various sensory skills with blocks, sand and learning how to interact with classmates. I see students out and about in the sidewalks taking in a nice walk around campus and certainly the joy on the children’s faces can be seen from the new playground that was installed last year. On our EH campus the scenes are very similar as students walk between the buildings and even work on a new art project taking place there. It seems as if everyone has waited and is now enjoying what spring has to offer, we’ve had a long winter and are grateful.
Spring signals the regular school year is almost over, with just over a month remaining. It’s a time when we truly appreciate simple things like longer days, sunshine, the smell of the lilacs just behind our Elmwood Campus, and it’s a time we reflect on the many things that have been accomplished because of the generosity of our donors. We have no further to look than the wrap-up of our “We Will Shine” Capital Campaign.
The three-year “We Will Shine” Capital Campaign has come to a close but make no mistake, the impact of your gift will continue on for many years to come. Each day at Mary Cariola Children’s Center, over 450 kids come to school to learn, to sing, to take big steps forward in accomplishing goals that were once considered impossible. In our six houses, nearly 50 young people diligently work on life skills to increase their independence. These things happen every day because of staff dedicated to innovation and caring, and they happen because of YOU!
The funds from the campaign have allowed us to do so many things and complete much needed improvement projects and make important equipment and technology purchases. Just to highlight a few; certainly you all know about our new, state-of-the art home on State Road in Penfield. This house was built will all the important features that make an enormous difference in caring for our children with the most severe medical complexities. We now have three new respite beds that are available 365 days a year, allowing families to tend to business or other family obligations with a sense of security and calm knowing their child is being taken care of. On our school campuses more than 450 students will be well cared for in two new medical suites where our nurses will see students, distribute medications and consult with parents and or physicians.
Our clinical services are such an important part of the Cariola Community and through the campaign we now have six new therapeutic suites on the two campuses. Occupational and physical therapies can now use an ocean themed room and of course the new Snoezelen sensory rooms are a fantastic addition. Staff now have new computers to work on, new iPads are in classrooms and additional technology such as wireless in all our residences are the result of the campaign.
All-in-all $5.7 million dollars has been raised and while there is always more that needs to be done and new projects financed, the progress we’ve made because of the campaign is truly amazing.
On behalf of everyone at Mary Cariola, thank you for your generosity. We’re lucky to count you as a friend of the Agency and that is something we don’t take for granted