Cullen

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for May 29, 2018

Today’s Meeting:  Tom Duvall of Express Employment – Discussing today’s workforce

 

Future Speakers:

May 29th – Neil Rudel – Altoona Mirror

 

Family ServicesWhacha’ May Have Missed Last Week: Felicia Robinson of Family Services, Incorporated was our guest speaker last week.  While Family Services provides many essential services, Felicia‘s topic was their Victim Services Program. This program, of which Felicia is the Coordinator, supports and advocates for children, youth, and adults affected by crime and abuse. The program’s victim advocates are trained to provide assistance to victims of rape, sexual assault, stalking, robbery and human trafficking…..to name just a few. These services are also extended to the victim’s family members. Felicia went on to say that the advocates are now available to come to wherever the victims need them, providing services such as assisting with protection from abuse orders, custody issues and divorce assistance. The advocates take turns being “on call” so that assistance for individuals is available 24/7. Additionally, the program provides a support group for victims and their families. These groups meet for several hours each week. The support that Felicia and her team provides comes at a traumatic time for the victims and provides support and education on what is needed to get these victims the help that they deserve. Allison answered questions from the membership following her presentation and explained a new term to many called “sextortion”. Sextortion happens when a person threatens harm or promises a reward in order to coerce sexual acts, images, or videos from a victim. For more information on the Victim Services Program, visit their website at www.familyservicesinc.net.

 

Guests of the Day:

…..There were none.

 

 News of the Week:

…..Rachel DiAndrea conducted the meeting and showed the membership a handmade card sent from Penn Cambria Elementary to the club, thanking us for the donation of several Amtrykes.

…..With two of our recent new members in attendence, Rachael asked the membership to go around the room, one by one, introducing themselves to Jim Berkhimer and Chris Shirock. For more information on Chris, please see his profile later in this bulletin.

…..Rachel also recognized the efforts of grant writer, Dave Aikens, for all of the work that he’s done toward the recent publicity the club has received in the Mirror and on local television.

…..Jim Huff announced that at this time he doesn’t seem to have enough interest in a Pirates game. He did state that if enough people are interested, that he will organize the trip. So, if you’re up for a possible trip to PNC park, talk to Jim.

 

…..Amtryke Chairman, Michele Lloyd’s Amtryke building minions were at it again last week when Dave Aikens and John Lloyd built a tryke for 4 year old Cohen of Altoona.

 

…..COME ON FOLKS…..Program Chairman, Ken Decker, is still looking for volunteers to take a month (or share one with a fellow Ambuc) to provide interesting programs for our meetings. The new club year begins in June and there are still a number of slots left on the sign-up sheet.

 

…..Paul Dick distributed AMBUCS Committee Preference Sheets and asked each member present to review the list of committees and rank several of which they would be willing to serve upon. Committees are the backbone of the work that the club performs for the community, the fun that we have as a club, and the way in which we build up our membership. Please take a few minutes and turn in your completed forms to Paul or Secretary Bob Reffner. The board will be meeting this week to set up the board positions and committee members for club year 2018/19.

 

Joker…..The winner of last week’s raffle ticket was…..well…..NOBODY! Unfortunately someone stole, threw away or somehow disposed of our card deck. Bill Hoyne’s ticket was chosen last week, but he had no Joker to find. So here’s the deal…a new deck of cards will be purchased and enough cards will be removed to get the deck down to 17 cards including the Joker. At the beginning of the meeting next week, Bill will get to pick a card. If he wins, we’ll open a new deck and start over. If he chooses unwisely, we’ll rip up the card he chooses and sell tickets as normal with the winner getting to pick from the remaining 16 cards.

If Bill doesn’t pick the Joker, the pot for the day will be over $800!

 

…..Today we’re about to meet new Ambuc Chris Shirock.  Chris is a CPA for Young, Oakes, Brown & Company in Altoona. Chris is a graduate of Penn Cambria High School and has a B.S. degree from Mount Aloysius College. He’s engaged to his fiancée Kathryn, who has a 14 year old daughter Deerin. Their wedding date is set for August 25th. In his leisure time, Chris enjoys shooting pool, walking, biking and rooting for his St. Louis Cardinals. He wanted to join AMBUCS so he could become involved in a civic organization that would allow him to meet people and help others in the community. Chris is also serving the community by being the treasurer of the Gallitzin United Methodist Church and a board member of the Gallitzin Moose. When asked what was unique about himself that few people would know….he noted that he once flew in a helicopter….certainly something that many of us haven’t done. Welcome aboard Chris!

 

In Closing:       Speaking of helicopters…..

HelicopterWalter took his wife Ethel to the state fair every year, and every time he would say to her, “Ethel, you know that I’d love to go for a ride in that helicopter.” But Ethel would always reply, “I know that Walter, but that helicopter ride is 50 dollars and 50 dollars is 50 dollars.” Finally, they went to the fair one day, and Walter said to Ethel, “Ethel, you know I’m 87 years old now. If I don’t ride that helicopter this year, I may never get another chance.” Once again Ethel replied, “Walter, you know that helicopter ride is 50 dollars and 50 dollars is 50 dollars.” This time the helicopter pilot overheard the couple’s conversation and said, “Listen folks, I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll take both of you for a ride; if you can both stay quiet for the entire ride and not say a word I won’t charge you! But if you say just one word, it’s 50 dollars.” Walter and Ethel agreed and up they went in the helicopter. The pilot performed all kinds of fancy moves and tricks, but not a word was said by either Walter or Ethel. The pilot did his death-defying tricks over and over again, but still there wasn’t so much as one word said. When they finally landed, the pilot turned to Walter and said, “Wow! I’ve got to hand it to you. I did everything I could to get you to scream or shout out, but you didn’t. I’m really impressed!” Walter replied, “Well to be honest I almost said something when Ethel fell out…..but, you know, 50 dollars is 50 dollars!”

 

Cullen

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for May 22, 2018

Today’s Meeting:  –  Cindy Estep – Family Svcs. – Discussing their Victim Services Program

 

Future Speakers:

May 29th – Tom Duvall of Express Employment – Discussing today’s workforce

 

Lori RummelWhacha’ May Have Missed Last Week: We had both an Amtryke presentation and a guest speaker last week. Prior to lunch being served, we presented an Amtryke to Lori Rummel. Lori, who is a 39 year old from Johnstown, was very excited about het tryke. She couldn’t wait to ride on it and did in fact pedal it a little bit on the side of the room. Her parents, Jim and Janet Rummel assured her that as soon as they returned to Johnstown that she could ride around the neighborhood. I don’t think any Amtryke recipient in recent history was as anxious and appreciative of their tryke as Lori was!

 

Then, our speaker Debbie Kelly of Dreams Go On was introduced by Mike Strait. Mike noted that in his opinion, Dreams Go On wouldn’t be around without her efforts. Debbie began by thanking the AMBUCS for their past support of their organization. She stated that they currently have 58 riders and others on a waiting list. They operate 4 days per week, providing therapeutic horseback riding sessions to children and adults who are physically challenged. Riders and the organization’s certified-instructors ride outdoors from March through October and indoors over the winter months. Additionally, they can provide private lessons. The horseback rides provide numerous physical and emotional benefits including the strengthening of muscles, improved balance and coordination, and improved self-esteem. Debbie went on to say that the organization began with just one horse but have now built up the stable to their current six horses. Since the charity runs by donations and volunteers, Debbie stated they can always use more of both. At the end of the presentation, Debbie showed a video that was developed several years ago. Following the video, Vice-president, Kristan, presented Debbie with an AMBUCS donation of $1,000 for Dreams Go On. For more information on this wonderful charity that supports many in our community that match our very own AMBUCS mission…..visit their website www.dreamsgoon.com. (Kind of a bummer of a website……Dreams Goon)!

 

Guests of the Day:

…..The family of Amtryke recipient Lori….her father Jim and mother Janet.

 

 News of the Week:

…..Jim Huff took a quick poll of the members present at last week’s meeting to see about the interest in a Pirate game social. A few hands went up and Jim stated that he would check if the Farabaugh clan might help to fill a bus. If you’re interested in a possible trip to PNC park, see Jim.

 

…..Program Chairman, Ken Decker, is still looking for volunteers to take a month (or share one with a fellow Ambuc) to provide interesting programs for our meetings. The new club year begins in June and there are still a number of slots left on the sign-up sheet which is being circulated.

Andrew Brans…..Tuesday afternoon, Amtryke Chairman, Michele Lloyd and her wonderful husband John, delivered an Amtryke to 10 year old Andrew Branas of Altoona. Andrew donned his helmet and with some help from his father, began motoring around his driveway. In this picture, Andrew is joined by his father Damian, his mother Lori, and his brother Damian. Andrew’s father informed me the next day that Andrew rode his new Amtryke up and down their lane the night before.

 

…..A big thank you goes out to Grant Chairman, Dave Aikens, for organizing and coordinating many of the recent publicity items that we’ve experienced. The television coverage of our Amtryke presentations several weeks ago, the Altoona Mirror front page article about the club, and several other news releases that should soon be in both the Altoona Mirror and the Morrison’s Cove Herald, were all the result of Dave’s efforts. Great job Dave!

 

…..Wev’e recently added three new members to our ranks. This week I’ll be profiling new member Jim Berhimer and in coming weeks I’ll have profiles on Chris Shirock and Rudy Turko.

Jim Berkhimer is a CPA and a partner at Young, Oakes, Brown & Company (YOBCO). Jim is a Claysburg-Kimmel grad and has a B.S. degree from Penn State/Smeal College of Business. He and his wife, Cheri, have two children…..Cara who is 19 and Cassie who is 14. Jim’s interests include athletics, golf, hunting, yard work, and basically any outdoor activity. Jim joined AMBUCS because he wanted to get involved with a worthwhile civic organization. When asked what was unique about him that only a few people might know about; he noted that he nearly drowned in a local flash flood when he was 14…..being washed downstream after their vehicle became disabled. That would be a good story to hear more about! Please welcome and make yourself known to Jim at club this week. Welcome aboard Jim.

 

Joker…..The winner of last week’s raffle ticket was me! Unfortunately I was as inept as all of those before me….picking the four of clubs instead of that pesky Joker! The good news for everyone is that the pot once more grows….now around $775! So this week, you have the chance to pick the winning Joker out of the remaining deck of only 17 cards. That pot is there for the taking and the cards are dwindling.

 

In Closing:       One day a lawyer was riding in his limousine when he spotted two men along the roadside eating grass. Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate. He asked one of the men “Why are you eating grass?” The poor man replied “we don’t have any money for food so we have to eat grass.” “Well then, you can come to my house and I’ll feed you” replied the lawyer. “But sir, I have a wife and two children. They are over there under that tree.” “Bring them along” the lawyer said. Then turning to the other poor man, he said “You come along with us too.” The second man, in a pitiful voice, said “But sir, I have a wife and SIX children with me!” “Bring them along as well” said the lawyer. After they all climbed in the limo, one of the men turned to the lawyer and said “Sir you are too kind. Thank you for taking us all with you.” The lawyer replied, “Glad to do it. You’ll really love my place. The grass is almost a foot high!”

Cullen

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for May 15, 2018

Today’s Meeting:  –  Debbie Kelly – Dreams Go On

 

Future Speakers:

May 22nd – Cindy Estep – Family Svcs. – Discussing their Victim Services Program

May 29th – Tom Duvall of Express Employment – Discussing today’s workforce

 

Thomas KleinerWhacha’ May Have Missed Last Week: WOW…what a great meeting we had last week. We gave away two Amtrykes and had quite a few guests in attendance, along with a number of media folks. The Amtrykes were presented to Jacob Toth, an eleven year old boy from East Freedom and to Thomas Kleiner, a twelve year old boy from Duncansville. Both boys, with some help from their therapists and parents, got on their new trykes and began moving. These two trykes, along with a third one which was presented to a Martinsburg boy several weeks ago, were funded by a generous grant from the Nason Foundation. Grant Chairman, Dave Aikens, arranged for that grant and was responsible for setting up the media guests at our luncheon. Both WTAJ-TV and WJAC-TV were in attendance and both presented stories about the presentations on their news broadcasts on Tuesday. Also in attendance were representatives from the Altoona Mirror and the Morrison’s Cove Herald, both of whom will be reporting on the presentations. Other guests that Dave invited to the meeting included Betsy Garach from the Nason Foundation and two employees of Sheetz, whose organization provided us Amtryke grant money last year. A great big thanks goes out to Dave for organizing the day’s events!

Guests of the Day:

…..The family of Amtryke recipient Jacob, parents Randy & Gindi Musselman

…..The mother of Amtryke recipient Thomas, Kimberly Kleiner

…..The therapist for both boys, Juliana Ricupero

…..The Director of Special Education Spring Cove School District, Harry Gregg

…..The Director of Special Education Hollidaysburg Area School District, Laura Koehle

…..Representative of Special Education Hollidaysburg Area School District, Kristi Holtz

…..Betsy Garach, Nason Foundation

…..Debbie Scordo, Sheetz Corporation Donations Coordinator

…..Cameron Fasick, Sheetz Corporation Donations Intern

…..Judith Ott, Morrison’s Cove Herald

…..Guest of Alex Seltzer, Scott Filler, CEO of Health South

…..Guest of Alex Seltzer, Diane Osgood of WeCare

…..Guest of Bruce Brower, his wife Sue

…..Kristan Zolnoski’s guest was her therapy student, TJ, who is shadowing her.

 

News of the Week:

…..At Tuesday’s meeting, Bruce & Sue Brower presented a $500 check to the club for our Amtryke fund. So….a big shout out to the Browers for their very generous gift that will make one of our future Amtryke recipients very happy!

…..Speaking of Amtrykes…..Amtryke chairman Michele Lloyd’s assembly crew of Ed Farabaugh, Dave Aikens, and John Lloyd were hard at it again last week. This time we were building a larger tryke for an adult when we had a problem with the gear shift on the bike. To the rescue was Brian Caparusio of Spokes N Skis who lended us his expertise in getting the gear shift fixed. Not only did Brian help us, but he did so at no cost! If you have need of any bicycle or ski needs….stop in and see Brian at Spokes N Skis located at 315 South Logan Blvd., Lakemont…..and remember to tell Brian thanks for his help on our Amtryke!

 

…..Treasurer, Paul Dick, announced that the preliminary tally for the blood screening should net the club over $14,000 this year! Great job to chairman Ed Farabaugh and those who helped him.

 

Old Amtryke Logo…..National AMBUCS has announced some changes to the branding of our Amtrykes. The old Amtryke logo was shown with the tag line…”The therapeutic tricycle for prople with disabilities”. Additionally, the old logo new amtryke logohad the capital “T” in Amtryke, which had been phased out nearly three years ago. The new logo features the small “t” in amtryke and a new tag line of “Adaptive Trykes for Amazing People!”.  The changes were made when therapists informed National that the term “disabilities” is beginning to have a negative connotation, much like the term “handicapped” now has. The new logo also reflects the recent changes to the Amtryke design, featuring a low frame construction with both wheels being the same size.

 

…..Program Chairman, Ken Decker, is still looking for volunteers to take a month (or share one with a fellow Ambuc) to provide interesting programs for our meetings. The new club year begins in June and there are still a number of slots left on the sign-up sheet which is being circulated.

 

Joker…..Speaking of Ken, last week the raffle ticket of Ken Decker was chosen. Ken took three steps up to the head table and promptly chose poorly….picking the six of hearts instead of that pesky Joker! The good news for the rest of us is that the pot once more grows….now around $750! So this week, you have the chance to pick the winning Joker out of the remaining deck of only 18 cards. That pot is there for the taking.

 

In Closing:       An elementary teacher asked her class if one of them could use the word “fascinate” in a sentence. Immediately, Billy raised his hand and said “My family went to my granddad’s farm and we saw all of his pet sheep….it was fascinating”. The teacher said, “That was good Billy, but I wanted you to use the word ‘fascinate’, not ‘fascinating’.” Molly then raised her hand and said, “My neighbor’s cat had kittens and I was fascinated.” The teacher said, “That too was good Molly, but I wanted you to use the word ‘fascinate’, not ‘fascinated’.” Little Johnny then raised his hand, but the teacher hesitated since she had been burned by little Johnny before. Then she thought there was no way he could damage the word “fascinate”, so she called on him. His reply was “My Aunt Carolyn has a sweater with ten buttons, but her boobs are so big that she can only fasten eight!” The teacher sat down and cried.

 

Cullen

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for May 8, 2018

Today’s Meeting:  –  Presentation of Amtrykes to 11 year old Jacob Toth and 12 year old Thomas Kleiner

 

Future Speakers:

May 15th – Debbie Kelly – Dreams Go On

May 22nd – Cindy Estep – Family Svcs. – Discussing their Victim Services Program

May 29th – TBD

 

Whacha’ May Have Missed Last Week:

…..Last week our speaker was our very own Alex Seltzer, who led a discussion with the members regarding the increasing of our membership and member retention and involvement. Alex noted that club membership recently hit an all-time low of 42 members. Fortunately three new members have recently joined but we still have a lot to do to increase membership to a level that will enable us to keep up with our mission of “creating mobility & independence for people with disabilities”.  The key discussion points of Alex’s presentation included the following:

 

  • Consider a corporate membership that would allow multiple members to attend any week.
  • Prepare a list of businesses and ask the membership to call upon any business that they have a connection.
  • Consider the possibility of a “phone bank” where members come together to place calls to businesses.
  • Create special AMBUCS business cards that could be used to invite potential members to lunch.
  • Consider a free 50/50 ticket to any member who brings in a guest.
  • Target certain groups such as Young Professionals, Graystone residents, and former AMBUCS members for membership.
  • Discuss with Park Hills the possibility of a “premium” membership (at a higher quarterly cost) that would offer a 3rd enhanced lunch choice.

 

From these main topics a very good dialog ensued with comments and suggestions being made by many in attendance. Those topics are too numerous to mention here but were included in an email that was sent to the membership on May 1st. Due to time limitations, Alex had to conclude the discussion but encouraged members to let him know their additional thoughts and suggestions. The board will take all of this into consideration and propose any changes to the membership prior to implementation. Please keep in mind all of the good that we do in our community and in order for us to sustain those efforts we must be a club that is healthy.

 

Guests of the Day:

…..Kristan Zolnoski’s guest was her therapy student, TJ, who is shadowing her.

 

 

News of the Week:

…..It was good to see our two newest members, Jim Berkhimer and Chris Shirock, both from Young, Oakes, Brown & Co. in attendance. Also spotted in the crowd was Susan Barber, who hasn’t been around much lately. Good to see all three of you!

 

…..Vice-President Kristan thanked the membership for the club’s recent $300 donation to what she calls her Lending Library at WeCare. The library is for families to sign out specialized equipment from WeCare in order for them to try them out prior to purchasing the equipment. The library will eventually house items such as weighted blankets, lap-pads and vests, noise modulation headphones, weighted pencils, and vibration tools. Most of this specialized equipment is rather expensive and the Lending Library gives parents a hands-on experience.

 

…..Kristan also read a Thank You note from Kate Coltabaugh, mother of 4 year old Eddie of Tyrone who received his Amtryke in December. Kate noted that “with all of his medical bills we weren’t able to do much for Christmas and this tryke made his whole Christmas….riding it through the house every day.”

 

…..Program Chairman, Ken Decker, is looking for volunteers to take a month (or share one with a fellow Ambuc) to provide interesting programs for our meetings. The new club year begins in June and there are still a number of slots left on the sign-up sheet which is being circulated.

 

bloodscreen…..Saturday was our annual AMBUCS Blood Screening at Park Hills. Thanks to all of the Ambucs who showed up to assist with this fundraiser. Chairman Ed Farabaugh reported that we had about 534 participants this year, an all time record! Karen Lemme and her staff offerred free hearing tests and UPMC provided free blood pressure tests. Following the fundraiser, the club treated the volunteers to breakfast. An announcement of the profit from the fundraiser will be announced in the near future. Thanks to Ed and all of the volunteers, quite a few Amtrykes will be given away during the next club year!

 

…..Did you know that a “Friends of AMBUCS” membership is available to those individuals who want to support the organization but cannot become a regular member? Applications are available on our website, www.ambucsaltoona.com. The membership cost is $25 per year and includes the AMBUC magazine.

 

…..The Amtryke construction team of Dave Aikens and Ed Farabaugh were at it again last weekend. They constructed two new Amtrykes, one for a 10 year old girl and the other for a 10 year old boy, both from Altoona. Both Amtrykes will be given away in the near future. Amtryke Chairman, Michele Lloyd, also reported that she has received another application; this time for an adult Amtryke. More details on that tryke will be shared soon.

 

Joker…..Last week the raffle ticket of Karen Lemme was chosen. Karen strode confidently to the head table, but like so many before her came away empty handed by choosing the nine of hearts instead of that Joker, who has been hiding out somewhere for quite some time. The good news for the rest of us is that the pot once more grows….now over $700! So this week, you have the chance to pick the winning Joker out of the remaining deck of only 19 cards.

 

In Closing:       Speaking about AMBUCS membership brings to mind the quote attributed to Groucho Marx……..”I don’t care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members”