For many parents, dropping their kids off on the first day of school is a life changing and worrisome moment. This feeling was no different for parents, Robert and Carmit as they dropped off their autistic son, Danny, at Springbrook’s Golisano Center for Autism. The worrisome feeling was quickly subsided when, a week into the program, Robert and Carmit received photos from Springbrook showing their son Danny swimming, laughing, and just being a normal kid.
For Danny, finding the Goliasano Center really was love at first sight. Before enrolling Danny in Springbrook, Robert and Carmit visited, and inquired about many schools -none of which Danny liked. However, the moment Danny laid eyes on Springbrook, “he was all smiles, it was as if Springbrook found Danny” said Robert, Danny’s father. They knew right away that he had found a home away from home.
Inspired by their son’s extraordinary experience living at Springbrook, Carmit Zori and Robert Rinehart hosted a touching evening of chamber music on September 28th at the Morgan Library and Museum. “After witnessing the outstanding care Springbrook provides to our son, Danny, Carmit and I were inspired to organize an event to give back to the agency, while raising awareness about its impactful programs and services for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities,” Rinehart explains. The chamber group made up of Robert and Carmit, and their colleagues Nancy Allen, and Edward Aaron, have donated all the proceeds made from the exclusive event to the Golisano Center for Autism as a thank you to Springbrook for its support of people with autism and other developmental disabilities. The Golisano program is a residential school program for children, whose primary diagnosis is an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Before the show, we had the privilege of speaking with Danny’s mother, Carmit. She shed light on how Springbrook changed her family’s life and how comforting it was to find a safe place for her son to stay. “If I passed away today, I would be happy, because I know my son will be in good hands” she said jokingly. Carmit’s face lit up as she spoke about the wonderful facility and the outstanding “angels,” as she described the people at Springbrook who care for her son like their own. It was moving to listen to her incredible experience.
During the night, Chief Executive Officer of Springbrook, Patricia Kennedy, reiterated that all of Springbrook’s programs have at their core a commitment to community integration and a lifetime of support. With offices in Oneonta, Norwich, and Binghamton, Springbrook serves over 850 individuals and families all over the New York State, with many students and residents coming from the New York metro area. Springbrook provides residential, educational, therapeutic, and community support for people with developmental disabilities. The organization’s services touch the lives of many different people with a variety of needs across an entire lifetime. One quality that helps make Springbrook so special is that it grows with the evolving needs of the people they support.
After speaking and meeting just a few of Springbrook’s many employees, you can tell that the people who work there are so passionate and knowledgeable. They understand fully that they are making a huge impact on the lives of those they are caring for. It is truly the support system that our community needs.
World-renowned musicians, Carmit Zori, Robert Rinehart, Edward Aaron, and Nancy Allen performed an outstanding show. Sitting in the stunning Morgan Library and listening to spectacular musical selections of Camille Saint-Saëns, Gabriel Fauré, and Ludwig van Beethoven was unforgettable. It was a beautiful way to raise awareness for autism and to bring support for Springbrook.
The evening was full of beautiful music, inspiring stories, and engaging conversation. We were so lucky to be part of such a wonderful event. With 1 in 68 children in the U.S. affected by autism, it’s truly wonderful to know that there are good people like those at Springbrook dedicating their lives to such an amazing cause.
The more events we have that raise awareness and funds for organizations like Springbrook, the better. As Carmit Zori said, “We can, and we should.”
Special thanks to Stacey, Kira, and Ron.