Showing posts with label Pieters Family Life Center. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pieters Family Life Center. Show all posts

Friday, August 24, 2012

Walk, run and fundraise to support people with disabilities

The Heritage Christian Legacy Mile & 5K is an annual event which benefits Heritage Christian Services Foundation. Proceeds from the event directly benefit the more than 1,600 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Since 2009, 11-year-old Madison Legault, granddaughter of Ruth Benjamin, HCS director of health maintenance and services, has been raising money for the Legacy Mile & 5K.

It’s through involvement with many Heritage Christian events where she has developed a beautiful friendship with Laurie Otto, one of Heritage Christian’s founding children. Madison understands the importance of raising money to ensure that the people supported by Heritage Christian will always have access to the highest quality of care – and that’s in part because of the friendship she has with Otto and others, including those she’s met through her participation in Heart of Dance.

“Laurie taught me how to be a good friend,” Madison said.

Madison’s Legacy Mile & 5K team, Pink Cupcakes, has raised more than $1,700. Madison has a simple approach to fundraising. “I make phone calls, send emails and ask friends and family for donations.”

More than 1,200 guests are expected to attend this year’s Legacy Mile & 5K event on Aug. 25, where Madison will be the spirit coordinator, helping to kick off the one-mile walk with Otto. The event is open to the public and families and friends of loved ones supported by Heritage Christian are encouraged to attend.
Heritage Christian Legacy Mile & 5K
  • Saturday, Aug. 25
  • Monroe Community College, 1000 East Henrietta Road, Brighton
  • 5K registration 7 a.m.; race at 8:30 a.m.
  • One-mile walk 10:15 a.m.
  • Event highlights: live music, clowns, face painting, bounce house, yard games and more!
Register or donate at

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


In the past 17 years, Norma McLernon has brought joy and friendship to people with disabilities, raised money so that community pillars like the YMCA can continue to serve and has welcomed people to the Pieters Family Life Center and introduced them to a healthier way of life.

She has made serving others a full-time, volunteer job.

Through her church, Norma started the Winton Road Friendship Group when a group home opened next to Twelve Corners Presbyterian Church in Brighton. Each month for the last 17 years, Norma and others plan activities for the people who live at the home. Together they host baby showers, watch Super Bowls, create seasonal crafts and build friendships.

In 2008, she won the prestigious Gail Otto Community Service Award from Heritage Christian Services – in part because of her work with the Friendship Group but also because of her years of service at the Pieters Family Life Center, which is a community wellness center. At the center, she covered the reception desk, tabulated sign-in sheets and helped with any other task that came along, from making copies to setting up chairs. Now, she volunteers in the development office at Heritage Christian, where she documents the agency’s history and advocates for people with developmental disabilities. In just those two capacities – the Life Center and the development office – she has volunteered 136 hours. And that’s just a small sample of her busy volunteer schedule.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Taking care of the caregiver

People who work at Heritage Christian Services serve with their hearts – and that sometimes means the sense of pleasure and satisfaction makes it easy for employees to forget to care for themselves, said Barb Cacia, wellness coordinator at the Pieters Family Life Center.

That’s why she’s leading an employee wellness program called Healthy You.

“I’d like to remind them to keep the oil changed so they can continue to do what they are good at,” she said. “They don’t always know that they need to take good care of themselves.”

Already she’s planning to meet with direct support professionals at each home to talk about sleep management, keeping stress levels under control and other wellness goals. Intramural sports are starting up within the agency as are programs for those who share a love of biking, photography or running. Soon she’ll be coordinating a group that meets to talk about grieving and another group that meets to map out their goals.

“We’ll probably meet in the Garden CafĂ© at the Pieters Family Life Center and do a little journaling about goals,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what the goal is. How can we help you get there?”

Eventually, Cacia wants to add an after-work exercise group and sponsor family events – like a trip to the local zoo – once a month, just to get people in the habit of moving and enjoying life.

“We want to help people explore wellness,” she said. “Instead of slugging through life, let’s start living. As our attitudes change, better health will come.”

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Q&A with Kelly Nash: Raising money for the Legacy Mile & 5K

Kelly Nash, a volunteer coordinator at Heritage Christian Services, is running for 24 hours on treadmill to raise money to support people with developmental disabilities. She starts at 9 a.m. Friday at the Pieters Family Life Center in Henrietta and proceeds go to the Heritage Christian Services Foundation.
1.       How did you get started in running?
I started running about 6 years ago after receiving a postcard in the mail from "Train to End Stroke.”  It was a program through the Stoke Association, I'd raise money and they'd train me to run a marathon.  I wanted to do this in my father's memory. He died after having a massive stroke.
2.       What has been your longest run to date? How long did that take?
My longest run to date is a 12 hour Ultra Marathon.  In the 12 hours I ran 63 miles.
3.       What do you rely on to keep you going?
During long runs I need to have plenty of liquids and carbs, usually gels and sport drinks.
Mentally I need to keep my mind moving and constantly remind myself of how far I've come and visualize how far I can go.
4.       Why is it important to you to challenge yourself?
I am a competitive person, mostly with myself.  It is during times of challenge that I grow, as a person and a runner, and I still feel relatively small ;)
5.       What advice do you have for others who want to try long distance running – or really anything in life that they are going to need to work at for a long time?
Running a marathon is similar to living a faithful life.  The training takes commitment, dedication, discipline and focus and it’s just plain hard at times.  But the reward of achieving a dream is priceless and well worth the effort!
Favorite verse:  Let us run the race before us and never give up! Hebrews 12:1

Kelly Nash has raced in 17 marathons, two ultras, 10 5Ks and two 10Ks for a total of 598.4 miles. In her training, she logged 1,150 miles in the first half of 2012.

Monday, July 2, 2012

24-hour run will benefit people with disabilities

An Irondequoit woman who has already run 17 marathons and two ultras will run for 24-hours straight starting at 9 a.m. Friday.
The woman, Kelly Nash, is running in support of the Heritage Christian Legacy Mile & 5K, which raises money to support people with developmental disabilities. By making a donation, people can rent the treadmill next to hers at the Pieters Family Life Center, 1025 Commons Way, Henrietta.
Events – like Zumba classes, movies and live music – are planned throughout the day.
To donate, visit and search for Kelly Nash.

About the Legacy Mile & 5K
The Heritage Christian Legacy Mile & 5K is an annual event which benefits the Heritage Christian Services Foundation, which works to ensure people with developmental disabilities will have compassionate care now and in the future.
  • Saturday, Aug. 25 at Monroe Community College, 1000 East Henrietta Road, Brighton
  • Registration 7 a.m.; 5K 8:30 a.m.; One-mile walk 10:15 a.m.
  • Event highlights: live music, clowns, face painting, bounce house, yard games and more! 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Register or donate at