Golisano Foundation Makes $750,000 Challenge Grant

Golisano Foundation Makes $750,000 Challenge Grant to Lifetime Assistance for Campaign to Transform Three Day Services Centers to Meet Changing Needs of Those with Developmental Disabilities.

A rendering of the updated Music & Arts suite

Renovated centers will be unlike anything else in region.

Rochester NY—October 17, 2019—Jamie Branciforte, President and CEO of Lifetime Assistance, the largest, most comprehensive agency in the Greater Rochester area serving children and adults with developmental disabilities, announced today that agency has received a $750,000 challenge grant from the Golisano Foundation for its capital campaign to transform three Day Services Centers.

The campaign, called Independence Together, is the largest in Lifetime’s history and will support essential renovations to Lifetime’s three largest Day Services Centers – the Lowry Center in Clarkson, Paul Road Center in Chili, and Weiland Road Center in Greece.

When completed, the renovated centers will be unlike anything else available in the region. Each will include seven Learning & Works Suites – culinary, senior, technology, health and wellness, continuing education/vocational, music and arts, and enrichment. The centers will be fully accessible, comforting and motivating centers to meet the rapidly changing needs of the hundreds of individuals supported.

The Golisano Foundation’s gift was solicited during the campaign’s quiet phase, and is the largest single campaign gift received to date, catapulting the campaign towards its goal of $5.1 million budget. The Golisano Foundation will match every dollar up to $750,000 contributed by the community. The grant is also one of the largest the Golisano Foundation has ever made.

“We are extremely grateful to the Golisano Foundation for this generous challenge grant,” said Branciforte. “It demonstrates the Foundation’s trust in our team and our vision for helping the extremely vulnerable population we serve benefit from an environment that meets their personal needs, facilitates learning skills and allows them to reach their potential and highest degree of independence.”

“The rapidly changing needs of those we support requires us to change how we deliver services,” added Branciforte. “Those who depend on us for day services are medically frail and have severe physical needs. They are aging and increasingly have dementia and other age-related conditions. More than half are in wheelchairs now, and the majority have autism. Our quality facilities must always deliver upon Lifetime’s mission of service and reflect the dignity of the people we serve, meet diverse needs and assure community inclusion, independent growth and learning. With the community’s help we can achieve our goal.”

Ann Costello, Executive Director of the Golisano Foundation said, “Lifetime’s designs for revisioning day services is an important project that will create more accessible and supportive environments, especially for the growing number older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The renovations, including the Learning and Work Suites in each center, will make Lifetime’s Day Services inviting and flexible providing greater opportunity for continuing education, skill development, socialization and community inclusion.”

Construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2020 and will be sequenced over 24 months in order to maintain services at all of the centers.

The renovated centers will feature:

  • Advanced assistive technologies to increase engagement, communication, and mobility.
  • A warm, tranquil environment to lessen environmental stimulation and create learning, and skill development and enhance community involvement.
  • State-of-the-art technology to expand identification of vocational interests and abilities.
  • Continuing education to increase community integration and employment potential.
  • Improved quality of life and satisfaction for individuals with dementia and people with severe medical frailties.
  • More opportunity to volunteer in the community and gain work skills.
  • Programs that are as community-based as possible.
  • More opportunities for those with high medical needs to help the community.

Day services are essential for adults with developmental disabilities who age out of school, and often have no one to care for them at home when parents need to work and make a living.

Amber, who is 23 years old and has cerebral palsy, goes to Lifetime’s Lowry Center, one of the three centers that will undergo significant renovations including a new addition. When Amber aged out of the private school she attended for children with developmental disabilities, her mother, Susan, searched extensively for a day program with similar benefits.

“A safety net is taken away when your child ages out of school,” said Susan. “Parents want a place for their children to grow. But for children with special needs, there are so many limitations. I feel like that safety net is back again now that she’s attending Lowry.”

Although Amber is largely non-verbal she enjoys greeting her friends and using technology to communicate. Physical and occupational therapy help her gain skills to be more independent.

“To see her getting therapy is wonderful,” added Susan. “We don’t have to worry about regression, a constant concern as she gets older. There is so much potential for growth. She is part of a community there and I can see how much she has improved.”

Suzanne Nasipak Chapman, chair of Lifetime’s Independence Together campaign and Regional Director for Rochester of USI Insurance Services, Inc., said, “On behalf of Amber and all those at Lifetime who will benefit from these renovations, we extend our sincere thanks to the Golisano Foundation for this gift. It has helped us reach a pivotal point in this important campaign and move closer to achieving our goal. Now we need the community’s support, because large scale programmatic changes such as these are not covered by Medicaid funding and cannot be accommodated with the slim margins of our annual budget.”


Learn More about the Independence Together Capital Campaign >

Other major gifts received to date for the project include:

Sperandio Family Foundation, Lifetime Assistance Agency and Foundation Boards of Directors, August Family Foundation, Davenport Hatch Foundation, Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation, and the Kilian J. and Caroline F. Schmitt Foundation.

More Information on the Independence Together Campaign to Transform Day Services

For more information and to make a contribution to help transform day services center and meet the Golisano Foundation challenge grant visit LifetimeAssistance.org/IndependenceTogether. For additional information on how to help, please contact Jamie Rada, CFRE, Director of Development at Lifetime, Lifetime Assistance Foundation, Inc. at 585-784-5002 or jamie.rada@lifetimeassistance.org.

About Lifetime Assistance

Lifetime Assistance, Inc. is the largest, most comprehensive agency in the Greater Rochester area serving children and adults with developmental disabilities. It serves more than 1,800 people every day at more than 70 sites providing a full spectrum of individualized services to help children and adults with developmental disabilities reach their maximum potential by promoting self-reliance, independence, dignity and success. Lifetime is accredited by the Council on Quality and Leadership. Only 300 agencies nationwide and just 10% of agencies in New York State have earned this honor, demonstrating the highest quality of service.