Devereux New York Golf Tournament


Emergency One and Devereux New York invite you to be a part of the 2006 Charitable Golf Open on June 28, 2006, at Red Hook Golf Club(continental breakfast at 8:00 am; shotgun start at 9:00 am). We hope you will join us for eighteen holes on one of Hudson Valley's finest courses followed by cocktails, lunch, awards and other surprises. We also ask you to please consider sponsoring this year's tournament or donating an item to our raffle or silent auction. All proceeds go to the Tara Smith Memorial Fun for program enhancements and life enrichment opportunities for the children and adults in Devereux New York's care.

On-line registration and opportunities for sponsorship are available at the Devereux New York web site.

For more information on foursomes and sponsorship opportunities, contact Warren Toland (Devereux New York) via e-mail at wtoland at or Todd Martin (Emergency One) via e-mail at tmartin at

Campus Clean-up


On May 22, after several rain delays, students and staff once again donned their work gloves, grabbed their rakes and plastic bags and set about cleaning the Red Hook campus of the winter debris that marred its surroundings. After the thorough cleaning, participants planted annuals, laid down mulch and generally "prettied up" the campus in preparation for prom and graduation in the coming weeks.

Devereux Students and Staff Help Clean Up Efforts


Over 30 students and staff from Devereux New York participated in Scenic Hudson's Great River Sweep on April 26 at Clermont State Historic Site. The intrepid group cleared trash and debris from approximately five miles of hiking trails and grounds surrounding the Georgian-style estate.

Scenic Hudson started the Great River Sweep, an all-volunteer cleanup of Hudson River shorelines, tributaries and public places, in 1998. Since its inception, the Great River Sweep has united over 30,000 individuals from Manhattan to the Adirondacks to remove 300 tons of riverside trash.

Devereux NY Basketball on to State Games


The Devereux Tornadoes have been quite the cagers as of late. Their success at shootin’ the rock over the past several weeks has qualified them for a bid to the New York Special Olympics State Games at the University of Albany this June.

The team began their quest at the end of March at the Maplebrook CAPS Tournament. Trailing by three at the half against the Dutchess County All-Stars, the Tornadoes caught fire and outscored their opponents by 27 points to earn the right to appear in the championship game. However, they weren’t able to catch lightning in a bottle the second time and despite cutting a 20-point lead down to seven in the third quarter, ran out of gas before finally losing by fifteen.

On April 2, the team continued on the road to Albany by winning the Section 7, Division 1 championship held at Marist College. The Tornadoes came to play, knocking off the Capital District Thunder in the first game 40-26. Again, the Dutchess County All-Stars brought their best game, but came up short against the Tornadoes in overtime, 45-39. The Devereux defense held the All-Stars to only 3 points in the last 12 minutes of the game.

Coach Mike Rose and the rest of the team will have to bring their "A" game when they travel up to Albany for the State Games June 15-18.

DMLC and Westchester Co. Kick Off Autism Awareness Month


Westchester County Executive Andy Spano kicked off Autism Awareness Month on April 3 and the location could not have been more appropriate: Devereux Millwood Learning Center (DMLC).

In front of students, families and members of the press, Spano affirmed his commitment to families affected by autism and called on legislators to increase funding and support to combat the neurological illness that afflicts more than 1.5 million individuals.

“I am supporting the Combating Autism Act of 2005, which will authorize over $1 billion in spending over the next five years,” said Spano. “These resources will go into research, screening, intervention and education efforts, in effect doubling the current National Institute of Health’s (NIH) autism funding.”

Spano also announced the launch of a new county online resource, “Speaking out About Autism.” The site offers information on services for families, assists with community understanding of autism, reinforces the need for more research and funding and provides interested individuals with a wealth of links and opportunities for advocacy.

Spano also presented proclamations from Westchester County to Ann DiChiara of The Foundation for Educating Children with Autism (FECA), Dr. Dena Saxe, director of DMLC, John O’Keefe, executive director of Devereux New York and Matthew Harris, president of the Autism Speaks Now club at Fix Lane Middle School. Phil Orlando, a member of FECA’s board, served as host of the event, and introduced Dr. Anjani Mehta who spoke about the need for a unified voice among autism organizations.

“We need to form strong partnerships,” said Mehta, standing with her husband, Paul. “This endeavor strives to bring solutions to many of the daunting challenges and issues faced by our children and our families.”

Mehta also remarked about the significant improvement she has seen in her daughter, Sheela, since starting at DMLC in September, “She’s doing very well here.”

Currently, there are 37 students at DMLC with plans to increase that by another 12 starting in the fall of 2006. Students in the program receive one-to-one attention in academics as well as social and vocational training. In February 2005, DMLC was featured on the Closing Bell segment of CNBC, specifically focusing on three students employed in the community. At present, nearly 60% of the students hold off-campus jobs.

From the Executive Director


I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. It is both a happy and sad time for many of our students and residents. Those who have involved families appreciate the time with their family. Unfortunately, many of our students on the campus are unable to spend the holidays with their parents or siblings – typically due to a court order. Aware of that, we appreciate the donations many of you give to us during the holidays. Our staff try to make sure that every child on the campus has at least one or more gifts so that they too can enjoy some of the holidays. Thank you for making that possible.

As we begin a new year, we continue to expand our network of services to both serve others who could benefit from our services, and to broaden our network with more options for those we are already serving.

  • In the fall we successfully opened our tenth IRA in Saugerties for five adults. This allowed us to bring back the last adult who was still receiving services from Devereux in another state.
  • We converted a two bedroom supported apartment in Rhinebeck to two individual apartments, allowing us to serve a male and female at that site, and providing each with their private space.
  • We have decided not to proceed with the HUD financed house that was going to be located at the base of our campus. Although granted the funds, once we got into the details we realized that the cost to comply with all of the applicable HUD requirements would far exceed the grant award, and was so high that we questioned the appropriateness of proceeding. By the time we met all of the requirements, the cost of the house was exceeding $1.3 Million! This was more than twice that for any of our community houses.
  • We have received the verbal approval to proceed with developing another IRA for individuals aging out in our OMRDD district. This will include students from our campus school, as well as those who are becoming 21 in other schools from our district. This follows a new process that OMRDD is utilizing to assure better planning for anyone aging out in the district. It was a competitive process, and we are extremely proud that we were selected. We will now work with the parents of those students to create the right home for their son or daughter. We are hoping for the development of this IRA in late Spring/early Summer, and it essentially replaces the planned HUD financed house.
  • We have just submitted a proposal to develop a separate program for twenty autistic children who would otherwise be sent to programs in other states. If granted, this will be the first expansion of our campus program since its opening fifteen years ago. It also will provide us the ability to specifically provide residential services for autistic children who are unable to be served by day services alone. Like our Millwood Program, we will utilize the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis.

All of these developments and services continue to need your support and assistance. I appreciate and thank you for the support you already provide, and hope you will continue to support our efforts – and to provide feedback on how we can better meet your son or daughter.


John O'Keefe
Executive Director

Enter Devereux New York’s DayHab facility in Kingston any Monday or Wednesday afternoon and you will be instantly transported to sunnier and warmer climes. You’ll almost feel the gentle breezes of the trade winds and smell the coconut of piña coladas. Unfortunately, we haven’t brought every aspect of the Caribbean to Kingston, just the music.

As part of an enrichment program for Devereux New York’s Individual Residential Alternatives (IRAs), residents are learning how to play steel drums with the help of some local experts: Jack Shackleton, retired music department chair at Rhinebeck High School, and John Joseph, professional steel drum player. The one-hour sessions feature hands-on instruction in proper technique and progress to the point of “bringing it all together” in a cohesive piece before the session’s end. While the program started modestly enough with 4-5 participants for each day, Shackleton and Joseph are now seeing seven or eight per session, all of whom are eager to get to work.

"Both groups have learned three steel drum pieces and have done so with great success,” said Shackleton. “They're wonderful people to work with and to know personally and greatly appreciate what you give them. They look forward to the sessions each week and many times we start earlier because of their anticipation. John & I derive great satisfaction and happiness working with them and I hope it continues.”

In addition to the sessions at DayHab, Shackleton holds another at Devereux’s West Kerley Corners house. This smaller, more intimate group is learning how to play some percussion instruments such as maracas, cowbell and conga drums. It is Shackleton’s hope that the groups can be brought together and combine for a performance some time in the future. The program will run until the end of June. For more information, please contact Warren Toland at 845-758-8927.


Meet Your Neighbor - March 23


We have another Meet Your Neighbor event scheduled for March 23 at 8:30 a.m. at our Red Hook campus. On tap for the morning’s event will be a description of the services provided by Devereux New York, an introduction to some of the individuals Devereux New York serves, a brief address focusing on our mission statement and vision of Devereux New York’s future from our Executive Director, John O'Keefe, and a tour given by our student leaders and staff members.

For more information, please contact Devereux New York at 845-758-8927.

Meet Your Neighbor - February 23


We have another Meet Your Neighbor event scheduled for February 23 at 8:30 a.m. at our Red Hook campus. On tap for the morning’s event will be a description of the services provided by Devereux New York, an introduction to some of the individuals Devereux New York serves, a brief address focusing on our mission statement and vision of Devereux New York’s future from our Executive Director, John O'Keefe, and a tour given by our student leaders and staff members.

For more information, please contact Devereux New York at 845-758-1899 x1327.

Founder's Day Message


Today we honor our Founder, Helena T. Devereux, on the 121st anniversary of her birth.

It was 100 years ago that Miss Devereux began her career as a teacher in the Philadelphia Public Schools. It was then that she developed an intense and unwavering commitment to children facing barriers to learning. These children were often labeled “slow learners.” Her success with these special individuals drew the attention of school administrators, who offered her a new position in "special education." Word soon reached parents from around the country who sought her help in educating their children with special needs. Although Miss Devereux continued to teach in Philadelphia until 1918, we date the beginning of The Devereux Foundation from 1912, when she took into her home her first student, Robert Simpson, from South Carolina. We are only six years from our one hundredth Birthday!

Miss Devereux was incredibly ahead of her time. Her focus on individualized treatment and positive approaches are still part of our Philosophy of Care today. This is supported by her belief that "every child is a program" and that "[each child] must first experience success, even if this success is not academic." As I travel around the country to all our many campuses, I am amazed at how the spirit, dedication, and persistence of our Founder is reflected in each program. This spirit is evident in our full array of services, including residential, foster care, wraparound services, day programs, outpatient, case management and more. Miss Devereux would be amazed and very pleased.

Next month we will honor Miss Devereux by joining the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce in celebrating the work of the leading female entrepreneur in this region with the "Paradigm Award". Miss Devereux was surely a paradigm –
doing much of her work before women had the right to vote, she built the leading nonprofit provider of behavioral health services in the United States.

Today we honor our Founder on the anniversary of her birth, but, even more importantly, each of you honor her every day, as you continue and expand the wonderful work she started 94 years ago. Happy Founder's Day!

Bob Kreider, President & CEO

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