A special congratulations

Congratulations to our co-founder, Michelle Brier, who has been recognized by Bedford Magazine as one of the  "25 most influential people in Bedford"! Michelle was honored in the recently published article "The Bedford 25 of 2017: Most Dedicated, Most Creative, Most Influential." BluePath is so very proud for all that she does for our community.  Her dedication to empowering people to achieve all that they can has an enormous impact well beyond the borders of Bedford, New York. Congratulations, Michelle! 

Please click here to read the full article.

 

Michelle Brier - BluePath

BluePath announces new addition to the team!

Erica Stanzione, BluePath

We are pleased to welcome Erica Stanzione as Director of Marketing & Development. Erica will oversee the strategic and operational efforts of BluePath’s development initiatives and foster relationships with individuals, foundations, and corporations to support our life-changing work. 

Prior to her current role, Erica was the Director of Communications and Partnerships at the Alliance for Safe Kids where she was responsible for raising awareness and funds in support of drug and alcohol prevention. In the past, she served as the Events and Marketing Manager at Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

Erica began her career at the Jorge Posada Foundation where she fell in love with the nonprofit sector.  She received her BS in Psychology from Mount Saint Mary College and her MS in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy from Bay Path University. 

BluePath receives $4,000 grant from Hope For Youth Foundation

Hope For Youth is dedicated to facilitating positive change in the lives of children, adolescents and families. The organization provides stable, nurturing, residential care, foster care, preventive and out-patient programs which educate, motivate and empower individuals to become self-sufficient and achieve their full potential.

BluePath is the proud recipient of a $4,000 grant from the Hope For Youth Foundation.  We are extremely grateful for the Foundation's support of our mission. 

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BluePath receives $10,000 grant from Carvel Foundation

The late Thomas Carvel founded the soft ice cream brand, Carvel, in 1936. In the mid 1930s, he borrowed $15 from his future wife, Agnes, to sell ice cream from his truck. He later sold ice cream from a store and ultimately franchised the brand.  

The Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation is the family's ongoing commitment to philanthropy in our communities, and we are proud to be the beneficiary of a $10,000 grant.  The Foundation's support will assist us in fulfilling our mission - to provide service dogs to children with autism, offering safety, companionship and opportunities for independence.  

We are deeply grateful for the Foundation's support.  

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Puppy Raising and Compassion

by Anne Garretson

“Will it be hard to give Miller back?” 

I get asked this question on a pretty regular basis.  I consider answering in a spiritual way, but I know I would see some people nod without understanding, and I’d see some eyes simply glaze over.  I was raised in a faith I only minimally adhere to, but the foundation remains my outlook on the world. I could take part in many religious rituals and not feel the same wholeness that comes from raising my BluePath pup.

My daily dose of religion comes from god spelled backwards. It’s this puppy who’s fun to watch as he plays and explores, who wants to be with me, at this point, more than any other person; who serves my need to be needed. It’s the immense love in the BluePath family; proudly spreading the word about the work we do, showing off this phenomenal puppy and always keeping the end goal in mind.

Imagine how much distrust, divisiveness and jealously we’d eliminate in the world if everyone traveled the kind of path to fulfillment a puppy raiser is traveling. If I had perfect clarity of mind every time I’m asked a giving-up-the-puppy question, I would be able to share how much puppy raising helps me look at people differently and with more compassion.

Recently I was at a highway truck stop where I kept my eye on a scruffy-looking man leaning on his beater-car; he sent up all my warning-danger flags. I hung out at my car and let Miller stretch his legs. He let his dog out for a stretch, too. Get ready, I thought… he’s about to use his unruly dog as an opening to try to invade my personal safety zone. I prepared for his dog to start barking or lunging at Miller, but no. His dog sat perfectly by his side and watched us. The man went back to making phone calls and I could overhear his conversations.

He was out of gas, had forgotten his wallet at home and was stuck there in the middle of nowhere. Everyone he knew was at least two hours away. Each conversation ended with, “That’s ok, I’ll figure something out. I love you too.” Meanwhile the dog had leaned up against the man’s legs and the comfort that motion gave the man was palpable. It triggered visions of Miller and his future partner- and it elicited a desire to offer him some help. 

He was shocked when I reached out to him, and then profoundly thankful.  It felt good to pay for his tank of gas, and even better to let go of my initial judgments of him.  I’m grateful that Miller helped me get to that place.  We develop meaningful bonds with these dogs, but equally as important are the connections they help us make with the world around us.

Will it be hard to say goodbye? Absolutely. But knowing that a child’s life will be so deeply enhanced by Miller’s presence makes it worth it… tenfold.  In the meantime, I’m enjoying every bit of this journey. 

Benni visits GAIT

by Chrisanne Cubby

Yesterday Benni and I visited GAIT, a therapeutic riding organization based in Milford, PA. It was a nice opportunity for Benni to interact with children and their families - as well as to meet the special horses involved in the program. 

One young girl was reluctant to pet Benni.  She sat down and first touched him with a finger.  He leaned against her and sat on her shoes.  She then petted him.  When she was done she said, "Benni told me not to be afraid."   

It's moments like this that I see so clearly the value in what I am doing.  

To learn more about GAIT, and to cast your vote in a contest that will allow the nonprofit to add a new horse to its program, visit the organization's Facebook page.  

A special birthday celebration

by Betty Goldfarb

When I turned 70 this year, I created a challenge for my friends and family as a way to honor me on my special birthday: contribute to BluePath Service Dogs in my name, and I would match contributions up to $700, based on $10 per year for 70 years.  This was the first fundraiser challenge I had ever done and I had no idea if this goal was even possible.  

What I found out is this:  most people who contributed did so because it was a way to honor me - to contribute to a cause that I am passionate about.  Most of my friends and family knew nothing about BluePath and the work they will do to provide service dogs to children on the autism spectrum.  So not only have I spread awareness about this wonderful organization, but the contributions added up to $992 - way over my goal!  I am humbled and deeply grateful.  I will match all contributions and BluePath will receive $1,984 to help fulfill its mission.

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”

More helping, more doing.  That’s the power of friends and family.

Betty and a friend on a Disney cruise earlier this year. 

Betty and a friend on a Disney cruise earlier this year. 

2017 Walkathon Sponsors

BluePath in the News

Westchester County Business Journal: “I just believe in the mission so much,” said volunteer puppy raiser Pat Carforo. “It changes lives. It brings happiness back into the home.”

The Journal News: "We believe so strongly in the transformative role that these dogs have in people's lives," said VP of Marketing and Development Michelle Brier. "We’ve seen families be able to travel independently outside of their homes and we've seen children smile for the first time."

Auburn Jewelry

We're proud to announce our partnership with Auburn Jewelry, located just down the road in Chappaqua, NY.  Every piece of Auburn Jewelry is crafted by hand with superior quality.  Our "B spot" monogram will be available in sterling silver or 14k gold, 18 colors, and three styles - necklace, keychain or cufflinks! 

The best part?  15% of every purchase will be donated to BluePath!  Check out the collection online or see the pieces in person at our upcoming walkathon.