News 2015

Golisano Foundation to Honor Grant Recipient Organizations and Recognize Six with Move to Include Awards at 30th Anniversary Celebration on October 15th


Gf logoRochester, NYOctober 8, 2015 – The Golisano Foundation will celebrate its 30th Anniversary on Thursday October 15th at George Eastman Museum with a presentation of the first ever Move to Include Awards, a dinner reception honoring award and grant recipient organizations and a presentation by renowned photographer Rick Guidotti, creator of the Positive Exposure Photographic Exhibition.

The Move to Include Awards will recognize those who believe and act in the purest realm of the essence of "move to include." The awards are given in the hope that the understanding of "include" can be elevated, promoted, ingrained and demonstrated at the highest levels of human behavior. The award is named after the Move to Include initiative launched in 2013 with WXXI and now in its third year to advance inclusion in all aspects of our community.

"This anniversary is a celebration of the champions who are working in the community every day to make life better and more productive for people with intellectual disabilities," said Tom Golisano, Golisano Foundation Chairman and Founder. It is important that we thank and recognize those who are setting the standard and leading the way to help people with intellectual disabilities realize their potential and live life with dignity. By shining a light on their innovative work and deep commitment we also hope that others will be inspired to follow in their footsteps."

Tom Golisano's giving through his Foundation and to other organizations reached a milestone this year, exceeding a quarter billion dollars ($250,000,000). His generosity has supported colleges and universities, hospitals, international health care for people with intellectual disabilities, and many other causes. While the majority of his giving has been to organizations in Western, New York, the region where he was born and established his business, his giving has also supported organizations in Florida, where Golisano now lives. And he recently extended his reach on the international stage with a $25 million gift to Special Olympics.

The 30th Anniversary Celebration is by invitation only and will be held from 5-9 p.m. Laura Laura Saxby Lynch, Director, Corporate Communications for Paychex, Inc. will emcee.

The 20 models featured in the Positive Exposure Exhibition will also be in attendance and recognized.

The 2015 Move to Include Awards will be presented to the following individuals:

Julie J. Christensen, PhD, LMSW, Director of Employment Programs
for University of Rochester Medical Center, Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, for expanding workforce development opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities through the Project Search program and other initiatives.

Rick Guidotti, Founder and Director of Positive Exposure for his work internationally in raising public awareness and educating people to understand and see the beauty in human diversity and our shared humanity.

Daniel M. Meyers,
President of Al Sigl Community of Agencies, for a lifetime commitment and achievement on behalf of people with intellectual and other disabilities.

Martha Mock, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director, Institute for Innovative Transition at the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education for increasing college options for students with intellectual disabilities

Joseph A. Ruffolo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for providing model, innovative community-based integrated health services for people with intellectual disabilities.

Shirley F. Szekeres, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Director of the York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute at Nazareth College, Professor of Speech-Language Pathology and former Dean of the School of Health and Human Services for her commitment and contributions to educate and train the next generation of health clinicians and human service professionals to service people with disabilities.

30 Years of opening doors, changing perceptions, and forging partnerships

The Golisano Foundation was founded in 1985 with an initial gift of $90,000 from Tom Golisano, the founder and Chairman of Paychex. Golisano and his family were determined to ensure that individuals with intellectual disabilities are valued as people who can contribute and be a vital part of our community – as good students, good neighbors and good workers.

Thirty years later the Foundation has become one of the nation's leading private foundations dedicated exclusively to helping people with intellectual disabilities. It has opened doors, changed perceptions, and forged partnerships to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with pathways to self-sufficiency, personal dignity, and the best possible expression of their abilities and talents throughout their lifetimes.

With more than $32 million in gross assets the Foundation has awarded more than $19.5 million in grants, about $1.5 million annually, to non-profit organizations primarily in a multi-county region surrounding Rochester, New York serving people of all ages with intellectual disabilities.

Ann Costello, Director of the Foundation said, "Our 30th Anniversary Celebration will be a true celebration of partnerships as we bring together the people who are leading the diverse array of programs and services we have supported in health and wellness, education, employment, sports, the arts, awareness, mobility and accessibility, and recreation.

"We know we can't do it alone. By serving as a proactive partner with organizations that serve people with intellectual disabilities and encouraging those organizations to develop partnerships with others we can expand our reach and impact exponentially."

Positive Exposure Exhibition Continues Through October 18

Positive Exposure Exhibition opened October 2 and continues through October 18 at George Eastman Museum, located at 900 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10AM to 5 PM and Sunday from 11 AM to 5 PM. Admission to Positive Exposure is free.

It features more than 50 images includes the premiere of new photographic works taken by renowned photographer Rick Guidotti featuring twenty amazing people in the Rochester community who have intellectual disabilities, 29 images from Guidotti's permanent Positive Exposure Exhibition and images from the 2015 Special Olympics Summer World Games in Los Angeles.

Rick Guidotti is an award-winning former fashion photographer who has spent the last 15 years working to affect a sea change in societal attitudes towards individuals living with genetic differences. His work has been widely published in the world's leading newspapers, magazines and journals including Elle, GQ, People, the American Journal of Medical Genetics, The Lancet, Spirituality and Health, the Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly and Life Magazine.

Positive Exposure explores the social and psychological experiences of people living with genetic, physical, cognitive and behavioral conditions of all ages and ethno-cultural heritages. It provides new opportunities to see individuals living with a genetic difference first and foremost as a human being with his/her own challenges rather than as a specific diagnosis/disease entity.

Related News & Resources

October 15th Printed Program
Positive Exposure Exhibition
Move to Include Awards – 2015


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