Minutes: Post 21 Club General Meeting

Date: 4-23-14

 

Some News: Larry was invited to a Freeholders meeting on April 16; he was invited by Dan Park, assistant to Freeholder, Tracy Zur.  Both “Post 21 Club” and “Project 21” (started by Melanie Griffin of the SpringBoard parents) received plaques from the County commemorating Autism Awareness Month.

 

1) April 3 Spring Fundraiser:

A BIG thank you was given to all our families who participated in any way towards our fundraiser.  We are still accounting for all donations sent in but at present, it appears this was our most successful fundraiser ever.  Several attendees suggested ideas for next year’s event: 1) start much earlier in preparations, 2) start to have families save their “pennies” now to pay for ticket(s) to the event (use “Unicef” boxes so that our young adults help in the process..), 3) assign/get families to put together gift baskets in advance

 

Action:

Lee to reach out to Mala and schedule “post mortem” meeting on April 3 event with Post 21 Board

 

2) The Social Enrichment Program (SEP) – update

In response to the needs of our families for “after day-programming activities” that involved socialization/speech, Post 21 Club is running a “SEP” pilot program.   For now, this is being offered to those adults with ASD who attend the FHAADP;  the pilot is scheduled to start May 12 and will sessions from 3 – 5:30 PM on Mon. and Wed. (twice a week) for 6 weeks.  Parents will need to pick-up their adult children and transport them home after a session ends.  (Note: Since the day of this general meeting, the start date has now been moved to May 19.)

 

The program is funded by a grant that Post 21 Club received, and it will be administered by NJ Friendship House, with “The Center for Life and Learning” working as consultants (Note: TCLL will actually work hands-on with the adults in the SEP).  It will feature social and leisure activities, e.g., “Movie Chats”, Game time, Group Wii, Lego and Beyond, and Creative Arts/Movement, e.g., yoga, theater games, music and dance.

 

It was suggested that FH take data of some kind of data to evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program.

 

Actions:

-        Larry to ask Mala to send out e-mails as well as hard-copy flyers on the SEP to families of the FHAADP. (This has been done!)

-        Lee to remind Mala about the data collection

 

3) May 7 Transition Fair at Hackensack HS

Ralph Duciewicz, the Transition Coordinator at Bergenfield HS, invited Larry and the Post 21 Club to participate in the Bergen County Transition Fair on May 7 (6 – 9 PM) at Hackensack, HS.  Cindy and Hyun will “person” the Post 21 Club table for this fair.  Cindy now has the Post 21 banner to use/exhibit at this fair.

 

Actions:

- Lee to complete BC Transition Fair “Provider Registration form” and send to Janice Hubbard (jhubbard@regionv.org;201-599-0585) of Region V

- Lee and P21 Board to update the P21 Sign-in sheet, the “One-pager” and other hand-outs (e.g., re: the SEP..??) we wish to present at the Fair.

- Lee to contact Mala to get brochures on the FHAADP for this fair.

 

4) New Funding ideas:

a) Salome Orchestra Concert – as discussed briefly last month, Larry and Nat suggested that P21 host a concert at Larry’s place of business (free space at the conference hall) in Cranbury, NJ (this is also the town where the orchestra resides).  Proposed date: Thursday 6/19/14.  Larry suggests that P21 partner with Eden Institute to advertise the event in that area.  Others suggested that the Bogg’s Center, or Autism, NJ might act in a similar fashion.  We need to decide on cost for tickets; possibly have tier ticket prices..??

 

Actions:

Larry/Nat to finalize date for concert, choose partner (if desired), decide ticket pricing, decide what the money raised will be used for, and advertise the event.

 

b) Crowdfunding – Larry discussed this type of fundraising and social networking platform (see also in Wikipedia) that he learned from his sister-in-law, an expert in this field.  If used properly, this may be able to help our fundraising efforts immensely.

 

Action:

Larry to contact his sister-in-law and see if a Skype meeting could be arranged with her and the P21 Board to learn more about this type of web-based fundraising

 

5) Transportation Issue:

Post 21 Club did deliver a paper at the March 29 “Access for All III” Summit – which was written by several P21 Members - outlining the issues our families face wrt transportation to/from the FHAADP and other support offerings in the County.  It was well received and the “Access” committee did report that BC Community transport has written a grant proposal to NJ Transit to support a new program which would expand the hours and operation of BC Community Transport.  We will know the outcome of this by late Sept./early Oct. of 2014.

 

Leslie mentioned that the Mayor of Closter, Sophie Heymann, will be attending the Mayors meeting at 1 Bergen County Plaza in Hackensack on May 6th; transportation will be one of the issues discussed.  Mayor Heymann is willing to deliver a paper similar to what P21 delivered at the Access for All Summit and discuss the transportation issues that our kids in the FHAADP face when trying to get to program…If the P21 Board approves, Leslie will have Mayor Heymann deliver a paper that Leslie prepared and based on what was presented at “Access for All III”.

 

Action:

Leslie to send proposed paper for Mayor’s meeting to P21; P21 Board to review and vote whether or not to have Mayor Heymann of Closter deliver this paper to the May 6th meeting.

 

8) New “Forum” tab on the P21 Website

Our webmaster, Richie Nussbaum, developed a new “chat room” on our website which can be accessed through the “FORUM” tab.  (It is actually a separate website, but can be accessed through this tab on our website).  Through website chat, parents and interested parties can share and disseminate information.  If a piece of information is “not correct, or not true”, others can comment on it and allows for a way to get to the truth about a given subject.

 

Action:

-        Post 21 Club must figure ways to promote the chat room among a much wider population

 

OTHER SUGGESTIONS:

 

-        Larry suggested that the success of our fundraiser should put/discussed on our website.  ACTION: Larry to ask Richie to do this if possible. Perhaps get a PR person to help with this.

-        Idea from Leslie: Use museum in Closter to exhibit artwork of our kids with ASD, do poetry readings by our kids, have music performed by our kids…turn this into an event and/or fundraiser

-        Ryan again suggested that if we ever needed to cater an event…like a concert or other fundraiser, he recommends “Mucci’s Italian Market” in Saddlebrook, NJ (Adam Mucci, the actor, is the owner)

-        Ryan also suggested that we have a representative from an agency that does Support Coordination (e.g., Community Access, a DDD qualified provider) to speak about the work they do at a P21 General meeting.  We agreed that this was a great idea.   Ryan suggested that we contact the Assistant Director of Community Access, Gene Tavera at (908) 354-3040, Ext. 272, or Mercedes Witowsky at the same number, Ext. 225 and mwitowsky@caunj.org.  See also www.caunj.org.  Address: 80 West Grant Street, Elizabeth, NJ