Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cheryl Englert Named NYSARC Volunteer of the Year

Cheryl Englert accepts the NYSARC Volunteer of the Year Award, with Marcy VanZandt and Chris Peterson

Cheryl Englert, a 35-year member of The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming Board of Directors, has received the prestigious Volunteer of the Year award from NYSARC, Inc., America's largest organization supporting people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (IDD). 

Cheryl Englert
"When you think of Cheryl Englert, you think The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming," says Arc Board President Marcy VanZandt, of Castile.  "I first met Sherry at a parent meeting in 1998 while looking for occupational and residential opportunities for my daughter, Casey.  We struck up a friendship then, and she has been a mentor to me ever since."

Mrs. Englert's son, Matt, has been enrolled at The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming since early childhood, when he was among the first children in the agency's fledgling children's services program known today as KidStart.  Today, Matt is 38 years old, lives in an Arc-operated home in Dansville, and participates in day programs at The Arc.

A Teacher of Special Education at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, Mrs. Englert has held every officer position on The Arc Board during her volunteer career.  At the state level, she has served on the NYSARC Board of Governors since 1985.

"Being the parent of a son with a developmental disability has provided me with motivation to not only help people with IDD, but to also assist numerous families over the years to guide them to system supports," says Mrs. Englert, who lives in Wayland with her husband, Fred.

Mrs. Englert's track record speaks for itself, according to her peers on The Arc Board of Directors.

“Cheryl Englert epitomizes the word ‘volunteer’,” says Board Vice President Linda Unger, of Geneseo.  “She devotes every waking moment that she is not spending as a special education teacher to chairing committees, and providing leadership and advocacy for the individuals and staff of The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming.  She provides a constant and positive presence at nearly all Arc events as not only a volunteer but as a cheerleader, encouraging everyone to enjoy the moment and always do their best.   Sherry, or ‘Matt's Mom‘ as she is well known by everyone, has truly devoted and dedicated her life to making a better life for her son Matt and all the people served by The Arc.”

Cheryl Englert and family
"I have known Sherry for many years in her various roles as a special educator, parent of a son with developmental disabilities, and committee and Board member,” adds fellow Arc Board member and parent Diane Armbruster, of Geneseo.  “She is dedicated, persistent, and untiring in her efforts toward a better life for individuals with disabilities.  Sherry is really everywhere throughout our agency, and I can't imagine there could be many to rival how much of her life in time and effort she has devoted to The Arc."

In addition to serving on The Arc Board of Directors, Mrs. Englert is secretary of the separate Arc of Livingston-Wyoming Foundation Board.  The Foundation is the hands-on fundraising arm of The Arc, generating money through events such as the annual Friends “Fore” Life golf tournament, Ramon Rocha 5K Run/Walk, and Harvest Fest, and distributing it to support services that maintain and enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities and their families.

“I have had the good fortune to serve on many boards in my lifetime.  Without exception, Sherry has been a role model for me in my actions and performances in these other organizations.  She epitomizes volunteerism in every sense,” says Arc Foundation Board President Tim McCallum, of Perry.

The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming is a parent-founded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit agency that enhances the lives of more than 800 individuals with IDD annually, who rely on Arc residential, vocational, KidStart, transportation, and community programs.  As America's largest organization of its kind, NYSARC, Inc. supports more than 60,000 individuals with IDD through 54 chapters across New York State.

Mrs. Englert received her award at the 65th annual NYSARC convention, held October 17th in Albany.

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