MICHAEL JOHNSON/Livingston County News
Michael Johnson/Livingston County News Martin Miskell (CFO), Linda LeBlond (board member), Lyle Lehman, Marcy VanZanndt, Angel Lynch (Wegmans), Scott Cunningham (Wegmans), Duane Hutt (Wegmans), Jim Brunner (Livingston County Preschool Programs Coordinator), Jim Mullin (Arc IT Director), and Chris Lynch (Kidstart director).
Wegmans gives KidStart a boost
A $25,000 donation from Wegmans presented to The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming on May 18 will assist the 350 area children who receive services through the agency’s KidStart program.
“At Wegmans, we are guided by a set of core values, and one of those values is making a difference in the communities we serve,” said Duane Hutt, Store Manager of the Geneseo store. “Our company is committed to families and kids. My group and I are fortunate to work for an organization that allows us to give back.”
The donation will support KidStart’s Opening Doors capital campaign, which seeks to raise $800,000 to help offset the costs associated with the program’s move from its previous location at SUNY Geneseo’s Holcomb Building into the newly constructed Lehman School. The Holcomb facility closed in 2011, due to planned stadium construction by the college.
While the Wegmans’ gift pushed the Opening Doors within 60 percent of its goal, with $480,000 raised to date, Hutt considers the money one piece of a larger picture.
“The monetary donation is only part of our commitment,” he said. “Our next step is to be down here working alongside staff and kids at KidStart. When I look at the children holding that oversized check, I see six good reasons why we do this kind of stuff.”
“We’re out here trying to raise money in a tough economic time. Wegmans stepped up to the plate in a very big way,” said Livingston County Preschool Programs Coordinator James Brunner.
Brunner noted that both the former rent amount paid at the old Holcomb facility and contributions from the Opening Doors campaign go towards retiring the new construction debt.
KidStart and Wegmans are additionally exploring ways to work together to teach young children about the benefits of healthy eating.
The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming is a private, not-for-profit agency serving people of all ages with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
Arc’s KidStart program provides care to children from 19 school districts and seven counties.