Easter Seals New York and the Kessler Family to Break Ground for a Cutting-Edge Program for Upstate New York's Children and Young Adults with Disabilities

December 14, 2010 at 11 am, 400 Rogers Parkway, Rochester, NY 14617

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Dec. 13, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Easter Seals New York, in partnership with the Kessler Family, is proud to announce the groundbreaking for The Kessler Center, a service of Easter Seals New York, on December 14th. The Center will offer highly individualized special education, fully-supported residential living, clinical care, and emergency respite services for children and young adults with disabilities in western, central, and southern New York. Located in Rochester, New York, and developed through a partnership with Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the State Education Department (SED), The Kessler Center is slated to be the first of its kind in New York State.

"We strongly believe in and support the critical work Easter Seals New York does to help our local children with disabilities," stated Dennis Kessler of Kessler Family. "We are proud to be a part of this new center," Larry Kessler added, "that will allow these children to receive the services they need close to their homes and families." Kessler Family LLC is an affiliate of the Kessler Group, Inc., operating 48 Friendly's Restaurants and 21 Burger King locations in Upstate New York.

The Kessler Center will provide a full service school for 24 resident students plus 12 day-only students and up to 3 emergency respite placements at a time. The educational, residential, and clinical supports will serve students with disabilities who are either currently placed, or at risk of being placed, out of New York State for services. The New York State Education Department approved private school at The Kessler Center will offer comprehensive special education with six classrooms plus music, art, sensory integration, a computer lab, a library, a gym, a cafeteria, offices, and room to expand in the future. Easter Seals New York's commitment to this vulnerable population includes a "No Reject, No Eject" policy whereby children are provided all the services they need regardless of the challenges or cost of services. In addition, The Kessler Center will be a critical resource for the community adding 109 new jobs to the local economy with the program operation running approximately $6 million per year. In a time where other agencies are holding steady or contracting, Easter Seals New York is actively expanding in Rochester.

"We owe so much to the Kesslers," noted John W. McGrath, SVP of Easter Seals New York, "they have embraced our organization and mission, helping raise over one million dollars to support local services. Without their support, we simply couldn't pull off a project of this magnitude."

For almost 90 years, Easter Seals New York has been at the forefront of providing outstanding services throughout the state to ensure that all people with disabilities or special needs have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities. Last year, Easter Seals New York directly touched the lives of more than 10,000 individuals and their families. In Western New York, Easter Seals New York served more than 3,400 individuals in 2010. These programs include Individual Residential Alternatives, Primary Medical Care and Mental Health Services, In-home Respite Care, Medicaid Service Coordination, and Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver Services.

For more information about Easter Seals New York or The Kessler Center, please call (917) 292-4845 or visit www.eastersealsny.org

Contact:

Elizabeth Lind

(917) 292-4845

elind@eastersealsny.org



SOURCE Easter Seals New York



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