Rivershore recognized for contributions to the community
By Jennifer Pauly
Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce President
Rivershore Inc. has been chosen as the 2015 Chairman's Award recipient by the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce board of directors and Chairwoman Kristen Trunzo.
Rivershore has positively made a difference in the community, providing support to people living with disabilities as they pursue and achieve a meaningful life.
In April 2014, Rivershore became an affiliate of People Inc. The collaboration enabled Rivershore to maintain its services while opening up the door to many additional programs and opportunities throughout Western New York. The primary changes made at the local level were staff and administrative shifts, allowing former Executive Director Jeff Sanderson to move to the vice president of affiliations position at People Inc.
Jay Mapstone now serves as Rivershore's executive director. Mapstone is celebrating nine years this May at Rivershore.
In 2002, Rivershore was named a Compass Agency by New York state. Compass status has been awarded to only the top 1 percent of agencies that serve people with developmental disabilities in New York in recognition of excellence and quality standards. Agencies that receive this status set the bar for service and provide exceptional work.
Founded in 1980, Rivershore Inc. has a rich history in the Niagara River Region. The agency began in Youngstown in 1979 when a group of local residents came together to establish a home for their loved ones living with disabilities. Today, Rivershore supports eight residences throughout the region.
In addition to residential services, Rivershore provides a range of supports to people living in the community, including life planning, day services, employment and in-home services. All of the supports provided are intended to help people live as independently as possible, and to be contributing members of the community.
The organization holds a number of events throughout the year to further engage the community in agency initiatives. The second annual Rivershore 5K will be held May 2 throughout the Village of Lewiston as part of the DiMino Lower Niagara 5K Race series. The Rivershore Foundation Gala is held in the fall and focuses on accomplishments made throughout the year, honoring volunteers and featuring special guests, including entertainers and advocates. This year at the gala, Rivershore will celebrate its 35th anniversary.
Additionally, "The Haunted Armory" in downtown Niagara Falls has been a successful fundraiser to benefit the "Artisan's Edge" program at Rivershore. It is held weekends in October prior to Halloween.
All of the aforementioned events are supported by the community through sponsorships, volunteering and participation.
Having Rivershore offices centered in the region has helped it develop relationships and collaborations with local businesses and organizations. Many help support the mission and programs needed to encourage independent living. Local organizations such as the Lions Club, the Kiwanis Club of Lewiston and Lewiston Service Guild also provide support, as does Niagara University.
Rivershore will continue to focus on state initiatives, develop more programs through the collaboration with People Inc. and strive to provide more opportunities for independent living.
Future plans include moving the agency's central office to the new Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center Golisano Center for Community Health in early 2016. The center will provide health care and clinical services to people with special needs and their families. It is one of the few centers of its kind in the country.
The chair and the board of directors of the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce proudly congratulate Rivershore Inc. for its commitment to making the community a better place for all to live in the Niagara River Region.