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NYPA's Festival of Trees showcases not-for-profits & community services

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Fri, Nov 30th 2018 11:15 pm
When members of the CAO Head Start-Early Head Start program visit homes, they often see a family has more needs than anticipated and are able to link those families with the proper service agencies.
"We've had family partners and teachers go on home visits and realize the apartment doesn't have heat," said Sara Brydges, area manager at CAO Head Start-Early Head Start for Erie and Niagara counties.
The program is just one of more than 65 area not-for-profit organizations decorating a tree at the New York Power Authority's Niagara Power Vista as part of the annual Festival of Trees, which is on display to the public now through Dec. 31.
On Dec. 15, the public is invited to the annual "Deck the Halls" event, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring free photos with Santa (until 2 p.m.), crafts, and performances by school and dance organizations.
For the Festival of Trees, NYPA provides an artificial tree and LED lights for each organization. The agencies do the decorating - many using hand-made ornaments by those receiving services - and provide information about the programs they offer. The CAO program helps families who meet income guidelines and have children ages 6 weeks to 5 years find health care and connect with programs to enhance their quality of life.
Another participating program will be Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara, which provides tutoring to adults who want to learn to read or improve their skills, said Naomi Pabon-Figueroa, manager of marketing and outreach at the organization, which is part of a state-wide network of literacy programs.
"A lot of what we do is word-of-mouth, so an awareness opportunity is very important," Pabon-Figueroa said. "We want to show we are part of the community and have been here a long time."
The trees are located throughout the reception area, across the glass walkway and in the Community Room.
In addition to viewing the trees, visitors are invited to enjoy the Power Vista's state-of-the-art exhibits by taking a seat in the 4-D simulated ride, creating a transmission distribution system on a one-of-a-kind transmission grid table, building a dam or simulating the coordination of power across the state. Admission and parking are free.
For more information about the Festival of Trees and how to become a 2019 participant, email [email protected] or call the Niagara Project Power Vista at 716-286-6661 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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