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Team Trivia Challenge

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3rd Annual Skills Trivia Challenge

Friday, April 10, 2015   •   7:00 p.m - 9:30 pm.
The Casino at Lakemont Park, Altoona, PA

More information about our Trivia Challenge and festivities...

Skills of Central Pennsylvania has a new look!

Team Trivia Challenge

Through a strategic planning process, Skills of Central Pennsylvania reviewed the meaning and appearance of the logo used for decades. The logo should tell a story about the purpose of the organization through a picture. Our picture logo now reflects the feeling of the organization. We are a person-centered organization, reaching for the stars, as we support individuals with intellectual disabilities and mental health diagnoses.

We will continue to use Skills of Central Pennsylvania for business transactions but to the public will simply use the name Skills.

While we have a new name and logo, our high quality of programming, innovation, and drive to meet community needs has not changed.

Like us on Facebook: SkillsofCentralPA and follow us on Twitter: @SkillsPA.

Skills Trivia Challenge Is Back!

Friday, April 10, 2015 • 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
The Casino at Lakemont Park, Altoona

Are you a fan of Jeopardy? Is trivia a passion of yours? Or just a form of entertainment?

Then you do not want to miss the 3rd annual Trivia Challenge sponsored by the Skills Foundation. The event will be held on Friday, April 10th at The Casino at Lakemont Park in Altoona.

Enjoy a round of team trivia, cash bar, finger foods and desserts. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 teams.

There will also be silent auction and a 50/50 raffle drawing and door prizes.

Teams can have a maximum of 6 players. The team rate of for 6 players is $25 per person, or a total of $150. The rate for teams with less than 6 players is $30 per person.

Sponsorships are now available! For sponsorship and event information, download the Skills Trivia Challenge brochure. We are also seeking silent auction items. If you have an item to donate please contact Gwen Auman at 814-594-4251 or Flora Marynak at 814-238-3245 ext. 326.

Registration check-in begins at 7 p.m. with cash bar and food. Trivia begins at 7:30 p.m. and lasts until 9:30 p.m. Dress is casual.

The evening's trivia rounds will be led by Team Trivia PA!

All proceeds from the Trivia Challenge are used for programming and services for the people served by Skills of Central Pennsylvania.

Who said it?
You know you might be getting old when your favorite section of the newspaper is '50 Years Ago Today'."

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."

"Thoughts come clearly while one walks."

These may be door prize questions!!!

Thank you for your support of Skills of Central Pennsylvania.
Gwen Auman, Senior Director of Development

Groundhog Day/National Job Shadowing Day

On Monday, February 2, Skills participated in the national Groundhog Day/National Job Shadow Day that promotes hiring individuals with disabilities. Nationally, only 18% of individuals with disabilities are employed. Skills wants to raise awareness in our communities, especially with local businesses and employers. On February 2, individuals from Skills shadowed Thomas Fountaine, State College Borough Manager , Carolyn Donaldson, WTAJ News anchor and Mark Wissinger, Cambria County Commissioner.

Jessica Way visits WTAJ-TV 10 Jessica Way visits WTAJ-TV 10

In the Blair County Region, Ms. Jessica Way, who is involved in Blair Employment Services, participated in such activities. As a graduate of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College with an Associates Degree in communications, Jessica's knack in media communications proved there was no better place to have such an experience than WTAJ-TV 10 located in Altoona.

Jessica Way and Carolyn Donaldson Jessica Way and Carolyn Donaldson

Jessica was able to have a personal tour provided by Ms. Donaldson to learn about the television broadcasting system, meeting people who worked both behind and in front of the camera. Jessica and Jennifer Smith, her Employment Training Specialist from Skills Employment Services, sat in the director's booth to watch the taping of the 12:00 o'clock news and learn what it takes to produce a live broadcast, as well as how the prompters and cameras worked. She watched as Regina Miller and Casey Kantz worked diligently to provide the area with up to date local and national news. Jessica was also able to observe Dawn Pellas create promos for viewers to tune into Central PA Live. Throughout the entire day Jessica was welcomed and had all of her questions answered by Carolyn and other staff members.

Jessica Way experiences being interviewed by Carolyn Donaldson Jessica Way experiences being interviewed by Carolyn Donaldson

Finally, when the end of the day was approaching, Jessica got to experience being interviewed by Carolyn. Jessica sat at the desk where the news is recorded and answered questions related to her interests, such as working behind the scenes to help give up-to-date news information to the public. Jessica was so thankful to Carolyn and the staff at WTAJ-TV for giving her this opportunity. From this experience, Jessica realized there are many more options out there for career exploration related to her interests.

Vicki Holder at the State College Borough office Vicki Holder at the State College Borough office.

For Vicki Holder, National Job Shadow Day meant shadowing Mr. Fountaine, State College Borough Manager. He met with Vickie, who is currently receiving job development services through Skills' State College Employment Services office, and Nicole Kressler, Employment Training Specialist from Skills Employment Services. Vickie was accompanied by Taylor, her Working/Guide Dog.

Vicki Holder at the State College Borough office Vicki Holder with Taylor, her working/guide dog, and State College Borough Manager, Mr. Tom Fountaine, and Assistant Chief of Police, John Gardner.

The agenda of this job shadow started with meeting Tom to discuss Vickie's background and experiences. Vickie shared her story of how she became legally blind about ten years ago due to a car accident; how it changed her life and the difficulties she has faced. Vickie further shared that her employment, before her vision was affected, consisted of working as a Home Health Aide for elderly and disabled individuals. Vickie expressed that she dealt with her struggles and stepped forward in getting a service guide dog. She took time to obtain her degree in Administrative Legal Professional. After this one-on-one discussion, Tom offered a tour of the building and Borough staff.

During the second half of the tour, Tom escorted Vickie to the State College Police Department and introduced her to Assistant Chief of Police John Gardner. Together Tom and John gave a tour of the SCPD facilities, where she met a few police officers. As an outreach of Vicki and Taylor working together, a conversation was initiated on how officers should be aware of the best way to handle a situation pertaining to an individual and the working/guide dog. Vickie shared some personal advice and knowledge on how a working/guide dog would react in a given situation of a police officer/or other person tried to detain an individual with a guide dog. John expressed gratitude to Vicki for sharing her knowledge. John did express that he was not aware of any past incidents while he's been employed at the SCPD. As the Job Shadow came to an end, Vickie expressed gratefulness to Tom and John for the opportunity.

Louie Distenfano meets Commissioner Wissinger Louie Distenfano meets Commissioner Wissinger

Louie Distenfano, who attends the Ebensburg senior program, was chosen to shadow Commissioner Wissinger. Louie, accompanied by Eileen Pierson, Activities Coordinator, was wearing a groundhog hat made specifically for the event. Louie immediately let Eileen know that he was familiar with the place, saying that his sister, Lucille Taylor had been an employee of the courthouse for many years and Louie had visited her there often. Louie proudly walked through the metal detector telling the guards that he was there to visit the commissioner.

Louie Distenfano meets Commissioner Wissinger Judge Patrick Kiniry offered Louie the opportunity to site in his chair and use his gavel.

When Louie and Eileen entered the commissioner's office, they received a warm welcome from Mark and his staff. Louie at once held out his hand for a handshake while introducing himself to Mark., who showed Eileen and Louie around his office, and allowed Louie to sit in his desk chair.

They were given a tour of the courthouse and Mark gave a detailed description of a day in the life of a commissioner. The first person they met on their tour was Sheriff Bob Kollar. Louie shared his love of Western movies with Bob, and inquired about where they keep the guns in the courthouse. Sheriff Kollar kindly explained that he wasn't allowed to keep guns in his office.

Louie Distenfano meets Commissioner Wissinger Louie at the courthouse

Mark then took Louie and Eileen to see various offices, including the chambers that are devoted exclusively to trials. Louie was introduced to Judge Patrick Kiniry, one of Cambria County's three judges. Patrick offered Louie the opportunity to sit in his chair and use his gavel. Louie gladly accepted the offer and was all smiles as he was experiencing these activities. Louie and Eileen's tour ended with meeting Commissioner Doug Lengenfelder, who is a retired Air Force officer. His office is decorated with pictures of his experiences, medals, models of planes that he flew and swords that he obtained during various assignments. This was the highlight of Louie's visit.

Louie's day of shadowing left a great impression on him. He proved this to Eileen a few days later when he saw Commissioner Wissinger on the news. He proudly told all of his friends at the senior program, "I know that man; I met him at the courthouse on Groundhog's Day!"

Each of these individuals experienced a number of exciting and profound moments.

Skills Foundation Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars! The Foundation has three fun and exciting events scheduled for 2015. We would love to see you there!

Friday, April 10th: Trivia Night at the Lakemont Park Casino in Altoona. There will be a silent auction and test your knowledge with the Trivia contest.

Saturday, May 16th: Discovery Garden Plant sale. This event is held yearly with proceeds benefitting the Discovery Garden in Hollidaysburg.

Monday, July 13th: 10th Annual E.F. “Pat” Houser Golf Tournament at Toftrees. As this is the 10th anniversary of the golf tournament you will not want to miss the activities being planned.

Stay tuned for details on these events and others being planned.