Vice President Nick Yanicelli opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. Bob Smith read the minutes. Jerry Transue reported the membership at 449 and introduced new member Michel Cornier (attendance 97). Guest Abud Abdo was also introduced.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: George Perkins reported Rad Stone moving from Greenwich Hospital to Waveny (knee replacement), Ray Kotch expected at home (also a knee replacement) and Cliff Parris now at home (information from Roger Colson).
COUTH: 3/15 N.Y. Philharmonic rehearsal/Bell restaurant trip departs 8:45AM, returns 4:00PM. 9/16-9/27 National Parks tour, deposit due 3/21, can save $100 on full price if deposit by 3/16. Total refund for any reason if $165 insurance package is purchased.
ACTIVITIES: Paddle (7-10-6) and bridge as usual. 3/14, Photo/Computer Club, advanced Photoshop Class, 1:00-4:00PM, at Lapham, maximum 10 participants. 3/19, Investment Club, 10:30AM, at Lapham. 3/22, Amateur Chefs husband/wife dinner, full.
MEMBERS' COMMENTS: Members report the current local Same Time Next Year performance at Waveny is excellent! Roger Colson announced the 3/29 AARP Driving Course, 8:45AM-1:00PM at Lapham, $12/pp ($13 if not AARP member, spouses also eligible), potential 5% insurance premium discount, attendance limited to 25 (contact Roger). Nick announced as appropriate (per Paul Stein's request) Board approval of Channel 79 taping at the next SMC meeting (per Rad Stone also have guest speaker approval). The New Canaan Tree Board (a new organization) is looking for volunteers.
HUMORIST: Jack Messert told about Adam and God talking. God gave step by step directions for Adam to travel to a woman in a cave and how to consummate his arrival. God had to explain each word. Yet,on returning, poor Adam asked"What is a headache?"
SPEAKER: Nick introduced the speaker, Karen Nisenson, founder and Clinical Director of Arts for Healing (AFH) and Holly Doherty-Lemoine, Director of Development. AFH is a creative arts therapy center in New Canaan. After major commitments to a music career, Karen moved on to a MA in Music Therapy at NYU, working in this field for twenty five years. "AFH serves the special needs population of children and adults living with communication disorders --- a mission to break through barriers that isolate them, creating a channel for self-expression through the arts." It serves nearly 180 clients at the New Canaan center and the Fairfield County outreach locations, providing integrated music and art therapy. 62% of these clients are 15 years or younger, 17% are over 50, 56% are male, 44% female, and 58% on the Autism Spectrum. Karen enlisted volunteers who were not piano players (i.e. George Perkins, Jerry Transue, and Dudley Roski) to join her in individual sessions of several minutes at the keyboard --- as demonstrations of communicating and connecting through music. By the end of these sessions, her brave SMC volunteers had picked out some of the beats and notes from her playing. Karen also shared a video tape of some of her work with patients. In the Q and A, Karen covered "definition of success" (depends on degree and nature of individual disfunction), use of art therapy alone (actually, a recognized field for over 50 years), staffing at the center (a wide range of skills, including some interns), volunteer options (there are some new slots on the Board), funding sources (50% from client fees, balance largely grants, currently no Federal insurance coverage), and current and potential uses of technology (iPads with different Apps for various sounds, further possibilities for adaptive devices).
Don Hudson, Assistant Secretary