NYSARC, Inc. Celebrates 65 Years of Service to the Disabled

This article originally appeared on the Times Union website:


As members of NYSARC from each county lined up with flags, Roger Bacon and Dan Schamberg stood at the front of the line. Schamberg, a “direct support professional, has worked with Bacon for 22 years. The pair represented the Warren, Washington & Albany Counties chapter, and Bacon bashfully explained how much he walked on Friday, while joshing Schamberg.

“I’ll pick on him all day,” Bacon said.

The duo along with hundreds from chapters across the state descended on East Capitol Park to celebrate the non-profit, which supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and its 65th anniversary. Crowds started at the Corning Preserve and marched up State Street.

The event was also the culmination of a 12-day, 365-mile bike trip along the Erie Canalway Trail by John Robinson, who has no hands or legs below the knees. He told a crowd full of individuals with varying disabilities that it’s important not to forget that they all have abilities.

“We all have the ability to advocate for ourselves and others each and every day,” Robinson said.

The event was attended by state officials including Assembly members Angelo Santabarbara and John McDonald, Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk and Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan.

“I know as a legislator and a parent about the services NYSARC has done for our families,” said Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, who has a son with autism. Santabarbara presented NYSARC’s president, John A. Schuppenhauer, with an Assembly proclamation recognizing the organization’s milestone.

Before the politicians spoke, Schamberg waited with some others from NYSARC’s local chapter as Bacon, 48, walked across the stage and planted his flag at the foot of the Capitol steps. Bacon, who is from Ravena, then ran over to hug Schamberg, and chided him for breaking another tiny flag.

They both started laughing. Schamberg said, “Roger, I so enjoy you.”


Hundreds of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families, NYSARC Chapters, and NYSARC leaders march to the Capitol steps for a ceremony commemorating the NYSARC's 65th Anniversary and Celebrating Abilities Friday July 11, 2014, in Albany, NY. (John Carl D'Annibale / Times Union)


July 15, 2014