Independent Perspective 1698 with Donna Becker talking about ILGR's expansion and open house
Host: Welcome to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL). Our guest today is Donna Becker, Assistant to the Director of Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR), and I'm your host Ernie Churchwell. Welcome to the program Donna.
Guest: Thank you, Ernie. It’s nice to be here.
Host: And we're pleased to have you. We're going to be talking today about something that's exciting to people from your service area, because you are expanding your facilities. And first just for the benefit of our listeners, just what is your service area?
Guest: We cover Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties and we are located in Batavia.
Host: The GOW counties as some people say. Very good. Well, that's a fair amount of responsibilities. So, I guess it's only logical that at some point or other you would need to expand to serve people. I guess your staff has gradually been growing. How many is it up to now?
Guest: We're up to 20 staff.
Host: Considering that you're not in the major metropolitan hub like Buffalo, that's pretty impressive. And your expansion includes some particular areas that are going to be made available soon if not they’re not already. Could you tell us what all has expanded?
Guest: We have expanded an additional seven offices for staff. We have a new conference room, and that can accommodate oh probably up to 15 people. Of course, right now COVID restrictions that limits us a little bit and we've expanded our loan closet as well.
Host: Great and when you say loan closet, these are pieces of durable medical equipment that have been donated, that you make available for long term loan to people at no cost, correct?
Guest: Exactly. Yes. So I will say too I'll just add this Ernie, the new long closet also has shelving for all kinds of household items that we give to the homeless that that we work with once we can get them out from being homeless into some type of whether it's an apartment or wherever we can get them set up. We also tried to supply them with some household goods as well.
Host: Now that's something that we often don't think of areas like Batavia having a homeless situation like we would in the Queen City here. But it's good that you're taking care of all aspects of your citizenry. And something that we should probably mention who is your new conference room being dedicated to?
Guest: It's going to be dedicated to Michael Phillips, who was our CFO for WNYIL I believe for over 30 years. I'm not exactly sure but I know it was over that. And he sadly passed away in November of cancer and we just wanted to do something special in Mike's memory.
Host: He was a hard worker both with staff, with funders and behind the scenes he started 35 years ago, as a bookkeeper eventually became a staff accountant and then controller and more recently chief financial officer and has done ably and all those things. Oh, when is your open house for your new facility?
Guest: It will be on Thursday, June 9, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Host: Great and your address?
Guest: 319 West Main Street in Batavia, we are in the Crickler building. People around Batavia who've lived here a long time would know that is the old Pepsi, building the old Pepsi warehouse.
Host: Great. If people have questions, how can they reach you?
Guest: They can call me at 585-815-8501 and my direct extension is 411
Host: Thanks so much for being with us, Donna.
Guest: Thanks, Ernie.
Host: You've been listening to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of WNYIL. Our guest today has been Donna Becker, Assistant to the Director of ILGR and I've been your host Ernie Churchwell.