VISTA Thank You – February 2015
SALT is very fortunate to be able to work with one of the most innovative and community-centered programs in the country, AmeriCorps VISTA or Volunteers In Service To America. VISTA members sign on for a year of service and during that year they spearhead critical programs, train volunteers, and build capacity for the organizations like SALT. Over the past three years we have had the privilege of having over 22 individuals continue to help us in our mission of rebuilding and revitalizing Schoharie County.
However, that year of service is always over too soon. This month at SALT we are saying goodbye to three very special VISTAs.
Sheila Donegan was our Regional Business and Community Development VISTA serving in Middleburgh. During her service Sheila assisted Mayor Matt Avitabile with local business development and preparedness. She sat on the Middleburgh Business Association and helped promote new businesses such as the Green Wolf Brewery, The Olde Corner Store, and the Valley Pharmacy. Sheila will continue to share her skills by volunteering her time with SALT through the Schoharie Area Wild initiative.
Robin Ressler was our Grant and Fund Development Coordinator VISTA this past year. Robin was instrumental in helping to put together several of our grant applications this year focused on bringing funds into the county. Through Robin’s hard work and dedication the county was successfully awarded almost $150,000 in funding towards a Feasibility Study for a Schoharie Creek Trail. Robin has also used her writing skills to help outreach to new avenues this past year, spreading SALT’s mission in and outside of the county. Robin will also continue to volunteer with SALT.
Christian Cernauskas was our Marketing and Media Coordinator VISTA. Also known as The Prince that was Promised, Christian was instrumental this year in helping SALT rebrand as we moved from recovery to renewal. Through his year of service Christian was able to design the new SALT logo, create the Captain Schoharie emergency preparedness video series, and completely redesign the SALT website. SALT has a stronger brand image because of Christian’s hard work and dedication.
We are not sure yet what we will do without these amazing individuals moving forward. Sheila, Robin and Christian will be moving on to share their incredible talents in the future but we will always be grateful for the time they shared with this community and their contributions which have made SALT and Schoharie County stronger.