Introduction

Livingston County CARES, Inc. is a collaborative effort among groups and organizations at SUNY Geneseo and the Geneseo and Livingston County community that began in September 2005 to focus relief and recovery efforts in Harrison County, Mississippi. The initial groups and organizations that endorsed and contributed to this project include SUNY Geneseo students, faculty, and staff, the Livingston County Administrator, the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Geneseo, the Village of Geneseo, and the Livingston County Coalition of Churches.

In 2006, Livingston County CARES, Inc. was registered as a New York State non-profit organization. In March 2007, the IRS granted CARES tax exempt status under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code.

The Livingston County community watched in shock and disbelief as the levees broke in New Orleans and homes were leveled along the Gulf Coast. In response to numerous inquiries of "how can we help," SUNY Geneseo students, staff, and faculty and community residents met to discuss how to respond. It was decided that a long-term commitment would be made to a particular area, ensuring that we would provide temporary relief, but would also help the community rebuild. We have made a 10 year commitment to the area to help Harrison County residents return to their homes and communities.

In January 2006, the first Livingston CARES trip went to Gulfport with 32 people. Four and a half years later, a total of 15 trips have gone to Mississippi with 422 total participants. 4 more trips are planned for 2010, and plans are being made to commemorate the 5th year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Our goal is to expand our mission of disaster relief and recovery efforts and supporting humanitarian efforts in the Western New York region. We have begun our "home-base" efforts with a flood relief trips to Binghamton, New York in 2006. We are in the planning stages of organizing day trips through Catholic Charities to visit senior citizens' homes and install grab bars, ramps, and more to make their home safe and accessible. We plan to do more locally in the future.

Chronology of Events

The chronology includes a vast array of important moments throughout the history of the Livingston CARES organization from its conception in 2005 to its current function in Livingston County today.

2005

September 7, 2005
Semi-annual Volunteer Fair at the College provided opportunities for students to join committees to help with hurricane relief efforts.

September 8, 2005
The Center for Community at SUNY Geneseo hosted a meeting of 32 representatives from college and community organizations to discuss a collaborative response to the horrendous devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.  The participants unanimously agreed to create a countywide effort to respond with a long-term commitment to help the Gulf Coast recover from the hurricane.  A set of assumptions was approved that formed the basis of a plan to conduct fundraising for relief efforts while the hurricane remained front-page news and explore possibilities for developing a relationship with communities on the Gulf Coast for long-term recovery assistance. Participants agreed that Livingston CARES would become a college and community program directed by a steering committee with representatives from students, faculty and administrators at SUNY Geneseo, Livingston County government, the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce, the Livingston County Coalition of Churches, the Village and Town of Geneseo, and other interested organizations.  The College agreed to coordinate the Livingston CARES efforts through its GOLD leadership and volunteer center programs.  Tom Matthews, director of leadership education, development and training, agreed to serve as chair with assistance from Kay Fly, Coordinator of Volunteerism and Service Learning.

September 11, 2005
Article by Matthew Daneman in Democrat and Chronicle on “Beyond Katrina: Livingston wants Gulf to know it cares” reports on Livingston County CARES activities.

September 12, 2005
Livingston County CARES logo approved and website created at http://communitycare.geneseo
.edu to serve as a location for sharing information on hurricane relief efforts. Numerous student organizations announced fundraising activities on the website. A Student Action Committee of Livingston CARES begins meeting weekly to coordinate SUNY Geneseo student involvement in the relief efforts.

September 20, 2005
Livingston County CARES steering committee met to coordinate efforts and investigate communities on the Gulf Coast that would be willing to partner with Livingston County.  Based on the news reports that Mississippi coastal areas were not getting attention or much assistance, members of the steering committee agreed that Livingston CARES should focus its concerns on Harrison County, Mississippi. Cynthia Oswald, President of the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce, agreed to contact government and business leaders in Harrison County.  Oswald initiated conversations by phone and email with Berinda Logan from Mississippi Gulf Chamber of Commerce whose offices and records had been totally destroyed in the hurricane.  Logan connected Oswald with Connie M. Rockco from the Harrison County Board of Supervisors. Conversations between Oswald and Rockco led to the agreement between Livingston and Harrison Counties to work together on the relief and recovery efforts. President Christopher Dahl sent an email to the campus community about the hurricane and the SUNY Geneseo response including information on the community forum and Teach-In on the Hurricane on October 30, the student fundraising activities, and the Livingston County CARES initiatives.

September 27, 2005
Livingston CARES steering committee met and approved a resolution-identifying Harrison County, Mississippi as the location to focus relief efforts. Brad Lowell, a Red Cross volunteer who had just returned from two weeks doing damage assessment in Harrison County briefed the committee on his experiences and observations about the need for long-term assistance in Harrison County.

September 28, 2005
A resolution was submitted by Geneseo Town Supervisor, Wes Kennison, to the Livingston County Board of Supervisors to support Livingston County CARES and to formally offer assistance to Harrison County, Mississippi.  Cynthia Oswald, Tom Matthews, and Kay Fly participated in the meeting and addressed the Board of Supervisors on the initiative.  The resolution was presented but not acted upon in order to provide time for officials in Harrison County to accept the offer of assistance from Livingston County.

October 6, 2005
Article on Livingston County CARES appeared in The Clarion on the developing relationship with Harrison County.  The same issue featured Gail Orr and her work in Harrison County and the Humanity Outreach Partners Enterprise (HOPE) Unites Foundation.  Orr led a team of 18 volunteers from western New York to work in a “tent city” in D’Iverville, Mississippi immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.

November 21, 2005
Cynthia Oswald, Livingston County Chamber of Commerce President, was interviewed on WYSL about the Livingston CARES initiatives.

November 23, 2005
A feature story in Livingston County News reports on “From Nunda to Gulfport” efforts by Carolyn Lowell, a teacher in the Dalton School District and Paul Kreuzer, an active member of the community to involve teachers, students, and community groups in Dalton, Nunda, Hunt, and Portage to collect school supplies and funds for the Gulfport School District. Gerald Hotchkiss delivered the school supplies to the children in Gulfport on a trip to visit his son in Mississippi.

November 30, 2005
The Livingston CARES steering committee met and approved a K-12 initiative created by Glenn McClure to connect schools in Livingston County and Harrison County. The “Cosmic Gumbo Café” project will involve teachers and students in various arts integration activities over an extended period of time.  Dr. Jon Hunter, Geneseo Superintendent of Schools, agreed to work with Glenn McClure on this project.

December 4, 2005
Pennysaver
features Livingston County CARES in its column devoted to “Hometown Spotlight.”

December 5, 2005
Thirty-five volunteers including nine SUNY Geneseo students registered and paid deposits for the trip to Biloxi. SUNY Geneseo, through Bob Bonfiglio, Vice President of Student and Campus Life, subsidized each student with grants to assist with travel expenses. Livingston CARES did not provide any funds to assist the volunteers with the $500 cost of the trip; all volunteers self-funded their expenses.

HOPE Unites provided a three-hour training session for participants in the January work trip to Biloxi. The Iota Lambda chapter of Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society announced that Casey Carrigan won an essay for his writing about the hurricane and was sponsored by the chapter to participate in the January work trip to Harrison County.

December 20, 2005
Livingston CARES submitted a proposal to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund to support students and faculty participating in relief and recovery projects during spring break and for summer directed studies and internships in Harrison County.  The proposal also requested funds to support the “Cosmic Gumbo Café” project with the K-12 links to Harrison County.

December 21, 2005
Livingston CARES steering committee added its support for the grant proposal submitted to the Bush-Clinton Hurricane Katrina Fund by the College.  The committee also agreed to sponsor a community dinner on Wednesday, February 1 at the Geneseo United Methodist Church.  The Geneseo Philanthropic Chefs will cater the Share and Care dinner with assistance and entertainment provided by the “Strong As Steel Corporation” 8th grade career studies project students at Mt. Morris Central School.  Participants in the January work trip will tell their stories and the event will be a fundraiser with proceeds to go to Livingston CARES. Kay Fly reported that eighteen college organizations participated in a wide variety of fundraising activities during the fall semester with proceeds going to the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Society of America, and Livingston CARES.  Events included programs such as a Residence Life competition to raise funds, the Japanese Culture Club 1,000 cranes project folding origami cranes in the library, a Beta Fish sale by the Pre-Veterinary Club for animals displaced by the hurricane, a Alpha Phi Omega sale of Halloween Goodie Bags, the women’s athletic teams Kids Knight Out recreation program, a yard sale sponsored by the Royal Lady Knights and Livingston Residence Hall, and numerous collections for hurricane relief. A list of events registered with Livingston CARES was posted on the CARES website.

December 23, 2005
Letters from Glenn McClure, arts consultant, and Jon Hunter, Geneseo school superintendent, were sent to the five school district superintendents in Harrison County introducing the “Cosmic Gumbo Café” project and inviting the school districts to collaborate in long-term partnerships with the schools in Livingston County.

December 29, 2005
A news story on “County helps Hurricane Katrina victims” appeared in The Clarion describing the efforts of Livingston County CARES and the upcoming trip to Biloxi. Livingston County News featured the Top stories of 2005 and listed the disaster response as one of the major stories of the year.

2006

January 2006
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce US Chamber news magazine in its January edition included a feature article “Communities Aid Storm Recovery” that focused on the Livingston CARES initiatives as a “best practices” activity for other chambers of commerce to use in working on the hurricane relief efforts.

January 3, 2006
Kyle Clark, WHAM Channel 13 reporter, interviewed eight members of the Livingston County CARES volunteers on January 2 for a video report that aired on the local news after the Monday Night Football game on Tuesday morning.

January 4-10, 2006
Thirty-three Livingston County CARES volunteers traveled from New York to Biloxi, Mississippi and spent five days working on recovery projects in conjunction with the Urban Life Ministries. The volunteers stayed at the Urban Life Ministries Relief and Recovery Center on the grounds of a former V.F.W. site in East Biloxi. The Livingston CARES volunteers made a presentation to the Harrison County Board of Supervisors in Biloxi on January 9th. The work trip volunteers included nine students, one faculty member, who is also Town Supervisor of Geneseo and a member of the Livingston County Board of Supervisors, and two administrators from SUNY Geneseo; five students and one administrator from the Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada; nine individuals representing the Central Presbyterian Church in Geneseo; three individual citizens dedicated to service; and three team leaders from HOPE Unites.

January 5, 2006
The Livingston County News carried an editorial on the Livingston County CARES January work trip to Biloxi praising the efforts of the volunteers working in Mississippi and welcoming the group returning as heroes.

January 12, 2006
A full-page feature story on “Biloxi Blues” by Editor Mark Gillespie appeared in the Livingston County News reported on the January Work-Trip activities in Biloxi. Gillespie interviewed Matthews and Kennsion and Harrison County Supervisor Connie Rockco while the team was still working in Biloxi.

 January 17-18, 2006
Cynthia Oswald from Livingston County Chamber of Commerce made a presentation on the Livingston CARES initiatives as part of a panel discussion at the Chamber Alliance of New York State (CANYS) conference in Albany.

January 18, 2006
An article by Dolores Orman on “Group to Explain Post-Katrina Work” appeared in the Democrat & Chronicle highlighting the January Livingston County CARES work trip to Biloxi and the February 1st Share and Care dinner. Livingston County CARES steering committee met and heard brief reports on the January work trip to Biloxi. The committee also approved HOPE Unites as the designated agency to arrange future Livingston County CARES work trips to Harrison County.

January 19, 2006
The Clarion
featured a group photo on the front page of the Livingston County CARES work team orientation after arrival in Biloxi on January 4, an article by Sally Fox on “Our Clarion Correspondent Reports on Hurricane Victims,” and an article by Harrison County employee Welton Babuchna on “Harrison County, Mississippi worker says, Good Morning America.”

January 26, 2006
Livingston County News
editorial cartoonist Tom Fox depicts a bus with seats available on a work trip to Biloxi with a banner saying “Livingston Cares.”

February 1, 2006
Livingston CARES sponsored the First Annual Share and Care Dinner from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the Geneseo United Methodist Church. The Share and Care dinner was catered by the Geneseo Philanthropic Chefs with assistance and entertainment provided by the “Strong As Steel Corporation” 8th grade career studies project students at Mt. Morris Central School. Participants in the January work trip shared their stories and experiences working on the hurricane recovery in Harrison County. The program included commentary from the Wilfrid Laurier University staff and students, SUNY Geneseo students, Central Presbyterian Church in Geneseo participants, and stories about each of the worksites in Biloxi and Gulfport. Over 120 students and community members attended the fundraiser dinner and donated over $1500.00 to Livingston CARES to assist with the Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts in Harrison County.

February 5, 2006
The Sunday edition of the Democrat & Chronicle carried a story and photos of four of the January work trip volunteers: Roger and Kathy Collins, Kristy Sirianni, and George Sullivan.  The article “2nd Group to Aid Mississippi Cleanup” publicized the March spring break trip and focused on stories from the four January trip volunteers.

March 10-18, 2006
The Student Action Committee of Livingston CARES led a second work trip to Harrison County, Mississippi. Fifty-five volunteers including 51 students, 1 faculty member, and 3 Division of Student & Campus Life staff worked on 5 houses in Gulfport. Charlie Elliot-Bearce served as the trip leader.

March 22, 2006
Livingston CARES steering committee approved a revised mission statement to be used in applications for state and federal government recognition as a non-profit organization.  The expanded mission covers future activities related to humanitarian projects at the local, state, national, and international levels.

April 6, 2006
The Lamron
reporter Mike Peek reported “Students Help Mississippi Hurricane Victims Recover from Katrina.” Charlie Eliott-Bearce and other students on the March trip reflected on their experiences in Mississippi. The same issue also featured an Invasion of Privacy column by Kathryn Adams on “Charlie Elliot-Bearce’s philanthropy brings Geneseo students to Mississippi.”

April 14, 2006
The Navy Seabee Courier carried a story by JO1 (SW) Dennis J. Herring “NMCB 1 Seabees assist New York college students.”  The article interviewed the five Seabees from the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion OBE (NMCB, 1) who assisted the March CARES trip volunteers on the reconstruction of five houses in Gulfport. Tom Hurlburt was the Seabee that arranged for the Seabees to help with the projects.

May 15, 2006
Five students, one retired SUNY Geneseo staff member, and one retired electrician community volunteer traveled from New York to Harrison County, Mississippi and spent the week rehabilitating a house in Gulfport. Connie Hurlburt served as trip leader and her son, Tom Hurlburt, from the Navy Seabees assisted with the reconstruction work.


June 28, 2006
Livingston CARES steering committee approved the filing of papers with the Secretary of State to become a registered New York State non-profit corporation.  The initial volunteer directors signed the papers: Tom Matthews, Kay Fly, Kurt Christiansen, Cynthia Oswald, and Lyle Lehman. Doug Wilson reported on the Tools for Katrina project coordinated for CARES by the Livingston County Coalition of Churches.

July 6, 2006
Livingston County News briefly noted column reported on the Tools for Katrina collections spearheaded by the Livingston County Coalition of Churches for Harrison County, Mississippi. Dave and Erin Bills from the Livonia Community Church delivered the tools and supplies to the Hands On Gulf Coast and Volunteers on the Gulf Coast recovery centers in Biloxi and church related items to the Biloxi Methodist Church.

August 2, 2006
Livingston County CARES, Inc. registered as a New York State non-profit corporation with the Secretary of State. The stated purpose is to help communities and individuals locally, regionally, statewide, nationwide, and globally in humanitarian projects, including disaster relief and recovery efforts. Additionally, it is to provide a central repository for resources and information for individuals and organizations wishing to contribute to disaster relief efforts.

August 30, 2006
Livingston CARES steering committee approved four trips for 2007: a January trip, a February trip hosted by Central Presbyterian Church, a March spring break trip, and a May trip.  Doug Wilson and Charlie Becker reported on the Tools for Katrina project that included $1,146.59 in cash donations and 630 items for the recovery centers in Mississippi.  Dave and Erin Bills from the Livonia Community Church delivered the tools to the Hands ON Gulf Coast and Volunteers on Gulf Coast recovery centers in Biloxi.  The committee also approved $660.00 to purchase equipment for five students in the Woolmarket Youth Football Leagues that had lost their all their uniforms in the hurricane. The committee also voted to support the possible restoration of a greenhouse in Gulfport.

September 28, 2006
The Lamron
at SUNY Geneseo featured an editorial in its Lunatic’s Fringe column on the “Aftermath of Katrina Should be More of a Priority” by Taryn Thompson. Thompson reviews the lack of attention by the press and the government on helping with Katrina recovery efforts in Mississippi. The feature included a photo of the remains of a front step for a home in Biloxi.
Biloxi.


October 3, 2006
The Livingston Chamber of Commerce and SUNY Geneseo annual joint luncheon at the Campus House included a presentation on Livingston CARES from Charlie Elliott, student chair of the March 2006 Spring Break Trip and Tom Matthews. The program also included a slide presentation and the narrative PowerPoint written by Maureen Gillard reflecting on her experience as a student participant on the CARES spring trip.

October 12, 2006
Michelle Plyem and Tom Matthews made presentations at the Campus House to the Geneseo Torch Club on Livingston CARES trips to Mississippi. Maureen Gillard’s narrative PowerPoint was used to illustrate the student reactions and reflections on work trip experiences.

October 17, 2006
SUNY Geneseo was one of nine colleges and universities in the nation to receive a Katrina Compassion Award during the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Awards Ceremony in Chicago. The Katrina award recognized the efforts spearheaded by Livingston CARES to engage students in relief and recovery work on the Gulf Coast in Harrison County, Mississippi. Geneseo was one of 141 institutions of higher education recognized for distinguished service in the first President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

October 25, 2006
Letter from Suzanne Martel, President of Woolmarket Youth Football League thanking Livingston CARES for the donation of $660.00 used to purchase equipment and uniforms for the participants. Martel enclosed a CD on the league activities and fall games.

November 1, 2006
The Democrat & Chronicle
carried a brief on the “Service Roll Lists Area Colleges” that reported on the first President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll that included SUNY Geneseo. The article also noted that SUNY Geneseo was a recipient of the Katrina Compassion Award.

November 15, 2006
The Livingston CARES steering committee met to review the progress on the upcoming spring trips and the greenhouse, Woolmarket Youth Recreation area, and the Moore Community House projects.

December 4, 2006
Tom Matthews made a presentation to the Geneseo Rotary on Livingston CARES and showed the slide PowerPoint presentation written by student Maureen Gillard, reflecting on her experience on the CARES March trip to Mississippi.

December 28, 2006
Livingston County News editor Mark Gillespie added his “Also Noteworthy” editorial to his top stories of the year praising the volunteers and Livingston CARES for the “tremendous up swelling of generosity and labor for the residents of Biloxi, Mississippi.”  The same issue also included a headline on David W. Parish’s column noting that “Livingston CARES Awarded National Honors” with reference to the presentation on Livingston CARES by Tom Matthews to the Geneseo Rotary.

2007

January 6, 2007
Twenty volunteers traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi to work on three houses in Biloxi and Gulfport.  Camp Biloxi run by the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepard hosted the group.  Team members met with Harrison County officials, visited the Moore Community House in East Biloxi, met with The ARC of the Gulf Coast, and took gift packages to the owners of homes worked on by previous Livingston CARES volunteers.

January 26, 2007
Channel 13 reporter Kyle Clark interviewed volunteers from the January Livingston CARES trip to Biloxi.  Clark interviewed Marie Ostrander, student co-chair, and Tom Matthews on their reactions to visiting the Gulf Coast for a second time.

February 7, 2007
Livingston CARES steering committee heard a report on the January trip to Biloxi and discussed the February, March, and May trips.  The committee approved the greenhouse project in Gulfport and volunteers on the March trip will begin the initial clearing of the area for restoration.  The committee also approved the 2nd annual Share and Care dinner for April 18 with Connie Rockco from Biloxi as our guest speaker.

February 15, 2007
The Lamron
reporter Sean Kaplan’s headline story “Despite Less Media Coverage, Mississippi Trips Continue” featured commentary from Kay Fly and Marie Ostrander on their thoughts about the upcoming March spring break trip to Mississippi.

February 18, 2007
Twenty-three volunteers from Livingston CARES traveled to Biloxi for President’s Week to work on recovery efforts. God’s Katrina Kitchen hosted the volunteers at their site in Biloxi.  Participants worked at the recovery center that feeds over 1,000 volunteers and needy families on a daily basis and on three houses in Biloxi. Beth Godfrey, pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church served as the team leader of the February group.

March 1, 2007
Internal Revenue Service approved Livingston County CARES, Inc. as a tax-exempt organization and public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

March 9, 2007
Forty-four students, three staff members, one faculty, and one retiree from SUNY Geneseo and one community volunteer traveled by bus to Gulfport, Mississippi to spend spring break working on the restoration of homes. The teams also cleaned up a greenhouse area for Harrison County and worked on five homes throughout the week.

March 28, 2007
Livingston CARES approved a $2,000.00 contribution to purchase a flagpole for the Harrison County Woolmarket Youth Recreation Complex. The committee also approved granting the $2,000.00 gift from the Central Presbyterian Church to the Moore Community House pending agreement on a specific use of the funds. The Livingston-Wyoming ARC grant of $4,000.00 was also approved for gifting to The ARC of the Gulf Coast.

March 29, 2007
The Knight’s Life section of The Lamron featured stories on “Fixing Up on Spring Break” that reported on two groups of volunteers and their reflections on the spring break trips.  Dan Skahen reported on the trip of thirty-one members of the Outing Club at SUNY Geneseo to Louisville, Kentucky to work on cleaning up the Ohio River in conjunction with Chad Pregracke’s Living Lands and Waters Foundation.  The second story by volunteer Sean Roche included a daily “Biloxi, Mississippi: A Journal from Devastation” review of the Livingston CARES trip and work on the greenhouse and five homes in Gulfport, Mississippi.

April 4, 2007
Press release on “SUNY Geneseo Professors to Cater Livingston CARES Dinner on April 18; Mississippi Leader to Speak” circulated to media.

April 5, 2007
Livingston County News brief on “Mississippi for Mother’s Day” announced the CARES May 13th trip to Biloxi with contact information on the trip.

April 11, 2007
Letter from Senator Dale Volker indicating that a Legislative Initiative in the amount of $10,000.00 has been approved for support of students and recovery work in disasters and other humanitarian efforts.

April 12, 2007
Mark Gillespie reported in a front page article “Gulf Coast County Leader to Speak” in the Livingston County News about Connie Rocko’s visit to Livingston County on April 18 and upcoming speech at the 2nd Annual Livingston CARES dinner.

April 18, 2007
The 2nd Annual Livingston CARES Share and Care Dinner was held at the Geneseo United Methodist Church.  The Geneseo Philanthropic Chefs catered the dinner and the guest speaker was Connie Rockco, Harrison County District 5 Supervisor.

May 16-23, 2007
The May 2007 work trip to Biloxi included ten SUNY Geneseo students and six community representatives. Dan Dimpfl was the trip leader. During the week the group worked on three Habitat for Humanity houses.  The group also worked with Chip Carter, son of President Jimmy Carter.

May/June 2007
Genesee Valley BOCES News in Brief, profiled Tom Wilson, a BOCES teacher who participated in the February 2007 work trip with Livingston CARES.  The article reported on the volunteer work during the February trip group on Jewel’s house in Gulfport and their stay at God’s Katrina Kitchen in Biloxi.

Summer 2007
Livingston County Coalition of Churches published an article in their quarterly Newsletter by Reverend Dr. Doug Wilson on Livingston County CARES projects and trips to Mississippi.

June 29, 2007
Livingston CARES formally established a board to manage the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity corporation.  The meeting of the original incorporators (Kurt Christiansen, Kay Fly, Lyle Lehman, Cynthia Oswald, Kay Fly and Tom Matthews) was scheduled to create Livingston CARES as a formal organization, approve by-laws under Sections 602 and 702 of the Not-For-Profit Law, establish officers, and elect members to serve on the first Board of Directors. Fourteen of the possible 19 members of the Board of Directors were elected to serve as the first board. Board members elected included: Jerry Alonzo, Niels Christiansen, Joan Ellison, Kay Fly, Richard Hatheway, Connie Hurlburt, Kathleen Jones, Wes Kennison, Lyle Lehman, Tom Matthews, Cynthia Oswald, Doug Wilson, Dan Dimpfl, and Jennifer Delcourt.

July 10, 2007
The first annual meeting of Livingston County CARES was held. The board elected Tom Matthews to serve as chair, Kay Fly to serve as Secretary and Lyle Lehman to serve as Treasurer.  In addition to establishing organizational policies and procedures to guide decision making, the board approved four trips for 2008 in January, February, March, and May.  The board also authorized the Chair and the Treasurer to establish a bank account at a local bank and move the holding account funds from the college accounts to the new bank account. Tom Matthews announced that Senator Dale M. Volker provided a member item in the New York State budget of $10,000.00 to assist students for CARES volunteer work.

July 27, 2007
Livingston County News
published a story on the “Return to Biloxi” that featured work by Livingston CARES in Mississippi and announced the 2008 work trips to the Gulf Coast.

September 26, 2007
The Livingston CARES Board of Directors held its second meeting. The board approved the purchase of two insurance policies from the Chanler Insurance Agency to protect the organization in the event of claims or lawsuits, Directors and Officers Liability and Employment Practices Liability.  CARES has no employees but the insurance includes coverage for actions by volunteers. The board approved a donation of $2,500.00 to Moore Community House for purchase of classroom furniture and $500.00 to the Harrison County Greenhouse Project, and approved a Livingston/Harrison County Cookbook project.  The board also approved policies relating to processing checks, established the annual meeting of the board in November, authorized July 1 to June 30 as the CARES fiscal year, created a financial assistance committee to approve assistance to volunteers, established a policy requiring evaluations and reflections from all trip participants, approved trip coordinators for 2008, accepted the Salvation Army Volunteer Village in Biloxi for the four 2008 work trips, set the fees for students and non-students for the 2008 work trips, set aside $1,000.00 of the Volker member item to be used for grants to student organizations for humanitarian projects, and established the fourth Wednesday for monthly meetings. BJ Scanlon, the AmeriCorps VISTA in the Center for Community, was elected to the Board of Directors for a one-year term ending in July 2008.

October 24, 2007
The Livingston CARES Board of Directors held its third meeting. The board approved chartering a bus with Kemp’s Bus Service for the March trip to Biloxi, approved an allocation of $3,000.00 for financial assistance to volunteers and a policy of a minimum payment of $150.00 for all trip participants with exceptions made by the Financial Assistance Committee, established a policy permitting gifts honoring individuals or groups, authorized four levels of giving, and established an audit committee consisting of board members Hatheway, Christiansen and Oswald.  The board also approved an account with www.goodsearch.com that supports non-profit agencies by donating one cent for every internet done under its name. BJ Scanlon reported on Students CARE, a group of SUNY Geneseo students who have been active with Livingston CARES, was established at the College. The group will raise funds for students participating in Livingston CARES trips to Mississippi as well as serving in an advocacy role for the recovery of the Gulf Coast region.

November 28, 2007
The Livingston CARES Board of Directors held its fourth meeting. Amanda Flannery, a SUNY Geneseo student was elected for a two year term to fill the second student seat on the Board of Directors. The board approved registration and insurance offered through HOPE Unites for all 2008 trips to Biloxi, and reviewed plans for all four 2008 trips to Mississippi. The board also approved soliciting contributions in December as an alternative form of gift giving during the holiday season and established giving levels: CARES giver from $1.00-$249.00, CARES Donor from $250.00-$499.00, CARES Good Samaritan from $500.00-$999.00 and CARES Humanitarian $1,000.00 plus.

2008

January 5-12, 2008
The first work trip of the 2008 included 24 volunteers. The group flew to Gulfport and rented cars to drive along the Gulf Coast to Biloxi. Highlights included lunch at Sonic, a pizza party, and a greeting by Connie Rockco, Harrison County Supervisor. Work projects included assisting the Salvation Army with work on the Volunteer Village and a satellite facility and work on seven houses under the supervision of the Beaverton Four-Square Church from Oregon.

January 5, 2008
The local Biloxi television station, WLOX, highlighted the 8th visit by Livingston CARES volunteers to the region by putting together a news piece that included interviews with work participants. The story ran on the late evening news.

January 24, 2008
Livingston County CARES was featured in the Livingston County News with a story “Livingston CARES Back From Biloxi” with almost a full page spread showing pictures of the flag pole donated by CARES to Harrison County, work on a house in Biloxi, a visit with Daisy Guyton from a previous work trip, and a group photo at Yankie Stadium of the 24 volunteers on the January 2008 to Biloxi.

January 30, 2008
The Livingston CARES board held its fifth meeting. The January trip participants reported on the experiences of the 24 volunteers at Yankie Stadium working with the Salvation Army and the Four Square Church, reviewed plans for the upcoming February trip coordinated by Chris Lynch with 10 college and community volunteers, reviewed plans for the March alternative spring break trip with 55 participants, approved the third CARES fundraising dinner for April 23 with Kathleen Jones serving as coordinator, and authorized Dimpfl and Matthews to set fees for the May trip depending on the cost of airfares.

February 16-23, 2008
The second trip to Mississippi scheduled during President’s Week included ten volunteers with one from the college and nine community members including two high school students. The group traveled on Sunday and returned on Friday night in order to save money on airfare. Chris Lynch served as the trip leader. The group worked on the final stages of reconstruction of one house in Biloxi.

March 12, 2008
The Livingston CARES board held its sixth meeting. The board reviewed plans for the Annual Share and Care Dinner and agreed to a free will offering instead of charging for tickets, confirmed an agreement by Dimpfl and Matthews to reserve up to 20 plane tickets for the May trip with unused deposits to be credited to final list of participants, heard a report from BJ Scanlon on outreach initiatives to Livonia and Avon, and continued discussion on contributions to work sites in Biloxi. The SUNY Geneseo Outing Club requested assistance from Livingston CARES for a spring break trip to Louisville to continue its work with the Living Lands and Living Waters Foundation project cleaning up the Ohio River. The board approved designating funds from the Senator Volker grant to assist the students with travel expenses.

March 14-22, 2008
On the third trip of 2008, 55 individuals including 4 staff members from the college traveled by Kemps Bus to and from Biloxi, Mississippi for the alternative spring break work trip. Volunteers worked with the Salvation Army and at Popp’s Ferry elementary school, doing an overhaul of their grounds, and sprucing up their playground.  Volunteers also worked on three other homes during their week in Biloxi.

April 3, 2008
The Lamron
reported on the alternative spring break trips to the Gulf Coast and the Ohio River in a Knights’ Life piece entitled “Fixing up on Spring Break.”

April 15-17, 2008
Students CARE sponsored a Jail Break fundraiser on the College Green during late morning and afternoon class break times. Several faculty, staff and student leaders were recruited to serve jail time and to ask passers-by to help them get out of jail with donations while Students CARE solicited donations to keep the volunteers in jail. The weather cooperated and faculty, staff and students contributed over $500.00 to help fund Livingston CARES trips to Mississippi.

April 17, 2008
The Lamron
reported on “Fundraiser Puts Students, Staff in Slammer” describing the Jailbreak fundraising activities organized by Livingston CARES board member Amanda Flannery.

April 23, 2008
The Livingston CARES board met prior to the annual thank you dinner. Amanda Flannery reported that students raised $800.00 from the Jailbreak fundraising. Board members approved a $1,000.00 donation to the Salvation Army for the Volunteer Village in Biloxi in honor of Edwin and Susan Britt for their work in operating the Volunteer Village at Yankie Stadium.

April 23, 2008
The Third Annual Livingston CARES Share and Care fundraising dinner was held at the Geneseo United Methodist Church. Celebrity Chefs, Gary Towsley, Lynn Kennison and Glenn McClure provided southern hospitality with a gumbo and pasta dinner. KC Bailey presented a multimedia collection of photos and videos spanning the three years of the rebuilding efforts in Harrison County.  Volunteers from the May 2007, January 2008, February 2008 and March 2008 shared brief reflections on the work trips to Biloxi.  Jennifer Delcourt received a special award for participating in four trips and for serving as the trip leader for the March 2008 Alternative Spring Break trip.

May 2008
Fifteen volunteers participated in the May trip to Biloxi.  Dan Dimpfl served as the trip leader.  Hope Force director Craig Snow reported that the May group was the best group he had ever worked with in his volunteer career.

June 18, 2008
The Livingston CARES Board met and elected Elise Arneson, the AmeriCorps VISTA staff member from the Center for Community to the board of directors. Matthews reported that the annual dinner raised $842.50. The board agreed to change the focus from fundraising to a thank you event for volunteers and contributors.

July 23, 2008
The Livingston CARES Board met to review and approve estimated costs and participant fees for the 2009 trips.  Matthews reported that volunteers for all four trips will be accommodated at Camp Victor in Ocean Springs and work will be under the supervision of the East Biloxi Coordination, Relief & Redevelopment Agency. The EBCRRA is a non-profit agency dedicated to helping people rebuild homes in East Biloxi. Plane reservations have been made for 25 volunteers for January and a bus for March has been reserved.

September 23, 2008
The Livingston CARES board met and re-elected Lyle Lehman, Wes Kennison and Richard Hatheway for three-year terms.  Student representative, Marissa Evarts was elected to a two-year term.  The three officers were reelected for another one-year term.  The board approved Tom Matthews to head the January trip, Tom Wilson to lead the February trip, and Elise Arneson, Amanda Flannery and Marissa Evarts to lead the March trip.

October 8, 2008
The Livingston CARES Board met to review plans for the 2009 work trips.  Julie Matthews reviewed IRS regulations and presented documents that she prepared for submission to IRS from Livingston CARES.

November 5, 2008
The Livingston CARES Board elected Lori McEvoy, Program Coordinator, Livingston County Coalition of Churches to a three-year term. The board also started a conversation about expanding our volunteer work beyond our current efforts in Mississippi to provide other service options for students.

December 3, 2008
The Livingston CARES Board received reports that the January, February and March trips were filled to capacity and that scholarship assistance has been provided to eight students for the January and March trips.  Karen Bailey was elected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors.

2009

January 3-10, 2009
Twenty-five volunteers including 14 students participated in the January trip to Biloxi. The volunteers worked on two houses in East Biloxi. The group also participated in a ceremony and presentation of the Livingston County and New York State flags by Nick Mazza, Livingston County Administrator and Cynthia Oswald, President of the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce.

January 8, 2009
Volunteers on the January trip were featured in the South Mississippi’s Newspaper, the Sun Herald with a story “Flag Pole Honors Katrina Volunteers” and photo of the flag raising ceremony at the Woolmarket Little League ball fields.

January 15, 2009
The Livingston County News ran a front-page feature story by Sally Fox on “Livingston Cares and Cares and Cares and Cares,” with a group photo of the twenty-five volunteers in front of one of the house projects. An editorial on “Foul Weather Friends,” by General Manager and Editor Mark Gillespie praised the work of Livingston CARES and urged the public to continue to support the recovery work in Mississippi.

 January 15, 2009
The Biloxi D’ Iberville Press ran a story about the Livingston County flag pole dedication entitled “New York Volunteers Claim Harrison County.”  The story reported on the relationship between the two counties and features the flag being flown.

January 22, 2009
The Livingston County News featured a photo and “More From Biloxi, Mississippi” on the reported that the volunteers accomplished two weeks of scheduled work in the five workdays.

February 4, 2009
The Livingston CARES Board met to review February, March and May trips. President Matthews reported that CARES has been registered with the New York State Charities Bureau.  The board approved joining the Network for Good that will allow online contributions to the organization.  Discussion continued on expansion of CARES work with other agencies and possible involvement in the El Sauce Project in Nicaragua.

February 15-21, 2009
Eleven community volunteers from the Central Presbyterian Church and the Philanthropic Chef led by Gary Towsley prepared a jambalaya special for the event. Dominic Mazza, retiring Livingston County Executive was recognized as our Outstanding Community Partner and Livingston County News Editor Mark Gillespie and Reporter Howard Appell were recognized with the CARES Building Community Awards.  Humanitarian Awards were also presented to trip leaders Dan Dimpfl (May 2008), Tom Wilson (February 2009), Amanda Flannery (March 2009) and Marissa Evarts (March 2009).  Elise Arneson was recognized for her service supporting Livingston CARES trips and programs during 2008-2009. Geneseo United Methodist Church participated in the President’s Week Livingston CARES work trip to Mississippi.  The group worked on reconstructing two homes in East Biloxi.

March 11, 2009
The Livingston CARES board met and reviewed plans for the March and May trips, approved a layman’s version of by-laws for the operation of the organization, heard a presentation from Zach Monahan at Catholic Charities on local work projects, and continued discussion of expanding work opportunities for volunteers.

March 14-21, 2009
Fifty-five volunteers including three professional staff members and 52 SUNY Geneseo Students traveled by bus to Biloxi.

April 6, 2009
Seventy volunteers and donors attended the Livingston CARES Annual Thank You Dinner at the InterFaith Center.

April 14-17, 2009
Student trip leaders, Amanda Flannery and Marisa Evarts, coordinated the Jailbreak fundraiser on the College Green and raised $900.00 to support the volunteer work trips. 

May 6, 2009
The CARES board approved the Guidelines for Project Holding Accounts permitting Livingston CARES to accept funds for humanitarian purposes from groups that have approved projects at SUNY Geneseo.  The board also approved the first holding account for the Ghana Project.

May 17-23, 2009
Twenty-eight volunteers spent the week in Mississippi working on houses and projects. The trip leader was Trevor Ramsey-Macomber, a SUNY Geneseo senior on his fourth trip to Biloxi. Two retired local teachers, two professors and one administrator joined the 23 students. Volunteers worked on eight different homes on a variety of projects. 

June 17, 2009
The CARES board approved the addition of the Give Kids the World winter break service project sponsored by Dave Parfitt, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at SUNY Geneseo. The project will be self-sustaining and not require funding from Livingston CARES.  Katie Rogers, the 2009-2010 VISTA was elected for a one-year term on the Board of Directors. The Livingston News featured a story on “Livingston Cares Volunteer Group Makes 15th Trip to Mississippi by Howard Appell.

September 23, 2009
The board elected Joan Ellison, Connie Hurlburt, Dan Dimpfl, and Dave Parfitt for three year terms, Elise Arneson for a one-year term and Dan Hart for a two-year term on the board of directors. Kurt Christiansen decided to step down as a board member and was thanked for his service as one of founding directors of Livingston CARES.

November 5, 2009
The Livingston News featured a story by Howard Appell on “Livingston Cares Hurricane Relief Still Needed” with information about the 2010 work trips and the fundraising efforts including the haunted house by Alpha Kappa Phi Sorority on Halloween, the Gumbo to Go on November 12 and the December 5 holiday college a cappella concert.

 November 12, 2009
The Geneseo Philanthropic Chefs led by Glenn McClure prepared a take-out Gumbo to Go dinner at St. Mary’s Parish Hall. Over 200 dinners were sold raising $2,000.00 for Livingston CARES.

2010

January 3-10, 2010
Twenty-eight volunteers traveled to Mississippi on the 16th Livingston CARES work trip.  Volunteers planted a southern live oak tree and dedicated a permanent plaque. The group worked on three different houses on the fifth year of CARES trips to Mississippi.

January 5, 2010
The Sun Herald newspaper in Biloxi ran a story by Mary Perez announcing that “Live Oak will Honor New York Volunteers” ceremony on Tuesday and a box telling the readers where and when to attend the event.

January 6, 2010
The Sun Herald featured two group photos of the dedication ceremony and a story by Mary Perez titled “Honoring Volunteers on Their 16th Trip to Coast.”

January 10-16, 2010
Twelve SUNY Geneseo students volunteered at Give Kids the World Village which houses kids and families who visit Disney World and other attractions through Make a Wish Foundation. Dave Parfitt served as the trip coordinator and leader in Orlando.

 January 20, 2010
The CARES board confirmed an earlier unanimous email and voice vote establishing a Haiti Relief fund to assist in the relief and recovery effort from the earthquake. 

January 20, 2010
The Livingston News Letters to the Editor included a letter from Christopher Dahl, SUNY Geneseo President, addressing the Haitian earthquake relief and encouraging donations to the CARES Haiti Relief Fund.

February 11, 2010
The Livingston News editorial “After Quakes and Storms” by Mark Gillespie connected the Haiti earthquake and Hurricane Katrina work of volunteers and mentioned the CARES trips and the Haiti Relief Fund.

February 12-26, 2010
Eight local community volunteers traveled to Mississippi on the 17th CARES work trip. Dan Young served as the trip coordinator.

March 13, 2010
The Democrat and Chronicle’s Good News columnist Jim Memmott reported on his conversations with six January trip volunteers in a story “Livingston CARES Keeps Promise.”

March 13-20, 2010
Fifty-four volunteers, including five college administrators and 49 students, traveled to Mississippi by bus on the 18th CARES work trip. During the week, the volunteers split their efforts between the Hope Community development Agency and Camp Victor. Twenty of the volunteers worked at an animal shelter assisting the county caring for abused animals.  Several participants have adopted dogs from the facility and Mississippi residents have named a dog “Geneseo.”  The Harrison County Sheriff presented the volunteers with Honorary Deputy Sheriff Certificates to thank the students and staff for their work. Marissa Evarts, Dan Hart and Katie Rogers served as the trip leaders.

April 15, 2010
Philanthropic Chef Glenn McClure and crew prepared the second Gumbo to Go Take home dinner at St. Mary’s Parish Hall as a fundraiser for Livingston CARES. Over 200 tickets were sold and generated over $2,000.00 income to CARES.

April 26, 2010
The Livingston CARES Board of Directors held its April meeting at the Interfaith Center prior to the Volunteer and Donor Recognition Dinner. Students from Women’s Action Coalition and GSTV requested and the board approved an El Sauce Fund to assist volunteers with projects in Nicaragua. The board also approved $1575.00 from the Haiti Relief Fund to assist two families to resettle from Port au Prince to Borgne, Haiti. Kevin Felter was elected to serve as a student seat on the board of directors. Fly reported that the first Geneseo Goes to Town volunteer day involved seven student groups who worked on projects in seven Livingston County towns. The Volunteer and Donor Recognition Dinner included over 100 participants from work trip volunteers, donors, and board members. Representatives from each of the four Mississippi trips and Give Kids the World shared stories about their experiences.  Humanitarian Awards were presented to the trip leaders: Marissa Evarts, Dan Young, Dave Parfitt, Dan Hart, Katie Rogers, and Trevor Ramnsey-Macomber. Participants in the dinner contributed $691.00 to Livingston CARES.

April 27-29, 2010
Livingston CARES student volunteers canvassed faculty, staff, and students to get friends out of jail by contributing to the Jailbreak fundraiser on the College Green.

May 16-22, 2010
Twenty-one volunteers participated in the 19th CARES work trip to Mississippi. Ken Kallio served as trip leader and Amanda Leonard was the student coordinator. During the week, volunteers were split up into three teams. Team one helped to renovate a stucco-sided home located on Division Street. Teams two and three spent the week working on a new build on Roy Street.

June 23, 2010
Board members approved budgets for 2011 Mississippi trips and established per person rates of $225.00 plus airfare for all participants. All future trips to Mississippi will utilize plane travel; March trips will no longer use a bus. The board also approved the creation of a HEROS project account to serve as a custodial account for donations and expenses associated with the mentoring program coordinated through the Center for Community. The board approved donations from the Haiti Relief Fund for two projects supported by the H.O.P.E. Foundation and Dr. Rose-Marie Chierici. The funds will go help establish a nursery for reforestation and to purchase three teacher boxes to assist teachers who move from village to village educating students in the rural Borgne area of Haiti.  

September 15, 2010
The board elected Matt Jordan for a one-year term and Philip Natoli and Lisa Burns to three-year terms on the Board of Directors.

October 15, 2010
Livingston CARES sponsored the third Gumbo to Go Dinner at Central Presbyterian Church and sold 201 tickets and raised $2,100.00. Chef Glenn McClure supervised the volunteer kitchen staff.

November 17, 2010
Andrew Demonsthenous reported on the Nunda trailer insulation project he supervised under our agreement with Catholic Charities. Board members agreed that all future projects must include waivers and supervision from Catholic Charities. The board approved a special appeal for additional funds to combat the cholera epidemic in Haiti and voted to contribute all remaining funds to purchase water purification kits for the Borgne area of Haiti.

2011

January 9-15, 2011
Twenty-one volunteers participated in the 20th CARES work trip to Mississippi. Tom Matthews served as trip leader. The volunteers were split into four groups. Two groups worked on lead abatement (scrapping and painting in white suits) on one house. The other two groups painted the exterior of a house and another worked on interior demolition of a house and removal of removal. One group also did outside cleanup and two groups worked for two days at a new house painting the entire interior with two coats of paint and installing flooring in the kitchen and two bathrooms.

January 10, 2011
The SUNY Geneseo website featured a news brief by David Irwin entitled “Livingston CARES Group on 20th Trip to Gulf Coast for Hurricane Relief Work.”

January 10-16, 2011
Twelve volunteers participated in the Give Kids the World trip in Orlando, Florida. Dave Parfitt served as trip leader. Students worked two shifts a day at the Give Kids the World Village with families staying there.  During the day, students served meals to families in the Gingerbread House, made banana splits and milkshakes in the Ice Cream Palace, and delivered continental breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and pizza dinners on a special cart.  In addition to serving food, the students participated in all sorts of entertainment activities in the Village including: providing train rides, taking photos with Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld characters, giving makeovers to children in the spa, and playing with kids and locating stars in the Castle of Miracles. In the evening, students helped in the Kids’ Night Out Program. Wish Families drop their children off who are then paired with a volunteer for the evening.

January 27, 2011
The Lamron published a news brief by Susan Kaczmarczyk titled “Livingston C.A.R.E.S. sends Volunteers to Gulf Coast for 20th Trip since Katrina.” The SUNY.edu website featured the news brief published on SUNY Geneseo’s website on January 10th with the title “SUNY Geneseo Group Continues Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort.”

February 1, 2011
The ENCOMPASS published a news brief entitled “Twenty Volunteer Trips- and Still Going.”  It includes a photo by Kris Dreessen of Samantha Hatz ‘12 and Bill Gurtowski ‘12 helping to build and access ramp for a couple in Biloxi, Mississippi.

February 15, 2011
The Democrat and Chronicle gave SUNY Geneseo and Livingston CARES a “Thumbs Up” for completing its 20th trip to the Biloxi/Gulfport, Mississippi area to continue Hurricane Katrina relief work.

February 16, 2011
Updated Livingston CARES governance by-laws and policy statements on whistle blowers, conflicts of interest, annual audit review, and acknowledgement of contribution were approved.

February 24, 2011
The Lamron featured an article on a panel discussion hosted by Geneseo’s Ghana Project.  The discussion featured faculty fellow for international studies Wes Kennison and education professor Glenn McClure. The discussion examined the political and social realities of modern-day Ghana.

March 13-19, 2011
Twenty-eight Livingston CARES volunteers, including 24 students and four staff members participated in the 21st CARES work trip to Mississippi. Matthew Jordan (staff) and Dan Hart (student) served as trip leaders. Team leaders included Theresa Montenarello, Larry Bellamo, Loryn Royer, and Lizzy Johnson. Two groups worked on lead abatement on a house in Moss Point and two groups constructed a backyard fence at a home in D’Iberville.

March 30, 2011
The CARES board approved tax documents prepared by volunteer Julie Matthews for January to June 2010. This was an interim step in the change to a new July 1-June 30 fiscal year. The board also agreed to establish a Japan Relief Fund pending agreement with students from the Japanese Cultural Club at SUNY Geneseo. The fund was established and announced to the faculty, staff and students at the College.

March 31, 2011
The Lamron featured a news brief on the Third Annual Ghana Gala that was held March 21, 2011. The event included actors and dancers who brought to life the traditions of Ghanaian culture. This year the Gala raised over $600.00 dollars.

April 7, 2011
The Lamron featured an article by Rebecca Smarcz titled “Livingston CARES to Raise Money with Gumbo Dinner”.

April 10, 2011
The Livingston County News and the Genesee Valley Penny Saver (Livingston Edition) featured advertisements related to the Gumbo to Go dinner on April 15, 2011.

April 14, 2011
The Lamron printed a news brief about the Gumbo to Go dinner in their “Goings-On” section. It included information on the purpose of the event and where you can purchase tickets and pick-up your meal.

April 15, 2011
CARES sponsored the fourth Gumbo to Go Dinner and a special a capella concert featuring the Southside Boys at the Central Presbyterian Church. The Gumbo dinner sold 207 tickets and raised $2,073.00 and the concert raised $106.50. Chef Glenn McClure prepared the meal and supervised the kitchen staff.

April 26-28, 2011
Student volunteers headed by Dan Hart organized the Jailbreak fundraiser at the College to raise money for Livingston CARES.

May 2, 2011
The annual Livingston CARES Volunteer Thank You Dinner was held at the Interfaith Center.  The program included a few stories from each of the last four trips and recognition of volunteers. Gary Towsley and the Geneseo Philanthropic Chefs prepared the meal.

 May 15-21, 2011
Twenty-eight volunteers participated in the 22nd work trip to Biloxi. Ken Kallio was the trip leader assisted by students Amanda Leonard and Bennett Marano.

July 8-9, 2011
Livingston CARES participated in the Geneseo Summer Festival with an information table on Main Street.

July 27, 2011
CARES Board voted to expand the board seats from 17 to 19 directors. Erin Bills was elected for a three-year term to represent the Livingston County Coalition of Churches and Brenda Donahue was elected for a three-year term to represent the Livingston County Board of Supervisors.

July 2011
Student Association approved a grant of $2100.00 to assist students with financial grants for CARES trips to Biloxi.

September 21, 2011
CARES Board approved Flood Relief Fund to assist recovery efforts in the Southern Tier. Twenty-two students in a Saturday work trip to Owego to assist in the cleanup efforts from Tropical Storm Lee. Amy Sheldon from the Geology department and Sean Phillips from InterVarsity Christian Fellowship organized the bus trip in conjunction with Livonia Central School.

November 3, 2011
The Gumbo to Go Dinner at Central Presbyterian Church raised $2200.00.

November 16, 2011
Board received report on the Gumbo to Go Dinner and the October trips to Owego for Flood Relief. Twenty-two students participated in the bus trip held in conjunction with Livonia Central School.

2012

January 8-15, 2012
Twenty-eight volunteers participated in the 23rd work trip to Mississippi. Tom Matthews and Kevin Felter were the trip leaders.  The volunteers worked on two houses in Biloxi, one in Ocean Springs and a fourth in Gulfport. 

January 21, 2012
CARES Board approved an application to be an approved non-profit agency for the State Employees Federated Appeal.

March 11-17, 2012
Twenty-eight volunteers participated in the 24th work trip to Mississippi.  Luke Haumesser and Lizzy Johnson were the trip leaders. The teams worked on two houses in Biloxi and one team worked at a soup kitchen during a down day with construction.

March 11-17, 2012
Fourteen volunteers from Geneseo and one from Alfred State spent a week working with families at Give Kids the World Village in Orlando. Dave Parfitt and Mindy Benamati were the trip leaders. This was the third Livingston CARES trip to Give Kids the World.

March 22, 2012
The Gumbo to Go Dinner at Central Presbyterian Church raised approximately $2,000.00.

March 29, 2012
Lamron
reporter Chelsea Butkowski reviewed the March spring break trip to Biloxi and shared reflections from students on their volunteer work.

April 16, 2012
The Livingston CARES Annual Corporate Meeting was held in conjunction with the April Meeting of the Board of Directors and the Annual Volunteer Thank You Dinner at the Interfaith Center.  Philanthropic Chef Gary Towsley served the traditional Jambalaya Dinner. Dave Parfitt, Joan Ellison and Dan Dimpfl were re-elected for 3-year terms and Chris Crocker was elected for a one-year term on the Livingston CARES Board of Directors. At the dinner, Humanitarian Awards were presented to Larry Bellomo, Mindy Benamati, Kevin Felter, Amanda Leonard, Kellan Morgan and Sean Phillips for their work on trips and projects supported by Livingston CARES.

May 13-19, 2012
Twenty-eight Livingston CARES volunteers on the 25th workweek to Biloxi, Mississippi worked on four houses and projects. Board member Ken Kallio served as the trip leader.

September 12, 2012
The SUNY Geneseo college race team in the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge at RIT won first place in t-shirt design and donated their $1,000.00 prize to Livingston CARES.

November 2, 2012
By electronic vote, the board approved the establishment of a Hurricane Sandy Relief and Recovery Fund, working with the Geneseo Foundation and the Chamber of Commerce to assist in the Red Hook area and authorized the board president to negotiate projects and work trips to help in recovery efforts in the New York City area.

November 3, 2012
President Christopher Dahl announced the Hurricane Sandy Fund and invited students, alumni and parents to support the relief and recovery efforts.

November 8, 2012
Gumbo to Go Dinner prepared by Philanthropic Chef Glenn McClure at Central Presbyterian Church raised approximately $2,000.00.

November 9, 2012
CARES hosted two interest meetings for students interested in volunteering for work trips. Over thirty students expressed interest at the meetings.

November 14, 2012
The board accepted, with regret, the resignations of Cynthia Oswald and Dan Dimpfl from seats on the board of directors. The CARES Board confirmed the electronic vote to establish Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund and authorized the president to move forward with planning of Hurricane Sandy work trips in January and March of 2013.

December 2012
A CARES work trip for the week of January 13-19, 2013 on Staten Island was negotiated with the Jewish Community Center and the Bethel United Methodist Church on Staten Island.  Alyssa Stefanese, student GOLD Leader Mentor whose family home on Staten Island was severely damaged, helped organize the trip that was announced in early December.  Volunteers were recruited during the last week of classes and finals week.

2013

January 3, 2013
Tools for Red Hook collected at the December retirement party for Chamber of Commerce President Cynthia Oswald were delivered to Greg O’Connell for use in the recovery work in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn.  Due to the lack of accommodations and work site supervision in the Red Hook area, the tools were one way that CARES could provide some assistance in lieu of an actual volunteer work week.

January 11, 2013
Board President Matthews and student Alyssa Stefanese met Pastor Matt Schaeffer at the Bethel United Methodist Church and Glenn Wechsler and Hiam Kay at the Jewish Community Center on Staten Island to finalize arrangements for upcoming volunteer work week.

January 13-19, 2013
Nineteen volunteers worked on eight homes devastated by Hurricane Sandy in the New Dorp Beach and Oak Beach area of Staten Island.  CARES student board members Matt Bower and Chris Crocker and Alyssa Stefanese assisted Chuck Reyes, trip coordinator.  A cover story on the trip appeared in The Scene alumni magazine published in late January 2013.

January 13-19, 2013
Twenty-one Livingston CARES volunteers on the 26th work week in Biloxi worked on three houses and assisted HOPE CDA with moving a warehouse and building a float for the Biloxi Mardi Gras parade. Tom Matthews and Zach Bodenweber served as trip coordinators.

January 30, 2013
The board of directors allocated an additional $1,000.00 to supplement the Student Association Financial grants to be used to assist volunteers with travel expenses and approved a request from Kellan Morgan in El Sauce to fund the building of the La For school from donations received from local contributors during the last several months. The board also approved moving the tornado relief funds to the new Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.

March 13, 2013
The board of directors approved granting $1500.00 from the Ghana Project fund to assist in the building a school in Besease, Ghana. The school is a project supported by Dr. Jennifer Rogalsky from the Geography Department at SUNY Geneseo. The board also approved forwarding the $1440.00 balance in the Nicaragua Microfinance Loan Fund to assist with small business loans in El Sauce. Funds were collected from the sale of baskets made in El Sauce and sold on campus. The board continued a discussion on appropriate projects or agencies for the Hurricane Sandy Relief funds.

March 17-23, 2013
Twenty-eight volunteers traveled to Biloxi on the 27th Livingston CARES work trip. Luke Haumesser served as the returning veteran trip leader and student board member Matt Andrews served as the student trip coordinator.

March 17-23, 2013
Sixteen volunteers participated in the 2nd Livingston CARES Hurricane Sandy Recovery trip.  The volunteers traveled in three vans from Geneseo to Long Island. The teams stayed at the Hicksville United Methodist Church.

April 18, 2013
Gumbo to Go Dinner prepared by Geneseo Philanthropic Chef Glenn McClure was held at Central Presbyterian Church. All proceeds went to Livingston CARES.

April 22, 2013
Livingston CARES Annual Corporate Meeting and April Board of Directors Meeting at the Geneseo Interfaith Center followed by the Annual Spring Volunteer Thank You Dinner.  President Dahl was elected as an Honorary Member of the Livingston CARES Board of Directors to honor his strong support and advocacy for CARES programs. Humanitarian Awards for service were approved by the board and presented to Matthew Andrews, Matthew Bower, Josephine Champlin and Lizzy Johnson for their strong commitment and leadership on Livingston CARES trips.  Livingston CARES board approved Karen Bailey, Kathleen Jones, Tom Matthews, and Tamara Kenney for three-year terms.  Livingston CARES board also approved Phil Natoli for a two year term and one year terms for students: Alyssa Stefanese, Diana Castro, Dan Martin, Christopher Crocker, Zachary Bodenweber, and Kyle Kelschenbach.

April 22, 2013
A Resolution to honor Christopher Dahl was presented to college’s president by Livingston CARES board members present at the 2013 Annual Leadership Awards and Recognition Ceremony.

May 19-25, 2013
Fourteen volunteers traveled to Biloxi on the 28th Livingston CARES work trip. Ken Kallio served as the returning veteran trip leader. David Baker and Kelsey Romanowski served as student trip leaders. 

 May 19-25, 2013
Seven volunteers traveled to Staten Island on the 3rd Livingston CARES Hurricane Sandy Recovery trip.  Tim Lowmaster served as the trip leader. The team stayed at Bethel United Methodist Church and worked on the interior reconstruction of a family’s home.

June 13, 2013
Livingston County News
reporter Howard W. Appell featured Livingston County CARES in an editorial.

September 18, 2013
CARES Board voted to offset the costs for volunteers of the January, March, and May work trips to Biloxi and the January work trip to Staten Island with funds from Livingston CARES’ Gumbo to Go and donations from Kiwanis and Student Association. The Board also approved the liability insurance premium payment.

September 25, 2013
Student Association approved Livingston CARES’ request and donated $2100.00 for financial grants and an additional $90.00 to help reduce the cost of the March work trip to Biloxi. Dave Parfitt hosted a Give Kids the World informational meeting for students interested in the March 2014 trip to Orlando.

October 2, 2013
Livingston CARES Board approved the following policy statement; the officers are authorized to create restricted Livingston CARES charitable gift accounts to accept donations from College departments and make donations to non-profit public charities. All transactions from each specific charitable gift account will be reported to the board of directors on a regular basis and reviewed at each meeting of the board of directors.

October 23, 2013
CARES Board voted to change the volunteer fees for all three Biloxi trips to $551.60 to help volunteers with travel expenses. Livingston CARES offset these costs with the additional donation from Student Association and a donation of $2100.00 from Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society.  CARES Board approved a motion to donate $1500.00 for cots and housing supplies to the Hicksville Church on Long Island, which houses our March work trip volunteers, and $2500.00 to the Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church to be used for purchasing tools and other supplies to be used by volunteers working on Sandy recovery efforts. The CARES Board approved the filing of the 2012-2013 tax forms.

November 7, 2013
Philanthropic Chef, Glenn McClure, and a dozen other volunteers worked all day at the Central Presbyterian kitchen making Gumbo to Go as a fundraiser for Livingston CARES.

2014

January 12-18, 2014
Twenty volunteers traveled to Biloxi on the 29th Livingston CARES Hurricane Katrina work trip.  Tom Matthews served as the returning veteran trip leader and board member Zach Bodenweber served as the student trip leader. The volunteers stayed at Camp SUMA and worked with the HOPE Community Development Agency in Biloxi. 

January 12-18, 2014
Seven volunteers traveled to Staten Island on the 4th Livingston CARES Hurricane Sandy Recovery trip.  Holly Harvey served as the trip leader and board member Alyssa Stefanese served as the student trip leader. The team stayed at Bethel United Methodist Church and worked with Tunnel to Towers Foundation to renovate three different homes that were severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

January 22, 2014
CARES Board voted to donate $1000.00 to the United Methodist Annual Conference for the Bethel United Methodist Church on Staten Island for the purchase of cots to be used by Hurricane Sandy work trip volunteers on future work trips. CARES voted to support the March 2014 Weekend of Service in Rochester Project proposed by Lynn Horowitz. CARES allocated up to $25.00 per student participant to assist with housing and other expenses.

January 30, 2014
Lamron
reporter Maya Lucyshyn interviewed student board member Alyssa Stefanese about Livingston CARES’ volunteer work on Staten Island.


March 16-22, 2014
Twenty-one volunteers traveled to Biloxi on the thirtieth Livingston CARES Hurricane Katrina work trip. Neal Brooks served as the trip leader and student board member Chris Crocker served as the student trip leader.

March 16-22, 2014
Seven volunteers traveled to Long Island on the fifth Livingston CARES Hurricane Sandy Recovery trip. Board member Eddie Lee served as the returning veteran trip leader. Seven volunteers from Logom Landing, a local alternative vocational program, also participated in the trip. Laurel Nelson assisted Eddie Lee in managing the trip.  

April 10, 2014
Gumbo to Go Dinner prepared by Geneseo Philanthropic Chef Glenn McClure held at Central Presbyterian Church with proceeds to Livingston CARES.

April 28, 2014
Livingston CARES Annual Corporate Meeting and April Board of Directors Meeting at the Geneseo Interfaith Center followed by the Annual Spring Volunteer Thank You Dinner.  Humanitarian Awards for service were approved by the board and presented to Zach Bodenweber, Diana Castro, Chris Crocker, and Kyle Kelschenbach for their strong commitment and leadership on Livingston CARES trips.  Livingston CARES board approved Erin Bills, Brenda Donohue, Ken Kallio, Wes Kennison, and Lyle Lehman for three-year terms.  Livingston CARES board also approved Holly Harvey for a two year term and one year terms for Eddie Lee and students: Katie Baum, Diana Castro, Dan Martin, Alyssa Stefanese, and Austin Stone.  Livingston CARES board also approved 1-year terms for officers: President Tom Matthews Treasurer Lyle Lehman and Secretary Kay Fly. The board accepted Ben Gajewski’s letter of resignation with regret and thanks for his service.

May 18-24, 2014
Thirteen volunteers traveled to Biloxi on the 31st Livingston CARES Hurricane Katrina work trip.  Board member, Ken Kallio, served as the trip leader.

May 18-24, 2014
Seven volunteers traveled to Staten Island on the 6th Livingston CARES Hurricane Sandy Recovery trip. Peggy Wirth served as the trip leader.


September 9, 2014
The CARES board elected Jon Macko as a new member and the new Secretary of the Board.  The CARES Board voted to establish the volunteer fees for the January and May Biloxi trip at $550.00 and the March Biloxi trip at $600.00 and to help volunteers on a need basis with travel expenses. The Board also voted to establish the fees for the February Weekend of Service in Rochester at $20.00 per volunteer. The CARES board also authorized payment of liability insurance.

September 17, 2014
President of the CARES Board, Tom Matthews, and student board member Alyssa Stefanese, presented a reading requesting a $3000.00 donation from Student Association to offset the cost to Livingston CARES’ student volunteers. The first of two readings passed.

September 24, 2014
Student Association approved Livingston CARES’ request and donated $3000.00 for financial grants to help students needing assistance with travel expenses on the Biloxi service trips.

October 21, 2014
The CARES Board approved and appointed trip leaders for the 2015 work trips. The Board also voted to confirm an electronic vote on the October financial report.

November 6, 2014
Philanthropic Chef, Glenn McClure, prepared the semi-annual Gumbo to Go Dinner at Central Presbyterian Church.

2015

January 11-17, 2015
Twenty-one volunteers traveled to Biloxi on the 32nd Livingston CARES Hurricane Katrina work trip. Board President, Tom Matthews, served as trip leader and student board member Austin Stone served as student trip leader.

January 11-17, 2015
Seven volunteers traveled to Staten Island on the 7th Livingston CARES Hurricane Sandy work trip. Tim Lowmaster served as the trip leader.

 January 20, 2015
The board appointed Diana Castro as supervising accountant. The Board confirmed an electronic vote approving a proposal from Lagom Landing to collaborate with CARES on a service trip to the Stony Point Conference Center on the Hudson River as another option for students during March spring break and set the fee at $100.00 per person. The Board also approved the 2014 tax documents for filing with the IRS.  Standing and Ad Hoc Committee appointments were reviewed and approved.  Standing Committee Members are as follows. Compliance included Lyle Lehman, Wes Kennison, Joan Ellison and Eddie Lee; Finance and Audit included Lyle Lehman, Jon Macko, and Diana Castro. Scholarship included Tom Matthews and Jon Macko. Nominating included Tamara Kenney, Phil Natoli, Austin Stone, Karen Bailey, and Holly Harvey. Strategic Planning included Ken Kallio, Kathy Jones, Eddie Lee, Dave Parfitt, Brenda Donohue, Dan Martin, Tom Matthews, Tamara Kenney and Holly Harvey; Gumbo to Go included Brenda Donohue and Katie Baum. Annual Dinner included Alyssa Stefanese, Dan Martin, and Erin Bills.

February 20-22, 2015
Seven volunteers participated in the 2nd annual Livingston CARES Weekend of Service in Rochester. Victoria Morales served as student trip coordinator.

March 10, 2015
The CARES Board reviewed the strategic planning committee verbal report on the future of service trips to Mississippi and concurred that CARES should continue our work on the Gulf Coast helping families and communities in the state with the lowest per capita income.  Recovery from Katrina will not be the focus of future trips to Biloxi.  The fall 2014 SUNY Geneseo SEFA campaign was successful and Livingston CARES will be receiving donations from 22 donors from employees during 2015. Eleven donors were anonymous and eleven were a combination of previous and new donors.  The total gift amount of $1952.00 minus 15% overhead to United Way will be $1659.20. The Board approved an allocation of $400.00 to provide CARES t-shirts for the Geneseo Goes to Town service day in April.

March 15-20, 2015
Lagom Landing and five Livingston CARES volunteers teamed up for the first five-day volunteer trip to the Stony Point retreat center. Laurel Nelson served as trip leader.

March 15-21, 2015
Twenty-one volunteers traveled to Biloxi on the 33rd Livingston CARES Hurricane Katrina work trip.  Neal Brooks served as the veteran trip leader and student board members Dan Martin and Katie Baum served as the student trip leaders. Seven volunteers traveled to Long Island on the 8th Livingston CARES Hurricane Sandy work trip. Board member Eddie Lee served as the staff trip leader and Brandon Gaylord served as student coordinator.

April 2, 2015
Livingston County News
carried a story under their Fundraiser Column, “Gumbo to Go Inspired by Gulf Coast Outreach.”

April 9, 2015
Philanthropic Chef, Glenn McClure and fifteen volunteers prepared the twelfth annual Gumbo to Go Dinner. They worked all day at the Central Presbyterian Church. They wore new CARES Gumbo to Go t-shirts. The sell-out dinner raised over $2,400.00 for Livingston CARES.

April 10, 2015
College photographer, Keith Walters, did an all-day photo shoot at the Gumbo-To-Go dinner and created a photo-essay and YouTube video that was posted as “Gumbo To Go Supports Livingston CARES” on the College website.

 April 27, 2015
Livingston CARES Annual Corporate Meeting and April Board of Directors Meeting scheduled at the Geneseo Interfaith Center to be followed by the Annual Spring Volunteer Thank You Dinner.

May 17-23, 2015
Fourteen volunteers travelled to Mississippi for a weeklong service trip after the spring semester had ended. Sam Cardamone served as the leader of the group. Peggy Wirth led a team of six students on a weeklong work trip to Staten Island. Volunteers worked on numerous homes in the borough throughout the week.

July 2015 
Student Association approved a grant of $3,000.00 to offer financial assistance to students participating in service trips with Livingston CARES.

September 2015 
Samantha Hebel, Coordinator of Student Leadership, Volunteerism and Service, was appointed as the board’s new secretary.

November 12, 2015 
Livingston CARES held its annual Gumbo to Go fundraiser at Central Presbyterian Church. Roughly $2,000.00 was raised and all funds went to supporting CARES.

2016

January 2016
The board approved an account for the Home Away from Home Respite Center project started up by VISTA Alyssa Penn. The board also approved an account for the Bike and Build program that Aiden Cropsey will be participating in this coming summer.

January 10-16, 2016
Livingston CARES celebrated ten years of service in its thirty-fifth trip to Biloxi in January. Tom Matthews and Sam Hebel led a group of twenty-one volunteers to Mississippi. Connie Rocko and the Harrison County Board of Supervisors presented CARES with a plaque and a resolution congratulating and honoring CARES on its tenth anniversary. Lisa Burns led six students on a work trip to Brooklyn over winter break. The group worked closely with Rebuilding Together NYC.

February 19-21, 2016
Student trip leader Rachel Campbell led seven students on the third annual Weekend of Service in Rochester.

March 13-19, 2016
Samantha Hebel led six student volunteers on a service trip to Brooklyn over spring break. Neal Brooks led a group of twenty volunteers on a weeklong service trip to Biloxi and Sarah Yo served as the student trip coordinator.

April 7, 2016
Livingston CARES hosted its yearly Gumbo to Go fundraiser at Central Presbyterian Church. Over 200 dinners were sold at the event.

April 19, 2016
Livingston CARES board members hosted Connie Rockco for a special appreciation dinner at the Big Tree Inn. We presented her with a plaque celebrating the ten years of partnership with Harrison County, Mississippi.

April 25, 2016
The Livingston CARES Annual Corporate Meeting, the April Board of Directors Meeting and the Annual Volunteer Thank You Dinner are scheduled to occur at the Interfaith Center. Philanthropic Chef Gary Towsley prepared the meal for the attendees