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Creating jobs and opportunities for people with differing disabilities so they can have a good quality of life.


Summer Camp has Best Season Yet

Summer camp at Melwood Recreation Center had its best season since opening in 1998. Over 500 children between 6 and 18 enjoyed totally inclusive day and overnight camp between June and August. Campers of varying abilities enjoyed new and challenging activities, formed new friendships, and took the first step to independence with the support of more than 45 staff and camp counselors from the United States and around the world. This was Aidans third summer as a day camper. Aidan has autism, and often kept to himself during his first two summers. However, this year, he spent more time playing with other campers. On Aidans final day of camp, his father said he wished he signed him up for four weeks instead of three; his mother Cheryl said she is already counting down to 2011! Caroline was beyond thrilled that she got to go on a trail ride, go to the pool, make new friends and meet people who also like teen star Serena Gomez. Her mother Jill wrote to camp staff, THANKYOU. To know that she is not only safe, but HAPPY, means the world to me.
e own for th an d Gage cl ry atthew an nselor Charlotte B y. Aidan, M camp cou izes a group activit hile camera w nd organ d, Engla of Sheffiel

e low ence on th course. s uild confid Campers b e trying the high rope course befor ropes

Summer highlights include a new fully functional greenhouse supported by BB&T, and the Terrific Teen Program receiving the Innovative Program Award from the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association. Terrific Teens enables young people between 13 and 18 to explore career goals, begin job skill training, and build their social skills, leadership and independence while enjoying a two-week overnight camp experience. Summer 2011 dates will be published in late fall. Please contact for more details! By Doria Fleisher and Marisa Cucuzzella

In This Issue: 2 Letter from CEO 3 Celebrating the ADA 4 Talent Has No Boundaries 5 Long Time Employees 6 Fall Programs 7 Golf Tournament

Fall Fest at Melwood Recreation Center

Melwood Recreation Center is one of Charles Countys best kept secrets, and we want to change that! Our first-ever Fall Fest will be held on Saturday, October 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come see what makes Melwood Recreation Center one of Southern Marylands premier recreation spots! Activities include pumpkin carving, face painting, a climbing wall, pony rides, games and much more. Admission is free, as are many activities. Concessions and fall plants for sale will also be available. By Bekah Carmichael




RDAY, OCT 11am-4 OBER 16 pm


d Rec 9035 Ir reation Cente r onside s Road Nanjem oy MD 20662

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A message from the President/CEO

Melwood 5606 Dower House Road Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 (301) 599-8000 Chairman of the Directors of our Board Andrew V. Colevas Principal Colevas Group Vice Chair Reginald Harris, MBA Business Executive State Farm Insurance Directors Stanley J. Botts Frank O. Coombs Donald Donahue, Jr., MBA, PhD Christina Eaglin-Hawthorne Marlon Griffith, JD Mike Keppler, MBA Richard Mahan, CPA Frank A. Nicolai, MBA Dana B. Stebbins, MSW JD Brenda Sheaffer President/CEO Janice Frey-Angel, MSW Chief Financial Officer Ronald L. Stubblefield, CPA, PhD, MSW Senior Vice President Matthew T. Scassero Vice Presidents Ronald Hanley, RBSM Donald Pollock, MA Jonathon Rondeau, MA CPRP Editor Jay M. Thomas Contributors Bekah Carmichael Marisa Cucuzzella Mark Celeste Doria Fleisher
Tina Campanella


Dear Friends and Supporters, This summer has seen many achievements by and for people with disabilities at Melwood. The hard work of our employees and managers resulted in higher performance evaluations from our largest federal customer over the past year. This is wonderful feedback for our hardworking employees. It opens doors to more contracts which translates to more work for people with disabilities. Advocates and people with disabilities observed the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in July. Participants included elected officials and people who have benefited from the ADA. Summer camp at Melwood Recreation Center saw its highest ever enrollment. Parents continue to see value in our unique, inclusive summer camp. Our special event fundraiser, the Melwood Prince Georges County Open, was the most successful to date. Frank Nicolais and Frank Coombss terms of office as directors of our board ended this June. On behalf of the individuals, staff and other board members, I would like to recognize their dedicated service and thank them. Thank you for sharing in Melwoods success! Sincerely, Janice Frey-Angel President/CEO

Changing of the Guard

Melwood welcomes Tina Campanella as a newly elected member of its volunteer Board of Directors. Campanella, of Washington, D.C., is Executive Director of Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities and brings over 30 years experience with adults and teens with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Before coming to Quality Trust, Campanella worked at the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL), a nonprofit organization promoting enhanced quality of life for people with disabilities through training and accreditation activities in the United States and abroad. Campanella is a graduate of Leadership Greater Washingtons 2010 class.

Frank Coombs and Frank Nicolai left the board at the end of their terms in June. Coombs, a Restaurant Executive, hired a number of people with disabilities served by Melwood before joining the board. In 2003, he was named the Chester A. Troy, Sr. Employer of the Year for the State of Maryland. Nicolai joined the board following his retirement from American Management Systems, Inc. We are grateful for their many contributions to Melwood.
Frank Nicolai and Frank Coombs display plaques recognizing their service with Melwood President/CEO Janice Frey-Angel after their final board meeting.

Celebrating Twenty Years of the ADA

People with disabilities, family members, advocates, government officials and Melwood staff gathered to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in July, and support continued efforts to fully include people with disabilities in the community. The celebration opened with Maryland Secretary of Disabilities Catherine Raggio and Angela Miles comparing their college experiences before and after the ADA became law. Raggio described her struggle to get adequate assistance from school officials. Miles told the audience how officials helped accommodate her needs, while pointing out that she still faces occasional discrimination for using a wheelchair. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, every American deserves the opportunity to work independently to the extent they can. That was the dream of Melwood before the ADA. Hoyer was the bills chief sponsor in the House of Representatives in 1990.
e as fellow speakers addresses the audienc p. Donna Edwards U.S. Re rine Raggio look on. of Disabilities Cathe zpatrick and Secretary Mike Fit

U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards told the audience, Today, we are reminded once again that it has been the power of your voice and your advocacy that has changed your world, our world, in a way that we didnt know 20 years ago.

Expanding Social Networks

Melwoods Alumni group held its third annual summer dance in the Copus Training Center on August 7th. More than 150 guests enjoyed the early evening festivities, which included a picnic fare, music, door prizes and dancing. Twin Grills Catering of La Plata catered the event. Rachel Stanley, Alumni President, coordinated this years dance with her fellow officers and committee members. Event proceeds help the group to plan activities that foster socialization, independence and give back to the community. The Alumni group began in 2006. Membership is comprised of individuals who receive or have received supports through Melwood. Many members are successful in community employment and establishing their own homes, and desire to expand their social network. The group elects its officers, coordinates fundraising events, plans day and weekend trips and is committed to giving back to the community through volunteering. Current officers of the Alumni group are Rachel Stanley, President; Brenda Sheaffer, Vice President; Robert Moore, Treasurer, and George Moore, Secretary. For more information contact Mark Celeste at (301) 599-4527 or, or Sandra Ginyard at (301) 5994516 or By Mark Celeste


ni groups ic at the Alum enjoy the mus Darlene Nance er dance. Bob Aist and annual summ

Summer / Fall 2010

Talent Has No Boundaries

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and this years theme is Talent Has No Boundaries: Workforce Diversity INCLUDES Workers with Disabilities. The theme, set by Hilda Solis, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, symbolizes her commitment to good jobs for everyone. Having a job is important to maintain economic security and independence, especially those with disabilities. Nationwide, nearly 70% of people who are blind or have other significant disabilities are not employed. Brenda Sheaffer, a custodian at a secure federal facility in downtown, Washington, DC now lives on her own, but her severe learning disability made it difficult to compete in the job market before she joined Melwood in 1993. Melwood now employs more than 870 people with disabilities through contracts with the federal government. These jobs are made possible through the AbilityOne Program, which is the largest source of employment for people who are blind or have other significant disabilities in the United States. Sheaffer is a talented public speaker and part of the AbilityOne Speakers Bureau. She also serves on Melwoods Board of Directors. She is often requested to talk about how Melwoods umbrella of support and AbilityOne enabled her to live independently and stop receiving government benefits. To request Brenda or another speaker for an event, please contact Sarah Gray at or Sandra Ginyard at

Sheaffer spoke at USDA headquarters in 2009.


Seven Melwood employees earned Peer Awards for their customer service at Goddard Space Flight Center and received plaques at an August ceremony. They are (front row) Kenneth Thompson, Lilian Reyes, Azie Clark, Charles Parrish, and James Mintz. Not pictured: Brandyce Jackson and Hasine Thorpe. At left, joining the winners are Janice Frey-Angel, President/CEO, and Earl Middleton, Site Supervisor; at right, Fred Corbin, Operations Manager, and Matt Scassero, Senior Vice President.

Long Time Employees

Many employees with and without disabilities have put their talents to work at Melwood for many years. We salute their hard work and dedication!

in memory of


Edward Jones, Jr., who began many of Melwoods custodial contracts and eventually supervised the entire custodial operation, died in May at the age of 90. Following his retirement from Howard University, a custodial supply vendor introduced him to Melwood. Ed came as a consultant, said former co-worker Becky Wright-Brizee. We hired him and for years he worked Tuesday through Thursday and played golf on Monday and Tuesday! Jones made employment for people with disabilities a lot less intimidating, said former co-worker Tony Matthews. He instilled professionalism in all aspects and was the first one to pat you on the back. Among many other duties such as teaching Melwoods Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) class, Jones supervised Melwoods custodial contract at the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility, where the National Air and Space Museum preserves and restores aircraft, spacecraft, and other artifacts.

More than 30 years:

Ellsworth Harris Gregory Jones Lyndon Outlaw Robert Walker

21-25 years:
Cynthia Burton Ann Morgan Vanessa Bowie Douglas Copeland Reginald Copeland Robert Johnson Deborah Lepak Jacqueline Loftin Donald Pollock Richard Whittlesey Lorenzo Brown Anthony Ford Dorothy Makle David OConnor Marchesa Whittington Karen Boatwright Wilford Steward Sandra Dyson Darlene E. Toy

16-20 years:
Barbara E. Calabrese Reginald Locke Marlene Marshall Bumbry David Mason David Page Scott Painter Byron Durrington Kathy Long Lee Roesch Melvin Stiney Wanda Brooks Williams Linda Neiser Tyrone Pankey Clifford Smith Dwight Anderson Russell Bowie Ronald Green Monica Moore Brenda Sheaffer Joseph Upshaw Benita White Melvin Odems

26-30 years:
Robert Barney Mildred L. Washington Gloria Harper Eileen Whitesed Anthony Hall James Rawles Mary Brown Melba Christopher Andre Harris Gene Hunter Vernon Myers Robert Phillips Raymond Reher Paul Thornes

Melwood employees were often entrusted to work near national icons such as the Enola Gay, thanks to Edward Jones tutelage.

Higher Performance Opens More Opportunities

One hundred six Melwood employees with disabilities provide custodial, landscaping and recycling services for our largest federal customer, the US Navy, at 22 locations throughout the Washington area. Their hard work paid off in higher performance ratings in the yearly evaluation completed by all Department of Defense agencies. It is important that [a contractors] rating be acceptable as this can and is used when making other contract awards, said Ron Hanley, Melwood Vice President of Contract Management. High marks are valuable when competing for other contracts, and quality performance by our workforce helps open more employment opportunities to people with disabilities. We have good people doing good things, said Matt Scassero, Melwood Senior Vice President of Contract Services. Congratulations to all our hard-working employees!
Melwood employees Stanley Mohr and Bill Foster recycle old corrugated cardboard for the US Navy. Summer / Fall 2010

fall programs at
Equestrian Program


As summer ends at Melwood Recreation Center, fall programs like Access Adventures, the Equestrian Program and the Retreat Center come alive. Fall riding lessons at the Equestrian Program begin in mid-September. Melwood Recreation Center offers both private and semi-private lessons for individuals of all ability levels, ages five and up. General horsemanship classes and riding clinics are available throughout the year. Scout Badge programs, Pony Parties, and Equine-Centered Team Building are also available. To sign up, contact

Access Adventures
Access Adventures is Melwoods assisted travel program for adults with disabilities. Autumn trips include a visit to Ocean City for the popular regional Sunfest event, a 9-day cruise with stops in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and three themed weekend retreats at Melwood Recreation Center. Access Adventures also coordinates customized vacations for other agencies, including a trip to New York City. All vacations provide quality, age-appropriate and exciting experiences for adults with varying levels of special needs. Specifically trained Travel Hosts act as guides and caregivers and ensure that all travelers needs are metfrom assisting to personal care, to singing a karaoke duet! For more details, contact!

Retreat Center
What happens to the cabins when camp is not in session? Melwood Recreation Center provides retreat rentals and private parties for many groups! Team building, corporate and spiritual retreats, and weddings are just a sample of all that we can do. Buildings can be rented individually, or the entire facility is available to rent for your event. To ask about rentals, contact By Doria Fleisher and Marisa Cucuzzella

Top Photo Sophia, at center, began riding at Melwood Recreation Center in February, and had a great time at Pony Pals Day Camp this summer with her friend Julia, at left, and Equestrian Counselor Amanda Ward of Largs, Scotland. Left Photo Pamela had a wonderful first Access Adventures trip this summer and her counselor, Kirsty MacInnes of Welcome, Maryland said, she is one of the sweetest travelers Ive ever met!

in memory of


Disability advocate and former Melwood employee Wally Szyndler died July 10th of complications from gall bladder surgery. Szyndler spent 29 years at Melwood and was responsible for many of Melwoods programs. Following his time in the Peace Corps, Szyndler joined Melwood in 1968 as only the third employee. During those early years, he was instrumental in establishing the greenhouse and landscaping programs for adults with disabilities. Szyndler was the first person in charge of Melwoods Nanjemoy farm, now known as Melwood Recreation Center. The Farm began as a true farm and vocational training project, with crops growing in the fields and with the help of local volunteers, a greenhouse. A store sold produce and crafts to a steady stream of locals and visitors. Reflecting on that time, Szyndler said, People who had limited exposure to individuals with developmental disabilities did not understand who we were and what we were doing. It was gratifying that over a very short period of time, Charles County became the most supportive place on Earth for people with disabilities. The contributions of their citizens at every level have been incalculable. In the mid-1970s, Szyndler went to Alberta, Canada as a vocational rehabilitation consultant and director of training programs. In 1984, Szyndler rejoined Melwood, and developed programs to encourage greater community inclusion and well-being of people with disabilities. He was particularly interested in horticultural therapy and art therapy, helped lead the effort to enable people with disabilities move into residential neighborhoods, and fought for their right to live together as couples.

Following his retirement, Szyndler volunteered extensively and enjoyed creating art from gourds. He exhibited his work in shows and entered competitions where he consistently won first place and best in show awards.

New Venue, New Champion

Melwood Prince Georges County Open presented by Under Armour Returns
In early June, Tommy Two Gloves Gainey won the fourth Melwood Prince Georges County Open presented by Under Armour for his first career PGA Nationwide Tour title. Its unbelievable. I dont know any other way to describe it, said Gainey, whose nickname was inspired by habit of wearing gloves on both hands. The weeklong event is Melwoods fundraiser, and took place at the recently-renovated Tournament w University of Maryland Golf Course. inner Tommy Gainey holds host Gary Will his trophy alof Gary Williams, Maryland mens basketball coach, served as iams shows th t as tournamen e crowd the ch t ampions bask tournament host and presented Gainey with the trophy and a etball jersey. basketball jersey emblazoned Champion. This tournament is a great event on the Nationwide Tour. Maryland is an excellent venue and the support we received from the University, club members and local business community is remarkable, said Teo Sodeman, tournament director. Before the tournament at Media Day, Sodeman and Leon Duncan, Under Armour Brand Director of Golf, announced that Under Armour agreed to be presenting sponsor for the 2010 and 2011 events. Said Duncan, Were thrilled to be part of this event. The tournament was again broadcast on The Golf Channel in the United States. The PGA TOUR also aired the tournament to 72 countries worldwide. For more information about next years event taking place May 30 June 5, 2011, visit

Visit for more information about next years event, taking place May 30 - June 5, 2011

in memory of


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Arlena Pannell, a member of Melwoods Finance Department for the past 11 years, passed away August 16 after a long battle with cancer. Arlena joined Melwood after a 29-year career with Safeway. She was an avid golfer who for many years helped organize and play in Melwoods annual charity golf tournament in Charles County. Arlena was also an active member of the Upper Marlboro Moose Lodge. Her son Steve, daughter-in-law Denise, grandchildren Colin, Dylan and Lauren, and numerous brothers and sisters, including Fran Reynolds, also a member of Melwoods Finance Department, survive her.

1-877-MELWOOD (1-877-635-9663)
Donate online at Give people with disabilities just the lift they need!
Summer / Fall 2010

Arlena and h Melwood C er son Steve at the 2 005 harles Cou nty tournamen charity golf t.

Contributions to Melwood help individuals with disabilities to earn their way. Each year, Melwood provides employment, support services and recreation for more than 1,600 people with disabilities. To find out how you can help, call (301) 599-8000 or visit
5606 Dower House Road Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 (301) 599-8000



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