Annual Appeal 2020

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Help us ensure an independent and meaningful life.

Let’s face it - COVID-19 turned our world upside down.  The most vulnerable populations were left needing supports that service providers, the community and our leaders had yet to design. TeleHealth, Zoom meetings and self-isolation became mandated. A new world was emerging overnight, expecting us to adapt quickly.

At the Learning Disabilities Association of WNY (LDA), we know that successful independence relies on stability – and that our staff and board needed to be that stable force for the people we support. Staying connected, and building those bridges for connection with each other and the community, has been our main priority.

Here’s some of what LDA did to respond:

The Starlight Studio & Art Gallery staff got art supplies to its artists and launched Zoom Hangouts so all could safely make art together from their homes; our LEAD 716 team stayed engaged with families, creating “learning kits” comprised of much-needed learning materials while offering virtual tutoring; Community Habilitation staff ensured their clients had access to groceries, medical appointments and socially distanced walks; our residential clients had the peace of mind knowing they lived in a clean, safe, and supportive environment.

All across WNY, from Orleans to Chautauqua to Allegheny Counties, our staff continued to ensure that the 1,200 individuals with disabilities we serve each year had the supports to live an
independent and meaningful life in their community.


What is an independent and meaningful life? Meet Paul Chandler

In August, during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Starlight artist Paul Chandler was included in an exhibit entitled Wedding of the Waters at the Buffalo Institute of Contemporary Art (BICA) alongside 9 other nationally exhibiting artists.  His work was selected by A. Will Brown, a curator based out of Chicago, after having toured Starlight Studio and Art Gallery. Impressed with his work, Brown included one of Chandler’s largest fabric works into the exhibit; it was great to have Starlight Studio on Brown’s list of places to visit in Buffalo.

Help us create more stories like Paul Chandler's

Our  Annual Appeal goal is $5,000. We believe that our community has the power to lift each other up, especially during these trying times. Let’s do just that. Please donate today to help ensure more
independent and meaningful lives are lived in WNY. 


All the best,


Parrish Gibbons Herzog
Board President, Learning Disabilities Association of WNY

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Paul Chandler at BICA with his artwork, “Doorway to Valhalla”, included in the exhibit “Wedding of the Waters” Curated by A. Will Brown.

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We always appreciate all of the support we have from our community and beyond but especially this year! Thank You during a LDA zoom Town Hall.


Chace Lobley working on his newest sculpture during a Zoom Hangout art studio session hosted by the Teaching Artists at Starlight Studio & Art Gallery


Community Hab worked hard on sprucing up the gardens in front of the LDA Main Office 

Thank You to our current and future contributors for your support!