The complications for Colton Kiss started the moment he was born. His mom, Tara Kiss, said doctors used vacuum extraction to help with delivery.
The procedure “caused four intracranial brain hemorrhages,” Tara wrote in an email, “as well as a blood clot on his cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls movement, balance and speech.”
Colton was quickly transferred from Lancaster to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, widely known as CHOP, where he spent the next two weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Tara, living in York at the time, stayed with her mother, Cathy Kiss. Cathy lives in Manor Township, and Tara drove back and forth to Philadelphia every day for those two weeks to be with Colton.
When Colton was 4 months old, a follow-up MRI showed the blood clot and hemorrhages were gone, but the clot left behind an area of damage on the cerebellum.
“We learned from his neurologist that we were looking at a long road of obstacles as that part of the brain is so important to everyday life — walking, talking, motor skills…,” Tara wrote.
CHOP referred them to Early Intervention and outpatient pediatric therapy. After doing some research and talking with friends, Tara knew she wanted to start services with Schreiber. Cathy’s best friend’s father, Joe Finger, had volunteered here with a group of other residents from St. Anne’s Retirement Community. Cathy also knew Michele DeBord, sister of Schreiber President James DeBord.
“Hearing about (Joe’s) experience and knowing Michele was so passionate about Schreiber, we were really comfortable (starting at Schreiber),” Cathy said.
Colton was born in March of 2020. Tara moved to Lancaster in December of that year to start services at Schreiber.
“We were immediately welcome by the Schreiber staff who are now pretty much our family,” Tara wrote. “Lisa (Moore, at the front desk) took us in under her wing and connected me to Jen Bachman to get Colton evaluated and started right away. We have been working with Miss Christen (DeSarro) for PT, Miss Kim (Martin) for OT and Miss Cassie (Glick) for speech. When we started, Colton was unable to sit unassisted, unable to feed himself solid food, unable to say any words at all.”
That was where Colton was in early 2021. Today? He still receives all three therapies, and he’s enrolled in Schreiber’s Circle of Friends Academy child care program, in the Toddler Room.
“It has not even been a year yet,” Tara wrote, “and he is now able to sit, stand alone and take his own steps on flat surfaces. He can feed himself any type of food he desires. He is working on his words and attempting new words almost daily. We are only in the beginning of this journey, but because of the dedication from our Schreiber family, Colton has a chance to live his life as normal as possible.”
Which is why Cathy reached out just about a year ago at this time offering to help with our first Cup O’ Cards fundraiser. The idea for Cup O’ Cards was simple: We bought a bunch of gift cards from local businesses, stuffed them into some sponsored coffee cups, then raffled off the cups.
“I heard about it from Michele, I looked at your website, and I decided to jump right in” by donating a card-filled coffee cup, she said.
Cathy, who runs her own home-based accounting business, CLK Accounting and Payroll Inc., reached out to a number of clients and asked them to donate money to buy gift cards or to donate cards from their business. We quickly added her CLK Accounting mug to the other cups, and it turned out to be popular with raffle ticket buyers.
She was happy to participate in the second Cup O’ Cards raffle, which starts March 28, and she plans to do two cups this year, including a Mystery Cup filled with a collection of surprise gift cards.
“I’ve already raised more than $600 in cash, which I’ll use to buy the gift cards,” Cathy said, “and collected two donated items for the Mystery Cup.”
Last year, with Cathy’s help, Cup O’ Cards raised about $27,000. This year, with her help again, we hope to raise even more. And that would be make a proud grandmother pretty happy.
“That’s my boy,” she said. “And I see what Schreiber does for kids with my own eyes. (Colton) didn’t sit up until he was maybe 10 or 11 months old. He’s very delayed. To see his progress with the therapists is what I love about Schreiber.”
Tara said it this way in her email:
“… Whether children are born healthy or born with already known obstacles, every child deserves a chance to be helped, and Schreiber gives every child a fair chance at a normal life. That is something I will always support. We are forever grateful for Schreiber and the care my son receives. From his teachers at Circle of Friends Academy down to all of his therapists, thank you all for loving my son!”
Harold Gainer and Bob Race were a couple of retired cops with a soft spot for kids.
And, boy, did that soft spot make a difference in the lives of Schreiber kids.
Harold and Bob were two of the most dedicated volunteers for Schreiber’s Softball Weekend. The event returns June 4-6 for its 39th year, and it will be first since the two old friends passed away in September of 2020.
In their honor, the tournament portion of Softball Weekend has been renamed the Gainer-Race Memorial Tournament.
Denise Race, Bob’s widow, said he would be humbled.
“He’d say, ‘I don’t deserve this,” Denise said. “But I think he does. He did such a wonderful job for so many years. He and Harold both.”
Their work on Softball Weekend goes back a long way, to 1982. Harold started first. He was a young officer with the East Hempfield Police Department and the Financial Secretary with the Red Rose Lodge #16, Fraternal Order of Police.
“The lodge wanted to get involved in the community, and we chose Easter Seals (as Schreiber was formerly known) because it was the adopted charity of the (national) FOP,” Harold recalled in a 2015 interview. “We got together and kicked around ideas such as the festivals and dunk tanks and came up with the softball marathon idea. That first year we hoped to raise $5,000, but we ended up raising $17,500 — and we didn’t know what we were doing!”
Bob came on board a few years later. Both of them stayed all in until 2019, when health issues started taking their toll.
Thanks to their leadership and the continued involvement of the FOP, the event has raised around $2 million for Schreiber. It is the longest-running fundraising event that Schreiber does.
“Chiefy loved children,” Denise Race said, calling her late husband by her nickname for him. He was a retired chief from Pequea Township Police Department. “He would do anything for any child.”
That’s something the two men had in common.
“He loved reaching out to kids,” said Harold’s widow, Bobbie Gainer. “I think if I had to list his top three qualities, I’d say: caring, compassion and commitment. Harold had all three of those qualities wrapped up in a special place in his heart for Schreiber.”
Both men would look forward to softball, always the first weekend of June. They would be all in for the whole weekend, sleeping in cars and staying at the Stauffer Park and later Lancaster County Park or Froelich Park for 48 hours straight.
“He loved being part of it,” Bobbie said. “He loved the teams, being with the people. He loved seeing the kids there, too. He was proud of the FOP and the job they were doing.”
Bobbie and Denise and their families will be present at Froelich Park this year to help mark the start of another Softball Weekend and to remember the two men who played such an important part of it for so long.
“I can just imagine seeing Harold and Chiefy up in heaven having one heck of a good time,” Denise said.
The idea started from chat between two Schreiber S.T.A.R.S. Preschool moms. Jennel Roberts and Michelle Miller are both independent consultants for Usborne Books and More, a company that distributes a wide array of books, including children’s books.
Michelle Miller, left, and Jennel Roberts recently visited Schreiber with their S.T.A.R.S. preschoolers to deliver $780 in donated Usborne books to Schreiber.
Jennel wanted to host a party to invite guests to come and buy books. And she wanted to add a charitable spin. People could either shop for themselves, and Usborne would match 50 percent of sales with donated books. Or book shoppers could make a direct donation, which Michelle then used to buy more books.
The result: The friends delivered four boxes of books, worth a total of $780, that are now being used in Schreiber’s therapy and preschool programs. The gift arrived in plenty of time for the April 23’s World Book Day, a global celebration of authors, books and reading.
Michelle is a two-time S.T.A.R.S. mom. Her daughter Amy is a preschool grad, and a younger daughter Adrienne is currently enrolled.
“I’m a TSS (therapeutic support staff), and my client received services from Schreiber,” Michelle said, balancing her youngest, 1-year-old Tommy, on her lap. “We love Schreiber, and the preschool being inclusional was important to us.”
Schreiber’s inclusional or reverse mainstream philosophy places preschoolers with special needs in the same classroom as their typically developing peers.
“I wanted my kids to be around kids who were different from them,” she said. “I want them to learn to be an advocate and a voice for those kids in elementary school.”
Michelle has been an Usborne independent contractor for five years. You can find her online sales page here. She has an ongoing promotion now where once she reaches $250 in order, 50 percent of the retail total is donated to Schreiber as free books.
She also runs regular reading and literacy challenges for parents who follow her on Facebook. You can ask to join the group here.
“These are great books for all ages, even some for young adults,” Michelle said. “The philosophy of the company is to not talk down to kids, to treat them as inquisitive and create engaging, interactive books.”
Building inquisitive, engaged readers at Schreiber. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate World Book Day.
Melissa’s connection to Schreiber goes back to the beginning of the Lititz Chocolate Walk.
Chocolate Walk started in 2001 as a project of the Kiwanis Club of the Lititz Area. Melissa was a member then (and still is today). One of the Lititz club’s founders was Ralph Sherrif, who also happened to be a Schreiber board member.
“When we did the first one, we were talking about where the money we raised was going to go,” Melissa said. “It was because of Ralph that we decided Schreiber would be one of the places we supported.”
Her connection to Schreiber grew through her work as a math teacher at Manheim Township High School. She was also a Key Club advisor, making students aware of community service opportunities.
“I would always mention Schreiber,” she said. “I’d tell them: ‘They are helping kids that really need help.'”
She retired from teaching in 2009, and initially she spent many days caring for her ailing father. After he passed in 2013, she had more time for volunteering. Her thoughts turned to Schreiber.
“I came in to drop something off for Chocolate Walk, and I took a little tour,” said. “I saw one of those classrooms… I knew I wanted to be more involved.”
That same year, she signed up to sell tickets for the Rubber Duckie Race. Dozens of people sell tickets for us every year. These Duck Patrol sales people are a critical part of our selling. Melissa takes it to another level.
She will sell Duckies to friends and neighbors. She will sell them at Kiwanis meetings and some of the other volunteer groups she’s involved with. She takes them to church. Last year, her minister was reluctant to buy one. Melissa wouldn’t take no for an answer. He ended up with the Noah Duck — as in Noah’s Ark — that was part of our Animal Kingdom theme.
She has the no-nonsense air of a teacher, but she’s all heart when it comes to Schreiber. She signs out hundreds of ducks each year to sell, and she rarely brings any back unsold.
“I love talking to people about what you do here,” she says. “Who can say no to spending $5 to help kids? And the ducks are just a fun way to do it.”
Want to join the fun?
Selling Duckies for Schreiber is fun — and easy. Just download one of the Sales Patrol applications, fill it out and bring it in, and you can sign out some Duckies to sell. Take 10 or take 100; any number helps and is appreciated. And you will be making a difference for all the children of Schreiber.
John Hatch was a familiar face here at Schreiber in the past few years. H was a neighbor, whose Homestead Village villa was close enough to our campus that he could hear of the squeals of the kids playing on the playground.
When Schreiber and Homestead talked about starting a new intergenerational program to bring residents into the center to volunteer, John took the lead on Homestead’s end.
When the women who organize the annual Homestead Village Mother’s Day Jewelry Sale wanted a man to join their effort, John raised his hand.
When a group from Homestead attended our annual gala two years ago, John reserved the table.
In every case, he was a gracious, gentlemanly presence.
We hadn’t seen him much recently, though. We heard a little more than a year ago that he had received a difficult medical diagnosis.
Last week, we learned he had passed. His loving wife Louise stopped in to tell us and to share a few memories as she looked through some of our archives to check details about his connection to Schreiber.
As Louise already knew, it was a long, faithful connection.
John came to Lancaster in 1976. He moved here as the director of purchasing for Howmet Aluminum, later Alcoa and now Arconic Mill Products, according to his obituary.
By 1979, he had joined the board of directors for what was then the Lancaster County chapter of Easter Seals. By the early ’80s, he was leading the fundraising for the organization and was a key player in launching Buck-A-Cup and the Rubber Duckie Race as major community fundraisers. In 1985, he was named president of the board of directors.
After his time on the board ended, and after Schreiber became an independent nonprofit, John continued to stay involved with the center for another 30 years.
It would be difficult to find a more dedicated servant for Schreiber. We will miss him.
Rest well, John.
Another Arconic connection. Back in September, four Penn State Harrisburg engineering students approached us looking for a senior capstone project. Two of the students had been interns at Arconic in the summer of 2018 when they joined a group of Arconic employees who visited Schreiber on a volunteer day.
After talking with Schreiber Occupational Therapist Bernie Hershey, the students decided to modify a therapy bike and fit it with variable resistance.
The students brought their first version of the bike to Schreiber in February. After taking time to refine their concept and make adjustments, they brought in the completed bike last week. Owen Hull, a Schreiber kiddo who took the first bike out for a spin, was here again to greet the students and test out the final product.
Thanks again to Nicole Linke, Cody Mackanick, Michael Ruch and Andrew Saienni for their creative work on behalf of Schreiber. Nicole and Michael graduated and had jobs waiting for them.
We’d like to think that John Hatch would be pleased.
Some of you probably already know that what we call Schreiber today has been around since 1936. In those 82 years, we have gone by several different names: The Society for Crippled Children and Adults, the National Easter Seals Society and, starting in 1994, Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center of Lancaster County.
Now, we are excited to tell you about our new name and introduce our new logo.
In the nearly 25 years since we adopted our most recent name, Schreiber has experienced many changes and a lot of growth. We see more children than ever. We see kids with a wider array of diagnoses. We did a major expansion in 2006, and we have added new services, including aquatic therapy, thanks to our new pool, and the Circle of Friends Academy daycare center, which now accepts children as young as 6 weeks.
The staff and the board leadership of the center began to think that our name didn’t reflect the breadth of services we provide. While we still see many kids that you might expect to see at Schreiber, kids born with cerebral palsy or spina bifida, we also see lots of other kids whose challenges aren’t nearly as complex. They might have a minor speech delay or need a little help with their fine motor skills.
We also have a fair number of typically developing kids. They attend our S.T.A.R.S. Preschool or Circle of Friends. Or they come for swim lessons. Or they attend with their parents to learn baby signing or infant massage or kids’ yoga.
As our new mission statement reads: “We provide everything needed for all of life’s challenges, so that families and children can reach their dreams and vision. We see every child’s unique capabilities and help them achieve their fullest potential.”
The new mission statement guided the conversations about finding a new name. After numerous meetings during the strategic planning process of 2017, a stakeholder survey and a final review by the board, we will now be officially known as the Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development.
We didn’t want our brand to send the message that we are fixing “broken” kids. We are helping any family seeking services so that their son or daughter can be their best selves.
And we felt it was important to emphasize our new name with a new logo, one that keeps the name Schreiber at the center of our identity.
So take in our new name: The Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development. Check out our new logo. And know that we will keep doing what we’ve tried to do for 82 years: Enriching lives. Giving hope. For all who need us, every day.
Support Schreiber for the Extra Give
We have a new name and a new logo, but we still rely on the generosity of the community to operate.
Please consider a gift to Schreiber during the Extraordinary Give on Nov. 16. Go to www.extragive.org anytime on Nov. 16, find Schreiber’s listing and donate. It’s that easy. And every dollar supports the children of Schreiber.
In July, when we kicked off another season of selling tickets for this year’s 30th Annual Rubber Duckie Race & Festival, we did so with some anxiety.
The event, our largest community fundraiser, had suffered a significant blow as the result of the loss of one of the key supporters of the race over the years.
Fundraising is critical to our operation. The loss of support could potentially have hurt our ability to provide services.
So we asked for your help. And as you always have done for Schreiber, throughout the 82 years we’ve been in Lancaster County, you came through. Thanks to you, we were able to reach our budget goal for Duckie: We netted more than $115,000.
We are grateful for the many volunteers who came into our office and said, “I’ll sell some Duckies for you.”
We are grateful for the many sponsors who stepped up with their support. And we would particularly like to thank Donegal Insurance Group for being our presenting sponsor.
Most of all, we are grateful for you, the thousands of people who bought tickets. You stopped by our table at Root’s or on Lancaster’s square outside of Central Market. You picked up some tickets from the persistent friend or relative who was selling. Or you came into the Center to buy, sometimes with a story about the child you know that we helped or the time you bought your first Duckie in 1998.
Some of you even came out to Duckie Day on Sept. 9, when it rained all day and our Festival amounted to a couple of picnic tables and some games under one of the pavilions.
Because of that, we asked — again — for help, this time to make up for the lost revenue caused by the weather. We normally raise $10,000 the day of the race through the sale of tickets, T-shirts and games. You have donated that much and more through after-the-event gifts.
Much of it came from Orrstown Bank, which had already provided a sponsorship, sold tickets at their branches and showed up on the rainy Duckie Day to do whatever we asked. The bank delivered this week an additional $15,000 donation.
We are grateful for all of it, but we’re already moving on to the next thing. The Extraordinary Give is coming up Nov. 16, and we will have some big news — some really big news — to tell you about as we get closer to that.
Until then, thank you, Lancaster County. With your support of Schreiber, you continue to improve the lives of all the children who need our services, every day.
UPDATE, 10/23: The first 500 visitors to light one of our luminaries will receive a free Stroopie from Lancaster Stroopies. If you haven’t had one of these, yet, don’t wait. Come to Schreiber on Nov. 9, light a candle and get a Stroopie.
UPDATE, 10/12: We confirmed that we will have our Extra Give party at the Federal Taphouse, at the corner of Queen and Chestnut streets, and just two blocks from the big Extra Give party at Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square.
UPDATE, 10/19: We will be at the Federal Taphouse throughout the day on Nov. 17, starting when they open for lunch at 11:30 a.m. When you are out and about downtown that day, stop in for lunch, dinner or drinks, and take a minute to donate to Scheriber. FM97’s DC will be on hand to play music from noon to 6 p.m. If you come by after work, we’ll have live music by Jen and Brad Rhine from Blue Sky Falls from 6-7, followed by MOE Blues from 7:30-8:30.
UPDATE, 11/16: We gratefully acknowledge support from three companies providing Business Matches for this year’s Give: Atlee Hall, Mid-Atlantic ProTel and Medisys Solutions.
Step 3: Remember to give extra during the Extra Give. Your past support has meant so much to us, but the demand for our therapy services continues to surge. Every dollar you donate helps us serve as many children as possible.
Please consider donating to Schreiber during the Extra Give on Nov. 17. When you give extra, extraordinary things happen.
Reason No. 1: The kids
Yes, Schreiberpalooza is a big party. The bands are great, there’s lots of adult beverages and tasty food. But it’s important to remember the reason we do the event to begin with: the Schreiber kids.
We serve more than 3,000 children a year at Schreiber, through our therapy programs, our preschool and daycare and our recreation programs. We help kids take their first steps, say their first words or hold their parents’ hands for the first time.
We see kids who need a little bit of help with speech or handwriting. And we see kids who need a lot of help with learning to walk or dressing themselves.
And we can’t do any of it without community support, through events like Schreiberpalooza. Because pediatric therapy reimburses so poorly, we have to raise more than $1 million a year to cover all of our costs. Palooza is an important part of our fundraising, and we want to see a big crowd at Clair Brothers in Manheim Saturday night.
Every ticket we sell counts. Every dollar counts. Please pick up your Palooza tickets today.
To order tickets online, go here.
For details on the event, go here.
See you Saturday!
Reason No. 2: The bands
We’re fortunate to have the support of some amazing local musicians. There are some familiar names in this year’s lineup.
The Mama Tried Band: One of Lancaster County’s most popular dance bands, thanks to a big sound supporting Dorden Bivings’ dynamic voice.
Good2Go: Powerhouse danceable rock, led by former Schreiber board members Jim Darby and Scott Bacon.
3rd Power Family Soul: With Diane Yates belting out the lead vocals and a tight R&B outfit behind her, they impressed in their Palooza debut last year.
MOE Blues: Down and dirty Chicago-style blues built around Albie von Schaaf’s gritty guitar and Kevin Gannon’s howling harmonica.
Don’t forget: Pick up your printed Palooza tickets here at the Center, or order tickets online. Advance tickets are $20. And if you’re into the super high-end audio gear that Clair Brothers is known for, check out the VIP Backstage Package.
Don’t forget, part 2: We will have 600 chairs, so you can leave the lawn chair at home this year.
Reason No. 3: Thank the generous businesses that supported us
Sponsors form the foundation for much of the success we have with our fundraising events, and Schreiberpalooza is no exception.
We are grateful for the support of Palooza’s Rock and Roll Sponsor, Pinnacle Health’s Lebanon Valley Advanced Care Center. We also want to recognize our Roadie Sponsors: M&T Bank, Versatek and McNees Wallace & Nurick; and our Groupie Sponsors: Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School, EHD Advisory and Brereton Manor.
And we wouldn’t be able to do Palooza without several generous partners who donated or deeply discounted their services, including Clair Brothers, Lancaster Dispensing Co., Traveling Tap, Troeg’s Brewing Co., Hess Tent Rental, Mojo Barriers and Federal Taphouse.
We also want to thank several generous individual supporters who donated time, treasure or both to the cause: Dave and Amanda Campbell, Todd Frick and Vance Antonacci.
Reason No. 4: Enjoy great food from DipCo
Every year, the food at Palooza is one of the best things about the Schreiberpalooza. Lancaster Dispensing Co. caters the event, and they donate 100 percent of the food sales from the night to Schreiber. Sure, come for the music and helping the kids, but while you’re there enjoy some of the tasty treats that Judy Ross and her crew serve up. This year’s menu will include beef brisket, chili and macaroni and cheese. Judy is also a dedicated member of the Schreiberpalooza planning group. She plays a big role in making sure the logistics work well, and she works with her vendors to make sure we have donated wine for the night. Thanks, Judy and DipCo!
Reason No. 5: Hear awesome music in Clair’s amazing space
Clair Brothers is part of a music and entertainment enterprise that is known around the world for providing the best quality live music production. As it did last year, the company will provide its demonstration space in Manheim and some of the finest audio professionals in the world to make the bands at Schreiberpalooza sound extra good.
If you like great live music, this is the place to hear it and see it.
Visit our Palooza page here to learn more.
Kathy grew up in Millersville and, through an aunt, made a visit one summer to the Woods School, now known simply as Woods, an organization that served the special needs community. That was when she was in high school.
Until then, she thought she’d be a chemistry major. After working with the individuals at Woods, her focus changed.
“I just loved working with those kids,” Kathy said. “We really got along well together. When it was time to apply to school, I couldn’t afford to go anywhere but Millersville, and they had a special ed program in their College of Education. That’s what I wanted to do.”
Ed followed a similar path. He started at what was then Bloomsburg State College, studying to become an accountant. When his money ran out, he transferred to Millersville and also ended up in the special ed program.
After college, she and Ed started out as special education teachers in the Conestoga Valley School District. Ed said they met where love often blooms: a department meeting at school.
Ed stayed at CV for 34 years. Kathy switched to the IU and moved around to different schools in Lebanon and Lancaster counties.
They knew about Schreiber, mainly through the kids they worked with who also received services here. When they retired, supporting Schreiber financially seemed natural. They started out buying rubber duckies.
“I had quite a collection of duckie shirts from various years,” Kathy said.
She joined Edna’s Angels, Schreiber’s women’s giving circle, a few years ago, and Ed started increasing his support using money from the IRA withdrawls he had to take each year.
All of that led this year to their decision to contribute $30,000 to the Stabler grant fund, a gift that was matched by $30,000 from the Stabler Foundation.
“There are several organizations I regularly give to,” Kathy said. “I vet them so I’m comfortable my money is going to a worthwhile place. … We know Schreiber’s mission, and we know you will deliver services effectively and use the money wisely.”