Caz College students Katie Hughes, left, Ashley Dyer and Megan Sitarek pose in front of the characters they painted at Casey’s Place, a respite center in Syracuse.
Children with developmental disabilities and severe medical issues who visit Casey’s Place for overnight, weekend or after-school care can imagine themselves all grown up with a career, thanks to students in Cazenovia College’s Interior Design Club. For two weeks, the students have spent their spare time planning and painting a mural for the center.
Students who participated in the work are Ashley Bancroft, of Fort Ann; Cheryl L. Chapman, of Baldwinsville; Ashley M. Dyer, of Amsterdam; Janelle L. Farruggia, of Rochester; Erica L. Group; of Chittenango; Kaitlyn E. Hughes, of New Hartford; Kristen R. Nicolais, of Mahopac; Megan E. Sitarek, of Darien Center; Courtney M. Thomas, of Apalachin; Morgan D. Vineall, of Munnsville; and Rebecca C. Williams, of Corning.
Williams had the idea for the mural, titled “What will I be.” She designed it so children could place photos of their faces on characters in the mural. Group and Sitarek did the base drawing and oversaw the painting, assisted by the club members.
Maggie Judge, visiting instructor of interior design, said, “Casey’s Place was started by my friends and neighbors, Bob and Sue Crichton, whose daughter, Casey, was born with brain damage and died years later. Sue has been a guest speaker in our universal design class for the past several years, sharing her personal experience of retrofitting their home for a child with special needs.”
Casey’s Place provides short-term, out-of-home respite services for children with developmental disabilities and medical issues who qualify for services through the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.