Volunteer Opportunities

Looking for a rewarding volunteer opportunity? Join a Wildwood Programs or Foundation Committee! Gifts of time and talent make an enormous impact and joining a committee is a great way to use your expertise to benefit a deserving organization while learning more about the mission of Wildwood. 


2019 Flower and Garden Show!

The Capital District Garden & Flower Show is a spring time tradition that started over 30 years ago by Wildwood Programs. In 1987 a group of dedicated staff and volunteers created a community based fundraising event that provided opportunities for the individuals we support to participate in while raising important funds. During the modest beginning, there were just five landscape exhibits, a handful of vendors and several generous sponsors. Though small at first with just 4,500 visitors, it was the start of something very important for Wildwood and this region. A portion of each ticket sold at the show benefits Wildwood. Hope to see you there! 

Interested in volunteering at the Flower and Garden Show? Follow the link below or call Pennie Gonzalez at 518.631.2288

To Sign Up for Volunteer Opportunities Click Here!



Committee Opportunities:

Development- Provides input and guidance with respect to the development and implementation of fundraising initiatives, business plans, and public relations intended to promote the mission.

Events- Assists in the overall planning, implementation and promotion of Wildwood Foundation Events.

Facilities- Provides general oversight and direction as to the conditions and development of Wildwood’s facilities and grounds.

Finance- Assist the Board in overseeing all matters relating to the financial condition of Wildwood and making recommendations concerning the financial feasibility of projects, acts and undertakings referred to it by the Board.

Government Advocacy- Articulates and advocates for the needs of individuals with neurological impairments and related learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders and autism, and their families, with government leaders and the legislature.

Human Resources- Provides support and advice to Wildwood’s management and Board of Directors regarding the welfare and benefit of the Corporation’s employees.

Investment- Provides direction to the investment of the Foundation’s assets.

Planned Giving- Assist in developing, implementing and maintaining a planned giving program through the Corporation, in order to strengthen the financial security of Wildwood Programs

For more information on any of the above opportunities, please contact Lauren Roecker, Director of Wildwood Foundation at 518-836- 2319 or lroecker@wildwoodprograms.org


Group Volunteer Opportunities:

Does your business or organization have annual volunteer days? This is a fun and meaningful way to engage your employees and give back to the community. Group projects are based on availability and limited to 20 people maximum.

To Inquire About Group Volunteer Opportunities Please Contact:

Amy Leisenfelder




Teach Adult Ed:

Do you love helping others grow in their education? Have a skill you would be interested in teaching others? Or looking for a potential internship in education? Then Wildwood’s Adult Ed Program maybe the perfect fit for you. This program offers numerous courses ranging from GED classes to cooking classes and everything in between. If you see a class you think you may be interested in teaching or if you have a skill you think would be great if shared with others, please contact us today!

For more information please contact:

Melinda Burns


518-640- 3352

Giving Opportunities

Your contribution to Wildwood goes straight to work benefitting the over 3,500 individuals and families we support. Wildwood offers a variety of programs that enable the people we support to learn, work, play, live, and dream in ever more meaningful and unique ways in the next 50 years.

Annual Giving: 

Your generous contributions allow Wildwood to sustain and grow our comprehensive services for people living with development disabilities. These unrestricted funds give Wildwood the flexibility to undertake critical new initiatives while also ensuring our current programs get the extra financial support they may need.

Honorary Gifts:

These gifts can celebrate a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion, honor an individual’s accomplishments or memorialize a loved one. We will also inform the honoree or in the case of a memorial gift, we will inform the family of your generous contribution on their loved one’s behalf.


Ways to Give

Give Online: The fastest and easiest way to support Wildwood is by making a gift online. Click button below or the donate button on the top of this page. 

Give through payroll deduction: Participate in your employer’s United Way or SEFA campaign and select Wildwood Programs as your charity of choice. Our SEFA #50-00412
Mail a check:  Please send your generous contribution to:
Wildwood Foundation
2995C Curry Rd Ext
Schenectady, NY 12303

Reach out to us!: We are happy to answer any questions or help you with making a gift. 
Jennifer Lawrence
Annual Fund and Events Manager

Stock Gifts:

We welcome gifts of appreciated securities and mutual funds. This giving strategy has many obvious benefits, no doubt the most important is the satisfaction of knowing that your conrtibution will have a direct impact on the individuals Wildwood supports. 

You or your broker can contact Matt Jones at 518-836-2317 or mjones@wildwoodprograms.org to obtain the instructions for your specific stock or mutual fund gift.

Planned Giving: Wildwood seeks to insure that individuals and families living with the challenges of developmental disabilities have quality resources and programming for future generations.  You can leave a legacy that helps us continue our mission with one or more of the following giving options that offer tax savings and other financial benefits.
  • Make a gift to Wildwood Foundation through your will or living trust
  • Naming Wildwood Foundation as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, retirement plan, or bank account
  • Giving securities that have increased in value to Wildwood Foundation

For more information on any of the above Planned Giving opportunities, please contact Lauren Roecker, Director of Wildwood Foundation at 518-836- 2319 or lroecker@wildwoodprograms.org

Are you and Wildwood a perfect match? 
Your employer (or your spouse’s employer) may share your spirit for philanthropy. With just a simple phone call or email to your Human Resources office, your donation to Wildwood could be doubled through a matching gift. 
Please forward your matching gift form to:
Widwood Foundation
Development Information Manager
Wildwood Foundation
2995 C Curry Road Ext.
Schenectady, NY 12303
(p) 518-836-2317
(f) 518-836-2301

Wildwood Foundation Board of Directors

Dush Pathmanandam, Foundation Board President,
The AYCO Company
Dush became Vice President of Ayco Private Wealth Management in 2010.  In his current role, Dush is Head of Ayco  Institutional Client Solutions, and is responsible for the firm meeting the needs of its institutional clients.  Prior to his involvement with Ayco ICS, Dush founded the Ayco Investment Professional Group in 2003 and was the Director until January 2016. In addition, Dush is part of Ayco Private Wealth Management ‘s senior management team. 
Before joining The Ayco Company, L.P. in 2001, Dush was Chief Equity Strategist / Portfolio Manager with Butterfield Asset Management, Bermuda responsible for Global Equities in Managed Portfolios and Funds for Institutional Clients.  Prior to joining Butterfield Asset Management in 1995, he was the Investment Manager of the European subsidiary in London of Forester Life, Toronto, Canada managing UK and European Equities and Fixed-Income Funds.  He holds a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Actuarial Science from City University, London, UK (‘90) and is an Associate of the UK Society of Investment Professionals and CFA Institute.
Lisa Clifford, Foundation Board Vice President
Key Private Bank
As a Wealth Advisor with Key Private Bank, Lisa brings clients a deeper understanding of how the economic environment affects their wealth-building and preservation goals. She delivers strategies to address the complex wealth management needs of her clients. Lisa holds a B.S. in Management with a concentration in Finance from St. John Fisher College. She as served in roles of President, Vice President and Secretary since joining the Wildwood Foundation Board in 2002. She currently serves on the Nominating Committee, chairs the Development Committee and co-chairs the Planned Giving Committee.  Lisa resides in Guilderland with her husband, Tim and two sons, Christian and John.
Elizabeth Perella, Foundation Board Secretary
Premiere Transportation
Elizabeth has a bachelor’s in marketing from Central CT State University. Currently, she handles the marketing and sales with Premiere. With more than 15 years of sales expertise she enjoys building relationships with clients and keeping Premiere front of mind. In addition, she enjoys giving back to the community and has worked closely with numerous non-profit organizations in the Capital District & Saratoga. Outside of work she is busy enjoying and raising a family of five children.
Betsy Dumas, Treasurer
Elizabeth Dumas joined the Wildwood Foundation Board in 2014 and currently serves as Foundation Treasurer and member of the Finance Committee. Since 2010, Elizabeth has served as Principal Court Attorney for the Hon. Barry D. Kramer, Justice of the Supreme Court in Schenectady County. Prior to joining the Court system, Elizabeth was an attorney and partner for 30 years in the law firm of Ainsworth, Sullivan. Elizabeth has served on a number of Not For Profit Boards over the years and is active in the management and governance of the Cathedral of All Saints in Albany. She lives in Colonie with her husband, Charles, and is the mother of three adult sons and a recent grandmother to the beautiful Emilia Anne.
Kira Pogge, Marketing Communications Specialist Autotask
Kira is a passionate digital and content strategist, who enjoys helping organizations, for-profit and nonprofit alike, bring their stories to life and achieve their mission. In the Fall of 2008, Kira began an internship with Wildwood Programs assisting with Communications efforts and has been a Wildwood supporter ever since. In 2012, she became a member of the Foundation Board and is dedicated to helping Wildwood achieve their mission. She is honored to work with the consumers, their families, and the wonderful staff that make up the Wildwood family. 
Greg Mengel, Thrivent Financial
Greg Mengel, a Wealth Advisor for Thrivent Financial, brings expertise to the Foundation Board in areas of financial planning, investments, and insurance. As a member of the Finance Committee, Greg helps to ensure the Board is completing its duty of care. Greg has received his CLU and ChFC designations and received his MBA from Butler University. Greg and his wife Dawn, a member of Wildwood Programs’ Board of Directors have two children and live in Schenectady.
Ken Jubie, SEFCU
Ken Jubie is the Director of Internal Communications at SEFCU. He is responsible for leading employee communications, multimedia content creation, and video production efforts for SEFCU, one of the 50 largest credit unions in the United States. Before joining the SEFCU team, Ken served as Manager of Media Services at his alma mater, Siena College. He also taught in Siena’s broadcast journalism program. Prior to working at Siena, Ken was a television news reporter and anchor at what is now Spectrum News in Albany. He also worked behind the scenes in television news and as a radio host and disc jockey. Ken is a proud graduate of Siena College and holds a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Ken lives in Colonie with his wife Laura and two young sons.
Lee French, Golub Corporation
Lee holds a BS degree in Business Administration/Marketing. Lee has spent the last 42 years with Price Chopper/Market 32. For the past 17 months Lee has been the Vice President of Deli/Food Service/Specialty Cheese Merchandising. The 17 years prior to that Lee was the Vice President of Seafood Merchandising. Lee leads a team responsible for developing all merchandising and sales programs while managing in excess of $2.5 million in daily inventory. Lee and his wife Eileen have raised 4 sons – Brendan 30, Cory 29, Brett 26 and Collin 22. Lee and Eileen live in Rotterdam. Lee loves his involvement with Wildwood and in his spare time is a College and High School Women’s Basketball Referee.
Vicky Hiffa, NYS Office of Children and Family Services
Vicky is the mother of three children, one of whom receive services from Wildwood. She currently works as a Bureau  Director  for the New York State Office  of Children and Family Service.  Vicky has been a long time advocate for individuals with disabilities and has served on the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, the Early Intervention Coordinating Council and was a board member for Best Buddies.  She currently serves on the Governor's Early Childhood Advisory Council. She resides with her husband Fred and three children in Loudonville.
Kevin Kelly, Vice President Investments, Janney Montgomery Scott

Kevin has worked in the Investment Industry since 1984.  Currently as a Vice President/Investments with Janney Montgomery Scott Kevin helps clients build, preserve and distribute wealth by means of customized Investment and Financial plans. A supporter of Wildwood for over 20 years, Kevin has served as a member of the Board of Directors for Wildwood Foundation since 2001, and as President of the board from 2006-2010.  Additionally,Kevin serves on a number of committees, including Chair of the Investment Committee. Kevin resides in East Greenbush with his wife Kellie and two sons, Ryan and Sean.    

Frank Schmeler
Frank is returning to Wildwood’s Foundation Board after a one year break in service, having served on the Board for nine years.  He is a graduate of Clarkson University and a member of their Board of Trustees. Frank is the retired Chairman and CEO of Albany International Corporation.  Along with his wife, Frank co-chaired Wildwood’s Capital Campaign. He is also a member of Wildwood’s Community Advisory Group and Investment Committee.  In his spare time, Frank is a volunteer driver of blood products for the American Red Cross.  He and his wife, Wilma, reside in Nassau.  They are proud parents of three children and six grandchildren.
Peter Loyola

Peter has over 30 years of design, construction and environmental permitting experience as a Landscape Architect and Planning Consultant. As the Founder of CLA SITE in Saratoga Springs, he provides innovative leadership and offers creative technical solutions to public and private developers, universities, housing authorities, municipalities, and industrial corporations. Peter holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York.  

Bonnie Daggett
Bonnie (Buckley) Daggett is a native of Schenectady. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at SUNY Albany and her Master’s degree in Technical Communication at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Earlier in her career, Bonnie worked for the New York Association for the Learning Disabled, and then managed the Program Implementation Center under the State Education Department through a CUNY grant. In 1991, Bonnie with her husband Bill, co-founded and managed the International Center for Leadership in Education, and a few years later Daggett Development, LLC, and the non-profit Successful Practices Network. Bonnie has been an active volunteer in the Capital Region for many years, supporting such organizations as Proctors, the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra, Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital, and the Albany-Tula Alliance to name a few. However, Bonnie’s true passion has been working to benefit Wildwood Programs, where she has been actively involved since 1977 when her daughter Audrey first started receiving services from Wildwood School. She served on Wildwood’s 2007 Capital Campaign, Every Day: The Campaign for Wildwood, and has been serving on its Foundation Board for 17 years. Bonnie was honored by the New York State Senate as one of its 2011 Women of Distinction for her work enriching the quality of life in her community. Bonnie lives in Niskayuna with her husband Bill. They have five children and 11 grandchildren.
Jeff Trudeau

Jeff Trudeau grew up in the Capital District and attended Guilderland High School, before graduating from SUNY Oneonta with a B.S. in Business Economics. Jeff currently resides in Latham, NY with his wife Kate, and kids Raelyn, 8, and Dylan, 6. Jeff has been in banking for 15+ years, currently as a Vice President and Business Development Officer for Saratoga National Bank & Trust Co., in Colonie, NY. In his free time, Jeff enjoys golfing, going to the Saratoga Race Track, spending time with family & friends, and is involved with his kids little league and softball teams. Jeff’s involved in the community with Wildwood Schools, The United Way of the Greater Capital District, and the area Chamber of Commerce.  

Pennie Gonzalez
Pennie’s career began at Ed Lewi Associates, managing shows, promotions and spearheading media buying. After serving as marketing director for the Wilton Mall in the mid-to late-1990s, Pennie began a 15-year career in radio sales working for two of the leading broadcast media companies in Albany’s Capital Region. Pennie served as sales manager of non-traditional revenue for Clear Channel radio before continuing her career in radio sales for Albany Broadcasting as senior account manager. In 2012, Pennie acquired the Capital District Garden and Flower Show where she plays dual roles as both owner and event manager. The show is an annual harbinger of spring in the Capital Region where Pennie can combine her love for gardening with her passion for marketing and event management.
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