Zack's Place
February 2014 Newsletter
More cool Pictures from January
Fred makes a Valentine
Karissa and Fred are such great Buddies
Nothing like swimming at the Aquatic Center
The Zack's Place Potters at Purple Crayon
Brooke poses with a Moose at Montshire
Kitty plays Uno with Fred the card shark and friends
Two pretty girls in the pool
Patrick and Sam ski with VASS Volunteer Mike
Boys love pottery
Ed tells Jessica a good joke

Capital Campaign Update
To purchase the building that we currently Occupy!

We are at $425,000 of the $442,000 that we need to raise to purchase the building. Only $17,000 more to raise. Help us close the gap!

Click Here to read more about this awesome capital campaigjn and donate online 

Special Olympics on March 7, 8th and 9th at Suicide 6
Mark your calendars!
The Zack's Place Team will be competing in Snow Shoe and Skiing!

2014 Dine Around Catalog will be released in February!
There will be 8 amazing events starting in May of 2014!

Happy Valentines Day!
January went by so quick! We are so excited about everything including all our wonderful programs, our Capital Campaign, the upcoming Special Olympics and all of our fun programs. Be sure to read our newsletter to catch up on all the fun.
The 2014 Zack's Place Special Olympic Snowshoe Team
January in Review
 In January:

Mornings: We did rug hooking with Sarah, greeting cards with Shauna, delivered Pentangle Posters with Martha, went to the Library with Kitty, we also did lots of different crafts.

In the middle of the day we did pottery at Purple Crayon, went skiing at Suicide 6, went and saw movies at Billings Farm, cooked for a cast party, swam at the Aquatic Center, went to the Movies in Lebanon, went to Montshire Musuem, we did band with Mark Van Gulden, we danced, felt positive and de-stressed with Angel, and we made a music video with Sarah.

In the afternoons we hosted a cast party and viewed our play "Missing Mona", we sang with Kerry, did yoga with Anne and Tita, knitted and did art with Fiona, practiced snowshoeing for the Olympics and worked out with Bari.

Late in the day we read books with Tj, Tom Wright, Anthea LaVallee, Sylvie Finer, and Ron Jaynes. 

For those of you that missed the play "Missing Mona" you can  Click here to view "The Case of The Missing Mona" online

Michelle at Suicide 6 we ski each week free thanks to the generosity of Suicide 6 and Ottauquechee Health Foundation!

Michael works with the funky Sand
John and Jessica hit the slopes
Oliver and Jessa cheer the snowshoe team on!
Ed, Ted and James thinking scientific at Montshire Musuem!

February Calendar  


click here to view a printable calendar






~ February 2014 ~






Note: Please be sure to check for bold type, which indicates a field trip.

Bus trips are underlined, walking trips are not.




When we are on a field trip, programs are only at the place of the field trip so Zack's Place is otherwise closed.


11:00 Making Hearts w/ Lolli

           for our tree


1:00 Pottery w/ Fiona


3:15 Singing with Kerry



11:00 Skiing at Suicide 6 -

         return 2:15


3:15 Yoga w/ Tita


4:15 Kate Jackson visiting

         w/ her trick Dog Elsa!


10:00 Deliver Pentangle



1:00 Film at Billings Farm

"Brooklyn Castle"



3:15 Fitness w/ Bari



11:00 Journaling w/ Caryn


1:00 Good Energy w/



3:00 Art w/ Fiona



Visit Norman Williams 
           Library w/ Kitty



12:00 Swimming w/ Comm


3:15   Snowshoe practice


11:00 Greeting Card work
           w/ Kitty


1:00 Pottery w/ Fiona


2:30 Showing Rueben's


3:00 Meeting w/ Jim
         Sadwith to write our
         next play


11:00 Skiing at Suicide 6 -

         return 2:15


3:15   Yoga


4:15   Reading w/ Tom



10:00   Deliver Pentangle



11:30 Singing w/ Jim and

1:00   Band w/ Mark Van

3:15 Fitness w/ Bari


11:00 Crafts w/ Sarah


1:00 Sigh & Let it Out

       with Angel


3:00 Art w/ Fiona


4:15 Reading w/ Ron



Visit Norman Williams 
           Library w/ Kitty



12:45 Zumba with

           Barbara Meyer

           & Comm Classroom


3:15   Snowshoe practice


11:00 Get ready for the



12:00 Surprise Celebration

           for-------? Come see

           who it is!


1:00  Pottery w/ Fiona

3:15  Singing w/ Kerry


10:00 Clean up w/ Martha

11:00 Crafts



1:00 Basketball at WES w/

Carl Hurd



3:15 Yoga w/ Annie


4:15 Reading w/ Anthea


10:00   Deliver Pentangle



1:00   Possibly a sign
           language class


3:15     Fitness w/ Bari


11:00 Crafts w/ Sarah


12:30+/- Movie in Leb




4:15 Reading w/ Ron



Visit Norman Williams 
           Library w/ Kitty



12:45 Zumba with

           Barbara Meyer


2:30 Snowshoe at the



11:00 Greeting Card work
           w/ Kitty


1:00   Pottery w/ Fiona

3:15   Singing w/ Kerry


11:00 Skiing at Suicide 6 -

        return 2:15


3:15   Yoga w/ Annie


4:15   Reading w/ Phil



10:00   Deliver Pentangle



1:00   Band w/ Mark Van

3:15 Fitness w/ Bari


11:00 Making a banner w/
         Lolli for the Special



12:45 Visit Senior Center &

           listen to music w/

The Peapickers -
return by 2:00   


3:00 Art w/ Fiona

4:15 Reading w/ Ron



Visit Norman Williams 
           Library w/ Kitty



12:00 Swimming w/ Comm



3:15   Snowshoe practice





       Meet the Awesome Board of Directors at Zack's Place
 Front Row: Sylvie Finer, Dail Frates (Executive Director), Christine Blaiklock, Lisa Burrell, Katie Merrill (Secretary), Susan Copeland Fundraising Chairman,
Back Row: Bettyanne McGuire(Vice President), Norm Frates (President), Jim Godfrey (Treasurer), Dennis Shillen, Nerissa Edwards (Volunteer Coordinator), and Ron Jaynes

Zack's Place Board of Directors


ZP is fortunate to have the experience and creativity of its volunteer board of directors. Including entrepreneurs, special educators, and sports champions, board composition reflects ZP's vitality as well as its viability, and our directors contribute to the business acumen, volunteer ethic, and spirit of adventure upon which ZP is based.


Board President

Norm Frates, Jr.


Norm is the Vice President of mortgage lending for Mascoma Savings Bank in Woodstock Vt. As the founder of Zack's Place  and the father of Zack who had Cerebral Palsy he was inspired to develop a great place for special needs people of all ages. He wanted them to come and experience a welcoming, educational, active community center in downtown Woodstock. Norm also serves his community through participation in the Woodstock Rotary Club, Vermont Special Olympics , past president of the Woodstock Ski Runners and been involved in various nonprofit boards throughout the Woodstock area.




Bettyanne McGuire

Vice President


Bettyanne is a relative newcomer to Woodstock . She is a retired New Jersey attorney who specialized in special needs estate planning, guardianships, and advocacy for adults and children with disabilities. She has served as chair of the board of a large New Jersey mental health services provider with a $28,000,000 budget as well on her local New Jersey School Board where she chaired the finance and collective bargainning committees. Bettyanne's past experience and knowledge of the issues confronting the families of persons with special needs allows her to bring compassion and insights to the special population served by Zack's Place.




Jim Godfrey



Jim is a Partner with the accounting firm Tyler, Simms, & St. Sauveur, in Lebanon, NH. Jim's specialization in the firm is working with not-for-profit organizations for which he has a solid understanding of their needs, and the myriad of issues that they face.  After graduating from Woodstock Union High School in 1984, Jim attended the University of Vermont.  Jim was raised in Killington along with an older brother with special needs.  His professional and personal experiences allow him to contribute meaningful input to the Board and help ZP achieve its mission.  Jim is also a member of the Rotary Club of Woodstock.  He currently resides in Killington with his wife Eileen and son Lucas, a freshman at Woodstock Union High School.



Katie Merrill



Katie began her career in the hospitality business, coordinating special events and fundraisers for ten years; and in 1999 was considered one of the top 100 women in business in Phoenix, Arizona. After having her son Jacob, she began working with a non-profit and assisted in creating a day program for undocumented workers which focused on solving problems associated with illegal immigration. Currently Katie works at Vermont Law School.




Christine Blaiklock


Christine is the Director of Student Services for the Rutland Central Supervisory Union. Prior to this position she was a special education teacher at the Woodstock Elementary School for eleven years. From her work at the elementary school she has a connection to many of the families and participants at Zack's Place. She moved to Woodstock Vermont from Connecticut in 2000 with her daughter Ashley.





Dennis Shillen


Dennis is a senior partner at the Woodstock law offices of Shillen and Mackall, P.C. As a personal injury defense attorney, Dennis advocates for victims' rights. Dennis is also a long-time member of the Woodstock Rotary Club and an active supporter of several area cultural institutions including Pentangle Council on the Arts and Billings Farm and Museum.


Nerissa Edwards


Having skied in Vermont during her childhood, Nerissa finally moved to Waterbury in 1989 and then South Woodstock in . She has worked as a Counselor at Montpelier High School, Crossett Brook Middle School, Thatcher Brook Primary School, Reading Elementary School and Albert Bridge School. She is currently a counselor at Woodstock Union High School.  She has a strong belief in community service and has subsequently worked with students on all ages on many different service projects. A memorable project was helping dig mud out of the Bethany church with 20 high school students after the Flood of '92. It never occurred to her that she would have a similar experience here in Woodstock after Irene. Nerissa is a Make A Wish of Vermont Wish Grantor. She is also on the Board of Shir Shalom. Her partner Jim and her children Austin and Sawyer have all volunteered at Zack's Place


Ron Jaynes


Ron Jaynes recently retired as President from Jaynes and Berge Inc. He has lived in Woodstock since 1971. He received his BA in Business Administration from the University of Georgia. He has served on many local boards including:

Woodstock Elementary

Woodstock Union High School

Woodstock Foundation Advisory Board

Vermont National Bank Advisory Board

Unitarian Universalist Church

Mertens House

Currently serving on the following Boards:

Lawrence and Mary Rockefeller Woodstock Foundation Fund

Woodstock Associates

Wise Development Committee

Zack's Place

He was recipient of the Woodstock Recreation Center Volunteer of the year award 1991

Chairman of the Woodstock School Fund

Interests Volunteer Work, Improving his Spanish, Travel and Sports


Susan Copeland


Susan and her family moved to Vermont five years ago and she loves the area that they now call home. She lived in Gloucester Ma for 25 years, where she served on the Board of Directors of the Schooner Adventure, and was actively involved in the civic affairs of the community. Presently she is the President of Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society and a member of the Zack's Place fund raising committee. She spends her free time with five Alpacas, three dogs, two college-aged children and her husband, Bill, on their farm in Quechee.



Lisa Burrell


Lisa Burrell is an Account Executive at Woodstock Insurance Inc., a company servicing commercial and personal lines of insurance. The daughter of a local farming family, Lisa's roots lie deep in Woodstock.   She continues to live in the Woodstock Area with her husband Todd, and daughter Jessica, who has Cerebral Palsy. Jessica came to Zack's Place the very first day it opened in 2006, and has been there almost every day since enjoying her friends and the activities they share. From its early days, Lisa became involved in helping out at Zack's Place, pitching in with bake sales and organizing parent and caretaker activities. She eventually organized a ZP Parents Group to help with coordinating family events and field trips. Lisa is a dedicated mother and she and Jessica enjoy time together, baking, "sugaring", and creating goods to sell at local farmers markets. As an avid member of the Prosper Home-Makers Club, she meets monthly to share her homemaking skills with friends and help with a local fundraiser "The Chicken Pie Supper". She recently became one of the local artisans who sell crafts and homemade foodstuffs at the newly opened Home Grown Market in Woodstock next to the Pizza Chef restaurant.


Sylvie Lavoie-Finer


Has had the good fortunate of becoming a Woodstock resident just last year! I have 2 awesome children (of course I think so), Brielle who is also a volunteer at ZP is a senior at WUHS. Dustin, who attended WUHS, is a now senior at McGill in Montreal. I own & operate Finer Vermont Tours, a wholesale tour company, planning & organizing group tours since 1984, serving primarily the mature market; to Vermont, NH, Maine, Quebec City, Montreal, & Ottawa. I greatly enjoy the outdoors with back country / cross country skiing, hiking, kayaking; and also doing yoga on a regular basis.


I've had special needs people in my life growing up and perhaps this has drawn me to ZP. My best friend Joyce in Elementary School had cerebral palsy. We so enjoyed each other's company. I have fond memories of sleepovers at her house and just being giddy girls. Then when I was 16, I lived with a family and shared a room with their 2 year old son Bobby, who has Down syndrome. He is now almost 40 and has been surrounded by so much love in a family with 8 children. I often think, if they lived nearby, he too would enjoy ZP.


I am looking forward to volunteering and meeting new people at ZP. I feel honored and blessed to be part of this amazing, loving place with such special folks; both participants & staff!





Thank you for reading our newsletter and supporting Zack's Place. We are excited about our permanent home and all the wonderful upcoming programs in 2014. We will keep you posted as new programs are introduced. 


Dail Frates
Zack's Place