It was a bittersweet time for Venture Together this past May as we said goodbye to Venture Center, the Sparkill facility that has housed our day programs for nearly four decades.

Venture Center, our first day program, opened at the site of the old Rosary Academy high school in 1985. Over the years, the space has hosted day habilitation, afterschool, respite, and recreation programming, as well as a swimming pool, sensory room, technology lab, theater and concert performances, and more. It was truly state of the art for its time. 

The space holds so many wonderful memories; there are staff who have worked there for decades who remember a building filled every day with laughter, with song, with the sounds of joyful community. 

“Venture Center was like a second home for so many of us,” said Creative Arts Director Krista Bilodeau, “It’s bittersweet to see it empty when there was once artwork on every wall and the sounds of laughter and fun from every room. We filled it with so much joy for so many years.”

I will remember the hundreds of individuals we served over the years at Venture Center, who have changed me for the better and taught me the simple things in life truly are the best. A smile, a kind word, being seen and heard, and a hug. A place where the good in people came through. A place where I learned to advocate for people that could not do so for themself. A place where we gathered as Venture family. Where our individuals got to shine on stage, singing, dancing and acting. I will remember Venture Center for all the good we did, all the compassion and the many life lessons learned.

We’d like to thank our participants, staff, and the entire Venture Together community for making our years at Venture Center so special. We’re looking forward to countless celebrations and moments of joy and connection for many years to come at the new Valley Cottage site.