Author: Cindy Buckley Koren

Professor of Communications Design at PrattMWP College of Art and Design and founder of the {meetinghouse} creative collaborative.

Eulogy for Sandy Keller Napolitano

July 6, 1965 – April 19, 2016

by Cindy Buckley Koren

I can’t remember a time when Sandy Napolitano was not my BEST friend. It all started when she joined the Bluebird troop that met at my house. Yup, Bluebirds. Seems like just yesterday we were walking to and from Smith Road Elementary School or riding our three speed bikes to Hamilton Swim Club… I remember Sandy’s dad rigged her bike up with curlicue handlebars so it would look “cool” —like real ten-speed. So, I — of course, copied that right away—I copied a lot of things from Sandy.

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I remember how intimidated I was of how cool her older brother and sister were and how much fun we all had riding in the back of Mr. Keller’s pick up truck with the speakers blasting and us girls bouncing around in the back — singing away at the top of our lungs. Music always seemed an important part of our times together. And it was music that got me… I was in my car on Tuesday. I was thinking and praying about Sandy and…. BAM — This song came on…and it got me bawling… You know the one…. It’s from the Breakfast Club.   Don’t Don’t Don’t – Don’t You Forget About Me….

I had to pull over.
And it hit me… The song was a sign. I realized, I wasn’t meant to talk about what Sandy WAS… I need to talk about what she IS – and Sandy Napolitano IS unforgettable. (more…)

2015 Tournament – A Huge Success!

Congratulations to TEAM Power Through IT!!!!

We CRUSHED our fundraising goals thanks to all of our terrific sponsors and all who participated. It was an awesome time with great people. Sara would be happy to know that participants came in from all over the country: Sheryl “Brickie” from Texas. Tom Lottermoser from Chicago. Tom Linkous and Kim Hickox from Delaware. Vince Kretschmer from Michigan. And by the way, that sign that Vinnie made with the Sara Photo Bomb….was PRICELESS.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you…. to everyone for making our first tournament a HUGE success.

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1233366_10201086017005964_249146071_nAugust 1, 2015

Sara Percival Valenti Memorial Fundraiser Golf Tournament

Northern Pines Golf Course, Cicero NY.

 See our Event on Facebook. (more…)

Stories: the inspiration and the invitation.

Power Through It began as a tribute to friendship and has grown into a support network that keeps us connected to our friends, family and community. It is now home of our stories—we hope you enjoy them and share them—but more than anything, we would love to add your Power Through It journey to our collection. (more…)

“That Man is Fat!”

Power Through It Stories:

“That Man is Fat”
Cindy Buckley Koren

I wondered how long it had been since my fourteen month old son had stood up in his crib and cheerfully greeted us with is typical “Hi Dad” or “Hi Mom.” One day he just stopped talking. He wouldn’t even answer to his name anymore or respond in any fatman-01way. I would sneak up behind him when he least expected it and obnoxiously shake a tambourine right next to his ear—he didn’t even flinch. It got to the point where I had to pick him up and move him when I was vacuuming because he was so captivated by dust particles floating in the sunlight through the window.

The hearing tests came back normal. But Clark wasn’t normal. Our pediatrician dismissed me and claimed his big sister did the talking for him. Suddenly everyone was referring to how old Einstein was when he first spoke. I didn’t care about Einstein. I found a checklist of symptoms, and that is when I knew… my son was autistic. (more…)

2015 Golf Tournament Registration

Sara Percival Valenti Memorial Fundraiser Golf Tournament

Northern Pines Golf Course, Cicero NY.

golfballJoin our Event on Facebook.  A list of our sponsors is [here]

Looking forward to  seeing everyone on August 1, 2015. Whether you are participating in the tournament or just joining us for lunch—please use the following .pdf links to register.

And please contact us if you have any difficulty with the forms. Thank you.

Registration Form

Click the above form to register your team for the tournament

Buffet Lunch Only

Register for Luncheon Only.

2015 Efforts Kick Off

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 10.44.36 AMThe Power Through It Committee has commenced effort in support of our Dollars for Scholars Campaign. We were blessed with outstanding results from last year’s outing at Sharkey’s, enabling us to award four scholarships to the CNS Class of 2014. We are changing it up this year with a Memorial Golf Tournament scheduled for August 1st at Northern Pines in Cicero, with proceeds going to four more scholarships for the CNS Class of 2015.

The atmosphere will be easy going and fun-filled. All are welcome to join the Captain and Crew format. Non-golfers are encouraged to join for dinner only. The point is to get together to honor Sara and others from the Class of ’83 that left us too soon. It will be a great opportunity to catch up, support each other and renew friendships. As Sara knew, family and friends sustain us and help us to Power Through life.

Visit our Facebook event page.

What we’re all about.


In 2014 The Sara Percival-Valenti Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in honor of our beautiful friend Sara, and other classmates who left us too soon. Each year members of the Cicero High School Class of ’83, along with friends and family, come together to raise money allowing us to offer scholarship awards to eligible CNS High School students via Dollars-for-Scholars.

Each year the The Sara Percival-Valenti Memorial Scholarship Fund raises money for both students pursuing a degree in Occupational Therapy, like Sara, as well as other fields as they continue their college education. Through our fundraising efforts, we are helping young adults get an education that will enable them to “Power Through” to the next stage of their lives!

Our last fundraising efforts in March, 2014 enabled us to provide four scholarship awards to the C-NS graduation class of 2014, exceeding our ini10001391_10202439398337838_1465807661_ntial goal of two scholarships! This year, we look forward to our upcoming Golf Tournament Fundraiser at Northern Pines in Cicero to be held on August 1st.

Our hope is to continue to raise money in Sara’s name, and with the help of donations from supporters, we will successfully see young adults from our hometown further their education and live life to the fullest, like Sara always did!