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New Freedom Gardens Building Commemorates Gary Kleiber

Freedom Gardens added recreational and residential space for the physically-disabled residents at the Mohegan Lake facility.

Gary Kleiber had been a longtime board member of Freedom Gardens for the Handicapped
Gary Kleiber had been a longtime board member of Freedom Gardens for the Handicapped

by Bob Foley

The new building in the Freedom Gardens for the Handicapped residential complex at 1680 Strawberry Road, Mohegan Lake, has been dedicated to the memory of the late Gary Kleiber of Cortlandt Manor, who served on the organization’s board of directors for many years and spearheaded the construction of the new facility.

 Frank Harris of Somers, the longtime president of Freedom Gardens, in making the announcement, said:  “When it became evident that we had to build a much-needed additional residential and recreational space for our physically-disabled residents, Gary stepped forward as a board member and devoted his entire energy and management expertise for more than seven years in directing this complex project to a successful conclusion.”  He pointed out that Mr. Kleiber worked tirelessly on almost a daily basis with all the parties involved---from the construction company and housing council and funding agencies; to the state, county and local governments; as well as the Freedom Gardens board and residents and outside supporters.

“In his honor and memory, this wonderful modern building is thus named:  The Gary Kleiber Building,”  Mr. Harris noted.  In emphasizing Gary Kleiber’s spirit of sharing and caring, Mr. Harris further stated:  “By example he showed to all of us the most precious gift of caring. And we promise to carry on that gift to continue to make Freedom Gardens that shining example of caring for the physically disabled.”                    

Gary Kleiber passed away suddenly last September at the age of 67, shortly after the new $1.2 million building was completed.  A native of Illinois and graduate of the University of Illinois with Bachelors and Masters degrees, he joined IBM and settled in New York and eventually bought a home in Cortlandt Manor.  Retired from a long career at IBM, he joined the Freedom Gardens board of directors in 1993, and served as secretary and 2nd vice president for the last 10 years. All his service and work for Freedom Gardens, a not-for-profit organization, was as a volunteer.

 Tax-deductible donations to the Gary Kleiber Fund to assist Freedom Gardens can be sent to:

Freedom Gardens for the Handicapped, Inc.

1680 Strawberry Road Mohegan Lake, NY 10547

Founded in 1958, Freedom Gardens is a residential complex of small older home apartments set on five acres at the corner of Strawberry Road and Foothill Street in the Mohegan Lake section of Yorktown.  It is a pleasant place called home to 15 mobility-impaired adults who wish to live independent and productive lives in reasonably-priced housing in a residential setting. The new 3,300-square-foot, one-story building has three separate fully handicapped-accessible affordable one-bedroom apartments with modern living facilities for the three new residents.  It also has a large community/recreational room for all the tenants of the complex, as well as an outdoor patio and garden.


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