UTICA - A local home for the terminally ill is celebrating 20 years of providing end-of-life care to the community.
Abraham House hosted an event Thursday night aimed at inspiring others to live life to the fullest, featuring a speech from Utica native and motivational speaker Yvonne Conte. On her website, Conte describes herself as a motivational speaker, comedian, author and corporate culture expert.
The theme for the event was ‘The Power of Positive Humor.’ The executive director of the Abraham House said she hoped Conte’s speech would invigorate her caregivers and volunteers.
"What we do is such a heavy topic, difficult topic, and I’m always looking for ways to help provide some self-care for our caregivers and for our volunteers,” Gina Ciaccia said. “So they can stay positive and stay focused, fresh and continue doing what we do.”
Conte said she has visited nearly every state in the nation since she started her motivational speaking career more than 20 years ago. She said she is inspired by the people she meets. In one instance, she said she met a corporate executive who told her that because of her speech, he had his first real conversation with his son.
"That to me makes it worth what I do, because I can change somebody’s life,” Conte said. “This guy was probably so busy being the executive he was neglecting his own son and for him to call me and tell me that and say, 'Thank you for the first real conversation with his son.' -- I mean I think of that every day."