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Washingtonville Boy Scout Matthew Adreance earns Eagle rank

WASHINGTONVILLE (May 19) - Matthew Adreance, a senior at Washingtonville High School and a Scout in Washingtonville Boy Scout Troop 16, achieved Boy Scouts' highest rank, advancing to Eagle in a court of honor held at St. Mary's Church.

To attain the prestigious Eagle award, Matt met the rank's rigorous requirements, earned the necessary merit badges, and planned, fundraised for, and completed a service project in his community with the assistance of a volunteer crew.

Adreance, center standing, with some of his Scout volunteers in front of the garden at Hudson Valley SPCA

Matt's Eagle project benefited Hudson Valley SPCA in New Windsor which needed repair to its landscaping and gardens following a fire last year. Matt and his team of volunteers, cleared the damaged gardens, refreshed them with new mulch and plants, and added two handmade planter boxes.

"My own dog is a rescue, so when I heard of the damage to the animal shelter, I knew I wanted to use my Eagle project to help. We had a great team who worked hard on a blistering hot day," said Matt. "Achieving Eagle would not have been possible without the support of my troop, my family, and my community. I benefitted from this project as well - learning so many important life skills along the way," Matt added.

"On behalf of everyone in Troop 16, I am delighted to congratulate Matt on his Eagle," said Troop 16 Scoutmaster Scott Santarpia.  "The journey to Eagle is not an easy one, along the way the scout learns, grows, succeeds, and matures. It is my privilege as a Scout leader to be a part of that journey and celebrate each Scout's accomplishments with him. Matt has a bright future, filled with much success ahead of him."

This fall Matt will attend Western New England University in Springfield, MA where he will major in Forensic Biology and minor in Chemistry. Ranked seventh in his class, he is a member of the National Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars. In addition to his studies and Boy Scouts, Matt works at Betty's Country Kitchen in Washingtonville.


Orange County Parks Department opens Winding Hills Campground for the season

GOSHEN (May 19) – Winding Hills Campground is open for the season.  The park is located just off Route 17K on the Town of Montgomery and Town of Crawford borders.

“Winding Hills is a beautiful Campground with so many different activities to offer Orange County residents,” said Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus. “It’s scenic and relaxing, which makes for the perfect getaway. I’m sure it will be another great season at Winding Hills this summer.”

Winding Hills features 51 camp sites for varying levels of camping, from basic tent camping, to RV sites.  There are a number of locations with electric access and all sites are located close to restroom and play area facilities. Campers can also take advantage of the trail system located throughout the 518-acre park, as well as boat rentals that are available weekends on Diamond Lake.

“I invite our residents to take “stay-cation” in their County parks throughout the year,” Parks Commissioner Richard Rose said. “Winding Hills Campground provides a local opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.”

For more information, visit:


(contributed photo)

RECAP benefits from letter carrier food drive

MIDDLETOWN (May 12) – This past week was the nation-wide Letter Carriers Food Drive and RECAP is grateful for the community’s donations! On Saturday, May 9th, RECAP staff and volunteers unloaded 3 large vans full of food which will benefit our Nutrition Program’s pantry.

“This year’s drive will help to feed so many children and families in need,” said Francine Tavares, RECAP’s Human Services Coordinator. “This could not be possible without the help of our postal workers and volunteers. For this, RECAP is extremely grateful. It truly does take a village."

During this event, held annually on the second Saturday in May, residents are encouraged to leave donations of non-perishable food by their mailboxes for letter carriers to collect along their daily route. The donations are forwarded to local food banks, shelters and pantries. 

The drive, in its 23rd year, is run by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) which represents city delivery letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service. It’s the nation’s largest single-day food drive and is held annually on the second Saturday in May.


Orange County Parks Department opens Winding Hills Campground for 2015 season

GOSHEN (May 19) – Winding Hills Campground is open for the season.  The park is located just off Route 17K on the Town of Montgomery and Town of Crawford borders.

“Winding Hills is a beautiful Campground with so many different activities to offer Orange County residents,” said County Executive Steven Neuhaus. “It’s scenic and relaxing, which makes for the perfect getaway. I’m sure it will be another great season at Winding Hills this summer.”

Winding Hills features 51 camp sites for varying levels of camping, from basic tent camping, to RV sites.  There are a number of locations with electric access and all sites are located close to restroom and play area facilities. Campers can also take advantage of the trail system located throughout the 518-acre park, as well as boat rentals that are available weekends on Diamond Lake.

“I invite our residents to take “stay-cation” in their County parks throughout the year,” Parks Commissioner Richard Rose said. “Winding Hills Campground provides a local opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.”

For more information, please contact the park directly at 845.457.4918.  E-mail inquiries can be sent to


Funding and assistance available to Dutchess senior citizens for home repairs

POUGHKEEPSIE (May 12) – Applications are being accepted for Dutchess County’s Senior Citizen Property Rehabilitation Program, which provides funding and project assistance to senior citizens to complete minor to moderate rehabilitation on their homes. 

“The cost and logistics of large project repairs can be overwhelming for some senior citizens.  This program helps ensure seniors can remain safely in their home by providing the help they may need to get those important repairs taken care of,” said County Executive Molinaro.

The program provides zero percent loans and deferred payment loans up to $20,000 to income eligible senior citizens in order to make repairs to "major systems" such as: roofs, furnaces, decks/porches, structural problems, handicapped accessibility, electrical, and plumbing.    Eligible applicants receive assistance with determining the scope of the necessary repairs, bidding out the project, selecting a contractor and ensuring all the work is done as specified to meet applicable building codes.

Eligible applicants must be 62 years of age or older at the time of application and their total household income must be below the following maximums:

                                                Family Size          Income Limits   

                                                1                                 $46,100                                             

                                                2                                 $52,650

                                                3                                 $59,250

                                                4                                 $65,800                             


Eligible properties include single-family detached properties.  The federal funding source for this program limits assistance to “modest” homes.  In Dutchess County, a home must be valued at or below $238,000 for 2015 to be eligible for the program.   Mobile homes, condominiums and townhouses are not eligible for the program. 

For complete eligibility guidelines, contact the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development, 27 High Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 at (845) 486-3600 or access the application on the County’s website at:


Midnight was rescued hours before
being euthanized

Pets Alive joins fundraising campaign for a chance to win $50,000

TOWN OF WALLKILL (May 12) - Pets Alive takes animal rescue seriously.  So seriously that they’re asking their supporters to do their part in rescuing animals by helping them win the Saving Pets Challenge, a fundraising campaign launched on May 4 by Michelson Found Animals. This foundation will donate over $115,000 to organizations benefiting animal welfare organizations dedicated to decreasing shelter pet euthanasia, with $50,000 as the grand prize donation to the organization that raises the most money during the 5-week Challenge that concludes on June 5.

Pets Alive goes to great lengths to help animals at risk of euthanasia. Take Midnight. He was rescued from Animal Care and Control in New York City, where he was on the “kill list” because he had a cold. Pets Alive saved him just before he was to be euthanized.  There are many Midnights that Pets Alive aims to help that end up in similar situations – but it all takes money.

Pets Alive is a no kill animal sanctuary with locations IN New York near Middletown and Elmsford. In 2014, they saved 1,405 cats, dogs and farm animals from life-threatening circumstances, and they found forever homes for 1,472 animals. It was through private donations from generous people and organizations that they were able to achieve this accomplishment. 

“We are constantly fundraising to make ends meet so we can continue our work of rescuing animals that often have no other hope for life,” said Mary Ann Bopp, Development Director at Pets Alive. “Raising enough money in this campaign to win one of the top prizes would have a huge impact on our ability to save even more animals from harm’s way.”

Anyone can make a donation or join Pets Alive’s fundraising team. Visit their Challenge website at  All donations must be made by 2:00 p.m. ET on June 5 when the Challenge concludes.

Pets Alive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity operating solely on individual donations, receiving no funding from city or state. For information, visit


Leadership Orange announces Leadership Award recipient

NEW WINDSOR (May 4) - Leadership Orange recently announced that Ronald Israelski, M.D. is the recipient of the 2015 Leadership Award.   This award is given annual to an individual in Orange County and, who, through their ideas, actions and accomplishments, has had a direct and positive impact on the quality of life in the county.

Dr. Israelski is currently Director of Academic Affairs at Orange Regional Medical Center where he has developed multiple programs in undergraduate and graduate medical education.  In the development of the undergraduate medical education program at ORMC, Dr. Israelski oversees all of the required seven third-year core clerkships and fourth-year required courses for TouroCOM medical students.  Overseeing all aspect of TouroCOM’s third-and fourth-year clinical rotations, he also has worked to develop multiple graduate medical education programs.  Having worked to help start a family practice residency program, multiple other residency programs are being planned within a year in the areas of emergency medicine, psychiatry, transitional internships, internal medicine, and surgery. 

Dr. Israelski has worked for eight years to try to bring a medical school to the region and, together with developer Tony Danza and other members of the political and private sector, have come together to make the dream of bringing a medical school to Orange County a reality.

The recipient of numerous regional medical leadership, clinical, and humanitarian awards, Dr. Israelski is deeply dedicated to his work.  Dr. Israelski is married with three children, Michelle, Katelyn, and Sean, as well as his lovely wife, Mary, who is an associate real estate broker working in the Hudson Valley region.  Dr. Israelski is fluent in Spanish and hopes to gain proficiency in French and, in particular, in Creole. 

The Leadership Award will be presented at the Leadership Orange Class of 2015 Graduation on June 11, 2015.   The event will be held at West Hills Golf & Country Club in Middletown 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.   The cost to attend is $75 and includes dinner, dessert and program.  

Each year a group of Orange County individuals with a variety of backgrounds are selected to take part in a 10-month leadership training program.  Class participants receive training on topics important to Orange County residents and businesses, including education, health and human services, project management, government and politics, the environment, culture and recreation, economic development, leadership development and the judicial system.  The organization also has a Junior Leadership Orange program for Orange County 8th graders which was started in 2011 and mirrors the adult program.

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Sullivan Chamber recognizes 24th Annual Pride Award winners

MONTICELLO (May 4) – The Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce Pride Award Recognition Brunch was held on May 3,  The chamber congratulates all of this year's Pride Awards Winners.

Countywide Winners:

  • Young Emerging Leader- Melinda Meddaugh, CCE, RHBA, Sullivan County
  • Distinguished Service Award- Glenn Pontier, Sullivan Renaissance
  • Distinguished Achievement Award- Charlie Degliomini, Empire Resorts
  • Business Person (Family) of the Year- Van Etten Family, VEO Energy Systems

Township Winners:

  • Bethel- Dr. Jamie Noeth, Body Mind & Spirit Wellness Center
  • Callicoon- George & Tammy Shakelton, Shakelton Auto & Truck Parts
  • Cochecton- Peter & Norma Pierce, Cochecton Oil Company
  • Delaware- Henry Kubenik & Eric Kubenik, Kohler Lumber & Building Materials
  • Fallsburg- Zane Morganstein, Associated Mutual Insurance Cooperative
  • Forestburgh- Justin Evans, The Hartwood Club
  • Fremont- Fred Sherman & Debbie Kazmark, Long Eddy Hotel & Saloon
  • Highland- Tannis Kowalchuk, NACL Theatre
  • Liberty- Donald & Jeanne Tulp, Lazy Pond Bed & Breakfast
  • Lumberland- Christine Smetaniuk, Color Tek Designs, Inc.
  • Mamakating- Paul Deninno, Bashakill Vineyards
  • Neversink- Ben Knight, Blooming Green Lawn and Landscape Service
  • Rockland- Sim & Kirsten Foster, The Arnold House
  • Thompson- Alan Madnick, Wyde Lumber & Supply Co.
  • Tusten- Paul Nanni & Marla Puccetti, The Heron Restaurant


Dutchess County receives POW/MIA Chair of Honor in remembrance of county veterans

POUGHKEEPSIE (May 2) - Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and Director of the Dutchess County’s Division of Veterans Services Nelson Eddy Rivera, USN (Ret) accepted a Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Chair of Honor from the POW/MIA advocates group Rolling Thunder Chapter 3 New York, which will reside in the Division of Veterans Services office.

Members of Rolling Thunder New York Chapter 3 join County Executive Marc Molinaro, Department of Health Commissioner
Kari Reiber, MD, and Lydia Biskup, Director of District Operations for State Sen. Sue Serino for the dedication at the
Division of Veterans Services office in Poughkeepsie.

The POW/MIA Chair of Honor will remain perpetually empty, symbolizing though American prisoners of war and those missing in action may never return, Dutchess County will forever remember those veterans and leave a space open for them. Rolling Thunder, Inc., donated the Chair of Honor to Dutchess County in recognition of the Division of Veterans Services’ tireless efforts to support the County’s veterans.

“More than names on a monument or reasons for a holiday, our veterans are heroes who selflessly jeopardized their security to ensure ours,” County Executive Molinaro said, “Sadly, not every service member who makes that sacrifice returns home. May this Chair of Honor remind Dutchess County residents daily of those neighbors who protected the United States but did not make it back here. Dutchess County will long remember our sons and daughters who gave so much, and this Chair of Honor will be an everlasting tribute to them.”

Throughout the United States, Rolling Thunder, Inc., has dedicated such chairs to bring awareness to prisoners of war and service members missing in action. The chairs reside in venues such as large sporting arenas, rural town halls and gathering spaces in between.

“When county residents come to this office to obtain benefits for themselves or a loved one, they will see this Chair of Honor and think of the brave men and women who gave their liberty so we could enjoy ours,” Director Rivera said. “We thank the members Rolling Thunder, Inc., for their generosity in providing us this permanent reminder.”


Goshen Police Officers of the Year named

GOSHEN (May 2) - Sgt. David Conklin and Detective Ryan Rich are named as the Village of Goshen Police Department's Officers of the Year for Exceptional Police Duty in 2014.  The announcement was made by Chief James Watt.

L-R: Trustee Michael Nuzzolese, Mayor Kyle Roddey, Chief Watt, Detective Rich, Ptl. Matthew E. Giraldi,
Sgt. David Conklin, Police Commissioner Edward Char and Trustee Peter Smith.  Missing is Trustee Christopher Gurda.

On October 20th, 2013, Sgt. Conklin and Detective Rich investigated the burglary of an elderly resident's home in which jewelry was taken.  In processing the scene, they recovered DNA evidence from inside the home and submitted it to the statewide DNA database.  Following up on leads from other Village residents, they were able to secure surveillance camera footage of the suspect and his vehicle.

On January 24th, 2014, a positive DNA match was made to a Darin J. Schillinger, a paroled burglar with multiple felony convictions, residing in Brooklyn, NY.  Schillinger was arrested by Det. Rich in Brooklyn, with assistance from New York State Police and New York City Parole officers, on April 1st, 2014.  On December 14th, 2014, Schillinger pled guilty in Orange County Court to Burglary 2nd degree and was sentenced to 3 1/2 to 15 years in prison.

On August 2nd, 2014, Sgt. Conklin and Detective Rich investigated a house fire in which an 81 year old Village resident was found deceased.  Working with Orange County Fire Investigators and the Orange County Medical Examiner's Office, they determined that the resident had been murdered during the commission of a burglary and the fire had been intentionally set in an attempt to cover up the crime. Sgt. Conklin and Det. Rich continued their investigation in conjunction with the New York State Police and the Orange County District Attorney's Office for 30 straight hours and arrested two suspects for multiple counts of murder, burglary and arson.

On February 25th, 2015, Jennifer P. Molyneaux, pled guilty in Orange County Court to Murder 2nd  degree and is awaiting sentencing.  The second suspect, Devin A. Giordano, is currently incarcerated and awaiting trial on charges Murder 2nd degree, Burglary 1st degree and Arson 1st degree.

“Sgt. David J. Conklin's and Detective Ryan W. Rich's actions are exemplary for all law enforcement and in keeping with the finest traditions of the Village of Goshen Police Department,” said Chief Watt.  “On behalf of  the Mayor and Village Board, the Village of Goshen Police Department and the community of Goshen, I do hereby recognize Sgt. David J. Conklin and Detective Ryan W. Rich as the Village of Goshen Police Department's Officers of the Year for Exceptional Police Duty in 2014.”


Vendors sought for third annual New Rochelle Street Fair

NEW ROCHELLE (May 2) - Calling all restaurants, vendors and performers! Opportunity for booths and stage time is now available for New Rochelle’s third annual Street Fair, Sunday, September 13 from 11AM to 5PM on Main Street in downtown New Rochelle. Produced by the City of New Rochelle in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, BID and Council on the Arts, the fair will feature games, food, arts and crafts and live entertainment for all ages.

For New Rochelle-based crafters, artists, retailers, food vendors and businesses, the booth price is just $50 and for community groups its $25. Non-resident fees are also available. The registration deadline is August 13, 2015. All space will be available on a first acceptance basis.

New this year, the fair will feature two stages for local talent. The New Rochelle Council on the Arts is now accepting proposals from performers by email


Volunteers remove 2,500 pounds of garbage from Birnberg Preserve during an
Earth Day cleanup on April 22 (Photo Credit: Robert Skinner,

Orange County Land Trust awarded two NYS Conservation Partnership grants

SUGAR LOAF (April 27) - The Orange County Land Trust has been awarded $65,000 in grants from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program, a joint program of the Land Trust Alliance and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to help protect farmland, conserve natural resources, boost outdoor recreation and tourism and advance economic development. The grants are funded through the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and will be matched with an additional $1.7 million in private and local funds.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens and representatives from the Land Trust Alliance unveiled the Conservation Partnership Program grant recipients, which include 55 non-profit land trusts from across the state. This funding will allow land trusts to create educational programming, conduct outreach to the community and advance efforts to preserve local farms and priority open space areas. The grants will also help strengthen partnerships with local and state officials and advance regional economic development goals.

“These vital Conservation Partnership Program grants will enable the Land Trust to pursue additional land conservation projects, engage our local communities, enhance our capability to steward our protected lands and maximize our impact as an organization, said Jim Delaune, Executive Director of the Orange County Land Trust. “Thank you to the Land Trust Alliance, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the DEC for this commitment to both our organization and Orange County.”

The Land Trust was awarded $55,000 enabling the creation of a full-time professional position. The position will assist with external communications, manage community outreach and engagement programs, and oversee stewardship of their 12 publicly-accessible nature preserves. The position will also provide support to the Director of Development and Director of Conservation & Stewardship, enabling these staff to focus on fundraising and project cultivation. In addition to this Professional Development grant, the Land Trust also received a $10,000 Capacity & Excellence Grant to complete a legal review and due diligence in anticipation of acquiring Warwick Conservancy’s conservation easements and stewardship responsibilities.

The Orange County Land Trust is dedicated to preserving Orange County’s rural character, natural heritage and working farms. Nearly 5,000 acres of forests, wetlands, wildlife habitat and farmland forever protected. For information on becoming a member or for ways of giving, visit


Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange County and ShopRite provide more than one million meals

GOSHEN (April 27) - Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange County teamed up with ShopRite Supermarkets to support the Archdiocesan-wide Feeding Our Neighbors campaign this year. The campaign, which raised the equivalent of nearly 1.3 million meals, was supported in large part by the $93,000 in cash donations and more than 17,000 pounds of food collected at ShopRite locations across the Hudson Valley. 

During a two week period in late January and early February, ShopRite associates and customers rallied together to raise funds for the Feeding Our Neighbors campaign through in-store events and donations at the check-out in 26 ShopRite locations throughout the Hudson Valley. The 17,700 pounds of non-perishable food items that were donated were brought directly to food pantries serving those in need throughout the Hudson Valley communities served by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York.

ShopRite Vice President of Operations Tom Urtz presented Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of The Archdiocese of New York, with a check for $93,000 at the recent Celebration of Charity event hosted by Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange County.

“We are extremely grateful for the support from ShopRite and their customers,” said Sullivan. “It has been a long, cold winter and these donations come at a time when food pantries throughout the region are struggling to keep their shelves stocked and clients fed. Both the food collected and the funds raised will go a long way in helping local food pantries and soup kitchens replenish their inventory and feed our hungry neighbors.”

“ShopRite is extremely fortunate to have both staff and customers that embrace our commitment to give back to the community,” said Urtz. “They get firmly behind our fundraising efforts and enjoy a little friendly competition between stores to keep everyone on their toes and motivated to succeed. It is thanks to them that we were able to collect $93,000 and 17,700 pounds of food in a two-week span to feed our neighbors,” added Urtz.

Leading the supermarket’s fundraising efforts was ShopRite of New Rochelle which raised $6,487. ShopRite of Middletown followed with $6,468 and ShopRite of Montgomery raised $6,244.

Local food banks estimate that each dollar raised can provide three to four meals. In total, ShopRite store donations equal approximately 389,000 meals for the hungry in our community.


Walkway Marathon tops 2,300 runners; inaugural race series set for June 13th

POUGHKEEPSIE (April 27) - The Walkway Marathon Race Series in partnership with Dutchess County Government has topped its target of 2,300 registered racers nearly two months before runners converge on Poughkeepsie for the inaugural races on Saturday, June 13. Organizers also report that the marathon portion of the series—which will include a half marathon and the annual Treetops to Rooftops 5K race—has been certified as a USATF “guaranteed accurate” Boston Marathon [2016] qualifying course.

Walkway Marathon organizers—including the Walkway Over the Hudson organization, the Walkway State Historic Park, Dutchess County Government, Marist College and the Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club,—expect more than 5,000 racers, spectators, supporters and volunteers to attend the event. Registered runners will pick up their bibs and other materials on Friday, June 12 at the Walkway Marathon Expo, sponsored by Dutchess Tourism, Inc., from 2-8 p.m. at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie.

“We’re just thrilled at the turnout for the Walkway Marathon!” said Walkway Executive Director Elizabeth Waldstein-Hart.  “Nearly 5,000 people will be coming to  Dutchess and Ulster counties  over the June 13 weekend and, for the next two months, we’ll be working closely with our partners, sponsors and volunteers  from the area to accommodate them and be good hosts.  We’re hoping area businesses, hotels, restaurants, and municipalities will join with us welcome our guests and make this a memorable experience for all.”

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “The first-ever Walkway Marathon is the type of event that makes Dutchess County truly unique. Not only will County residents swell with pride by hosting this one-of-a-kind experience, but it will also draw thousands of visitors to our county, each of whom will discover what makes us distinctly Dutchess – from our extraordinary restaurants and hotels, to our historic sites and unique entertainment offerings.”

More than 2,500 runners, walkers, and wheelchair athletes of all experience levels are expected to compete in one of three fast, flat USATF certified races—a marathon, half marathon, and 5K—all of which traverse the Hudson River on the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, the Guinness World Record breaking bridge in the Hudson Valley. Current registrants hail from 24 states and 5 countries, including the US, Canada, South Africa, Italy and Israel, according to Walkway Race Director Susanne O’Neil.

Registration for the Walkway Marathon, USATF Certified (Guaranteed Accurate) Course #NY15022JG, Half Marathon, USATF Certified (Guaranteed Accurate) Course #NY15002JG, and 5K, USATF Certified (Guaranteed Accurate) Course # NY15001JG remains open and can be made online at  Entry fees for the races are: Marathon, $75; Half Marathon, $55; and 5K, $35.

Additional sponsorships are available and interested parties can contact Walkway Development & Marketing Manager Ellen Henneberry at (845) 454-9649


Over $180,000 raised United Way programs through O&R'S annual drive raises

PEARL RIVER (April 17) - Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R) has raised over $180,000 through its annual United Way fundraising drive this year.

O&R achieved this year's United Way campaign results, which were announced today, by combining a dynamic fund-raising drive partnership between the Company and its bargaining unit, IBEW Local 503, with a dollar-for-dollar, shareholder match to raise $182,412.

The O&R-IBEW Local 503 fund-raising drive raised $91,206 from among O&R's current employees and its retirees. The Company matched that sum dollar-for-dollar with another $91,206 from the shareholder funds of Consolidated Edison, Inc., O&R's parent company.

Since 1993, O&R and Local 503 have donated nearly $4 million in employee contributions and shareholder matches to the United Way.

"Successful campaigns like this, generous contributions like this, say more than words can about the fine people who work here at O&R,” O&R President and CEO Tim Cawley said.  “They are community-grounded, public-spirited, civic-minded and results-oriented. We are very proud of them for their hard work and their generous hearts."

Scott Jensen, President/Business Manager of IBEW Local 503, said, "Another successful year. This is a collaborative effort by members of 503 and all employees of Orange & Rockland Utilities to assist in any way we can within our communities."  

O&R employs approximately 1,100 people, almost all of whom also live in the community.


Tell your story at the Newburgh Free Library’s Human Library

NEWBURGH (April 17) - The Newburgh Free Library is looking for volunteers to use as "books" at a Human Library to take place this summer as part of the Adult Summer Reading Program called "Escape the Ordinary."

More details on our Education Page


Orange County residents reminded help available for lead paint remediation

GOSHEN (April 6) –today reminded residents that the Orange County Office of Community Development administers a lead-poisoning prevention program called Lead Safe Orange.

Full details on our Health Page


St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital Auxiliary helps local students get dressed for prom

NEWBURGH (April 6) – The St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) Auxiliary once again helped students get ready for the upcoming prom season by participating in Prom Fest 2015.

Full details on our Education Page


Organizations invited to participate in the 5th annual Newburgh Volunteer Fair

NEWBURGH (April 2) - We want your organization! 

April 17th is the deadline for not-for-profit organizations to submit their applications to participate in the 5th Annual Newburgh Volunteer Fair at Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site. This event will take place on Saturday, May 2nd, from 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Safe Harbors of the Hudson and the Newburgh Free Library are in partnership with the historic site coordinating this program.

The day provides not-for-profit organizations an opportunity to raise awareness within the community of the important services they provide. These groups rely upon volunteers to assist in their endeavors. Representatives from these organizations will be available to speak about their work and to sign up those individuals who wish to join them in their efforts.

All are invited to attend the Fair, visit the tables, and ask first-hand what these organizations are doing. There will also be tours of the Hasbrouck House used by General and Mrs. Washington during the Revolutionary War. Admission to the Hasbrouck House and the Museum will be free for the day, encouraging visitors to learn about the important role Newburgh played during the War of Independence.

We hope organizations will take advantage of this opportunity to promote their work, recruit new volunteers, and network with other community organizations trying to make a difference in Newburgh.

For an application for your organization to participate click here.


K-Kids to the Rescue for Shelter Pets

DEERPARK (March 31) - Minisink Valley Kiwanis K-Kids recently paid a visit to the Humane Society of Port Jervis/Deerpark to deliver a load of food, toys, beds and a check for a whopping $411.67 to benefit the dogs and cats at the shelter. 

“The Humane Society sincerely appreciates the all the hard work of these kids and their advisors in collecting donations for our shelter pets”, said Shelter Director Susan Beecher accepting the donations on behalf of the organization.  “This is a time of year when donations typically fall off, so their timing was perfect!”

The K-Kids club, made up of twenty seven third, fourth and fifth graders from the Minisink Valley Intermediate School, participates in service projects all year long.  This is just one of their many efforts to serve the community in which they live.

L-R: Jenna Seewald; Mary Jo Wagner, Kiwanis Advisor; Tyler Ewanciw; Amelia Bohr (holding check);
Susan Beecher, Shelter Director


Funding available for Ulster County arts organizations

POUGHKEEPSIE (March 31) - Awards range from $2,500 -$9,500 and can be used for various activities, including administrative or programmatic capacity building and institutional advancement projects.

Full details on our Arts and Entertainment Page


Mable Trotta releases spayed and neutered cats

Humane Society hopes small success will translate to eventual decline in free-roaming cat populations

DEERPARK (March 24) - When long-time Port Jervis resident Mabel Trotta met Shelter Director Susan Beecher and President Dee Broton at a January meeting of the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Port Jervis, the conversation quickly turned to Mabel’s cats.  A small group of feral cats she’d been feeding had, within a couple of years, become a group of thirteen and Mable, an octogenarian, was concerned about her ability to care for the growing colony long-term.  

Enter neighbor Jill Wojtaszek, a cat lover herself and former Humane Society of Port Jervis/Deerpark board member.  Jill raised funds to spay and neuter the cats and scheduled the surgeries with local veterinarian Dr. Dolores Roeder.  Humane Society staff worked with Jill and Mabel to install humane traps around Mabel’s house, acclimate the cats to the traps, and finally to capture them for transport to the vet.  After recovering at the Humane Society’s shelter, the thirteen were returned back to their home environment and Mable’s care.

Beecher and Wojtaszek are hoping that this small success will be the start of a larger effort. 

“There is a great need throughout the Port Jervis region to stabilize free-roaming cat populations, but the Humane Society simply doesn't have the financial resources, staff or volunteers needed to take this on at a large scale” says Beecher.  “I've talked to a lot of people over the last couple of months who are frustrated by the lack of resources to help and we share that frustration, but it's a community problem that can't be solved single-handedly by the Humane Society.  It will take a lot of collaboration – and funding - to do it right.”

Spaying/neutering just a few cats at a time doesn't put a dent in the cat numbers.  All or at least a large majority of cats in a colony need to be trapped and spayed/neutered at the same time.  In addition, caretakers have to be identified, local governments must be onboard, communities need to be supportive of returning cats to their original locations, and cat owners whose pets roam need to spay/neuter their animals to make sure they are not contributing to the problem. 

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a humane and effective approach for stray and feral cats that has been embraced by humane organizations all over the country.  Scientific studies show that TNR, by stopping the breeding cycle, improves the lives of feral cats, enhances their relationships with the people who live near them, and decreases the size of colonies over time.  It is much more effective at long-term population control than the removal and killing of outdoor cats that has been pursued in some places.  For more information on TNR, visit


Free smoke alarms to eligible Rockland residents

POMONA (March 24) – In light of the recent tragic fire in Brooklyn, the Rockland County Department of Health’s Healthy Neighborhood Program encourages residents to correctly install smoke alarms in their homes and keep them in good working order. Smoke alarms can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Healthy Neighborhood Program is a free program dedicated to improving the quality of life of Rockland

County families by reducing exposure to health and safety risks at home. Healthy Neighborhood Program staff can provide and install FREE smoke alarms to eligible residents, including low-income residents, seniors, and at risk families. All that is required is a brief home survey at the time of the visit.

“Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes without working smoke alarms. Having a working smoke alarm greatly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire,” said Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, Rockland County Commissioner of Health.

With a few simple steps, residents can greatly reduce their risk of injury or death from fire. The Healthy Neighborhood Program encourages residents to:

  • Replace smoke alarms that are more than 10 years of age
  • Change batteries in smoke alarms twice a year - when you change your clocks, change your batteries
  • Have smoke alarms on every level of your home
  • NEVER smoke in bed, and do not walk away from a lit cigarette - better yet, stop smoking! Call the Health Department’s Put It Out Rockland Quit Smoking Program for help at (845) 364-2651
  • Never leave food cooking unattended - a serious fire can start in just seconds
  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned
  • Make sure your furnace and all your appliances are inspected and working properly
  • Make sure your space heater is UL listed, and make sure that the cords are not frayed and the heater is in proper working condition
  • Never drape curtains or clothes over space heaters
  • Develop a home fire escape plan
  • Keep exits clear and free of debris

“We encourage residents to take advantage of the free smoke alarms, as we find many residents have outdated smoke alarms or no smoke alarms at all in their homes,” said Christine Wagner and Shari Stopler of the Healthy Neighborhood Program.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (845) 364-3292 or (845) 364-3290.


Staatsburgh State Historic Site opening for the season

STAATSBURG (March 20) - Staatsburgh State Historic Site, also known as Mills Mansion, will open for the season on Thursday, April 16. 

More details on our Educaton Page


Girl Scouts, YWCA announce 2015 Orange County Women of Achievement

NEWBURGH (January 14) - Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson and YWCA Orange County are pleased to announce the names of the 2015 Tribute to Orange County Women of Achievement honorees. Now in its 23rd year, Tribute honors women of Orange County who have made a difference to the community in their professional, personal, or school-based activities. The award is jointly hosted by the Girl Scouts and YWCA Orange County.

"I was delighted to have the privilege of notifying each of the 2015 honorees of their recognition and to congratulate them on their many accomplishments and contributions to our community," said 2015 Tribute chairperson Maureen Crush, a 2012 honoree. "I appreciate the significant investment in time made by this year's selection committee, chaired by Kristin Jensen, to ensure that Tribute once again has an outstanding panel of honorees who exemplify the mission and ideals of the Girl Scouts and YWCA."

The 2015 Orange County Women of Achievement are:

  • Lynn Cione - Goshen - Orange County Chamber of Commerce
  • Gianna Franco - Walden - Time Warner Cable
  • Donna Frazier - Middletown - Elant, Inc.
  • Ellenjane Gonyea - Newburgh - Nora Cronin Presentation Academy
  • Marsea Hocutt - Middletown - Orange Cardiology
  • Michelle Koury, MD - Goshen, Crystal Run Healthcare
  • Joann Menendez - Pine Bush - Walden Savings Bank
  • Shannon Wong - Goshen - Orange County Legislature

Woman of the future:

  • Ayla Devenney - Goshen High School

More than 230 women from throughout Orange County have been recognized since the award’s inception in 1992. This year's Tribute honorees will be recognized at the 23rd Annual Tribute to Women of Achievement of Orange County award dinner on Wednesday, May 13 at Anthony's Pier 9 in New Windsor. The event is co-hosted each year by Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson and YWCA Orange County.


Join NFA Crew Team’s 3rd Annual Super Event of Caring to help Safe Homes of Orange County

NEWBURGH (January 14) – On Sat Jan 31st 10am-5pm,  in addition to their team ergathon, the Newburgh Free Academy (NFA) H.S. Crew Team will hold their 3rd Annual Super Event of Caring at the Newburgh Mall.

More details on our Education Page


Group donates children’s books to new mothers at Vassar Brothers Medical Center

POUGHKEEPSIE (January 14) - Leading to Reading, a community outreach project of the Poughkeepsie Branch of the American Association of University Women, provided an initial gift of 250 new children’s books on Jan. 9 to moms who choose to deliver at Vassar Brothers Medical Center.

More details on our Health Page


Leadership Orange Announces Hall of Fame Honorees

NEW WINDSOR (January 12) - Leadership Orange announced the selection of its Hall of Fame honorees.  Each award-winning participant will be recognized for making significant, tangible leadership contributions to Orange County.  A selection committee comprised of past Hall of Fame inductees reviewed all nominations and selected the following individuals for induction in the Leadership Orange Hall of Fame:

  • John Carola (2011) Vice President, Walden Savings Bank
  • Edwin Estrada (2001) Orange County Trust Company
  • Hon. David Hoovler (2011)  Orange County District Attorney
  • Linda Muller, M.S. (1997)  CEO & President, Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center, Inc.
  • Bonnie Orr, CPA (2011)  Partner, Judelson, Giordano & Siegel, CPA, PC
  • Michael Turturro, CPA (2002)  Partner, Vanacore, DeBenedictus, DiGovanni & Weddell, LLP

The Hall of Fame Awards will be presented on March 19, 2015, which is being held at Falkirk Golf & Country Club in Central Valley from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.   The cost to attend is $100 and includes food and open bar.

For more information about the Hall of Fame Awards and After Party Event, please contact the Leadership Orange office at 845-397-1947 or

Leadership Orange is the county’s premier leadership training program. Started in 1992 by community and business leaders to train new and emerging leaders, it has developed over the past 21 years into a multi-dimensional training program for both adults and youth. 


Community links (Each link opens in a new window)

Not-for-profit community service organizations are invited to submit links to their websites. Organizations must not preach hate or intolerance in any form or advocate public discrimination on the basis of race, gender, national origin or sexual orientation.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County

Faith and Community ACTION - Dutchess County

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh

Hilltowns Community Board
News of Southern Albany, Greene & Schoharie Counties

Hopewell Junction Citizens for Clean Water

Mid-Hudson Horse Trails Association

National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE)

Orange County Citizens Foundation-

Orange County Land Trust

Salvation Army of Newburgh

Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 537 Hudson Highlands



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