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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


New York State Parks to hire 1,000 lifeguards

ALBANY (March 14) - The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) is hiring more than 1,000 new and returning lifeguards for the summer season at its swimming beaches and pools.

“Lifeguards are crucial to the success of our State Parks throughout the most popular months of the year,” said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. “Lifeguarding is a rewarding way high school and college students can make money and gain valuable job experience in a friendly, active and fun environment.”

New York State Park lifeguards must be at least 16 years old and meet certain eligibility criteria, including passing a qualifying exam before being hired. Pre-registration for exams is strongly encouraged. For a complete schedule of exams, more information about hiring requirements, and an application, please visit


Walkway seeking healthy food vendors for 2015

POUGHKEEPSIE (March 14) - Walkway Over the Hudson is looking to spice up the food being served on the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge.

Full details on our Business Page


Program guidelines and application instructions available for county small grants program

MONTICELLO (March 6) - The Sullivan County Legislature allocated $100,000 for FY15 to revive a small grants program aimed at assisting municipalities, not-for-profit and community groups with implementing projects to enhance the County.  Program guidelines have now been released with details on eligibility requirements, how to apply, and the timeline and procedures for reviewing applications, and are available from the Sullivan County Division of Planning & Environmental Management at (845) 807-0527 or by email at The information may also be accessed from the County’s website by going to the Planning division page and clicking on the link to Available Funding Opportunities.

"I am so pleased that this legislature is in the position to offer this small incentive for community development. Sometimes all it takes for a good idea to become a great idea is a small financial push to get it off the ground,” said County Legislature Chairman Scott Samuelson. “We are so pleased to make this small contribution to help encourage new development in the community."

The Plans and Progress program offers funding for a broad range of projects including but not limited to community and economic development, tourism, telecommunications, image enhancement, recreation, sustainability, agricultural protection, and quality of life.  The focus is on advancing County and local planning goals.

“I have long advocated for the restoration of county funding of this small grant program, which has over the years provided seed money for variety of successful cultural and historic preservation efforts throughout the County,” said county Legislator Alan Sorensen.   “I think this current round of funding will help local organizations to make Sullivan County an even more interesting and exciting place to visit.”   

Each of the County’s nine legislative districts has been allocated $10,000 in Plans and Progress funding. An additional $10,000 is available but not tied to a specific district.  Project budgets must include a minimum 50% share of project costs from non-County sources, which may include local, state and federal funding, in-kind services by municipalities or organizations, donations of materials and professional services from private for-profit businesses, and not-for-profit sweat equity.  Applications will be received on a rolling basis, with the first round of reviews to assess all funding requests received through April 30th, 2015.  Additional rounds will occur subject to availability of funding.    


Poughkeepsie Plaza Manager Kimberly Barela  presents a check for
$500 to Kathleen Murphy, Executive Director at the Center for the
Prevention of Child Abuse.

Poughkeepsie Plaza donates $500 to The Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse

TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE (March 3) - The Poughkeepsie Plaza shopping center donated $500 to the Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse.

The Center provides educational programs, community outreach, and services to minimize and end the cycle of child abuse and neglect in the Mid-Hudson Valley. The Center is also the home of the Child Advocacy Center (CAC). The CAC is a facility of co-located law enforcement agencies and Child Protective Services that investigates specific child abuse allegations in Dutchess County. The Center serves over 16,000 children, families and individuals annually.

The donated funds were a portion of the vendor proceeds that were collected from the 17th Annual Health & Wellness Fair that was held recently at the Poughkeepsie Plaza.


Rockland seeks nominations for annual outstanding environmental volunteer award

NEW CITY (March 3) - Do you know a local resident who has made volunteer service to our environment a priority?  The Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources is now accepting nominations for the 18th annual County Executive's Outstanding Environmental Volunteer Award.

The County Executive's Outstanding Environmental Volunteer Award recognizes exceptional volunteers who care for our parks, champion our watershed programs, encourage recycling and work every day to enhance the natural beauty of our county's open spaces. 

To be eligible to receive the award, a deserving individual must be at least 18 years of age and a Rockland County resident.  Individuals who have been nominated in the past, but not chosen, are eligible to be re-nominated.

County Executive Ed Day will honor this year's winner during a tree planting ceremony at Kennedy Dells Park in New City on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 11 a.m.

For more information or to obtain a nomination form, contact the Division of Environmental Resources at (845) 364-2670 or  To be considered, nominations must be received by April 1, 2015.   Honor someone today for their dedication to our planet.


Clarkstown seeks nominations for town's Environmental Excellence Award

NEW CITY (March 3) - Supervisor Alex Gromack and Councilwoman Shirley Lasker announce that the Town of Clarkstown is seeking nominations for its Environmental Excellence Award.

The nominations are based on the nominee's contribution to environmental preservation, beautification and improvement within the Town of Clarkstown.  Also considered will be the nominee's involvement as a volunteer or coordinator in Town environmental programs, and any innovative programs or measures the nominee has taken or developed to better the Town's natural environment.  Consideration will also be given to the nominee's length of service in these activities.
"The Town of Clarkstown is a leader in environmental initiatives from purchasing to policy to public education," said Supervisor Alex Gromack.  "This award will give us the opportunity to recognize those in our community who share our dedication to our environment."  

Applicants may be organizations, businesses or individuals located, operating or residing in the Town.  Deadline for submission is April 1, 2015.  The application consists of a one page nomination form, 100-150 word synopsis, and supporting materials.  Residents can access the application on the town's website or by calling the Town Council Chambers at 639-2056.  

“Four years ago we created this program to recognize and honor the people in our community who dedicate and donate their time and expertise to improving the environment in Clarkstown,” said Councilwoman Shirley Lasker.  “There are so many wonderful and talented volunteers who work selflessly every day to improve our quality of life.  They are the true unsung heroes and role models in our community.  As Margeret Mead said, ‘A small group of thoughtful people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.’  We ask that nominations are submitted to us so we can pay tribute to and highlight the many achievements of these outstanding individuals.” 

The Environmental Excellence Award winner will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2015 and the winner will be presented with the Award at the Town of Clarkstown Town Board meeting of Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 8pm.


Central Hudson field employees now in uniform

POUGHKEEPSIE (March 3) - Field employees of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation who have direct contact with customers now have a unified and recognizable presence with uniforms in order to provide increased reassurance to customers.

Full details and picture on our Business Page


Livingston Manor area Visitor’s Guide available in print, digital formats

Livingston Manor / Roscoe (February 26) - The attractive 2015 Visitor's Guide for Livingston Manor, Roscoe and Lew Beach, NY is filled with articles, photographs, lodging and eateries, and things to do in the area. Thousands of interested Catskill visitors pick them up at winter travel and sportsman's shows in metropolitan NY/NJ.

But the new digital version makes it possible to enjoy the Guide from anywhere in the world. It is available at: and

The Guide, a collaborative effort of neighboring towns Roscoe, Lew Beach and Livingston Manor, produced by Quik Type, highlights the rich outdoor recreation the area is known for - as well as exciting businesses welcoming to visitors. There's a rich behind-the-scenes look, for example, at three award-winning establishments making hand-crafted libations. 

The printed Guide is also available at many merchants, eateries and attractions throughout Sullivan County. 


Yonkers launches “We Care Airdrop” care package drive supports for U.S troops serving overseas

YONKERS (February 26) – Yonkers is sponsoring a “We Care AirDrop” care package drive providing necessary items to troops currently serving overseas. The drive is in conjunction with Yonkers American Legion Charles Bajart Post and the City of Yonkers Office of Veterans Services. Collection begins today and continues through Tuesday, March 3rd.

“Yonkers is a community that supports each other and gives back in charitable ways,” said Mayor Mike Spano. “I’m calling on our residents to show their support for our heroes—the men and women from Yonkers and from all across the United States who risk their lives to preserve our freedom each and every day.”

Donation boxes will be placed inside City Hall and all eight Yonkers Public High Schools to collect care package items such as toiletries, non-perishable food, first aid kids, medicine and other necessities. For a complete list of items, visit

“There are many times throughout the year that our students and staff extend their thanks to those who serve in our military across the globe.  The “We Care Air Drop” campaign is one more opportunity to show our appreciation to those who sacrifice for our freedom; and it also provides a teachable moment for our students,” said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Yazurlo.   

Monetary contributions will also be collected by the City to purchase additional supplies. Contributors of $5 will receive a “We Care AirDrop” rubber bracelet; Contributors of $10 will receive an engraved “We Care AirDrop” aluminum dog tag. All monetary donations can be delivered to the Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services, located on the 4th Floor of City Hall.


Highland scouts annual dinner

HIGHLAND (February 25) - Highland Pack 70 Cub Scouts, chartered by Highland Presbyterian Church, held their annual Blue and Gold Dinner recently.  Scouts of each rank, (Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos I and Webelos II)  and their families, attended this dinner held to honor the Webelos II den, lead by Karen Lasher.  All eight Webelos II Scouts not only earned the Arrow of Light award, the highest honor for a Cub Scout, but they each also earned the Super Achiever Award, for going above and beyond what was required, including all twenty activity pins available to Cub Scouts. 

Following the Arrow of Light award ceremony, seven of the boys who have chosen to continue their scouting career as Boy Scouts, were welcomed by Highland Troop 70 Boy Scouts, with the Arrow of Light Webelos Bridging Ceremony, led by Assistant Scout Master, Paul Krystek.

The evening concluded with a magic show, which was enjoyed by the Scouts and their families. 

L-R: Newest Boy Scouts:  Den Chief Nick M, Hudson P.,
Shaun P., Dominic V., Damien C., Dimitri B.,
Nathaniel L., and Nicholas S.

Damien C., Osei, A., Dominic V., Shaun P., Hudson P.,
Nathaniel L., Nicholas S., and Demitri B. 


Democratic Women of Sullivan County elect new officers 

LIBERTY (February 15) – At their recent reorganizational meeting, the Democratic Women of Sullivan County elected a new slate of officers for 2015.

L-R: Treasurer Lily Stettner; Vice President Joan Stoddard; Secretary Carol Montana; President Debra Gabriel

The Steering Committee members for 2015 are Kathy LaBuda, Donna Schick and Adrianna Greco.

The next Executive Session meeting will be held on February 26, 2015 at a location to be announced. General meetings are held the last Thursday of each month.

At each general meeting, guests are asked to donate a non-perishable food item for the Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless or a pet food item for the Sullivan County SPCA.

The DWSC is an independent, progressive, grassroots organization devoted to bringing more Sullivan County women into the political process. All women and men who support this mission are welcome.

For additional information about the DWSC, their meeting locations and other events, please write to,


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention recognizes the Hudson Valley Chapter for the 2014 Pacesetter Award

NEW YORK (February 9) – Each year in the United States, suicide claims nearly 40,000 lives – more than war, murder, and natural disasters combined. Although it is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States - suicide is preventable. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention recognized the work done by the Hudson Valley Chapter with the Pacesetter award for their Consistent Overall Achievement and exemplary service in helping to prevent suicide in the Hudson Valley

“Suicide is a major health issue that affects communities large and small, across the country,” said CEO Robert Gebbia, of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “It’s because of the work of our volunteers in the Hudson Valley that this public health issue is finally getting the attention it deserves. The involvement of our Chapter volunteers will help us reach our goal of reducing the suicide rate 20 percent by 2025 in the United States.”

Over 75 community-based AFSP chapters attended a six day conference in Atlanta, GA to learn the latest information on how to bring greater understanding of mental health issues and awareness for suicide prevention to their local communities. The program featured the latest mental health research specific to suicide prevention, and information sessions addressing school-based education programs, workplace initiatives; and reaching those who currently battle with a mental health issues like depression, or who have lost a loved one to suicide. 

An awards dinner capped off the conference and highlighted the exemplary work of the Chapters. 

“We are thrilled to receive this award from our National organization.” said Steve Dolce, the chair of the Hudson Valley Chapter for AFSP. “The credit really goes to the volunteers who work to raise awareness about suicide prevention in the Hudson Valley


Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber visitors kiosk open seven days a week

PEEKSKILL (February 9) - The Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce Visitor and Tourist Information Kiosk, located at 1 South Division Street, Peekskill, is now open seven days a week

More details on our Business Page


Go Red for Heart Month - Mid-Hudson Bridge to glow red in February

POUGHKEEPSIE (January 28) - The American Heart Association, Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and the NYS Bridge Authority have teamed up to have the Mid-Hudson Bridge illuminated red to shine a light on heart disease and stroke during February, American Heart Month.

Full details on our Health Page


Children’s Museum accepted into National Museum Excellence Program

POUGHKEEPSIE (January 27) - The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum has been accepted into the Museum Assessment Program (MAP) sponsored by the American Alliance of Museums ...

Full details on our Education Page


L-R: Kymora Ohrvall, Claire Macedonia, Grace Roscino, Gracie Macedonia,
Eta Ivkovic, Marina Zaczkiewicz and Adria Ivkovic

Dutchess Figure Skating Club wins big at Lake Placid event

POUGHKEEPSIE (January 21)– Weeks of hard work and practice at the McCann Ice Arena paid off for the Dutchess Figure Skating Club as a team of skaters from the club won top medals at the ISI (Ice Skating Institute) Championship at Lake Placid earlier this month. For their collective effort, the team won a 1st Place trophy as well.

The figure skaters competed against other skaters from across the region in several categories including solo compulsory, freestyle and light entertainment. There were 19 participating teams from New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Maryland and Connecticut and over 400 total participants.

“I am proud of all the skaters on the Mid Hudson Civic Center Team,” Laurie May, McCann Ice Arena General Manager said. “They have worked hard for this competition. Their poise and presentation was proof of that hard work. At this competition the skaters were given points based on their individual placement. These points gave the team a 1st place trophy based on percentage for team standings. It’s nice to see how proud they are of their accomplishments. This experience was not only fun, but it will prove to be a great motivator moving forward.”

Here are the results from the ISI championship:

Adria Ivkovic:
Light Entertainment Spotlight Freestyle 4 – Silver, 1st place
Interpretive Freestyle 4 – Silver, 3rd place
Final Rounds Spotlight – 3rd place

Eta Ivkovic:
Open – Silver, 2nd place

Claire Macedonia:
Open Freestyle – Silver, 1st place
Light Entertainment Spotlight Freestyle 5 – Silver, 1st place
Final Rounds Spotlight – 2nd place
Interpretive Freestyle 5 – Silver – 6th place

Gracie Macedonia
Interpretive Freestyle 3 – 1st place
Freestyle 3 – 5th place

Kymora Ohrvall
Freestyle 4 – 4th place
Interpretive Freestyle 4 – 3rd place
Solo Compulsory Freestyle 4 – 2nd place

Grace Roscino
Freestyle 4 – 1st place
Solo Compulsory Freestyle 4 – 1st place

Marina Zaczkiewicz
Freestyle 6 – 1st place
Figure 3 – 1st place
Solo Compulsory Freestyle 6 – 1st place


Walden Savings Bank’s staff and customers donate to Food Bank

MONTGOMERY (January 21) - Walden Savings Bank collected and donated 684 lbs. of non-perishables to the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley as part of their “Fill the WSB Van” campaign.

“Our goal for ‘Fill the WSB Van’ was not only to collect food but to bring awareness about this great need and the vital role of the Food Bank of the Hudson,” said Derrik Wynkoop, president and CEO of Walden Savings Bank. “Although the winter season can be a difficult time for families, together we brought families around a table where they could find joy, and set aside their worries for a moment.”

In addition, Walden Savings Bank collected $2,235 for the Food Bank’s Ornament Campaign, where paper ornaments were purchased by customers and employees at each of Walden Savings Bank’s 11 branch locations for $1 during the month of December.

Today, the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, in conjunction with the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, serves over 1,000 member agencies in 23 counties from the Canadian border to the Westchester border.


Irwin Siegel Agency Makes Federation holidays brighter

MONTICELLO (January 21) - Once again this year, the Irwin Siegel Agency filled the gap for many children of families in need who might otherwise have gone without.  The Federation submits the age and gender of children who sign up, and their holiday wishes are fulfilled by the Irwin Siegel staff “elves”.

Pictured from left to right are Dale Sonnenschein, Esther Tyler, Zack Siegel & Angel Rodriguez.


Nominees sought for Orange County Senior Citizens Awards

GOSHEN (January 14) - Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2015 Orange County Senior Citizens Awards Program. The deadline to submit an application is January 30 and an awards ceremony is planned for May to coincide with national Older Americans Month, which recognizes older Americans for their contributions to their community. For more information, please call Orange County OFA at 845-615-3700 or download a nomination form here.

OFA’s Senior Citizens Awards is seeking older adults 60 and over who truly deserve to be recognized for their achievements as outstanding citizens because they have volunteered their time and talents to better their community. In addition, OFA is looking for local businesses and companies that go out of their way to assist seniors in their day-to-day lives.

“We are committed to recognizing the positive contributions of older adult ins our community,” said County Executive Steven Neuhaus. “They are an inspiration to all of us and it is their hard work and community spirit which have added to a high quality of life for all Orange County residents.”

“In today’s busy world, this is a wonderful opportunity to take a moment to pay tribute to individuals who make our community a better, stronger and more vibrant place for seniors to call home,” said OFA Director AnnMarie Maglione. “In addition, we are thrilled to recognize one of the many great businesses that go out of their way to improve the quality of life for older adults.”

The Office for the Aging will sponsor awards in three categories: “Orange County Senior Citizen of the Year,” “Outstanding Contribution by a Senior” and “Senior Friendly Business.” Once announced, award winners will be recognized in May by County Executive Neuhaus, honored at a luncheon by Governor Cuomo in Albany representing Orange County, honored at a luncheon by the Orange County Senior Citizens Council, and recognized by the Orange County legislature at its June meeting.


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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