Westchester encourages volunteers for “9/11 DAY: Serve + Remember” projects
WHITE PLAINS (August 14) - In honor of those whose lives were lost or forever changed by the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, County Executive Robert P. Astorino will join with Volunteer New York! to host the “9/11 Day: Serve + Remember” volunteer opportunities taking place from Saturday, September 9 through Monday, September 11, 2017. The community-wide action event is supported by Robison Oil and Empire City Casino. Service projects at the County Center will take place on September 11 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Westchester County’s formal 9/11 memorial ceremony at “The Rising” at Kensico Dam in Valhalla will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, September 11. As always, the public is invited to attend.
“On the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we as a community continue to come together in remembrance and unity, proving that love and service will always prevail,” Astorino said. “Last year we had 1,368 volunteers put over 2,000 hours of service back into the community as part of 9/11 Day. This year offers so many great ways to volunteer, whether it’s giving blood, feeding the hungry, educating our children or thanking our veterans. I hope you’ll all join us in remembrance.”
The theme of this year’s 9/11 Day is “Service. Unity. Empathy.” Many volunteer opportunities are family friendly and all will help support one of 40 local non-profits and causes. All volunteers must register through www.volunteernewyork.org/service or call (914) 948-4452 for more information.
Westchester County will also host its annual employee blood drive in partnership with the New York Blood Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, September 11, at the County Center. To sign up or learn more, please contact Janet Lokay at email@example.com or (914) 995-2127.
Otisville resident begins Peace Corps service in Namibia
NEW YORK (August 7) - Rachel Pierson, 22, of Otisville, New York, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Namibia on August 13 to begin training as an education volunteer. Pierson will live and work in a community to teach English to students at local primary and secondary schools. Following in the footsteps of her relatives – specifically her father’s cousin, Howard, and his wife, Anne, who both served as volunteers – Pierson chose to apply to the Peace Corps based on a quote from Winston Churchill: “You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.”
“Service has always been something that I am passionate about,” said Pierson of her desire to join the Peace Corps. “I'm not unrealistic, although I am a dreamer, and I know that my Peace Corps service won't change the world large scale, but if I can make a positive impact on the people within my assigned community using my skills and perspective, then I have done what I set out to do.”
Pierson is the daughter of Jackie and Orrin Pierson of Pierson’s Farm in Otisville, New York, and a graduate of Minisink Valley High School in Slate Hill, New York. She attended the State University of New York at New Paltz in New Paltz, New York, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in human services and a minor in business and psychology in May 2017. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, she served as a member of the New Paltz Women's volleyball team, and Alpha Gamma Delta, which is the New Paltz chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed community service fraternity. During her time at New Paltz, she also studied abroad in Limerick, Ireland.
During the first three months of her service, Pierson will live with a host family in Namibia to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the necessary skills to assist her community, Pierson will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Namibia, where she will live and work for two years with the local people.
Pierson joins the 379 New York State residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 13,791 New York State residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.
Sullivan County Homeless Federation announces honorees for 30th Anniversary Gala
MONTICELLO (August 7) - This year the Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless is celebrating their 30th Anniversary of service with a dinner gala on October 21st at the Mountainview Manor in Glen Spey. The Federation has chosen to honor Tony Cellini, Gary Schmidt, Bill Sipos and Steve White, four local individuals who have been long time supporters of the organization in various ways from the inception of Tom’s Kitchen in 1987 to present.
“There are so many folks that spring to mind when thinking of the support the Federation has received from the community over the years” says director Kathy Kreiter. “The individuals chosen this year truly represent the spirit of community involvement and paying it forward.”
Tickets to the gala are $75.00 each, and include a scrumptious cocktail party w/ open bar in addition to a delicious dinner. All proceeds from the October 21st event will directly benefit the Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless and those they serve.
The Federation for the Homeless provides education, goods and services to those who are without resources. If you would like to join the gala committee, purchase tickets or learn about sponsorship opportunities, please call Kathy Kreiter at (845) 794-2604, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
A healthy start begins with on-time vaccinations
POUGHKEEPSIE (August 7) - Thousands of Americans get sick from diseases that can be prevented by vaccines every year. Some of these diseases end in death. Immunization is the best protection against these diseases. Dutchess County is proud to recognize August as National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), celebrating the importance of on-time immunizations for a healthy start and lifetime.
Full details on our Health Page
RECAP accepting home weatherization applications
MIDDLETOWN (July 31) - Regional Economic Community Action Program’s Energy Conservation program is seeking applications from residents in Orange and Rockland Counties. The agency offers a variety of home improvement measures to help residents reduce energy use and save money on heating and cooling bills.
The agency’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) offers grants through the U.S. Department of Energy to improve home energy efficiency using the latest technology in energy upgrades. Since the program began in 1976, the DOE has helped improve the lives of more than 7 million families by reducing their energy usage and bills. Renters may apply on behalf of landlords. Services include on-site energy use education giving residents simple tips for lowering their heating and electric costs
RECAP’s Weatherization Program helps residents reduce energy costs and improve the safety of their homes through repair, modification or replacements of qualifying home elements. Subject to the findings of an energy audit, improvement measures typically include energy efficient lighting, a health and safety check for the presence of gas leaks and carbon monoxide, correct venting of furnaces, boilers and hot water heaters. It also allows for the installation of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Energy audit findings might yield a need for attic and basement ceiling insulation, installation of energy efficient lighting, low-flow showerheads, and caulk and weather-stripping and pipe insulation. Dependant on age and condition, other improvements may also include the repair or replacement of heating systems and hot water tanks. Also offered by RECAP, is the NYSERDA Empower Energy Efficiency Program through which customers may be eligible for replacement of inefficient refrigerators and freezers.
Another service is Heating Equipment Repair & Replacement (HERR) to facilitate the repair or replacement of furnaces, boilers, and other direct heating components to keep the home’s primary heating source functional. Homeowners must reside in the home. This program is a joint venture between RECAP and the Department of Social Services.
Help is free for eligible households. Residents who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), public assistance, food stamps, or HEAP benefits may be categorically eligible. Visit RECAP’s Energy Conservation department online at www.recap.org or call (845) 342-3978 for income guidelines and how to apply.
Fort Delaware Museum at Narrowsburg
Veterans welcome for free at Sullivan County parks
MONTICELLO (July 26) - The Sullivan County Legislature, the County Manager’s Office, the Veterans Service Agency, and the Parks, Recreation & Beautification Office announce that honorably discharged veterans will no longer be asked to pay to enter any fee-based County park or the Sullivan County Museum in Hurleyville.
“Our veterans deserve as much thanks as we can give them,” said District 3 Legislator Mark McCarthy, who chairs the Legislature’s Veterans Committee. “By removing the requirement for fees at the County Museum, Lake Superior and Fort Delaware, we honor their service, while at the same time encouraging them to benefit both body and mind by visiting these sites.”
“We greatly appreciate our veterans, and we work hard every day to improve their lives,” said County Manager Josh Potosek. “This waiver of fees is a way for the County to convey its deep gratitude to those who served and continue to serve in our nation’s armed forces – and it’s a way to help them enjoy the many amenities our parks have to offer.”
“Our F.A.V.O.R. Program (Find and Assist Veterans of Record) already provides special discounts and other advantages by participating local businesses, so it seems only fitting the County does the same,” remarked Veterans Service Agency Director John Crotty. “I thank the Legislature for reminding our veterans that we care about them and stand ready to assist them any way we can.”
The fee waiver applies only to honorably discharged veterans; any accompanying family members or friends will be asked to pay the standard fee. To be eligible, veterans must bring with them a valid ID issued through the F.A.V.O.R. Program, which they can obtain via the Sullivan County Veterans Service Agency at the Government Center in Monticello (845-807-0233).
Major and Neuhaus
Zylofone Studios CEO is Orange County’s Citizen of the Month
GOSHEN (July 26) - Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus recognized Debbie Major, the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Zylofone Studios, Inc., as the Citizen of the Month Award winner for July.
Zylofone Studios, located in Campbell Hall, is a non-profit organization that provides performing arts workshops to the special needs community and senior citizens.
“Debbie has had a profound impact on the people with whom she works with and their families,” Neuhaus said. “She is passionate and innovative, which is reflected in the diverse programs that Zylofone Studios offers our community. I have always been impressed by Debbie’s energy and kindness. She is deeply committed to Zylofone’s mission and I know the studio will continue to touch lives as it grows.”
Zylofone programs offer participants the space and freedom to express themselves and indulge in safe and educational activities while enhancing their social and life skills, and development. Major and her staff work with approximately 400 clients each year, ranging in age from infants to 90 years-old in her studio and at various locations throughout the County.
Classes include music and movement, drum therapy, sketch and song, a dance program, karaoke , theater and more.
“I wanted to provide a venue that feels like home and allows people to be creative,” said Major, a Montgomery resident. “We are a very tight-knit group, we’ve become a family. This makes me look forward to waking up every day and it makes my life richer. The vision that we had for Zylofone has definitely come to fruition.”
Major, an accomplished singer and pianist, started Zylofone in 2011. She was inspired by her sons, Gage and Jacob, who are fraternal twins. Gage has cerebral palsy and Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.
Neuhaus introduced his Citizen of the Month Award, which acknowledges outstanding Orange County residents, in January. To nominate someone for the Citizen of the Month Award, please email email@example.com
Campaign Finance Seminar
MONTICELLO (July 26) - The New York State Board of Elections will be conducting a Campaign Finance Seminar in Sullivan County. The Seminars are free, open to the public and geared toward:
- Political committee treasurers and members
August 1, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Sullivan County Government Center Legislative Hearing Room (Second Floor)
100 North Street,
United Way Dutchess-Orange welcomes three new board members
POUGHKEEPSIE & MONTGOMERY (July 19) - United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region welcomes three community leaders committed to making a difference to United Way’s Board of Directors. Joining the Board are:
- Fred Clarke of Stenger, Roberts, Davis, and Diamond, LLP has spent the last 2 years at the firm focusing on Family Law, Civil Litigation, Criminal Defense, and Guardianships for the elderly, minors, and persons with disabilities. Prior to law, Mr. Clarke led a wide-ranging career in government and corporate communications as Director of Radio and Television on Capitol Hill and as a VP of Marketing and Communications for JPMorgan. Mr. Clarke is an active member of many organizations in his community including the Cold Spring Lions Club, The Knights of Columbus, the Northern Dutchess Chapter of the NAACP (Officer), and the Dutchess and Putnam Bar Associations.
- Susan Howell of RBT CPAs, LLP has over 20 years of public accounting experience. Over the last decade, she has concentrated her efforts in the construction industry as a leader in the firm’s Construction Industry Practice. Susan is affiliated with several groups and organizations in the area including the Mid-Hudson Chapter of the New York State Society of CPA’s (NYSSCPA), the Construction Industry Council, the Greater Newburgh YMCA (Past Chair), and United Way’s Women’s Leadership Initiative Committee.
- Matthew Paquet has worked with Abilities First, Inc., for 14 years, currently as a Quality Assurance Coordinator. He has also entering his 9th year as the Director of Athletics for Dutchess Community College. Mr. Paquet has been involved with United Way for 10 years serving as volunteer, joining the Young Leaders United Initiative in 2008 and serving as the Chair since 2014, and acting as a Loaned Executive in 2011 and 2012.
In addition, several members of the Board of Directors will move into new positions, with David Jolly, the Chief Operating Officer of Cornerstone Family Healthcare, serving as Chair of the Board and Kevin Cleary, retired executive with IBM Corporation, serving as Vice-Chair. Barry Rothfeld of Focus Media is now the Immediate Past Chair.
In addition, three longtime members of the Board have stepped down after decades of service: Steve Howell of RBT CPAs, LLP, Diane Passaro of Orange Bank & Trust and James Rollins of Covenant Urban Enterprises. United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region extends its deepest gratitude to them for their impeccable service to the community.
For additional information about United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region, go to www.uwdor.org,
Farmer’s market coupons now available to qualifying New Rochelle seniors
NEW ROCHELLE (July 19) - Seniors looking to stretch their food budgets this summer and fall may be entitled to discount Farmers Market Coupons. To be eligible, individuals must be 60 years of age or older AND have a monthly income at or below $1,860/single, $2,504/couple, $3,159/three-person household OR be 60 and older and currently receiving or eligible to receive SSI, Public Assistance or Section 8 housing subsidy.
The check book-style coupons will be distributed while supplies last beginning Tuesday, July 17, thru September 30th, 2017 at the Hugh Doyle Senior Center, 94 Davis Avenue, New Rochelle from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. Proof of age and New Rochelle residency are required. Applicants must come in person to sign affidavit.
The coupons are valid at the New Rochelle Farmer’s Market, located at Huguenot Park every Friday, and at the Grand Market, Library Green every Saturday through summer and fall to November 30th, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or sellout. The Markets features a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and specialty foods.
For more information on the Farmer’s Market Coupons contact the Hugh Doyle Senior Center at 235-2363.