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Port Jervis Volunteer Ambulance Corporation looking for social membership volunteers

PORT JERVIS (January 30) - The Port Jervis Volunteer Ambulance Corporation (PJVAC) is looking for people who would like to volunteer on behalf of PJVAC in their social membership organization. The social membership is intended to give a helping hand and support to active ambulance personnel. PJVAC is looking for thoughtful, hardworking and dedicated individuals to become a part of the organization. If you have limitations that hinder you from being able to volunteer on an ambulance, but would still like to help out, we would welcome your help. Experience and training is not necessary.

In the past, the role of the original social membership was to supply coffee and refreshments at the scenes of major emergencies, a service which is now provided by the American Red Cross. Today, the organization provides well-appreciated services to many different ambulance and fire companies, whether it’s bringing support to members and compassion to families at emergencies or participating in important fund raising events and connecting with the community.

PJVAC, located on 29 Church Street in Port Jervis, has been serving the community for over 58 years. The ambulance provides basic life support emergency services to the City of Port Jervis and the Town of Deerpark and is staffed 24 hours a day, year round.

PJVAC is a non-profit organization, which encompasses both volunteer and some paid staff. The organization receives minimal tax support from the City of Port Jervis and the Town of Deerpark with additional funding from insurance billing and generous donations from the community. For more information visit or check out their Facebook page.


Mandated on-the-job training for security guards course offered

MONTICELLO (January 30 - The Adult and Continuing Education Program at Sullivan BOCES is offering the Mandated On-the-Job Security Guard Training course on Tuesdays & Thursdays from   February 21st through March 2nd from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm at the St. John Street Education Center in Monticello.  The cost of the course is $185.

New York State Security Guard Program statute mandates the successful completion of a sixteen-hour On-The-Job Training (OJT) Course for Security Guards.  The course relates to the security guard’s duties, nature of the workplace and the requirements of the security guard company.  This mandate has been ongoing since early 1994.  This course is a requirement for all security guards in New York State and must be completed within 90 days of employment/application submission for Department of State security guard registration.

This course will also be given on June 3rd.

To register or for more information, contact the Adult and Continuing Education Program at (845) 295-4900 between the hours of 9:00 am and 6:30 pm or visit us at


Leadership Orange, Junior League of Orange County call for Rising Stars Award nominations

NEW WINDSOR (January 27) – Leadership Orange and The Junior League of Orange County, are currently seeking nominations for this years’ Annual Rising Stars Awards.

Recipents of this award are those who possess and execute excellent leadership skills in both their professional and volunteer lives and are chosen based on values such as achievement, experience, innovation, vision and community impact.

In order to qualify for this award, nominees must live, work or volunteer in Orange County and must be between the ages of 21 and 40 on or before December 31.

To nominate an individual who you feel fits the above criteria, please complete and send the attached form to by April 30. Self-nominations are also encouraged.

Nomination Form
(You may find it easier to copy & paste this form in a blank word processor page)

Name of Nominee _________________________________________Date of Birth_______________________________


Home/Company (circle one) Address ____________________________________________________________________

Daytime Phone______________________________E-mail___________________________________________________

  1. Civic Leadership and Volunteerism (include length of service and offices held in community organizations. What impact has this person had on his/her community?)



  1. Accomplishments (specific achievements and special projects) 



  1. Why does this nominee deserve to be recognized as a Rising Star? Please be specific. (75 words or less)


  1.  Additional information the selection committee should consider:  (75 words or less)


Submitted by_______________________________________________________________________________________



Phone_______________________________ Email______________________________________________________

Completed nomination forms must be submitted by April 30 to:


Orange County seeking nominations for Citizen of the Month Award

GOSHEN (January 22) – County Executive Steven Neuhaus announces the introduction of his Citizen of the Month Award, which will acknowledge outstanding Orange County residents each month, starting in February

“The Citizen of the Month Award provides us with a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to some of the outstanding residents who make Orange County such a great place to live,” Neuhaus said. “There are so many people throughout our County doing impressive things. They take great pride in serving their communities and should be acknowledged, thanked and honored for all that they do.”

To nominate someone for the Citizen of the Month Award, please email or mail a letter to “Citizen of the Month” at 255-275 Main Street Goshen, N.Y. 10924. Be sure to include the nominee’s name, hometown, a list of their accomplishments, why you are nominating them and any other pertinent information. Nominees must be from Orange County.


Walden community leaders honored at 7th annual Leadership Day awards ceremony

WALDEN (January 22) –  The Village of Walden recently recognized local community leaders at its 7th Annual Leadership Day Awards Ceremony. Over 75 community members gathered at Municipal Hall to celebrate the honorees and their commitment to making the Village of Walden a better place to live, work, and volunteer.

“Leadership Day is an excellent opportunity to thank the individuals and businesses who have had a profound impact on our community,” said Village of Walden Mayor Susan Rumbold. “Each of this year’s honorees is dedicated to the betterment of our community and serves as an outstanding example to our residents.”

The following individuals were honored at the event:

  • Cynthia Hunter, Midge Norman - Volunteer of the Year
  • Calista Bond and Katherine Cavallucci - Ronald Jacobowitz Youths of the Year
  • Richard “Dickie” Baxter - Sam Phelps Service Award
  • New York School of Music - Community Business of the Year

For more information on the Village of Walden, visit


Award winners Heimbach, left, and McCarey, right, with Orange County Legislator Steven Brescia

Cornell Cooperative Extension holds 101st annual meeting and awards dinner

MIDDLETOWN (December 27) - Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County (CCEOC) held its 101st Annual Corporate Meeting and Awards Dinner earlier this month, honoring outstanding volunteers and staff, as well as electing members of the community to its Board of Directors. 

“I was delighted to hear outgoing Board President, Andrea Nilon, County Executive Steven Neuhaus and other county officials highlight the achievements of our volunteers and staff” says Lucy Joyce, Executive Director.

Lou Heimbach of Warwick received the 2016 Friend of Extension Award for demonstrating support for the mission of CCE. The award was presented to Lou by Patricia Claiborne, former CCE Executive Director. The 2016 Distinguished Service Award was presented to John McCarey of Middletown for his many years of service to CCE and its mission, as well as for the hours of active participation in programs, committees and activities. Michael Pillmeier, CCE board member, presented John with the award.

In a unanimous vote, the community elected the following members to the Board of Directors for 2017: Paul Johnson, DVM of Middletown, Michael Pillmeier of Florida, Belinda Van Dunk of Hamptonburgh and Jennifer Crist Kohn of Walden.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County is the premier research-based cooperative educational system focusing its resources on current and future issues in order to positively affect Agriculture, Families and Youth, Environment, and Economic Development in our county. For more information, visit


Mitchell with Tom Davis, one of his sponsors

Eight-year-old philanthropist invites the community to give

MIDDLETOWN (December 26) - At the height of the season of giving, let me tell you about this special 8-year old from Westtown, Mitchell Demberg. Each year, Mitchell and his family celebrate his birthday with a party and gifts just like many other families do. However, for two years now, Mitchell decided to forgo any presents. Instead, he asked that his family and friends donate what they would have spent on gifts to support building the Cornell Cooperative Extension Education Center and 4-H Park, which is in the process of erecting in Otisville, NY.  

“We encouraged him to select a place to donate since he was getting more gifts than he needed for his birthday” said Mitchell’s mother, Shawne Demberg.  “We gave him some ideas and he picked the Park.”

Mitchell is a member of the Incredible Clovers 4-H Club, a participant in the 4-H Robotics Club and is looking forward to the 4-H Dog Program when he is old enough to join. Along with his parents, he has been volunteering for a few years with the “Great Extension Duck Derby”, a fundraising event that occurs each October. With the gifts he raised through his birthday moneys, Mitchell was able to sponsor the Duck Derby with over $1,300 in the past two years, all of which went to the CCEOC Building Fund for the CCE Education Center and 4-H Park. When asked why donate the money to the 4-H Park, Mitchell stated, “We need to finish the project.” 

At the recent CCEOC Annual Corporate Meeting and Awards Dinner Mitchell spoke eloquently to a crowd of nearly 150 adults about his donations and the importance of the Park. In fact, he spoke with such great passion, that he inspired guests to follow suit and John McCarey, one of the Dinner honorees, declared he’d ask all his friends to donate $77 to the Park in honor of his 77th birthday. Now that’s the season’s spirit in action. 

For information about how to support Mitchell’s dream to finish the CCE Educational Center and 4-H Park, visit


Ulster County Police Chief’s Association election results

KINGSTON (December 27) - Elected as 2017 Executive Board members:

  • President - Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra
  • Vice-President - New York State Police Captain James Michael
  • Secretary – Ulster County Sheriff’s Office Captain Vincent Alteri
  • Treasurer – Ulster County Sheriff’s Office (Ret) Lieutenant Don Pecora


RECAP staff at the FOCUS Building in Middletown with donations for
families in Supportive Housing

Holiday donations for RECAP’s supportive housing programs

MIDDLETOWN (December 19) - Community groups, volunteers and staff came together this month to channel donations for RECAP’s Supportive Housing residents. Hundreds of items including towels, washcloths, light bulbs, toilet paper, deodorant, laundry soap, care packages of hats and gloves, scarves, backpacks, blankets, hand sanitizer, ponchos, lotion, toys, and food are being organized for distribution this week at the organization’s FOCUS Building residence in Middletown. Generous support came from Fox Hill Community, Toys for Tots, RECAP staff, Marina Caceres from Sol Full Yoga, Jeremy O'Rourke, Jennifer Kalish Malzahn, and Middletown High School freshman Angel Bologra.

Bologra became involved when she sought out RECAP during the pursuit of her Girl Scouts Gold Award. The Middletown High School freshman developed a project to connect local shelters and community groups with donations. She and RECAP case managers developed a list of families in need and she circulated flyers on foot and through social media. Bologra is a member of the Mayor’s Youth Council and was recently honored by the school as a positive role model.   

The collection benefits participants in RECAP’s Reentry program, women and children in the Middletown FOCUS building, seniors in Port Jervis, residents of Avent and PACER houses in Middletown, as well as the Warming Station at St. Paul’s Church in Middletown. “Our supportive housing residents are all ages and donations reflected that diversity,” said Cheryl Cohen, a RECAP case manager who works with the recipients year round and helped organize the drive. She and coworkers used word of mouth and social media to spread the message about residents in need. “I told all of our staff and Manny in our Energy Conservation department used Facebook with lots of success. You can’t underestimate the power of asking lots of people for a little bit,” said Cohen whose office is at 119 East Main Street in Middletown. She shares space with RECAP’s FOCUS Building which houses women and children in transitional housing. 

RECAP’s Supportive Housing Program offers housing and case management services to help residents regain economic self-sufficiency. Residents regain stability as they secure housing, healthcare support, financial independence, and employment stability. Residences in Middletown, Newburgh and Port Jervis assist seniors, veterans, displaced families, and people with histories of mental health issues and substance abuse.  

RECAP celebrated 50 years in the Hudson Valley in 2015. Visit



Dutchess Tourism appoints new office administrator

POUGHKEEPSIE (December 19) - Dutchess Tourism, Inc. welcomes a new employee to its team, Colleen Dorney, who recently joined as their new office administrator.

Most recently, Dorneywas an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader for the Corporation for National and Community Service in Connecticut. Previously, she served as their Community Outreach Coordinator in Buffalo. She brings a wealth of experience supervising volunteers and coordinating programs with non-profits. She’ll assist with event promotion, and supporting all of the staff in their marketing and promotional efforts.

Dorney earned her Bachelor of Arts in History at Loyola University in 2014. After graduation, she was an archives assistant in the Loyola Notre Dame Library. She expects to earn her Master of Public Administration from Marist in 2018.

A Staatsburgh native, she once again resides in that town.


Ontario and Western Railroad Historical Society announces Member of the Year

MIDDLETOWN (December 19) - The Ontario and Western Historical Society’s long time member Bob Earle was awarded the John Hobbs Chryn Member of the Year award at their December meeting.

Earle has given many programs for the society including one at last year’s O&WRHS convention and has volunteered at the society archives on numerous occasions. 

Earle (holding plaque), with (l-r) trustees Joseph Senese and Alex Prizgintas, Publications Chairman Carl Ohlson,
president Jeff Otto, trustee Joseph Meyers, and secretary Ray Kelly.

On Friday, January 6th at 7:30 pm, the Society will be holding their next monthly meeting. The program for the meeting will be the discussion of the New York, Susquehanna and Western railroad from the 1940’s into the 1960’s by noted local historian Doug Barberio. Also at the meeting will be a large assortment of railroad antiques and railroad related literature for sale. If you want to learn more about the O&W railroad and local railroad history, why not come by and meet other rail fans.

The Ontario and Western Railroad Historical Society meets on the first Friday of each month (except for July, August, and November, when the annual convention is held) at the Middletown Senior Center (aka Mulberry House), 62- 70 West Main Street. If you would like to join, please contact Ray Pinglora at


L-R:  Sergeant Pat Koch, Detective Joe Judge,
Officer Evan Redmond, Officer Eric Bernhardsen,
Sergeant Matt Sutton, Chief Joe Snyder, Sergeant
Duke Bunce and Sergeant Keith Lewis.

New Paltz cops raise over $3,700, with their beards

NEW PALTZ (December 14) - The New Paltz Police Officers that participated in American Cancer Society Fund Raiser, “No-Shave November” reached their goal and then some.  This is the third year that the New Paltz Police team participated in this great event and set a goal of $2,500.  This year we raised $3,705 with Sgt Duke Bunce raising the most, $1,205 on his own.  Sgt Bunce also raised the most during the past two year’s during this event.   

The goal of No-Shave November is to increase public awareness of the fight against cancer.  Many cancer patients lose their hair as a result of treatments, so we letting our hair grow wild and free in support of cancer patients and survivors.  Money normally spent on shaving and grooming for the month will be donated to the American Cancer Society to educate about cancer prevention, save lives and aid those fighting the battle. 

“This was another successful fundraiser and I appreciate the efforts of our members as well as everyone that donated to support the American Cancer Society”  “This was our third year participating and I look forward to participating again next year” Chief Joe Snyder said. 


Homeowners Jacqueline Kealy and John McConnell were decked out in their holiday finery
to welcome guests to their beautiful Victorian home

Goshen Christmas House Tour Raised More than $23,000 for Catholic Charities Community Services

GOSHEN (December 14) – Close to 400 guests were warmly welcomed into eight private Goshen houses and two bonus locations for a sneak peak at their holiday finery for Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange and Sullivan’s 2nd annual Goshen Christmas House Tour. More than $23,000 was raised in support of the non-profit’s mission to provide help and create hope for those most in need in our community.

Catholic Charities’ House Tour guests checked in at Glen Arden, where tickets were also available for event day purchase. While there, they were treated to live musical entertainment from a variety of Goshen High School Music Department student ensembles and the Warwick High School Meistersingers. They also enjoyed fresh-baked goods and hot chocolate from ShopRite Supermarkets, home-made cookies from the Bellvale Bruderhof Community, and hot apple cider from Soons Orchards. Guests kicked-off their outing by visiting two Glen Arden apartments decorated for Christmas before setting out on the self-guided Tour.

Of the eight private homes on the Tour, six were in the Village of Goshen, most within walking distance of each other, and two in the Town of Goshen. In addition to Glen Arden, the newly refurbished Stagecoach Inn opened its doors for Catholic Charities’ guests. Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty and the Harness Racing Museum also welcomed Tour participants to warm up and refresh.

“The Holiday House Tour is a great way to launch the Christmas season,” said Susan Murray Tetz, President of Catholic Charities’ Board of Directors and House Tour Committee Chairperson. “We were so blessed to have the support of eight homeowners and their families, as well as our friends at Glen Arden and the Stagecoach Inn, who opened their hearts and their homes to friends and strangers alike and gave so generously of their time, talent, and treasure to raise much-needed funds for those served by Catholic Charities.”

Each location was unique in its decorating style and presentation of the Christmas theme. Father George Hafemann, pastor at St. John’s Church in Goshen and a Catholic Charities’ board member, offered a blessing at each home prior to the start of the Tour. Students from John S. Burke Catholic High School and St. John’s School and Religious Education Program volunteered at the homes, assisting homeowners with a variety of tasks to welcome guests.

Before starting out, Tour participants received a Guide Book which featured a map, a photo and description of each location, as well as advertisements, special offers, and holiday wishes from House Tour sponsors and supporters.

The House Tour was part of the weekend’s Gather in Goshen celebration organized in partnership with the Village of Goshen, Goshen Chamber of Commerce, John S. Burke Catholic High School, and Illuminate Goshen. In addition to the House Tour, the festivities included a Holiday Boutique at Burke and the lighting of the Christmas tree in the Village center.  


(contributed photo)

Children’s Coordinated Services Initiative brings holiday cheer to children in Putnam County

PUTNAM COUNTY (December 14) - A joint community partnership brought Putnam County youth and their families together for a night filled with food, fun and festivities. As members of the Children’s Coordinated Services Initiative (CCSI), Putnam Family & Community Services (PFCS), Green Chimneys Community Based Services, and the Putnam County Youth Bureau teamed once again on December 6th to host their annual children’s holiday party. More than 80 people--children, parents, and caretakers--gathered at the Mahopac Fire Department to celebrate the holiday season.

In cooperation with the Toys for Tots Foundation, a program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, gifts were distributed to all children in attendance, brightening their holidays and putting smiles on their faces. The holiday craft table was a big hit this year as children created holiday gifts for friends and family.

Many generous donations made this wonderful evening possible, including funds to buy gift cards for the older children and food for holiday dinners. A special thank you goes to the Brewster Rotary for providing the wonderful buffet dinner and Ace Endico for supplying the delicious dessert.

The CCSI team includes Christina McGuigan, Connie Chin, Stephanie Roberts, Wanda Crowley, Suleiska Richardson, Jenna Tompkins, and Raleighn Williams from PFCS; Dawn Mullins from the Putnam County Department of Mental Health; and Eva Ziggaro, Nicole Dwyer, Erin Dommermuth, and Claire Ragano from Green Chimneys. Along with Joseph A. DeMarzo, Deputy Commissioner of Social Services, Mental Health and Youth Bureau for Putnam County, the team came together to provide a great night of community, gift giving, and fun. “The families we serve through the CCSI program always say that this event is the highlight of their holiday season,” said Christina McGuigan, PFCS Coordinator of Community Based Services. “Everyone has a wonderful time, and the children are so excited to enjoy the night with their families and receive very special gifts. We all feel and share the joy and gratitude of the season.”



Clearwater welcomes new Education Director

BEACON (December 14) - Hudson River Sloop Clearwater welcomes Maija Niemisto as the organizations new education director. Niemisto first started with Clearwater in 2008 as an onboard educator. Spending six years as an educator aboard sloop Clearwater helped to cultivate her passion for the Hudson, while honing her teaching and sailing skills.

Clearwater’s environmental education programs include the award-winning Sailing Classroom, multi-day youth empowerment programs for young men and women, the Tideline program; a shore-based program at Esopus Meadows, the Aquatic Invasive Species program, in-class programming and Sail Trainee programs.

“We are excited to have Maija return to Clearwater as our new education director,” said Dave Conover, Clearwater’s Interim Executive Director. “She's in a great position to lead our programs, both on and off the boat. Welcome back, Maija!”

Niemisto achieved a B.A. in environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. After her studies, she bought a small sailboat and set out on an adventure to explore the eastern seaboard, which lead her to Clearwater in 2008.

In 2014, Niemisto left Clearwater to pursue an M.S. in Marine Sciences at Stony Brook University and deepened her knowledge of the Hudson River Estuary through research on estuarine fish and zooplankton using a biological acoustic system hosted aboard the sloop.

"I have always been moved by the power of Clearwater’s unique ability to connect people with their environment through music and sailing on the Hudson River” said Maija Niemisto. “Clearwater’s education program is an inspiration for everyone who participates, and I am thrilled to continue my involvement with the organization as education director."

Dave Conover, who held the position of education director since 2007 will remain Clearwater’s interim executive director.


SUNY Ulster’s Vet Tech Club gathers donations for Ulster SPCA

KINGSTON (December 14) - SUNY Ulster’s Veterinary Technology Club gathered lots of great donations for The Ulster County SPCA

(Full details on our Education Page)


Historic Huguenot Street receives major grant from National Endowment for the Humanities

NEW PALTZ (December 14) - Historic Huguenot Street has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections Planning Grant for 2016-2017.

Full details on our Arts/Entertainment Page


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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