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United Way offers opportunity for veterans, military families to enhance their communities

POUGHKEEPSIE/NEWBURGH (May 16) - United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region is offering an exciting new opportunity for veterans and military families to enhance their communities. The Community Heroes Project is a training program structured to guide service members and their families to further develop leadership skills that they already have and utilize these same skills to address some of the most pressing issues in our community. The free 10-hour training will be held on three consecutive Saturday mornings in June at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh (June 2, 9, 16).

The Community Heroes Project serves as a bridge to help veterans and military families reintegrate into their local community through civic engagement. The first cohort (or team) of Community Heroes completed their training in March.

“This first team of Community Heroes consisted of thirteen enthusiastic, motivated and community-minded individuals from across the Hudson Valley, with over 180 years of combined military service,” said program coordinator Emily Sassano, a Community Heroes Project AmeriCorps member based at United Way. “Over the course of three sessions, this group of veterans, current service members and military family members assessed the needs of our community and explored all the steps of organizing a service project.”

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The latest grads with their certificates

The second set of free training sessions will be held on Saturdays, June 2, 9, and 16, from 9:00am to 12:30pm at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh. Space is limited so everyone is encouraged to sign up now to ensure their space. Go to www.uwdor.org/communityheroesproject for more information and to sign up for the training course.

All participants who complete the 10-hour training will earn a Volunteer Leader Certification and will be equipped with the skills they need to organize their own projects in the future. This program will build a pipeline of diverse, talented and skilled individuals who already have a commitment to serve. 

The Community Heroes Project is a component of United Way's MISSION UNITED™ initiative. This project is a branch of the Frontline Families AmeriCorps Program, a national service program run by Points of Light. 

 

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(contributed photo)

Leadership Orange Class of 2018 class project

NEWBURGH (May 9) - The Leadership Orange adult class of 2018 traveled to Newburgh on Saturday, May 5 to carry out their 2018 community project. The project involved giving the Newburgh Armory Unity Center (NAUC) Community Garden a Spring-cleaning and preparing the space for planting and educational programs.  The NAUC garden features more than 40 raised beds and has grown and donated hundreds of pounds of food to local families and food banks.

The beds are offered to the families of those attending the NAUC for educational programs on a first come basis and the remaining beds will be open to other Newburgh area residents.  This year we are adding a Coolbot cooling system which will allow us to store more vegetables for a longer period. Additionally we will be featuring an aquaponics system using fish wastewater to fertilize our produce.

“The children of Newburgh are seeing for the first time where some of their food comes from and what it takes to grow it from seed,” said NAUC Special Projects Manager Andy Komonchak.  “We encourage parental involvement and see it as a chance to share a unique experience with their children while learning about our food and bodies. As a past member of the LO Class of 2007 it amazes me how year after year this program continues to make a difference in the lives of the class members and the greater Orange County community.”

 

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L-R: Neuhaus and Washingtonville residents Joan Graziano and
Sandy Wisniewski, a volunteer with the County’s Senior Dining Program

Orange County Office for the Aging’s Big Wheels Deliver Meals Program hits the road

GOSHEN (May 2) - Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus participated in the Office for the Aging’s Big Wheels Deliver Meals Program on Tuesday morning, bringing meals to homebound seniors in Washingtonville. Office for the Aging Director AnnMarie Maglione, several Legislators and other County officials also took part in the event.

“I always look forward to participating in this wonderful event and I enjoyed meeting those who volunteer so much of their time to the County’s Senior Dining Program,” Neuhaus said. “It was also rewarding to spend some time with the seniors who contribute so much to Orange County. We hope that any attention we may have brought to this important program today inspires others in our communities to volunteer.”

Neuhaus was joined on his delivery route by Washingtonville resident Sandy Wisniewski, who has volunteered with the Senior Dining Program for two years. The County Executive’s tour included a stop at eight different homes. Each day, Orange County’s Senior Dining program provides fresh, nutritionally-balanced meals to approximately 900 people at senior centers and private homes. While delivering meals, volunteers check on the seniors, many of whom are homebound, and both enjoy the daily visit.

The Office for the Aging is committed to meeting the needs of Orange County’s senior population and their families and friends who care for them, by offering services, either directly or through subcontractors, designed to maintain the quality of life of those aged 60 and over.Volunteers for Orange County’s Home Delivered Meals program are needed from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, Monday through Friday. Schedules can be arranged to meet the volunteer’s availability. To volunteer or to apply to receive meal delivery, contact Office for the Aging at 615-3703.

“Even if you can volunteer only once a month, it makes a difference in the lives of our seniors,” Neuhaus said. “Any time that residents can contribute to important programs such as this is much needed and greatly appreciated.”

For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or jrodriguez@orangecountygov.com.

 

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Dog kennel in need of new roof

Pets Alive to raise $100,000 for repair of dog kennel building

TOWN OF WALLKILL (May 2) - Pets Alive, a no kill animal rescue organization in the Town of Wallkill, has joined the 2018 Saving Pets Challenge, a fundraising competition on CrowdRise, the largest crowdfunding platform for good. The 2018 Saving Pets Challenge, sponsored by Michelson Found Animals, is dedicated to raising money and awareness for organizations focused on keeping companion pets out of shelters and into loving homes. Participating organizations will compete for $250,000 in prize money. Pets Alive has joined the Challenge to raise at least $100,000 to give a major facelift to its dog kennel building in what they’re calling the Dog Kennel Transfurmation project.

2018 is a special year for Pets Alive as they celebrate 30 years incorporated as a no kill animal rescue organization.

“Thirty years of wear and tear have taken its toll on the dog kennel building, home to 65-70 dogs as they await to be adopted,” said Becky Tegze, Pets Alive Executive Director. “The roof is in desperate need of replacement and the exterior portion of each of the dog runs are in dire need of repair. We appreciate the community’s support of this important project.”

Pets Alive will get some help to meet that goal with matching gift pledges of up to $40,000 by two foundations. Sidewalk Angels Foundation, a New York-based, non-profit organization founded in 2003 by Grammy Award Winning Artist Rob Thomas and his wife Marisol Thomas, will match dollar for dollar raised in the Challenge up to $30,000 to help replace the roof.

Additionally, the John and Christine Tortorella Family Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by John Tortorella, head coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League (NHL), and his wife Christine Tortorella, author and children’s literacy and animal welfare advocate, will match up to $10,000 to help with the dog run repairs.

“The Tortorella Family Foundation is pleased to support Pets Alive in this Challenge,” said Executive Director Christine Tortorella. “Helping an organization like Pets Alive provide a safe and healthy environment for the dogs is an important part of our mission.”

The Saving Pets Challenge 2018 runs now through May 31.

There will also be Weekly Bonus Challenges that enable charities to win additional funds for their cause. To help Pets Alive win the Saving Pets Challenge 2018 and reach their goal to transform their dog kennel building, head to http://bit.ly/PetsAliveSPC18.  All donations must be made online by May 31, 1:59pm EDT to qualify for the challenge prizes.

 

Julius Collins honored on 25th anniversary as the pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church

ALBANY (May 2) ­- State Senator John Bonacic (Mt. Hope) honored Reverend Julius Collins

Full details on our Religion Page

 

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Bregman

Hudson Highlands Nature Museum names new executive director

CORNWALL (April 30) - After an extensive search lasting more than three months the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum Board of Trustees announced the selection of Thomas Bregman, a Cornwall resident, as its next Executive Director.  The previous director, Jacqueline Grant, retired last fall after 17 years of leadership that saw the Museum expand its nature-based preschool, its education programs and outdoor play (Grasshopper Grove) initiatives at the 177-acre Outdoor Discovery Center in the town of Cornwall and its Wildlife Education Center on The Boulevard in Cornwall-on-Hudson.

The new director comes to the Nature Museum with a broad range of leadership experience in multiple sectors including non-profit, corporate, campaigns and environmental advocacy.  In 2010, Mr. Bregman was the initial hire at Energize NY, a newly formed Westchester-based clean energy municipal consortium. While there he helped build programs and the organization (a not-for-profit local development corporation) as the Director of Energize NY Residential. 

 “Over the coming decade the Nature Museum will seek to significantly expand our impact in the realm of nature education and related programs,” said Board Chair Susan Christensen.  “We know this will require strong and stable leadership working closely with board members and our dedicated and remarkably talented staff to meet ambitious goals.  It is our belief that Tom Bregman brings the right mix of professional expertise, local and regional connections, life experience and commitment to our mission to transform plans into reality.”

Bregman’s relationship to the community, the region, the Hudson Highlands and the Nature Museum is personal.

“I have a deep and abiding connection to the Hudson Highlands and the natural world.  Cornwall has been my home for many years.  It’s where I raised my sons to love, respect and appreciate the natural world.” 

 

New Windsor holds Arbor Day tree dedication ceremony

NEW WINDSOR (April 30) – The Town of New Windsor held an extremely successful Arbor Day Tree dedication ceremony on Friday, April 27th after being awarded an Arbor Day Community Grant from the New York State Urban Forestry Council.  Nearly 100 people attended.

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The grant, along with private donations, allowed the town to plant 13 new trees around the town hall complex. Five trees were eastern redbud trees paid for by the grant. There were also three privately donated eastern redbud trees, three kanzan cherry trees and two weeping cherry trees.

The town dedicated several of the trees to local veteran organizations and first responders. They include:

  • American Legion Post 1796 designated by the Town of New Windsor
  • Catholic War Veterans Post 386 designated by the Town of New Windsor
  • Disabled American Veterans Thomas D. Peterkin Memorial Chapter #152 designated by the Town of New Windsor
  • NYC Retired Firefighters of Orange County donated by Chief of Staff Colin Schmitt and Nikki Pagano.
  • Town of New Windsor Police Benevolent Association
  • Town of New Windsor CSEA
  • New Windsor Volunteer Ambulance Corps
  • In Loving Memory of Richard Simonson donated by Supervisor George Green and Town Clerk Debbie Green.
  • In Loving Memory of Councilwoman Susan Weyant and Receiver of Taxes Mary Ann Hotaling donated by an Anonymous donor.

 

Tai Chi / Chi Kung classes

MONTICELLO (April 22) - The Adult & Continuing Education Program at Sullivan BOCES is offering a Tai Chi / Chi Kung course.

Full details on our Education Page

 

Time for spring cleaning, Sullivan County: Litter pluck returns
 
MONTICELLO (April 4) - The Sullivan County Legislature announces that Sullivan County’s Annual Litter Pluck will take place from Saturday, April 21 through Sunday, May 13, and all school and community groups, as well as private citizens, are urged to participate.
 
The County will fund the cost of the bags and the associated waste disposal fees for this event, through the County’s Parks, Recreation and Beautification Department and the Division of Public Works.
 
Agriculture & Sustainability Committee Chair and District 4 Legislator Catherine Owens encourages County residents to check with their local municipalities, as there are several organized litter pluck events being planned throughout the County. 
 
“Participation in a town- or village-organized litter pluck event is a great opportunity for our residents to help combat litter at a local level,” she affirmed. 
 
“More than ever, we need to look our best, and Litter Pluck is a hassle-free, cost-free way to spruce up our communities,” added District 7 Legislator Joe Perrello, chair of the Public Works Committee.
 
All residents and groups who wish to participate in the County’s Litter Pluck can pick up their Litter Pluck bags any time on or after April 13 at their town or village hall or County-operated transfer station. While no coupons are required, all Litter Pluck refuse must be placed in clear bags, and participants will be asked to register at the County-operated Transfer Station at the time of disposal.

 


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
www.cce.cornell.edu/orange

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County
www.cce.cornell.edu/ulster/ulster.html

Faith and Community ACTION - Dutchess County  
http://fcaction.org/

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh
www.habitat-greater-newburgh.org

Hilltowns Community Board
News of Southern Albany, Greene & Schoharie Counties
www.thehilltowns.com

Hopewell Junction Citizens for Clean Water
www.hopewell-junction-citizens-for-clean-water.org

Mid-Hudson Horse Trails Association
www.midhudsonhorsetrails.org

National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE)
www.narfeny.org

Orange County Citizens Foundation-
www.occf-ny.org/

Orange County Land Trust  
www.oclt.org

Salvation Army of Newburgh  
http://web.mac.com/sanewburgh/iWeb/Site/Welcome.html

Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 537 Hudson Highlands   
www.vva537.org/

 

 


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