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BAk, left, and Sanok at the collection box

Girl Scouts collecting toiletries to help the homeless

BREWSTER (March 20) - Brewster Girl Scouts, Sarah Bak and Bridgette Sanok are collecting travel size toiletries for a midnight run for homeless citizens in NYC.

Both young ladies are dancers at Seven Star School of Performing Arts. A collection box will be available at the dance studio located at 509 Route 312 in Brewster, NY until April 8th.

Small (travel) size items are important, as full-size items are cumbersome to carry for people on the street. Toiletry items in need are:
·      Soap
·      Toothbrush
·      Toothpaste
·      Shampoo
·      Washcloth
·      Razor
·      Shaving Cream
·      Deodorant
·      Lip balm or moisturizer
·      Feminine hygiene products

Sarah and Bridgette are working towards their Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement within the Girl Scouts of the USA.


Sullivan Renaissance embraces Sullivan County’s diversity

(LIBERTY) (March 20) - Sullivan Renaissance’s Multicultural Program is progressing in its efforts toward community engagement and awareness through new grant opportunities, focused efforts to engage diverse communities, enhanced outreach in South Fallsburg and continued work in Liberty. Two new grant programs offer support for outreach and resources for projects in multicultural neighborhoods. 

South Fallsburg will be the focus of business and residential beautification through Main Street revitalization and community enhanced pilot projects. A Sullivan Renaissance Community Brainstorming meeting will take place on Sunday, April 2nd, at 3pm in the South Fallsburg Youth & Senior Center at 12 Laurel Avenue. The community is invited to identify potential project sites, offer creative ideas and sign up as volunteers. Call 845-295-2445 to register for this meeting. Refreshments will be served and walk-ins are welcome.

Similar to the genesis of the Bilingual Advisory Committee, a brainstorming session with African-American community leaders will take place to discuss cultural differences and similarities, focus on African-American needs in neighborhoods, and explore ways for greater participation in social and beautification projects around the county.  These cultural exchanges are meant to aid Sullivan Renaissance in outreach efforts, and encourage African-American neighbors to be catalysts in their communities. 

“Sullivan County is a beautiful tapestry of color and ethnicities” said Ari Mir-Pontier, Multicultural Program Manager. “Our diverse cultural traditions, religious practices, and strong family values make the people of Sullivan an invaluable resource in moving our county into a stronger, more unified community”.

The Church Street Pilot Project in Liberty will expand beautification efforts to the surrounding areas. The Community Garden on South Main Street will be enhanced and will have opportunities for additional neighborhood participation.

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program.


On the Rail Trail

Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Association receives grant for trail and wildlife counts

NEW PALTZ (March 13) - The New Paltz-based Thomas and Corrine Nyquist Foundation (TCNF) awarded a $2,000 grant to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Association (WVRTA) this year. The WVRTA will use the funds for the purchase of trail cameras for the purpose of user and wildlife counts on the rail trail.

According to Michael Reade, President of the WVRTA, “This grant comes at a time when we expect an enormous increase in use on the rail trail. With the Mohonk Foothills soon to open, the new viewing stand at Carmine Liberta Bridge, there is a growing awareness of our rail trail and its connectivity to our incredible natural and historical resources, like Historic Huguenot Street.”

Thomas E. Nyquist, former three-term mayor of the Village of New Paltz and current chair of the Thomas and Corrine Nyquist Foundation said, “Trail cameras will help the WVRTA better understand and plan for users. It’s important to know how many children in strollers, bicyclists, joggers, seniors and others use the different parts of the trail.”

Just as important as the human users, Michael Reade states that the trail cameras will also capture the wildlife users: “We were inspired by the results of cameras at the new Millbrook Preserve, where they documented populations of coyotes, foxes and fishers among the more common raccoons, possums and other small mammals.”

In 2001 Wallkill Valley Rail Trail was recognized as the first Countryside Trail in the Hudson River Valley Greenway Trail System; and, in 2007, it was designated a National Recreation Trail by the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The trail now extends for more than 22 miles from the border of Wallkill to the Kingston line. Along the way it passes through woods, farms, fields, and crosses the Main Streets of Gardiner, New Paltz and Rosendale.


Bratton, center, with Josh Sommers, CFOS Chairman, and Elizabeth Rowley,
CFOS President and CEO

Community Foundation honors William Bratton, Jr. with Karen Minogue Award

MONTGOMERY (February 23)  Over 100 people gathered at West Hills Country Club on February 15 for the Community Foundation’s Annual Volunteer Appreciation Event to celebrate William “Bill” J. Bratton, Jr. and honor him with the 2017 Karen Minogue Award for Distinguished Service. In its second year, this award is given to those who go above and beyond in giving back, not just to their community, but to the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan (CFOS). Bill’s many contributions greatly surpass the typical norm of giving back, and he is an example for many.

Bill joined the Community Foundation family as a fund representative in 2002 when he and his wife, Mary, established the Michelle Renee Bratton Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of their late daughter who perished in the tragic event of 9/11. This scholarship is awarded to a graduating student from Pine Bush High School, with preference given to a candidate who will attend a four-year SUNY college or university, is a member of the National Honor Society and a member of the women’s swimming and diving team and/or a member of chorus. The scholarship fund has awarded over $37,000 to students since its inception.

“Bill’s commitment to community service and the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties is an example for others to follow,” said Community Foundation Chairman Josh Sommers. “Whether he quietly supports needy families during the holidays or gives worthy Pine Bush High School students scholarship opportunities through our Michelle Renee Bratton Memorial Scholarship Fund, he understands the importance of giving back and helping others.”

In 2003, Bill joined the Community Foundation Board of Directors and continues to serve as an active director. He has been a vital member of the board, serving as Vice President of Finance as well as Vice President of Distribution. Bill and Mary are both loyal supporters of the CFOS President’s Circle and Annual Reception, boasting a level of sponsorship as well as journal advertiser and attendee.

Bill is an invaluable asset to the Community Foundation and has been a loyal ambassador for our cause of connecting people who care with causes that matter. He has referred dozens of people to the Foundation, been featured in marketing videos, written collateral and has always willing to speak on the Foundation’s behalf. A more selfless and exceptional recipient cannot been found. The Community Foundation thanks Bill for his years of extraordinary service.

To make a donation to the Michelle Renee Bratton Memorial Scholarship Fund, please visit  


Westchester golf courses to open March 15

WHITE PLAINS (February 23) - The six Westchester County-owned golf courses are scheduled to open for the season on Wednesday, March 15, weather and conditions permitting.

Tee time reservations may be made online.  Reservations may also be made by calling the individual courses. Walk up reservations will also be accepted at the courses.

The courses are Mohansic in Yorktown Heights; Maple Moor in White Plains; Saxon Woods in Scarsdale; Hudson Hills in Ossining; and Dunwoodie and Sprain Lake, both in Yonkers.

Any available E-Z Reserve spots will be sold at the courses. E-Z Reserve enables golfers with a Westchester County Park Pass to block out a regular Saturday or Sunday tee time for a period of 25 weeks.

Information about Westchester County golf courses is available at


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) and add space as needed

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:


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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