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Peanut, a victim of animal cruelty to lead the SPCA’s 12th Annual Dog Walk

YORKTOWN (April 26) - Join the thousands of animal lovers and their furry friends who will come out in support of the SPCA’s 12th Annual Dog Walk and Pet Fair. The event will take place on May 6, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at FDR State Park in Yorktown Heights. This is the SPCA’s largest event attended by thousands of families along with their 4-legged friends. Funds raised help the SPCA to rescue and rehabilitate many orphaned animals every year.

Senator Terrance Murphy, a dedicated advocate and voice in animal welfare, will be cutting the official ribbon to start the walk. Senator Murphy recently authored and help pass S.3451, which increases the penalty for multiple convictions of animal cruelty to a felony when convicted within five years from the date of a prior conviction.

This year’s SPCA Walkathon Chairdog, Peanut, is known to thousands of animal lovers who supported his recovery after being rescued by the SPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) Unit from horrific conditions. Peanut was confined in a basement, covered in filth, emaciated, dehydrated and suffered from sores all over his body. The former owner was arrested and charged with cruelty and neglect by the SPCA of Westchester’s HLE Unit.

Although Peanut is still looking for a permanent home he is the perfect example of how resilient rescue animals can be. For this reason, he has been chosen as the 2017 Dog Walk Chairdog.

At the SPCA Dog Walk and Fair, supporters will enjoy a scenic walk around the park plus live music, food, refreshments and dog and kid friendly activities. Pre-registration is not required. To attend, the SPCA asks for a $20 donation from individuals to join or $35 for a family.

For further details, please log on to


Dutchess School Bus Driver of the Year Award

POUGHKEEPSIE (April 26) - Wendy Travis, of the Wappingers Central School District, has been named the winner of the 16th annual Dutchess County School Bus Driver of the Year Award, recognizing of her exemplary service and safety record.

Full deetails and photo on our Education Page


Family Services announces 2017 Family of the Year Honorees

POUGHKEEPSIE (April 24) -  Each year, two local families are honored by Family Services for their decades of service, for which the annual Family of the Year Awards. The two families and the categories they are to be honored for on April 27th at the Grandview, located at 176 Rinaldi Boulevard, Poughkeepsie, NY, are:

Eleanor and Martin Charwat will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for the extensive and influential ways in which they have enhanced the lives of those within our community.

Eleanor, a native of Poughkeepsie, was an Executive Director of Marist College’s School of Adult Education. She has helped hundreds of adult students achieve their dreams of new careers and job advancement through education.   Martin Charwat, currently an attorney and financial planner, was a USA Foreign Service Officer working throughout the world before arriving in Poughkeepsie. Martin has also been very involved in the Hudson Valley community, helping found and serve as the first president of the World Affairs Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley.

The Williams Family will be honored with the Quality of Life Award for the outstanding ways in which their business and philanthropic pursuits have improved the community.  Owner of Williams Lumber & Home Centers, Sandy Williams, along with family members Kim and Kelly, believe that giving back to the community is a responsibility to be taken very seriously. Throughout the years, the Williams Family has been recognized for their professional achievements and service to the community. 

For the past 30 years, Family Services has hosted the Family of the Year Awards Dinner to honor the families make significant contributions to the community and reflect the ideals of Family Services by providing hope, improving lives, and strengthening community. Both a live and silent auctions are held in addition to dinner.

In the past, this event has helped to raise significant funds that continue to provide support for our local community. For more information and to reserve tickets to this event, please contact Jean Calyer of Family Services at 845.452.1110 x3133 or email


Catholic Charities of Orange and Sullivan presents awards for 23rd annual poster contest

MONTICELLO (April 24) - Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange and Sullivan hosted the awards ceremony for the 23rd Annual Alcohol, Tobacco, Gambling, and Drug Abuse Poster Contest for school students

Full details on our Education Page


Sullivan County launches the official Sullivan County Public Health Services Facebook page

MONTICELLO (April 9) - Sullivan County Public Health Services wrapped up National Public Health Week April 3-9, 2017 with the launch of its official Facebook page

Full details on our Health Page


Ging, left, and O'Neil

Dutchess Tourism adds staff

POUGHKEEPSIE (March 29) - Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DTI) recently hired two new staff members. Both natives of Dutchess County, Kacie Ging has taken on the role of Communications Specialist, while Susanne O’Neil is the Tourism Sales Coordinator. These are both new positions, created to help support and expand Dutchess Tourism’s mission to drive visitation to Dutchess County to generate the maximum economic impact through hotel stays and visitor spending. Tourism has a significant economic impact in Dutchess County, where more than 4.5 million people visit annually and spend an average of $528 million on lodging, food, shopping, and area attractions. Tourism is New York’s fourth largest industry and employs almost 10,000 people in Dutchess County.

Ging comes to Dutchess Tourism from Audio Network in New York City where she was a marketing executive. At DTI, she will be responsible for the organization’s social media presence, copywriting and editing, market research, analytics and special event support. Her international marketing experience will also be an asset to Dutchess Tourism as an increasing number of international travelers flock to Dutchess County for their vacations.

O’Neil’s focus will be on marketing and promoting Dutchess County as a premier destination to the group travel market. She will be responsible for maintaining the group tour page on Dutchess Tourism’s award-winning web site, developing getaway packages, overseeing DTI’s presence at consumer trade shows and more. O’Neil was formerly the programs and events manager at the Walkway Over the Hudson.

“The addition of these two knowledgeable and dynamic staff members will significantly enhance our marketing efforts as we strive to expand our reach, connecting, engaging and positively attracting repeat and new visitors to the area,” said DTI President and CEO Mary Kay Vrba. “Kacie and Susanne are both strong, dedicated and passionate professionals and we are thrilled to have them as a part of the Dutchess Tourism team.”

The DTI office is located at 3 Neptune Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie with 18 Tourism Information Centers located around Dutchess County. Their website is


Ava Sandersen Schark, who took Cub Scouts to visit
veterans at Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris,
accepts an Outstanding Citizen award from
Exalted Ruler Frank Muller

Monti Elks install new officers

MONTICELLO (March 29) - Monticello Elks Lodge #1544 recently installed its new officers and recognized outstanding volunteers.

Lisa Muller succeeds her husband Frank Muller as Exalted Ruler. The Elk of the Year is John LiGreci, who has created countless meals and menus for the Lodge. The Officer of the Year is Lodge Chaplain Bob Linzer, who has called the numbers at Bingo for many years. The award for Outstanding Citizenship goes to Cub Scouts 97 Master Ava Sandersen Schark, who is also a Lodge Member. Other Elks who were recognized for outstanding service include: Gene Dalpiaz and Matt Monroe.

The officers of Monticello Lodge are: Exalted Ruler Lisa Muller, Leading Knight Meagan Galligan, Loyal Knight Julie LiGreci, Lecturing Knight Vic Marinello, Esquire Patricia Ochs, Inner Guard Glenna Price, Tiler Brian Johnson, Treasurer Sue Mapledoram, Secretary (and State Vice President) Jim Gerrard and Chaplain Bob Linzer. The Trustees are: Past District Deputy Jim Sheerer, Martha Rojas, Past Exalted Ruler (PER) Mike Gagliardi, PER Rich Hugel and PER Frank Muller.


Catskill Center looking for volunteers

ARKVILLE (March 29) – The Catskill Center has volunteer opportunities available. Volunteers are needed to greet and educate visitors at the Erpf Center Gallery & Bookstore, Catskill Interpretive Center, and Catskill fire towers.

We need your help at the Erpf Center in Arkville! Help us welcome visitors to the Erpf Gallery and Catskill Center's new information center and bookstore, especially from 10 am – 2pm on Saturday's. Volunteers will work in the Gallery and Information Center spaces, greeting the public, answering questions, directing visitors and making sales in the bookstore.

Enjoy hiking, like talking to people, love heights? The Catskill Fire Tower Project is looking for Volunteer Interpreters. The five fire towers in the Catskill Park are staffed by Volunteer Interpreters on Saturdays and Sundays and holiday Mondays from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. Volunteers open the cab on top of the fire towers, greet hikers at the summit, and provide information about the fire towers and the Catskills.

The Catskill Interpretive Center provides information about the Catskills to thousands of visitors each year. Do you love the Catskills and want to share information about it with visitors? Sign up to become a Catskill Interpretive Center Volunteer. Volunteer opportunities are available daily.

The Catskill Center could not do what it does in the Catskills without the many volunteers who support our work and are always eager to get more people involved with our efforts! We offer training and support for our volunteers and special recognition events to say thank you to our hardworking volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Catskill Center, please visit , email or call 845-586-2611. The Catskill Center’s Erpf Center is located at 43355 Route 28 in Arkville. The Catskill Interpretive Center is located at 5096 Route 28, Mount Tremper.


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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