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New director for Tompkins Corners

PUTNAM VALLEY (February 18) - Linda Thornton, of Garrison, has joined Putnam Valley's Tompkins Corners Cultural Center as the newest member of its Board of Directors.

A Garrison resident for 13 years, Linda came to Tompkins Corners as a volunteer with a desire to become involved in the arts and the community. She became Hospitality Coordinator in 2017 and was invited to join the Program Committee in 2018. On being elected to the Board she said, “I am honored to have become a Board Member. I am so impressed by what the organization has accomplished in the past three years and look forward to contributing to the vision and growth of TCCC in the years to come.”

As a business owner, Linda has run Music On Hudson in Croton-on-Hudson for over 25 years, bringing Music Together® and “The Joy of Family Music©” to over 1000 families with young children. As a Music Together Director, she is a founding member of The Director's Leadership Group, represented Music Together at the North American NAEYC Conference in Toronto in 1998, and serves as a mentor. As a performer, Linda sang professionally on stage, in church choirs, clubs, and Off-Broadway before revisiting her early childhood education background and raising a family.

Linda joins Mark Weiss, President, Dr. Kathleen Hoekstra, Vice President, Mike Doebbler, Secretary and Chris Rosen, Treasurer, along with Board members Judy Allen, Jan Hoekstra and Bill Molloy in maintaining and preserving the nationally recognized historic site, and presenting diverse events from March through December in performing and visual arts.

Tompkins Corners Cultural Center is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization located in the historic church at 729 Peekskill Hollow Road in Putnam Valley, NY. Presentations include concerts, play readings, family events, weekly Tai Chi classes, music jams and a local Farmers Market on Friday afternoons all summer long. Check our website at or our Facebook page at  ,


Assemblyman Schmitt announces art showcase program

CHESTER (February 18) - Assemblyman Colin Schmitt announces the creation of the 99th Assembly District Art Showcase. Schmitt is encouraging all the artists that live or work in the 99th Assembly District to submit their artwork for consideration to be showcased in both his district and Albany Assembly offices.

Full details on our Arts & Entertainment page


Legislature Chair Toney Earl presented a proclamation recognizing Feb. 12 annually as Buffalo Soldiers' Day
in Rockland County to this year's county Buffalo Soldier Award recipient, Lewis Green of Stony Point.
Joining in the presentation were Legislators Harriet Cornell and Phil Soskin.

Rockland recognizes February 12 annually as Buffalo Soldiers’ Day

NEW CITY (February 12) – County Legislators voted 14-0 to proclaim February 12 of each year as Buffalo Soldiers’ Day in Rockland.  The day is being set aside annually to recognize the contributions made by both the original Buffalo soldiers and the African-American veterans who have followed in their footsteps.

“We set aside this time because the Buffalo Soldiers have a special place in history,” Legislature Chairman Toney Earl said. “Buffalo soldiers were willing to die for a country that did not care if they lived, because they believed in the ideals of America – that all men and women have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They truly deserve to be recognized and celebrated.”

The original Buffalo Soldiers were members of the 10th Cavalry Regiment, an all-black unit organized after the Civil War in 1866. The soldiers earned fame fighting American Indians on the Western frontier. The unit, in various forms and later integrated, also served in World War I, World War II and Vietnam, and remnants of it served during the Cold War and in the War on Terror.

African-Americans have a long history of stepping up for America, including during the Civil War, when the 54th Massachusetts was created. The story of the all-black unit is depicted in the film, Glory, and least five members of the unit are buried at historic Mount Moor Cemetery in West Nyack.

Those Civil War soldiers also served the United States at a time when they were denied freedom because of their race. Other veterans buried at Mount Moor fought for their country even though many were denied equal rights under the law during their times.

President Harry S. Truman, via an executive order in 1948, ordered an end to racial segregation in the armed forces and the last all-black units were disbanded in the 1950s.

Starting in 1962, the Buffalo Soldiers’ Association of West Point began hosting annual memorial events in honor and celebration of the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers and the contributions of African-American veterans in the Hudson Valley. Legislator Earl’s father-in-law and other Rockland County veterans have been among those honored. The association was founded by Joseph Dunn of Spring Valley and Sanders Matthews of Highland Falls.

For more than 20 years, Rockland County has annually honored an outstanding local black veteran through its Buffalo Soldiers Award. Legislator Earl presented a proclamation noting the start of an annual Buffalo Soldiers’ Day in Rockland at this year’s county ceremony, which honored Lewis Green of Stony Point.

Green is an Army veteran who served in Vietnam. He has volunteered for years to feed the homeless in New York City. He also raised funds for victims of hurricanes, traveling to New Orleans after Katrina and to North Carolina after Matthew to help feed people and rebuild homes.


Delivery at People's Place (photo: Michael Gold)

Hudson Valley Animal Shelter Fund announces up to $13,000 in grants available in 2019

MONTGOMERY (February 5) - The Hudson Valley Animal Shelter Fund grant applications for 2019 are now available. Eligible organizations are those providing services in Orange, Dutchess, Ulster, Putnam, Sullivan and Rockland counties and are dedicated to rescuing, sheltering and defending animals. In 2019, the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan’s selections committee will consider grants ranging from $1,000 to $13,000.

The Hudson Valley Animal Shelter Fund was established in 2015 through a generous bequest from Jean Rowe and will provide financial assistance to nonprofit animal welfare agencies throughout the Hudson Valley in perpetuity. Since inception, over $32,000.00 has been awarded to support a variety of capital and project expenses for several nonprofit animal organizations in the region.

Past grant recipients include Will Spay, Inc., Humane Society of Middletown, Inc., The Friends of Green Chimneys, Goshen Humane Society, Inc., Humane Society of Walden, Inc., Pets Alive, Inc., The Animal Rights Alliance, Inc., The Ulster County SPCA, Hudson Valley SPCA, Rocky’s Refuge, Warwick Valley Humane Society, and Clopon’s Safe Haven Rescue.

Completed applications must be received by March 18, 2019 and awards will be announced in May. Applications can be downloaded at


FDR autographed book up for auction to help rebuild library

HYDE PARK (January 30) - The Friends of the Pleasant Valley Library are auctioning off a signed, dated and numbered copy of Records of the Town of Hyde Park by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to help raise funds to rebuild the library recently devastated by fire.

Full details on our Arts & Entertainment page


Delivery at People's Place (photo: Michael Gold)

FeedHV named among leading global solutions to food waste

HUDSON (January 11) - National food systems and solutions authority Food Tank: The Food Think Tank has recognized Hudson Valley’s FeedHV as an international leader in fighting food waste. The New Orleans based group named FeedHV among 19 organizations worldwide.

FeedHV is a network to rescue, harvest, process and distribute local food. Powered by a web-based and mobile application, FeedHV links excess food to those who need it. In the Hudson Valley, that’s about 1 in 10 neighbors.

Through a simple matching technology, the app links food donors of prepared but unserved food and fresh produce to nonprofit organizations with food assistance programs through the efforts of a network of volunteers who transport, harvest and process donated food. The app is administered by Hudson Valley Agri-Business Development Corporation, and is funded by Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley.

“It is a true honor to be recognized by a group as distinguished as Food Tank,” said Carrie Jones Ross, administrator of the app and Food Security Development Manager at Hudson Valley Agri-Business Development Corporation. “We are humbled by this acknowledgment in our first year of operations. So far we have provided over 70,000 pounds of fresh, local food to those experiencing hunger.”

To date, the app is operating in Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster counties – with plans to expand into Columbia, Greene, Putnam and Sullivan in 2019. To sign up and make a difference please visit To read the full announcement and list of 19 organizations see  


Paul, left, with volunteers at the warming center

Annual Winter Coat Drive benefits clients served by Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland

NEW CITY (January 11) - Public generosity has contributed to the success of Rockland County Legislator Aney Paul’s 4th Annual Winter Coat Drive, with dozens of donations slated to benefit our homeless neighbors.

“These coats will help keep our neighbors warm while also demonstrating that we have not forgotten them,” Paul said. “I want to express my sincerest gratitude to all who donated, including the employees of Daiken America, Inc. in Orangeburg, and to Catholic Charities Community Services, our partners in this effort.”

The donations will go to those staying at the Rockland County Warming Center, which Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland County now operates. Donations were dropped off today and graciously accepted by CCCSR’s Executive Director, Jerome Kilbane.

CCCSR is an affiliate of The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York and has a long history of providing the basic necessities of life, such as food, shelter and other emergency assistance for those in need.

The agency has also taken on the job of operating Rockland’s warming center on the grounds of the Yeager Health Complex in Pomona. Known as Safe Haven, it is open to any person who needs a warm place to sleep. Hot meals, a place to shower and laundry facilities are available.

Clients can also meet with staff from the county Department of Social Services, which works closely with CCCSR, to see if they qualify for permanent housing, job training and other services.

During the drop-off today, cots were seen neatly arranged throughout the shelter, some with bags resting atop them, filled with the clients’ belongings. According to CCCSR Executive Director Kilbane, about 60 people stay at the shelter nightly.


Orange County Human Rights Commission seeks nominations for 2019 awards

GOSHEN (January 11) - Orange County Human Rights Executive Director Inaudy Esposito announced that the Human Rights Commission is now seeking nominations for its 2019 awards.

Now in its 24th year, the Human Rights awards program honors those who have made a significant contribution to advance human rights and eliminate discrimination. Since the inception of the award in 1995, 139 individuals or groups from Orange County have been recognized.

“The Commission is excited to recognize and celebrate the contributions of those exceptional individuals or groups making a difference in Orange County,” Esposito said. “We invite everyone to consider the people, programs and groups in their communities who are ensuring that Orange County is an inclusive, safe and welcoming place for people of all backgrounds.”

Ideal nominations will demonstrate how the nominee meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • Fosters mutual respect and understanding and build better relations among diverse groups in Orange County
  • Works towards the development of equity for oppressed groups in our community
  • Relieves tension and conflict between racial, religious, gender, sexual orientation, differently abled, or nationality groups
  • Works to create awareness of, and/or eliminate or reduce discrimination in Orange County

The human rights contributions must be happening in Orange County and may be from any field, including, but not limited to: public service, volunteering, education, law enforcement, human services industry, social justice, and not-for-profit work.

“We are always excited to recognize and honor the winners of the Human Rights award,” Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said. “These men and women play an integral role in preserving the rights of all residents of Orange County and reinforcing the mission of the Human Rights Commission.”

Completed nomination forms must be received no later than February 22, 2019. Nomination forms are available on the Human Rights Commission page on the County website, or by calling Inaudy Esposito at 615-3680. Entries should be emailed to:  or mailed to Orange County Human Rights Commission, 40 Matthews Street, Suite 301, Goshen, N.Y. 10923


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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