L-R: Connie Harkin, VP Marketing, Ulster Savings Bank; Barbara Mansfield, Chair, Hudson Valley Foundation
for Youth Health; and John Finch, Ulster Savings Bank, EVP/COO
Hudson Valley Foundation for Youth Health awarded $1,000 from Ulster Savings Charitable Foundation
KINGSTON (May 9) - The Hudson Valley Foundation for Youth Health (HVFYH) has been awarded a $1,000 grant from the Ulster Savings Charitable Foundation to support the work they do to empower children and teens to make healthful choices. The donation will be used for the 3rd Annual Nonprofit Meetup which will be held on October 24, 2019 at the Andy Murphy Midtown Neighborhood Center.
“The Meetup provides leadership, intern, and volunteer opportunities, and scholarship information for high school students by connecting them to nonprofits. This event also helps students to complete their community service hours for graduation. Plus, students from the Ulster BOCES Pathways Academy get professional event management experiences,” said Barbara Mansfield, HVFYH Chair. “We deeply appreciate the support we have received from Ulster for this event.”
The Hudson Valley Foundation for Youth Health provides grants to nonprofits serving youth in Ulster, Delaware, Greene, Columbia, and northern Dutchess counties. To date the Meetup has averaged 325 students, with each student averaging about 40 minutes in attendance. A further goal for this year is to increase the number of students who attend.
The Ulster Savings Charitable Foundation was formed in 2003 to assist the local community in areas of housing, education, and human services.
For more information about the Hudson Valley Foundation for Youth Health, please visit them online at www.hvfyh.org.
Beacon Elks Lodge receives grants; gives back to veterans, community
BEACON (May 7) – The Beacon Elks Lodge #1493 has received the Elks’ Freedom Grant and Promise Grant for the 2019-20 Elk year, which began April 1, 2019.
“These grants will allow the Beacon Elks to provide $4,500 in support to our Veterans and the community,” said Robert Lanier, Exalted Ruler, Lodge #1493.
The Freedom Grant will assist local veteran’s mental and physical health by getting them out of their living environment and participating in events that require socialization, moving and structure. This includes taking Veterans bowling, fishing, and taking them to movies at no cost to the Veteran. Additionally, the Elks provide patriotic-themed picnics and lunches.
“The goal is to assist with their physical and mental health, and nutrition; show our appreciation for their service; and assure them that they are not forgotten,” said Lanier.
The Promise Grant will support two local food banks in the Beacon area. As they identify the needs, we will assist with purchasing food, delivering food and assisting with the distribution. We also participate in a back pack program for children to bring food home for the weekends.
The grant will allow the Elks to support educational programs for local youth, including allowing us to purchase supplies for local children to use for the educational programs of the Beacon Historical Society and the Dutchess Outreach. It will also allow the Elks to support and provide lunch for the Junior Firefighters and police educational programs.
“The goal is to be an active and integral part of the community,” said Lanier. “To help local assistance organizations, local youth initiatives and local first-responder organizations with the development of young men and women in the community.”
“I would like to recognize our members - Carl Oken, Kathleen Plumber and Shana Oken - for their efforts in obtaining these grants on behalf of the Lodge,” added Lanier.
Christina Boryk with homeowners AnnMarie and Lee
Dutchess homeset repairs from Rebuilding Together
WAPPINGERS FALLS (April 30) - “They are getting rid of mold and putting in new doors to prevent heat from [escaping]. Rebuilding Together is helping unbelievably,” said Lee, describing the work of volunteers on Saturday, April 27 during Rebuilding Together Dutchess County’s National Rebuilding Day. Lee, a Wappingers Falls resident, was one of six homeowners who received critical home repairs in the county with the help of 150 volunteers and eight local community sponsors.
In Poughkeepsie, similar work was underway by community members on an aging home. The homeowner, a 54-year-old single mother, reached out to Rebuilding Together Dutchess County (RTDC) after a friend suggested looking into programs that help with home repairs. A lot of work was needed on her 74-year-old home but she lacked the financial means to do it herself. On Saturday, she was “one big smile,” feeling like she won the lottery. “I’m speechless,” she said – something that, she added, “doesn’t happen very often.”
Rebuilding Together Dutchess County has been serving the residents of Dutchess County for 27 years. The mission of the organization is to repair homes, revitalize communities, and rebuild lives by performing no-cost critical home repairs for vulnerable families in the community. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, housing is considered affordable when it costs no more than 30% of a household’s income, and nearly 38% of Dutchess County’s homeowners are cost-burdened based on this guideline. While the Dutchess County Office for the Aging cites a 28% increase of older adults in poverty between 2007 and 2017, families and single individuals too are more than ever unable to afford basic expenses. Out of the six projects completed on National Rebuilding Day, three were families with school-aged children, two had a member over the age of 65, and two were single individuals.
Carole, who has three generations living in her home, including two young grandchildren with asthma, was afraid for their health, with the plaster walls crumbling and creating dust throughout the home. “All these people are making me happy” she said, referencing the team of volunteers who removed the plaster and replaced it with sheetrock, cleaned up her yard, painted her back porch, and repaired a rotting front porch. Through tears she said “I just want a safe home for my kids.”
“These are everyday community members; people may not realize the struggles of their own neighbors,” says RTDC Executive Director Christina Boryk. “Tragedy happens, small issues become health hazards seemingly overnight. It’s not always possible to keep up with the maintenance of your home.”
For the many homeowners out there who have to put off home maintenance for basic necessities such as food and healthcare, Rebuilding Together Dutchess County may be able to help. Just ask Lee: “[the work done on Saturday] is making my life easier, safe and healthier.”
Sponsorship teams from Arlington Teacher's Association, Central Hudson, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Poughquag and Pawling United Methodist Churches, United Methodist Church of Hyde Park, Walden Savings Bank, and Wells Fargo financially supported the projects, in addition to providing the volunteers who swung the hammers and did the heavy lifting.
Other supporters, contributing in-kind donations and services, include ABC Supply Company, Inc., Forrest Green Landscaping, Plass the Plumber, Rider Painting, and Veith Electric, while additional funding was provided by Dutchess County, Meyer Contracting and the Poughkeepsie South Rotary.
Lap4life Youth Running Program Mentored by the NFA Cross Country Team
NEWBURGH (April 17) - This is the seventh year in which the Lap4Life Youth Running Program is being held at Chadwick Lake on Sunday evenings. The program began in Late March and runs for 5 weeks.
Full details, photo on our Education Page
Pam Lounsbury of New Windsor walks her dogs
Orange County opens dog park at Cronomer Hill
GOSHEN (April 12) - Orange County has opened a new dog park at Cronomer Hill Park in the Town of Newburgh.
“This new amenity at our beautiful Cronomer Hill Park provides residents with a wonderful space to spend time outside with their dogs,” said Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus. “It’s a great venue for dogs to exercise and socialize and serves as another way for the community to enjoy Cronomer Hill Park.”
The 30,000 square-foot park is open from dawn until dusk and includes benches, tables and pet stations. The dog park cost $25,000, with the County saving $10,000 by utilizing an outfield fence from a ball field at Cronomer and by installing equipment and signs in-house.
The County’s Parks, Recreation and Conservation department manages and maintains over 3,400 scenic acres of parkland.
Little League season kicks off in Middletown
MIDDLETOWN (April 9) - Little League parade and opening day ceremony.
The "Sky Squad" team won second place in the banner contest. Four people were honored for past contributions to Little League with plaques dedicating minor league fields in their name: John Bianchi (left), James Christiano, Christine Brinkerhoff, and the late Norm Brunning.
Town of Poughkeepsie launches Climate Smart Task Force
TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE (April 9) - The Town of Poughkeepsie Town Board has undertaken activities in support of the Town’s Climate Smart Communities Pledge. To further our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment, the town is creating a Climate Smart Task Force.
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has encouraged the creation of a local Climate Smart Task Force and to utilize them to provide the Town Board with information about implementing climate smart initiatives. This will be tasked to identify funding sources for projects and paybacks from investments.
The Town is currently seeking volunteers for this task force. Resumes are to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org - Subject: Climate Smart Task Force.
Registration for national service animal eye exam event closes April 30th
BREWSTER (April 9) - Guardian Veterinary Specialists (GVS) will provide free sight-saving eye exams to qualified service and working animals during the month of May.
Full details on our Health Page
Orange County DMV encourages lifesaving donations during April’s Donate Life Month
GOSHEN (April 8) –Orange County’s Department of Motor Vehicles is teaming up with LiveOnNY
Full details on our Health Page
Rockland County T.E.E.N. Works Program accepting applications for 2019 summer session
NEW CITY (April 5) - The Rockland County Youth Bureau is now accepting applications for the 2019 Summer session of the T.E.E.N. Works (Teen Employment Education Network) program.
Full details on our Educaiton Page
OC Parks Department plans Kids Summer Activities Program
GOSHEN (April 3) - The Orange County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation announces a new Kids Summer Activities Program at Thomas Bull Memorial Park, Hamptonburgh in July and Algonquin Park, Town of Newburgh in August.
Children will have an opportunity to put down their devises and spend some time outside getting fresh air, communing with nature and having fun. Activities will include playing games, making crafts, fishing, hiking, visiting with animals and leaning about gardening and local history.
The program will run in two-week sessions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9am to noon. Sessions at Thomas Bull Memorial Park will begin July 9th and July 22nd for kids 6 to 10years old and at Algonquin Park on August 6th and August 20th for kids 8 to 12 years old.
The cost will be $120 per session, per child for Orange County residents ($220 per session for non-county). Space is limited to 20 children per session and registration is required by May 20th. Applications can be found on the Park’s website www.orangecountynyparks.com For more information, call 845-615-3828.
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