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Special Awards, Programs and Scholarships Recognized

August 12, 2008

[BETHEL] – Hundreds of people attended the 90-minute Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony yesterday at BethelWoodsCenter for the Arts as winning communities from around the county were announced.  Volunteers had been hard at work on 46 community projects since initial grants were awarded in March.


The community of Roscoe received the Golden Feather, a $50,000 grant made possible by NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.  It was presented to the Category C project that exhibited the highest level of excellence in all aspects of their three-year project.  Major funding for these five community development projects came through a $75,000 grant secured by NYS Senator John Bonacic.


Grants – ranging from $1000 to $10,000 – were awarded to projects in Categories A and B.  All 42 communities that completed their projects received grants based on the size of their category, as well as certificates of recognition from Sullivan Renaissance and area legislators.  Four communities are still in the process of completing their projects.



Category A projects are made up of single elements such as a new sign or hanging baskets.  This category was made possible, in part, through the sponsorship of WVOS/WSUL.


First place ($3000) :

·        Callicoon Business Association in Callicoon – welcome signs and gardens

·        Sullivan County SPCA in Rock Hill – building landscaping

Second place ($2000) :

·        Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless in Monticello – façade renovation and gardens

·        Daytop Village, Inc. in Parksville – new sign and flowers

Third place ($1000) :

·        Temple Sholom Beautification Committee in Monticello – building landscaping  

·        Mountaindale Community Development – labyrinth and murals

Project Maintenance ($1000) – Sponsored by Clough Harbour & Associates LLP:

·        Daytop Village, Inc. in Parksville – new sign and flowers

Environmental Stewardship ($1000) – Sponsored by Jacobowitz & Gubits, LLP:

·        Liberty Bike – trailhead sign and landscaping

Historic Preservation ($1000) – Sponsored by the Times Herald Record:

·        Sullivan County Historical Society in Hurleyville – window murals and landscaping

Showing of Flowers ($1000) – Sponsored by the SullivanCounty Democrat:

·        Callicoon Business Association in Callicoon – entrance signs and gardens



Category B projects are made up of multiple elements such park enhancements.  This category was made possible, in part, through the sponsorship of Thunder 102/Bold Gold Media.


First place ($10,000) :

·        Mountaindale Action Committee – rails to trails, restored signal house

·        Livingston Manor Renaissance – Renaissance park improvements

Second place ($7000) :

·        Youngsville Environmental Preservation Committee – complete pavilion park

·        Neversink Renaissance – Willowemoc historical pavilion, barn quilts, flowers

Third place ($5000) :

·        Bethel First in MongaupValley – memorial park rehabilitation

·        Kiwanis Club of Woodridge – rails to trails gazebo and interpretive sign

Project Maintenance ($1000) – Sponsored by Kristt Company:

·        Fallsburg Action Committee in South Fallsburg – continued beautification of RailroadPlaza

Environmental Stewardship ($1000) – Sponsored by Town & Country Preferred Properties:

·        Bee Green Community Garden in Hurleyville – community garden at MorningsidePark

Historic Preservation ($1000) – Sponsored by Jeff Bank:

·        Concerned Citizens of Hasbrouck – painting, fence and gardens at Old Stone House

Showing of Flowers ($1000) – Sponsored by The Towne Crier:

·        Narrowsburg Beautification Group – eagle viewing deck enhancements



Category C projects are complex 3-year community development plans.  This category is made possible, in part, through a $75,000 grant secured by NYS Senator John Bonacic.  


Golden Feather ($50,000 grant) – Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther:

·        Roscoe – Roscoe/Rockland Chamber of Commerce

Silver Feather ($5000) – Senator John J. Bonacic:

·        Swan LakeSwanLake Renaissance

Project Maintenance ($1000) – Sponsored by Barton & Loguidice, P.C.:

·        Woodbourne – Woodbourne Action Committee

Environmental Stewardship ($1000) – Sponsored by The Chapin Estate:

·        Wurtsboro – Wurtsboro Renaissance

Historic Preservation ($1000) – Sponsored by The Center for Discovery:

·        Swan LakeSwanLake Renaissance

Showing of Flowers ($1000) – Sponsored by The River Reporter:

·        Roscoe – Roscoe/Rockland Chamber of Commerce


The Sullivan County Community College Foundation awarded scholarships to volunteers involved in a Sullivan Renaissance project in their community, who are attending SCCC.

Full Time ($1500) :

·         Jo-Anne Keesler of CallicoonCenter – Buck Brook Project in North Branch

·         Ian Laufersweiler of Forestburgh – Sullivan Renaissance project in Forestburgh

Part Time ($750) :

·         Anthony Carmeci III of Forestburgh – Sullivan Renaissance project in Forestburgh



Sullivan Renaissance awarded six scholarships to the college of one’s choice to volunteers who made a significant contribution to a Sullivan Renaissance project.  These ranged from $500 to $1500. 

·         Austin Wyatt Gager, Forestburgh Renaissance – ClarksonUniversity

·         Kayla Gayle Gager, Forestburgh Renaissance – SyracuseUniversity

·         Garrett Grey, Neversink Renaissance – Slippery RockUniversity

·         Sallie Anne Gubser, Bloomingburg Renaissance – Mount SaintMaryCollege

·         Robert J. Neumann, Kenoza LakeRenaissance – SUNY Oneonta

·         Nicole Terwilliger, Kenoza LakeRenaissanceAlfredState College



Fourteen organizations and businesses were recognized for participating in the mini-grant reimbursement program which provided up to $200 worth of flowers for each project.  These included: United Methodist Church in Bethel landscaped a sign; Town of Delaware planted flowers at the Callicoon sewer plant; Twin Bridge Play School in Ferndale replaced and landscaped a sign; Hortonville Beautification planted flowers in Hortonville; United Methodist Church of Kenoza Lake planted flowers at the welcome signs and flagpole; Floyd and Bobo’s Bakery in Liberty planted flower boxes on the sidewalk; the Liberty Fitness Center in Liberty planted flower boxes on the sidewalk; Light & Life Christian School in Liberty planted new gardens; First Baptist Church in Monticello spruced up a garden; Monticello Senior Housing landscaped apartments; Literacy Volunteers in Monticello planted flowers at its building; St. Peter’s Church in Monticello enhanced its gardens; HASC Summer Program in Parksville planted flowers at its sign; Our Kids Day Camp in Woodbourne planted flowers.



Fourteen schools participated in 21 projects as part of this year’s “Spruce Up Your School” program and were recognized at the awards ceremony.  These included: KL Rutherford School in Monticello; Cornelius Duggan School in Bethel; Emma C. Chase School in Wurtsboro; Fallsburg High School; George L. Cooke School in Monticello; Liberty Elementary School; Liberty High School; Monticello High School; RJK Middle School in Monticello; Roscoe Central School; BOCES School in White Sulphur Springs; Sullivan County BOCES in Ferndale; Sullivan West High School in Lake Huntington; Tri-Valley School in Grahamsville.



Ten environmental grants were recognized by Sullivan Renaissance, Sullivan County Legislative Chairman Jonathan Rouis and Dali Levy of Empire Resorts as part of a new collaborative program to fund innovative demonstration projects.  All of these demonstration projects received a matching grant up to $2500 to explore sustainable, environmental and educational initiatives that could serve as models for other communities.   


Participants in the Environmental Demonstration Grant Program are: Bashakill Area Association, “Come Clean” reusable bag program in Wurtsboro (which distributed a free reusable bag to every family in attendance to kick off the campaign for a bag free day on October 15, 2008); Delaware Highlands Conservancy, educational series about land conservation; “Erika’s Better Bags” in Barryville, create and distribute cloth bags to residents; Fallsburg CSD Environmental Club, establish mixed-paper recycling program; Long Beards Chapter of Wild Turkey Federation, planting food patches for wildlife; Narrowsburg Chamber of Commerce, purchase of low energy, reusable LED holiday lights; RJK Middle School Recycling Program, pilot a full recycling program at the school; Sullivan Alliance for Sustainable Development, energy smart students; Sullivan West Elementary, outdoor classroom themed gardens; and Town of Callicoon, habitat restoration to return wildlife to streams that were impacted by floods. 



This is the third year that Sullivan Renaissance offered grants to municipalities to tear down dilapidated buildings and clean up roadside dumps.  Nine towns and three villages received almost $50,000 in matching grants.  A total of 22 buildings are being removed and three roadsides cleaned up – twice the number of projects as last year.


Eight of the buildings removed were part of the Town of Rockland’s Flood Mitigation Program.  Partially funded by FEMA, the town acquired several flood-prone properties in Livingston Manor and demolished the buildings to prevent future flood damage.  


This program continues to grow even as available space at the county landfill becomes limited.  Thanks to the Sullivan County Legislature, tipping fees were waived for approximately 260 tons of debris.  With over 1,300 tons in total, the program became possible with the support of several partners, including: Taylor Recycling, Weinert Recycling, Thompson Sanitation, Waste Management, and Sullivan First Recycling & Refuse.  



Through the Seasonal Demonstration Program, Sullivan Renaissance makes available a limited number of matching grants to camps, bungalow colonies and seasonal businesses so they can create projects to improve the appearance of their properties and serve as an example to others.


Three projects were recognized:

·         Regency Estates in Woodridge has dramatically transformed the entrance to its second-home community by replacing old chain-link fencing and a corroded gate with dramatic stonework and a beautiful wrought iron entry gate.  Shrubs and flowering plants, and attractive signage complete the transformation.

·         Far Site Bungalows on Route 17-B in the Town of Thompson is working to beautify its entranceway with a new sign, fencing and landscaping.

·         Camp Jened in Rock Hill, which is a summer camp for individuals with Cerebral Palsy, is replacing a weathered sign at its entrance, also to be landscaped with shrubs and flowers.


A mini-grant reimbursed Twin Bridge Estates, a second home community in Hurleyville, which put out beautiful flowering planter barrels and spruced up its entrance as a partner in this program.



The ceremony opened with the singing of “America the Beautiful” and “Real Heroes” by Barry and Ken Somerville.  Sandra Gerry welcomed everyone and introduced U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey who thanked participants for the work they are doing.  Project recipients received framed certificates of excellence from Sullivan Renaissance, as well as individual certificates from Rep. Hinchey, Senator Bonacic, Assemblywoman Gunther, and the Sullivan County Legislature.  As groups accepted their certificates, photographs of each project were displayed in a power point presentation created by Elizabeth Stolow of Liberty, a summer intern with Sullivan Renaissance.


The evening started with a performance by Somerville and a picnic of hot dogs, watermelon and cookies.  Bottled water was donated by Leisure Time Spring Water. 


Sullivan Renaissance projects were judged for aesthetic improvement, collaboration, youth involvement, permanence and an ability to be maintained.  The team of 11 judges from outside SullivanCounty was headed by Ted Blowes, chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Communities in Bloom Program in Canada, which helped inspire the Sullivan Renaissance program.  Other judges were: Birgitta Brophy, Nicola Coddington, Nicole Franzese, Manna Jo Greene, Mary Lewis, Mike Pogue, Karen Schneller-McDonald, Tim Stoddard, Deborah Sweeton, and Michael Sweeton.


Applications are available for the annual Board of Realtors Sullivan Showcase Awards, the next program supported by Sullivan Renaissance.  The program is run by the Sullivan County Board of Realtors.  For information contact the Board of Realtor’s at 845-794-2735.


Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.   


For information about Sullivan Renaissance, contact 845-295-2445 or