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Program Expands Beautification Efforts in Sullivan County

February 7, 2005

[LIBERTY] – Details of the 2005 Sullivan Renaissance Grant Program were unveiled at the 9th Annual Sullivan First Winter Forum and Expo on February 5 at Liberty High School in Liberty.  The kick-off was attended by over 150 people representing communities throughout Sullivan County.
New York State Senator John Bonacic announced a grant of $75,000 to help fund Sullivan  Renaissance this year.  This funding will largely support planning in the Category C grants.  This year’s effort has grown – with more support to local communities, a bigger emphasis on planning, and a renewed importance on flowers.
“In addition to our emphasis on planning this year, we don’t want to lose sight of the importance of planting flowers.  We want to insure lots of blossoms in everyone’s community.  That’s one of the reasons we are providing interns to help with watering and caring of plants for Category B projects.  We’re here to support the efforts of the volunteers,” said Sandra Gerry, who chairs the Sullivan  Renaissance Steering Committee.
Filled with exhibitors and participants, the school lobby and cafeteria were transformed into a showcase of flowers and spring accessories to assist with beautification projects and inspire volunteers.
Sullivan First chair Joyce Salimeno welcomed participants and then announced winners of the Sullivan First Achievement Awards.  These were presented to: Fouad and Bejan Kerendian of Rock Hill, Woodbourne Action – Sullivan First, River Market in Barryville, and Empire Resorts – Mighty M Gaming.
Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther announced a special $50,000 Golden Feather Award for the Category C projects.  Phase II grants will also include Environmental Impact Awards and Historic Preservation Awards (new this year) in each category.
Commercial exhibitors included: Brick Markers, Gardens by Kelly, Hillside Greenhouses, Liberty Home and Garden, Party Master, The Potager, Sprig n’ Twig Nursery, Stewart Signs, and WWF Technical Services.  Service organizations participating were: Bluebird Houses from Audubon, Cornell Cooperative 4-H, Cornell Cooperative Master Gardeners, Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, Daytop Parksville, and Delaware  Valley Job  Corps Center.
Dr. William Pammer, the Sullivan County Commissioner of Planning, gave the keynote address. Workshops focused on “Lasagna Gardening,” “Renaissance, the Environment and YOUth,” “Renaissance 101 – For Beginners” and “New Criteria for Renaissance Categories C and B.”  
“We were pleased to have volunteers from the Monticello High School Academy of Finance work with us as ambassadors for the day – greeting guests and documenting the work shops,” said Denise Frangipane, who organized the morning forum with Steering Committee member Dali Roosa.
Sullivan  Renaissance is a two-phase aesthetic improvement program, presented by the Beaverkill Foundation and Sullivan First, with support from the Gerry Foundation.  It has funded 125 projects in 5 villages and 15 towns in Sullivan County over the last four years.  
Sullivan  Renaissance applications will be due on March 14; grants will be awarded on March 31; projects must be completed in August.
For more information, call Sullivan  Renaissance at 845-295-2445 or visit the website address at  If requested, representatives of Sullivan Renaissance will visit a community to explain the program.