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Seasonal Communities Compete in Beautification Contest

October 1, 2013

[SOUTH FALLSBURG] – Skolya Bungalows of South Fallsburg received a $10,000 prize this summer for winning the Community Mitzvah Award contest sponsored by Sullivan Renaissance.  The prize was awarded to the seasonal communities in Sullivan County that best maintained its grounds and beautified the look of its facility.

Five camps and colonies participated in the contest: American Theological on Route 42 in Monticello; Camp Skwere on Glen Wild Road in Woodridge; Florida Bungalow Colony on Mountaindale Road in Mountaindale; Mt. Hope Bungalows on Route 55 in Swan Lake; and Skolya Bungalows on Route 42 in South Fallsburg.

Each of the other four camps that finished the contest received a completion grant of $500. 

The contest began in June when participants were given a list of projects or activities that would beautify their grounds and facilities – and, if done correctly, would improve their score.   Each camp and colony was then observed on a weekly basis by data takers who recorded what they saw from the road.  The competition included an interactive discussion with campers regarding Halachas (codes) of the Shulchan Aruch (the book of laws) identifying a person’s responsibility to the earth.

The sites were visited by a team of judges from outside Sullivan County on August 7, who reviewed the camps based on an objective set of criteria.  The judges were: Rabbi Moshe Frank of Ellenville, Mary Lewis of Cornwall and Country Yossi Toiv of Brooklyn.

Results of the judges’ decision were announced to hundreds of people at the Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony on August 12 at SUNY Sullivan in Loch Sheldrake.  The Community Mitzvah Award was part of more than $100,000 in grants and scholarships announced for communities throughout Sullivan County on that day. 

“We are overjoyed to win!  Our colony understood and embraced the whole concept of improving the look of our facility.  We were glad to have the opportunity to participate and thankful to the Gerry Foundation for working with those of us who live here in the summer,” said Mendy Reichman, who manages the colony.

The goal of Sullivan Renaissance is to help guide communities to improve their visual standards – efforts that have become widespread throughout Sullivan County.

“This was a wonderful learning experience for me both religiously and professionally.  I had to do a lot to prepare for this program and it was rewarding to see some of the children really understand the concept of being responsible for the world around them as well as the community they live in.,” said Allen Frishman, who directed the Community Mitzvah Award program.

Since 2007 Sullivan Renaissance has also offered grants to seasonal residents to improve the appearance of their properties with projects that serve as an example for others.  Funding ranges from matching grants up to $2500 to reimbursable mini-grants up to $250.  Eligible projects include: fixing entranceways and gates, planting gardens or other landscaping, dumpster enclosures, replacing fencing, upgrading signage, and simply planting flowers in planters or hanging baskets.  Improvements must be made in areas visible to the public.

For information about Sullivan Renaissance’s seasonal program or how to apply for the 2014 Mitzvah Award, contact Allen Frishman at 845-295-2445 or

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.  Sponsors include Bold Gold Media Group/Thunder 102, Country Yossi Productions, FisherMears Associates, Kristt Company, Large Media, Robert Green Dealerships, Sullivan County Democrat, The River Reporter, Thompson Sanitation, and WSUL/WVOS.