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Free Conference, Local Market and Expo

February 19, 2014

FERNDALE – Ten individuals, organizations and businesses will receive 2014 Sullivan First Achievement Awards for their commitment to improving the appearance of Sullivan County during the Sullivan Renaissance Annual Conference, Local Market and Expo on Saturday, March 8 at the CVI Center in Ferndale, NY.  Everyone is welcome and there is no cost to attend.

This year’s Sullivan First Achievement Awards go to:

       Kathy Fielding, Monticello – For tireless volunteerism and dedicated leadership in the Monticello beautification efforts.

       LouAnn Rexford, Hurleyville – For volunteerism with Hurleyville Sullivan First and for personal efforts to keep Hurleyville clean and beautiful.

       Dick Riseling, Sullivan Alliance for Sustainable Development – For continued efforts to move Sullivan County toward a more sustainable future through agriculture, resource conservation and the use of alternative energy.

       Leon Smith, Bethel – For contributions to the revitalization of Kauneonga Lake and for work on behalf of revitalization projects throughout the Town of Bethel.

       Manza Family Farm – For ongoing support of Sullivan Renaissance projects and for many contributions toward community beautification efforts.

       The Beekman House, Kauneonga Lake – For turning a “space” into a “place” and being a role model of best practices of façade renovations, landscaping, community and economic development.

       New Hope Community & JonJon Thomas – For generosity toward Sullivan Renaissance projects through the contribution of plants, flowers and volunteer support of projects. 

       Yankee Lake Preservation Association – For an innovative approach to addressing landscaping challenges through incorporating a rain garden to compliment the gardens at the Yankee Lake Preservation Association.

       Robert Hayes, Tri-Valley School – For dedication to educating the students at Tri-Valley Central School to appreciate the value of natural resources and for ongoing efforts to engage students in volunteer activities in their community. 

     Jane Sorensen, Monticello Central School District – For dedication to the students and families in the Monticello School District and for leadership in bringing the Catskill Edible Garden Project to the Cooke School.

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. with breakfast and expo.  The program starts at 9:00 a.m. and continues until 2:00 p.m.  Door prizes will be awarded at the conference conclusion.  Please RSVP by March 5. 

The day will bloom with spring flowers and inspiration, and offer tools and resources to help volunteers make a difference in their communities.  The event has three main elements:

     The program includes the awards presentation, keynote address and two featured speakers;

     The local market will offer participants and guests the opportunity to purchase local, natural and organic goods from area farms and businesses; and

     The expo highlights exhibits by many of Sullivan County’s garden centers and nurseries, along with other vendors with products and services of interest to volunteers.

The keynote address will be delivered by Svante Myrick, Mayor of Ithaca, one of the youngest mayors in U.S. history.  His talk will focus on the successful work being done to revitalize the City of Ithaca.  Mayor Myrick will share ideas on community revitalization and how communities can take the necessary steps toward a better future.

In addition to the keynote, the conference will highlight two special addresses: 

     Certified Nursery & Landscape Professional Sally Cunningham speaking about “Native Plants and Eco-friendly Landscapes” and

     Village of Warwick Mayor and Communities in Bloom International Winner Michael Newhard speaking on “Transformational Communities.”

Information about the 2014 Sullivan Renaissance grant program will be presented, along with an opportunity to discuss individual projects with staff.  Applications will be available.

Please RSVP by March 5.  This is a recycling event; appropriate receptacles will be provided for attendees.

For information, call the Sullivan Renaissance office at 845-295-2445.  To register on line, go to  To download a conference brochure, go to

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