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Awards for dedication, transformation and spirit

February 24, 2016

 [BETHEL] – Eight Renaissance Awards will be given to individuals, businesses, organizations and youth for their outstanding commitment to Sullivan County at the Sullivan Renaissance Annual Conference on Saturday, March 5 at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, N.Y. 

Renaissance Award categories are reflective of the activity, spirit and time of great revival.  They acknowledge transformation and create a sense of pride and community. This year’s Renaissance Awards will be presented in the following categories:

The Spirit Award for outstanding dedication and community service will be presented to:

           David Harrington, community volunteer - David volunteers to care for the Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless vegetable garden which provides food for the pantry and kitchen.  Families are able to take home produce or enjoy meals made with the harvested vegetables from the garden. 

The Transformation Award for substantial renovations that demonstrate best practices and result in a major aesthetic enhancement will be presented to:

           Beaverkill Studio, Parksville - RJ Baker purchased a 10,000 square foot building in Parksville expecting one day he would open a green screen stage studio. The Beaverkill Studio is the first of its kind in the Catskills and offers a fully equipped production and post production studio, conference center and place to stay - a working retreat for creatives who need to get the job done!

           Catskill Mountains Resort, Barryville - William Zaccari and his family identified the need for fine dining and lodging to accommodate the influx of part time homeowners in this scenic Delaware River Valley.  With this in mind, they purchased the property formally known as the Sokol Gymnastics Camp. The Main House has been renovated to include seven charming rooms, a private party space, The Mountainside Restaurant and Zac's Wilderness Lounge. 

The Collaboration Award in recognition of leadership in building partnerships to accomplish positive community goals will be presented to:

           A Friend In Need, Sullivan County – the organization encourages everyone to do what they can to help their neighbor.   They rely on the good intentions of its many volunteers who offer donated goods, transportation and professional services and skills.

The Spark Award for “making a difference” in the community and helping germinate volunteerism will be presented to:

           Maura Kelly, a junior at Tri-Valley Central School is an active member of the FFA, she served as a class officer and on the student council while volunteering in the elementary school, Sunday School, Daniel Pierce Library and more.  Maura is a member of the Olancho Aid Society and traveled to Honduras to volunteer in orphanages, missions, and clinics to help youth.

           Erin Sumfleth, a senior at Sullivan West Central School has completed more than 270 hours of community service in just over one year.  She has served as President of the Student Council, treasurer of the National Honor Society, Secretary of the High School Band and is a member of Students Against Destructive Decisions. Erin participates in soccer and track, the school musical, drama club and jazz band.  She is also active with her church as the Catholic Youth Organization President and a Sunday School Teacher.

The Revival Award for outstanding efforts and focus on appearance, commerce and tourism for a renewed sense of place will be presented to:

           The Center for Discovery, Hurleyville - The Center has purchased and renovated several buildings on Main Street in Hurleyville.  These buildings are now the Hurleyville Market, the Maker’s Lab and the Walter and Vera (WAVE) Scherr Learning Center.  They also lease a renovated building to the “Pickled Owl”, and are working on a soon-to-open salami/cured meats store and a Hurleyville Arts Centre. Additionally, they have built walking paths, parks and creative centers. The efforts of The Center for Discovery allow people with disabilities to be fully integrated in the fabric of the community.

The Earth Award for commitment to environmental stewardship through education and sustainable practices will be presented to:

           Homestead School, Glen Spey - The Homestead School enriches the body, mind, and spirit of children through experiential learning, while holding high standards in academics and character development.  The school instills the value of being a good steward of the Earth through farming and the generation of solar energy.  They also encourage student involvement in protecting our natural resources. 

The public is invited and admission is free.  Simultaneous translation into Spanish will be available and the facility is ADA compliant.

For details about the conference, call the Sullivan Renaissance office at 845-295-2445.  Go to to download a conference brochure or to register online.

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