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$250,000 Golden Feather Awarded to the Village of Monticello

August 10, 2017

[BETHEL] – Hundreds of people attended the Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on Monday, August 7, as over $500,000 in grants and scholarships were awarded to communities throughout Sullivan County. 

The Awards Ceremony was the culmination of months of work on the part of volunteers, municipalities, and community organizations to enhance gateways, public spaces and main streets.  Monetary prizes were awarded in several categories and scholarships and recognitions were presented to individuals and communities.


The Village of Monticello, was recognized for the transformation it has accomplished in the areas of beautification, code enforcement and building healthy communities. They won the top prize of the evening, a $250,000 grant secured by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther. “I have wonderful board members who have supported this work,” said Village Manager Dave Sager. “We have done a world of work to reinvigorate things and get community buy-in in a challenging place.  We are excited – the work is just beginning.  It is nice to be recognized for the totality of our efforts.  We are committed to reclaiming this Village as a proud County Seat.”

The Town of Fallsburg was awarded a $50,000 grant through Senator John Bonacic; and the Village of Jeffersonville was awarded a $50,000 grant bequested by former Renaissance judge Tim Stoddard.  The Town of Thompson and Mamakating were recognized with the Bronze Feather Award of $25,000.

GARDEN GRANTS: Single element beautification projects

First place - ($3000) 4-H Hayrisers – Flyway by the Byway on Route 97 in Highland

Second place - ($2000) –Youngsville Busy Beavers 4-H Club Butterfly Garden in Youngsville

Third place - ($1000) – St. Peter’s Church in Monticello

Two Judges Choice Award at $500 each were awarded to BATS for Veterans in Liberty and the United Church of Roscoe. Two Judges Choice Awards of $250 each were awarded to Youngsville Busy Beavers 4-H and the 4-H Hayraisers; both for youth involvement.

COMMUNITY GRANTS: Multiple element beautification and community development projects

First place – ($12,000): St Peter’s Church Renaissance - Liberty

Second place – ($7000): Catskill Fly-fishing Museum Environmental Beautification

Third place – ($5000): Neversink Renaissance Community-wide Beautification

Two Judges Choice Awards of $1,000 each were awarded to Lumberland Parks and Recreation and the Village of Woodridge.

THE COMMUNITY MITZVAH AWARD Program engaged nine seasonal colonies and camps from throughout Sullivan County in beautification and property enhancement efforts.  The winner of the$10,000 Community Mitzvah Award went to Camp Ahavas Israel of Liberty; Second place award of $5000 went to Green Acres of Liberty and Third place of $3000 was awarded to Camp HASC of Parksville and $1000 Judges Choice Award went to American Theological of Kiamesha Lake.


St. Peter’s Church, Liberty $5,000

Swan Lake Renaissance $5,000

Forestburgh Playhouse - $3,000

Hudson River Healthcare - $3,000

Lumberland Parks and Recreation - $2,000

Livingston Manor Renaissance - $1,000

Phillipsport Community Center - $1,000

United Methodist Church of Monticello - $500

Livingston Manor United Methodist Church - $500

Three community groups were recognized with Special Achievement Awards.  Hudson River Healthcare and White Sulphur Springs Sullivan First were acknowledged for volunteer outreach, inclusion and capacity building.  Dynamite Youth Center was awarded for participation in educational classes and community participation.


The SUNY Sullivan Foundation awarded one full time scholarship to Vanessa Ramos, a volunteer who assisted at Hope Farm at SUNY Sullivan. Vanessa is a student at SUNY Sullivan who is planning to continue her studies during the 2017-2018 academic year.


The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties awarded six Sullivan Renaissance scholarships to volunteers who made a significant contribution to a Sullivan Renaissance project.  These scholarships are for the spring semester at the college of one’s choice. 

  • Michael Dorn                              Marist College
  • Samantha Dorn                          SUNY Geneseo
  • Cheyanne Matulewich                SUNY Cobleskill
  • Mackenzie Mitchell                     Elmira College
  • Michael Schulte                          SUNY Cortland
  • Cristian Serapio                          SUNY Delhi


Cara Kowalski, Volunteer Program Manager, acknowledged the dedication of members of the Sullivan Renaissance Volunteer Corps and presented a special recognition for going above and beyond to Volunteers Karen Ellsweig and Amy Nielsen.


Ari Mir-Pontier, Multicultural Program Manager, spoke about the Multicultural Program and recognized members of the Advisory Committee that has worked to engage the diverse Sullivan County communities. On behalf of the Sullivan Renaissance Multicultural Program, she also presented a special awardto Shanita Artson for her passionate, steadfast and inspiring dedication to her community.

A video of the ceremony will soon be available online with the link posted on the Sullivan Renaissance YouTube page and the Sullivan Renaissance website.

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation with support from Bold Gold Media Group, Fisher Mears Associates, The River Reporter, The Sullivan County Democrat and Thompson Sanitation.  For information, contact 845-295-2445 or .