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‘Special Recognition Awards’ Presented as Surprise

August 14, 2007


[BETHEL] – Hundreds of people attended the 90-minute Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony yesterday at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts as winning communities from around the county were announced.  Volunteers had been hard at work on 46 projects since initial grants were awarded in March.


The community of Kauneonga Lake received the Golden Feather, a $50,000 grant made possible by NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.  It was presented by her legislative director, Steve Wilkinson, to the Category C project that exhibited the highest level of excellence in all aspects of their three-year project.  Major funding for these seven community development projects came through a $75,000 grant secured by NYS Senator John Bonacic.  


Thirteen Phase II grants – ranging from $1000 to $10,000 – were awarded to projects in Categories A and B.  All 43 communities that completed their projects received grants based on the size of their category, as well as certificates of recognition from Sullivan Renaissance and area legislators.  Three communities will complete their projects this fall.


This year new “Special Recognition Awards” were announced by Jerry Skoda, a member of the Sullivan Renaissance Steering Committee, and presented to groups and individuals that had exhibited excellence their area.


Special Recognition Awards for Excellence

Green Feather Award ($500):

·        Susan Mullally and the Sullivan West Fifth Grade Class

“Have You Renaissanced Today” Award ($250 certificate from Stephenson’s Garden Center):

·        Eric Adler of Monticello for improvements and landscaping to his property on Jefferson Street  

Mini-Grant Award ($250 certificate from Manza Family Farm):

·        Roscoe Garden Club for the Railroad Avenue garden

New Group Award ($250 certificate from Manza Family Farm):

·        St. Peter’s Church of Monticello

School Award ($250 certificate from Stephenson’s Garden Center):

·        Roscoe Central School

Intern Award in Category B (Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce gift certificate):

·        Carly Bulaga

Intern Award in Category C (Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce gift certificate):

·        Mathew Goldsmith


Silver Feather Awards

Two Silver Feather Awards for outstanding work in planning and community development were awarded.  Jeffersonville JEMS in Category B won the $2500 grant sponsored by Thunder 102/Bold Gold Media.  Wurtsboro Renaissance in Category C received the $2500 grant made possible by Senator Bonacic.  Awards were also given in each category for Environmental Impact, Historic Preservation, Showing of Flowers, and Project Maintenance.  


Projects ranged from single elements such as a new sign or hanging baskets in Category A, to multiple-element projects such as park enhancements in Category B, to complex 3-year community development plans in Category C. 



First place ($3000):

·       Roscoe Chamber of Commerce – gazebo and garden enhancements with solar lights

·       South Fallsburg – Fallsburg Action Committee – continued beautification of Railroad Plaza, relocate historic marker

Second place ($2000):

·       Callicoon Business Association – repair railroad trestle and create garden underpass

·       Woodridge – Eagle Ridge Apartments – plant trees, garden, signage

Third place ($1000):

·       LibertyLight & Life Christian School – beautify entrance to church parking lot

·       Narrowsburg Beautification Group – enhancements to eagle viewing outlook

Environmental Impact ($1000) – Sponsored by Thompson Sanitation:

·       Minisink Ford – Highland Renaissance – mobile eagle observation shelter

Historic Preservation ($1000) – Sponsored by the Times Herald Record:

·       South Fallsburg – Fallsburg Action Committee – continued beautification of Railroad Plaza, relocate historic marker

Showing of Flowers ($1000) – Sponsored by the Sullivan County Democrat:

·       Liberty ALIVE – flower containers and baskets on Main Street

Project Maintenance ($1000) – Sponsored by Thunder 102/Bold Gold Media:

·       Roscoe Chamber of Commerce – gazebo and garden enhancements with solar lights



First place ($10,000):

·       Mountaindale Action Committee – new garden, preservation of railroad wall

·       Neversink Renaissance/ Daniel Pierce Library – barn quilts, flowers and sign program

Second place ($7000):

·       Fremont Park Renaissance – Landscape and beautify new restrooms at ball park

·       Forestburgh – Sullivan First of Forestburgh – children’s playground, work in park, triangle park

Third place ($5000):

·       Long Eddy Renaissance – Bus shelter library, firehouse marquee, signage

·       Woodridge – Kiwanis Club of Woodridge – rails to trails entrance

Fourth place ($2000) by special request of the judges:

·       Woodbourne Action Committee – beautification at Marie’s Park, Scheinman Park, Main Street

Silver Feather ($2500) – Sponsored by Thunder 102/Bold Gold Media:

·       Jeffersonville JEMS – continue landscaping at 1938 school, begin new projects

Environmental Impact ($1000) – Sponsored by Jacobowitz & Gubits:

·       Forestburgh – Sullivan First of Forestburgh – children’s playground, work in park, triangle park

Historic Preservation ($1000) – Sponsored by First National Bank of Jeffersonville:

·       Neversink Renaissance/ Daniel Pierce Library – barn quilts, flowers and sign program

Showing of Flowers ($1000) – Sponsored by The Towne Crier:

·       Neversink Renaissance/ Daniel Pierce Library – barn quilts, flowers and sign program

Project Maintenance ($1000) – Sponsored by Thunder 102/Bold Gold Media:

·       Livingston Manor Renaissance – new gardens and history kiosk



Golden Feather ($50,000) – Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, presented by Steve Wilkinson:

·       Kauneonga Lake – Bethel First, Bethel Local Development Corp.

Silver Feather ($2500) – Senator John J. Bonacic:

·       Wurtsboro – Wurtsboro Renaissance

Environmental Impact ($1000) – Sponsored by Empire Resorts:

·       Hurleyville – Hurleyville Sullivan First:

Historic Preservation ($1000) – Sponsored by Town & Country Preferred Properties:

·       Barryville – Highland Renaissance, Barryville Chamber of Commerce

Showing of Flowers ($1000) – Sponsored by The River Reporter:

·       Swan LakeSwan Lake Renaissance

Project Maintenance ($1000) – Sponsored by Thunder 102/Bold Gold Media:

·       Lumberland – Circle Park, Town of Lumberland


Full Time ($1500):

·        Anthony Carmeci III of Forestburgh – Monticello High School Senior, Sullivan Renaissance project in Forestburgh

·        Sarah Devine of Bethel – Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless garden in Monticello

Part Time ($750):

·        Cody Siciliano of Grahamsville – Landfield Avenue Synagogue project in Monticello


Mini-Grant Program

Fifteen businesses, groups and individuals were recognized for participating in the mini-grant reimbursement program which provided up to $200 worth of flowers for each project.  These included:  Town of Delaware Sewerage Plant in Callicoon; St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Forestburgh; Assembly of God Church in Hankins; Independence Riders 4-H Group in Grahamsville; Hortonville Cemetery Association; Loch Sheldrake Wash & Lube; Luxton Lake Property Owners Assn. in Tusten; Emanon Equities in Monticello; Narrowsburg Gardening Club; Sullivan First Parksville Committee; HASC Summer Program in Parksville; Roscoe Post Office; Roscoe Library; Rockland Garden Club in Roscoe; and Congregation B’nai Israel in Woodbourne.


School Program

Ten schools participated in this year’s “Spruce Up Your School” program and received certificates of recognition.  These included: Eldred Central School; Emma Chase School in Wurtsboro; Fallsburg Central Junior/Senior School; George R. Mackenzie School in Glen Spey; KL Rutherford School in Monticello; Liberty Central High School; RJK Middle School Environmental Club in Monticello; Roscoe Central School; Sullivan County BOCES in White Sulphur Springs; and Sullivan West High School in Lake Huntington.


Municipal Program

Special recognition was given to six towns and two villages that participated in this year’s Municipal Clean Up Grant program.  Over $40,000 in matching grants were awarded for the removal of ten dilapidated buildings and the clean up of three roadside dumps.  The towns of Bethel, Liberty, Fallsburg, Mamakating, Thompson and Tusten received grants, as well the villages of Monticello and Liberty.  Partners in this program were: Sullivan County Legislature, Taylor Recycling Facility and Waste Management Corp.


Seasonal Program

Sullivan Renaissance also recognized a camp in Fallsburg and a bungalow colony in Monticello, which will receive a $2,500 matching grant this year for beautification improvements that will demonstrate best practices for other seasonal properties throughout Sullivan County.  Improvements at Camp Wiznitz, located on Old Falls Road near the hamlet of Fallsburg, will include restoration of a stone wall and landscaping of the property.  The second project involves landscaping, replacing an entry gate and installing a new sign at Mishkinos Bobov (formerly Kaufman’s Bungalows) on Kaufman Road in Monticello.  The seasonal program is sponsored in part by Country 95.9 and WSUL.


The ceremony opened with a welcome from Sandra Gerry and the singing of “America the Beautiful” by Norman Graves of Daytop.  Project recipients received framed certificates of excellence from Sullivan Renaissance, as well as individual certificates from Rep. Hinchey, State Senator John Bonacic and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.  As groups accepted their certificates, photographs of each project were displayed in a power point presentation created by Elizabeth Stolow of Liberty, a summer intern with Sullivan Renaissance.


The evening started with a picnic of hot dogs, watermelon and cookies.  Recycled paper products for this and future events have been underwritten by Empire Resorts.  Bottled water was donated by Leisure Time Spring Water.  The children’s activity area was lead by artist Matt Sherman, while music was provided by Basket Landing. 


Projects were judged for aesthetic improvement, collaboration, youth involvement, permanence and an ability to be maintained.  The team of 11 judges from outside Sullivan County was headed by Ted Blowes, chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Communities in Bloom Program in Canada, which helped inspire the Sullivan Renaissance program.  Other judges were: Nicola Coddington, Nicole Franzese, Manna Jo Greene, Carson Helfrich, Mary Lewis, Mike Pogue, Karen Schneller-McDonald, Tim Stoddard, Deborah Sweeton, and Michael Sweeton.


Applications are available for the annual Board of Realtors Sullivan Showcase Awards, the next program supported by Sullivan Renaissance.  The program is run by the Sullivan County Board of Realtors.  For information contact the Board of Realtor’s at 845-794-2735.


Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.  Youth participation is supported in part with grants from the Louis R. Cappelli Foundation, and Bank of America Charitable Foundation.  Additional funding has been secured by NYS Senator John J. Bonacic and Assemblywoman Aileen M. Gunther. 


For information about Sullivan Renaissance, contact 845-295-2445 or