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82.4 °F
August 27, 2014
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Blowin’ in the wind

Barbara Strong, left, pictured here with family friend Angela Rein, was on hand at the Dancing Cat, representing the Allyson Whitney Foundation.


With Dylan droning on in an endless loop (“How many years can a mountain exist, before it’s washed to the sea?”) I buckled up and headed down the mountain to Bethel, NY and the “great pumpkin peace party” to observe a different form of artistic expression. Wood carver extraordinaire Paul Stark, (www.oregonstudios.com), who is usually working with trees, was busily creating fantastic Jack O’ Lanterns for a pumpkin luminary display alongside Rt. 17B. Serving as a backdrop and fundraiser for Sullivan County Cancer Services Program (www.crmcny.org/services/cancer-screening) the event combined charity, hope and inspiration with a good dose of fun mixed in.

With booths set up inside the Dancing Cat Saloon (www.dancingcatsaloon.com) representatives of a variety of organizations were on hand to shed light on the cause, before the candles were lit inside the gourds. I chatted with state assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, outreach coordinator Fran Cassidy-Gavin and Allyson Whitney’s (www.allysonwhitney.org) mom, Barbara Strong. “She was very giving” Strong said, while discussing daughter Allyson’s devotion to others “even when she was extremely ill. Her memory lives on through the various works of the foundation named for her.” Once again, I was reminded of Dylan’s lyrics—“How many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died?” and made a mental note to carve out more time for this worthy organization.

Glancing at my list, I checked off batteries, dry goods and Entenmann’s chocolate cake as I headed home to board up the windows and fold up lawn chairs, making sure that there was plenty of dog food and flashlights on hand.

Continually checking in with our Internet presence (www.riverreporter.com), I see that the news team is busily keeping residents of the Upper Delaware valley informed with updates and reports, tracking Sandy and her wide swath expected to make its way through our region.