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Livingston Manor takes top Sullivan Renaissance Award

Members of Livingston Manor Renaissance pose with a check for $25,000, the prize for winning the Golden Feather Award at the Sullivan Renaissance Award Ceremony on August 12


August 14, 2013

There was an overflow crowd of hundreds of people that spilled out into the lobby of the Selig Theater at Sullivan County Community College on August 12, as 2013 the Sullivan Renaissance Awards were bestowed on many volunteers and groups.

The largest award, the $25,000 Golden Feather, which was handed out by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, went to Livingston Manor Renaissance for its work on enhancements to Main Street. The group also picked up a $2,500 award for its community planning efforts.

The Callicoon Business Association won the second largest award of the night, the $10,000 Silver Feather Award for its work on enhancing downtown gardens. A special $2,500 environmental award went to the Rock Hill Business and Community Association.

The Narrowsburg Beautification Group was given an award of $5,000 for the “Best Overall Showing of Flowers Award.” According to a Sullivan Renaissance press release, “Judges were impressed by the overall number of gardens, planters and displays; an abundance of color, texture, unique combinations and liberal use of Sullivan Renaissance 2013 collection; a creative use of plant material that complemented the color palette of the numerous benches and storefronts; a repetition of colors and textures that entice the visitor to explore the community; innovative designs, including vertical plantings, that soften the stark backgrounds of buildings and walls; the cohesive use of perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees; and gardens and planters that are meticulously maintained.

Other communities receiving $1,000 Judges’ Choice Awards for flowers included Sullivan County Visitors Association for the “Best Established Small Garden;” Monticello United Methodist Church for the “Best New Garden in an Urban Setting;” Roscoe-Rockland Chamber of Commerce for “Best Business/Municipal Display” and Callicoon Business Association for the “Best New Display of Annuals.”

At the opening of the event, Dr. Karin Hilgersom, president of the college, said that she thought the county was on the road back to a vibrancy that existed at the height of period of the Borscht Belt hotels. She said, “And I think one of the reasons that Sullivan County is on that road to finding to that vibrant community again is Sullivan Renaissance.”

County legislature chairman Scott Samuelson said, “As you drive around Sullivan County and you go from community to community, you know exactly when you’ve come upon a Renaissance project...Having pride in your community is the first step in being able to attract other people and economic development, people who want to come and open businesses.”


Livingston Manor Gets ‘Golden Feather’ – Skolya Bungalows Wins ‘Mitzvah’

August 12, 2013

[LOCH SHELDRAKE] – Hundreds of people attended the 100-minute Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony on Monday, August 12, as over $100,000 in grants and scholarships were awarded to winning communities throughout Sullivan County. For the second consecutive year, the ceremony was held at the Seelig Theater of SUNY Sullivan in Loch Sheldrake.

Livingston Manor Renaissance received the Golden Feather, a $25,000 grant presented by NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther. It was given to one of four large community projects that exhibited the highest level of excellence by incorporating beautification as part of a long-term strategy. The Callicoon Business Association received the second place Silver Feather Award of $10,000. Livingston Manor also got a $2500 award for the community’s planning efforts, while the Rock Hill Business and Community Association was given a special $2500 award in recognition of its environmental efforts.

The winner of the new $10,000 Community Mitzvah Award went to Skolya Bungalows on Route 42 in South Fallsburg for best maintaining and beautifying its facility. This new contest included five camps and bungalow colonies in Sullivan County. The three judges from outside the county were: Rabbi Moshe Frank of Ellenville, Mary Lewis of Cornwall and Country Yossi Toiv of Brooklyn.

Flower awards went to eight communities this year. Narrowsburg Beautification Group was recognized with the “Best Overall Showing of Flowers Award” of $5000. Judges were impressed by the overall number of gardens, planters and displays; an abundance of color, texture, unique combinations and liberal use of Sullivan Renaissance 2013 collection; a creative use of plant material that complimented the color palette of the numerous benches and storefronts; a repetition of colors and textures that entice the visitor to explore the community; innovative designs, including vertical plantings, that soften the stark backgrounds of buildings and walls; the cohesive use of perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees; and gardens and planters that are meticulously maintained.

Other communities receiving $1000 Judges’ Choice Awards for flowers included: Sullivan County Visitors Association for the “Best Established Small Garden;” Monticello United Methodist Church for the “Best New Garden in an Urban Setting;” Roscoe-Rockland Chamber of Commerce for “Best Business/Municipal Display” and Callicoon Business Association for the “Best New Display of Annuals.”

A special “Best Showing of Flowers Award – Maintenance” of $5000 was given to Our Lady of the Assumption Church for its Meditation Garden – for “wowing the judges.” Judging criteria was based on an abundance and variety of colorful flowers, number of gardens, complexity of design and the variety of plants used. A $2500 Judges’ Choice Awards also went to Neversink Renaissance for its beautiful multiple gardens and the complexity of the projects. A $1000 Judges’ Choice Award was given to Lumberland Parks & Recreation for the “wow gardens” of Circle Park.

Grants – ranging from $1000 to $25,000 – were awarded to projects in Categories A, B and C. Some projects were also recognized with Special Awards for history and youth engagement. All of the communities that completed projects received a grant based on the size of their category, as well as certificates of recognition from Sullivan Renaissance and area legislators.

CATEGORY A

Category A projects are made up of single elements such as a new sign or hanging baskets. This category was made possible, in part, through the sponsorship of WVOS/WSUL.

First place ($3000)

· Friends of Liberty Library – Building Landscaping

Second place ($2000)

· Smallwood Mongaup Valley Fire Department – 911 Memorial Park (Phase II)

Third place ($1000)

· Sullivan County Childcare Council – Rebuild Forgotten Gardens

SPECIAL AWARDS – Sponsored by Sullivan County Democrat

Best Youth Engagement ($1000)

· Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop – Garden Enhancements

CATEGORY B

Category B projects are made up of multiple elements such as park enhancements. This category was made possible, in part, through the sponsorship of Thunder 102/Bold Gold Media.

First place ($10,000) :

· Seed of Hope (Monticello Rotary – Memorial Garden at Town of Thompson Park

Second place ($7000) :

· Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners – Herb Garden Extraordinaire

Third place ($5000) :

· Kenoza Lake Fire Department – Firehouse and Church Beautification

SPECIAL AWARDS – Sponsored by The River Reporter

Historic Preservation ($1000)

· Town of Fremont – Veteran’s Park and Landscaping

Best Youth Engagement ($1000)

· Roscoe-Rockland Chamber of Commerce – Riverside Park Improvements

CATEGORY C

Category C projects are at multiple locations that incorporate beautification as part of a long-term community wide strategy. Awards in the category were presented by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.

Golden Feather ($25,000 grant) –

· Livingston Manor Renaissance

Silver Feather ($10,000) –

· Callicoon Business Association

Planning Award ($2500) –

· Callicoon Business Association

SPECIAL AWARDS – Sponsored by Kristt Company

Environmental ($2500)

· Rock Hill Business & Community Association

Historic Preservation ($1000)

· Livingston Manor Renaissance

Best Youth Engagement ($1000)

· Hurleyville-Sullivan First

Livingston Manor will be on display during a “Golden Feather Celebration” on Saturday, August 24 from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. Contact Sullivan Renaissance for more details.

Sullivan Renaissance core projects were judged for aesthetic improvement, collaboration, youth involvement, permanence and an ability to be maintained. The team of eleven judges from outside Sullivan County included: Nicole Franzese, Donna Harrison, Michael Newhard, Linda Onofry, Peter Patel, Odette Sabourin-Dumais, Claudette Savaria, Karen Schneller-McDonald, Ann Smith, Deborah Sweeton and Michael Sweeton.

Memorial tributes were held for two long-time judges who died during the previous year: Ted Blowes and Tim Stoddard.

Before introducing the communities in the Maintenance Support Program, horticultural coordinator Diana Weiner introduced members of the design panel that reviewed gardens during the application process. This year’s panelists were: Cindy Barber, Marietta Beanland, Helene Chappell, Maureen Charde, Caroline DeWilde, Susan Dollard, Kathy Fielding, Janet Gula, Susie Hull, Laurie McFadden, Danuta Skorulska, AnnaLise Vogel and Robin Wagner.

Diana Weiner also recognized the garden centers and nurseries that sold the Renaissance Collection of plants. They were: Butterfly Botanicals in Bloomingburg, Catskill Harvest Market in Liberty, Delaware Valley Farm Home & Garden in Callicoon, Everlasting Springs in Liberty, Hillside Greenhouses in Liberty, Liberty Home Garden & Pet, L & M Greenhouses in Bethel, Monticello Farm Home & Garden, Monticello Greenhouses, Inc., The Cutting Garden in Youngsville, The General’s Garden in Warwick and Vita’s Farm & Garden in Jeffersonville.

MAINTENANCE SUPPORT PROGRAM

The Maintenance Support Program provided financial support and technical assistance to established groups with a history of Sullivan Renaissance projects. Participants received up to $1000, a Merchant Discount Card, $100 in Flower Dollars, assistance in organizing a volunteer work day, additional funding for infrastructure improvements, and other technical and gardening help.

The fifteen participants were: the Bethel Business Association; Our Lady of the Assumption Church; Town of Mamakating Park in Bloomingburg; Lumberland Parks & Recreation/Circle Park in Glen Spey; Jeffersonville JEMS; Cochecton Volunteer Ambulance Corps in Lake Huntington; Livingston Manor Rotary Park; Ethelbert B. Crawford Public Library in Monticello; Neversink Renaissance; Phillipsport Community Center; Swan Lake Renaissance; Woodbourne Action Committee; Woodridge Housing Authority; Kiwanis Club of Woodridge and Wurtsboro Renaissance.

SUNY SULLIVAN SCHOLARSHIP

The Sullivan County Community College Foundation awarded two full time scholarships of $1000 to volunteers involved in Sullivan Renaissance projects who are attending SUNY Sullivan.

· Billie Joe Gardner, Jr. of Hurleyville – SUNY Sullivan

· Kaitlin Slater of Kenoza Lake – SUNY Sullivan

SULLIVAN RENAISSANCE SCHOLARSHIPS

The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties awarded eight Sullivan Renaissance scholarships to volunteers who made a significant contribution to a Sullivan Renaissance project. These scholarships to the college of one’s choice are of various amounts up to $2000.

· Luis Arango of Spring Glen – Phillipsport – New York University

· Mathew Bisland of Glen Spey – Circle Park – SUNY Orange

· Jesse Corcoran of Glen Spey – Circle Park – Johnson & Wales

· Jordan Fredell of Wurtsboro – Mamakating – Keuka College

· Olivia Grady of Narrowsburg – Narrowsburg – Northeastern University

· Virginia O’Rourke of Wurtsboro – Mamakating – Salisbury University

· Ethan Porter of Swan Lake – Swan Lake – SUNY Orange

· Kane Sauchuk of Swan Lake – Swan Lake – Binghamton University

SULLIVAN RENAISSANCE VOLUNTEER CORPS

Volunteer coordinator Cara Kowalski talked about the new Sullivan Renaissance Volunteer Corps and introduced its members: Michelle Albrecht, Rachelle Carmack, Melinda Cormier, Marjorie Evans, Michelle Guidera, Mary Mancuso, Daniel McCormack, Meaghan McCormack, Diane Moss, Margaret Rubin and Eric Schramm.

SULLIVAN RENAISSANCE INTERNS

The 2013 interns are: Luis Arango, Celina Castellano, Andrew David, Jordan Fredell, Brittany Fuller, Olivia Grady, Lauren Hazen, Dylan Jones, Jenna Lambrigger, Joshua Mace, Madison McCormack, Desmond Oxford McDaniel, Ethan Porter, John Schmidt, Nina Seehausen and Kyle Wallach.

AWARDS CEREMONY

In her opening welcome, SUNY Sullivan President Dr. Karin Hilgersom praised the work of Sullivan Renaissance and the volunteers. The ceremony then began with the playing of “With a Little Help from My Friends”by the Hurleyville Ukulele Orchestra. Sandra Gerry recognized dignitaries and thanked participants for the work they are doing.

Project recipients received framed certificates of excellence from Sullivan Renaissance, as well as individual certificates from U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Representative Chris Gibson, NYS Senator John Bonacic, NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, NYS Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney and the Sullivan County Legislature. As groups accepted their certificates, photographs of each project were displayed in a power point presentation created in part by Jennifer Avila of Monticello, a summer youth assistant with Sullivan Renaissance.

Before the ceremony, attendees viewed displays of the projects. Refreshments included desserts supplied by Erin Lipsky and staff at Granite Associates.

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation. For information about Sullivan Renaissance, contact 845-295-2445 or www.sullivanrenaissance.org.