Brunch from BOCES for local veterans and more

What's going on in your community December 16 to 22

Posted 12/14/21

What's going on in your community December 16 to 22

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Brunch from BOCES for local veterans and more

What's going on in your community December 16 to 22


Pen pal project from Postal Service

PENNSYLVANIA — The U.S. Postal Service, working with WeAreTeachers, a teacher resource site, to offer the USPS Pen Pal Project, a free educational program for students in grades three to five, this 2021-2022 school year.

The project will provide 25,000 classrooms across the country with the opportunity to partner with matched classes to write one million letters; the goal is to build friendships and understand diverse perspectives.

Each participating classroom will receive a USPS Pen Pal Project kit with a poster, cards, and envelopes. By participating in the program, students will improve their writing, communication, and collaboration skills.

U.S. public, charter and private school teachers are invited to join The USPS Pen Pal Project. More information, including official rules and instructions for teachers to sign their classes up for the project, is available at

For more information about the Postal Service, visit and

Sullivan Renaissance hosts 2022 municipal grant program workshop

LIBERTY, NY — Officials interested in applying for Sullivan Renaissance grants for 2022 attended a workshop on the process recently.

Representatives from 12 of the county’s 21 municipalities attended.

“We had a great turnout at the workshop and look forward to receiving robust and diverse applications from across the County,” said Shannon Cilento, Sullivan Renaissance community development program manager.

In addition to reviewing the 2022 programs and applications, the workshop highlighted three municipalities that have gone above and beyond to incorporate the Sullivan Renaissance mission into their operations and budget, Cilento said. Bill Rieber, Town of Thompson supervisor, spoke about how the town created a beautification coordinator position that has now expanded to include parks and programs. Town of Bethel Supervisor Dan Sturm discussed the town’s robust litter and highway cleanup program, and Village of Woodridge Mayor Joan Collins spoke about how their Department of Public Works improved and developed parks and the O&W Rail Trail.

Sullivan County Division of Planning Commissioner Freda Eisenberg also joined the program to discuss resources and technical assistance that the county offers for municipalities.

Four program areas will be emphasized in the 2022 Sullivan Renaissance Municipal Partnership Program: beautifying and caring for public spaces, building healthy communities, enhancing code enforcement and developing environmental stewardship and historic preservation.

For more information on municipal programs and available funding, contact Shannon Cilento at (845) 295-2445 or

Historically low blood supply on hand

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Nearly two years into the pandemic, everyone has earned a holiday break with their family and friends. But as the nation gathers again for celebrations this season, the American Red Cross, which provides 40 percent of the country’s blood, is facing historically low blood supply levels.  

Busy holiday schedules, breaks from school and winter weather all contribute to a drop in blood and platelet donations this time of year. Those factors, combined with the ongoing challenges of  COVID-19, make it vital for donors to make an appointment to give as soon as possible.

If more donors don’t come forward to give blood, some patients requiring a transfusion could face delays in care.  

Donors are urged to schedule an appointment now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or by calling 800/RED CROSS (800/733-2767). There is no blood donation waiting period for those who have received a flu shot or a Moderna, Pfizer or  Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine or booster, so long as they are symptom-free.

Upcoming blood donation events are:

Jeffersonville, NY on Wednesday, December 22, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at St. George’s Church.

Yulan, NY on Wednesday, December 29, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church.

Historic church to receive grant for repairs

ROSCOE, NY — The Roscoe Presbyterian Church has been approved for a matching grant from the A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation for help with building repairs. The scope of repairs will include a replacement of the roof on the sanctuary and social hall, as well as repairs to the steeple. The building, constructed in 1884, is on the NY State Registry of Historic Places, and is a fixture in the Roscoe community. The church will meet its half of repair costs with the help of generous donations received from the community during the recent “Raise the Roof” campaign.

The work is slated to begin in the spring of 2022. Once the project is complete, the church will hold a reception to thank the community for its support. Anyone interested in the progress of the project is encouraged to follow the church on Facebook at The Roscoe Presbyterian Church for further updates.

A donation from the carpenters' union Local 279 will help feed the hungry at SUNY Sullivan. Rev. Diana Southwick Scheide,  left, Matthew Ross, Jay Quaintance and Scott Smith.
A donation from the carpenters' union Local 279 will help feed the hungry at SUNY Sullivan. Rev. Diana Southwick Scheide, left, Matthew Ross, Jay …

Carpenters Local 279 donates to SUNY Sullivan food pantry

LOCH SHELDRAKE, NY — On a weekly basis, the college food pantry serves an average of 18-24 students, according to the Student Activities office.

That’s a fair number of students who now have one less thing to worry about as they pursue their educations.

The new food pantry has just gotten a boost from Carpenters Local 279, which represents the Hudson Valley region.

The pantry—a partnership of the Episcopal Diocese of New York Campus Ministry, Delaware Catskill Episcopal Ministry, and SUNY Sullivan—opened earlier this year in response to the increased food and financial insecurity faced by students and staff as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matthew Ross, council representative for Local 279, presented a $1,000 check to SUNY Sullivan President Jay Quaintance on December 10.

Ross, who is working with the college to develop a new “Earn While You Learn” carpentry apprenticeship and degree program, became aware of the food pantry while visiting campus and wanted to help. He said Local 279’s membership voted to support the donation.

Quaintance expressed his gratitude and said, “We look forward to our growing relationship with Local 279 as we develop programs that lead to jobs and support our local economy.”

The new pantry, housed in Room B105 and open two days a week (or by appointment) offers non-perishable food, toiletries and weekly fresh vegetables from SUNY Sullivan Community Garden to the SUNY Sullivan community on an as-needed basis.

The pantry welcomes all donations, said Debra Waller-Frederick, associate dean of student engagement, but it is particularly in need of toiletries, such as full-size shampoo, conditioner and body wash, as well as hand soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper, feminine products, baby wipes, diapers and other personal products.

Donations can be delivered to the pantry during open hours, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12 noon to 3 p.m.

Monetary donations can be dropped off at or mailed to the SUNY Sullivan Student Activities Office, Room H122, 112 College Rd., Loch Sheldrake, NY 12759. Checks should be made out “SUNY Sullivan FSA” with “food pantry” written in the memo.

The new carpenter-training program is intended to start next fall.

For more information about SUNY Sullivan and its course offerings, visit

Brunch from BOCES for local veterans

LIBERTY, NY — On December 2, the students and staff at Sullivan BOCES held a brunch in honor of the county’s veterans.

Students sold flags in honor or memory of someone who served, raising over $575 for local veterans’ organizations. Students in career and technical education programs also participated; culinary students prepared the brunch, welding students created the wall art and students from the early childhood and natural resources programs created the centerpieces.

“It’s nice to have young kids come up to you and say, ‘Thank you for your service,’” said Jim Hammond, a Vietnam veteran.

For the senior class at BOCES, the brunch not only honored the veterans.  It created a platform for each of the students to learn. Throughout the brunch, the students spoke to and interviewed the veterans to understand better who they are as individuals and hear what these heroes have done to protect our nation. For students like Nathaniel Perry, who plans to join the military, the day was priceless, as he had the opportunity to talk to veterans from each branch of the service.

According to Sherwood McGibbon, Vietnam veteran, “Today’s brunch means a lot to us,” said Sherwood McGibbon, Vietnam veteran. “It is great to see how the young men and women at BOCES are interested in meeting us and learning about what we have done for our Country.”

The Liberty and Youngsville Fire Departments made a grand entrance with their ladder trucks to welcome the veterans, according to a news release.

Yulan Fire Department installs new officers

YULAN, NY — New officers were installed by the Yulan Fire Department on November 6, for 2021-2022.

Chief—Philip Deyermond

1st Assistant—Keith Blau

2nd Assistant—Timothy Oset

Captain—George Speer

1st Lieutenant—Josef Haas

2nd Lieutenant—Evan Bizjak

Captain Fire Police—Nancy Hofaker

County Delegate—George Speer

Alternative 1st Lieutenant—Josef Haas 

President—Jeffrey Haas

Vice President—Anthony LaRuffa

Secretary—Linda Anderson

Treasurer—Christopher Tambini

Trustee—Michael Oset

U.S. Postal Service, Pen Pal Project, Sullivan Renaissance, community development, Municipal Partnership Program, American Red Cross, blood donors, Roscoe Presbyterian Church, SUNY Sullivan food pantry, Local 279, Sullivan BOCES, Yulan Fire Department


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