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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Community > Awards & Milestones

Sullivan Renaissance Annual Conference:Recognizing community

Mar 17, 2017

By Autumn Schanil - staff writer

The Sullivan Renaissance Annual Conference began with a performance by the Sullivan County Community Chorus.
BETHEL — Walking into the Bethel Woods Event gallery Saturday morning was like walking into Spring.
As the doors closed behind you blocking the blistering winter winds, a welcoming warmth enveloped you while colorful arrangements of plants and flowers came into view.
As everyone got settled in their seats, the Annual Sullivan Renaissance Conference began the awards ceremony with an opening performance by the Sullivan County Community Chorus.
“That was beautiful. What a wonderful way to start the day,” said Sullivan Renaissance Chair Sandra Gerry upon taking the stage.
Gerry welcomed and thanked everyone for attending, saying that there were many special things happening in and around the county, thanks to the dedication of so many.

Gerry introduced a new initiative and organization, still in its early stages, Sullivan 180.
It's a nonprofit that was created through Sullivan Renaissance's Healthy Community Initiatives, to turn around the wellness and overall health of Sullivan County.
“It is a grassroots movement that unites the entire community,” stated Gerry, “businesses, organizations and individuals in healthcare, education, agriculture, government, the arts and faith-based institutions.”
She went on to explain that Sullivan 180 is not intended to replace existing programs but is meant to combine efforts and leveraging resources.
The effort is being led by the Catskill Regional Medical Center, who is already a Sullivan 180 partner, and they hope to get more businesses, organizations and people involved.
And their logo?
“We were thinking of the Lenape Indians whose totem was the turtle, representing Mother Earth, health and happiness,” stated Gerry. “How perfect for us, as we know the turtle keeps a slow, steady and enduring pace that always comes out the winner.”

Executive Director
Gerry then proudly introduced Sullivan Renaissance's Denise Frangipane as the new Executive Director.
“She has been working with us, just, wonderfully over all of these years,” smiled Gerry, “and is now our Executive Director. Not only does she deserve this position, but she has earned it, so much. She supports me and the community in so many ways.”
Frangipane ascended the stage to loud applause. “Now that I have this position I guess I have to prepare my remarks,” she quipped.

After discussing what's new and upcoming for 2017, Frangipane introduced Steering Committee member Dali Levy, who would be presenting the Sullivan Renaissance awards with the help of fellow Steering Committee member Fred Stabbert III.
“Renaissance is defined as the activity, spirit, or time of the great revival,” said Levy. “Each of today's recipients represent a renaissance, a transition, a vigor, a rebirth and recognize a sense of pride and community spirit.”
Each group or person honored received a framed photo and a statement of recognition, as well as citations from New York State Senator John Bonacic, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and the Sullivan County Legislature.
The Spirit Award, was presented to Isaac Green Diebboll for his outstanding dedication and service in the community.
Salt and Pepper Kitchen of Monticello and Rosehaven Alpacas Boutique & Mill in Bethel received the Transformation Award for renovations and aesthetic enhancements of their businesses.
The Collaboration Award was given to S.A.L.T (Sullivan Agencies Leading Together) for building partnerships within the community, accomplishing positive goals.
Iris Fen Gillingham of Livingston Manor was honored with the Spark Award as a young person making a difference and germinating volunteerism, and the Earth Award was presented to the Basha Kill Area Association for environmental stewardship through education and sustainable practices.
The conference continued throughout the afternoon with a keynote address by Cynthia Nikitin of Project for Public Spaces on Rural Renaissance and Building Communities through Placemaking, Municipal & Community Development Grant Awards by Sullivan Renaissance Assistant Director Helen Budrock, a lunch and expo market, afternoon sessions and last but not least, door prize drawings.

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