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Democrat Photo by Dan Hust

ALAN GERRY, LEFT, looks over Wurtsboro Renaissance projects with organizer Dali Roosa, center, and Gerry’s wife, Sandra, the founder of Sullivan Renaissance.

Wurtsboro Celebrates
Its New Beauty

By Dan Hust
WURTSBORO — August 6, 2002 – Adding a twist to a beautification effort that Sullivan Renaissance’s founder never envisioned, Wurtsboro Renaissance celebrated the completion of its own mini version of the larger Sullivan Renaissance contest on Sunday.
About 70 people turned out to the Valley Brook Inn in Wurtsboro that afternoon to mingle with fellow beautifiers, see the results of 29 different efforts, and nervously await the awarding of prizes for the top projects.
“This is wonderful! I’m so gratified,” said Sullivan Renaissance founder Sandra Gerry as she and husband Alan Gerry perused the binders detailing each project. “They took Sullivan Renaissance and made their own contest out of it. It’s heartwarming. This is the greatest form of flattery.”
Between them, Wurtsboro Renaissance board members Michael and Dali Roosa, Lyman Holmes, Matthew Brewi, Barbara Piper, Monika Karpinsky, and Mickey Maher knew every single person in attendance, demonstrating the close-knit community many attendees spoke about.
And one of the key things they share is a desire to win this year’s Sullivan Renaissance contest (slated for later this month at the Woodstock festival site in Bethel).
Last year, much to the village’s chagrin, they were not selected by judges for any of the top three prizes. So this time, residents went all out.
“When we tallied up all the projects,” said Michael Roosa, “people had spent over $93,000 this year.”
And Sunday was the day to celebrate each person who participated, not just the winners.
Even Jean Dougherty, who was ultimately not allowed by the board to include her and husband Guy’s village clock project in the contest (literally due to its grand uniqueness), felt rewarded.
“The Renaissance has generated a renewed sense of community,” she said, specifically mentioning garbage cans that will be put out by local Girl Scouts on village streets. “Other residents have seen the results, and the energy in this community is greatly heightened.”
In the end, she did win, as the board gave $1,000 just to the Doughertys to assist them in paying the remaining bills for the $20,000 clock on Sullivan Street.
(The awards money came from recent fundraising efforts, including a silent auction. Businesses also donated various materials.)
As for those who could compete, the Community Church of Wurtsboro, the Mamakating First Aid Squad and Boy Scout Troop 92 won third ($100), second ($250) and first place ($500), respectively, in the clubs/civic organizations category.
In the category for businesses and other commercial entities (award amounts were the same as for clubs), first prize went to Lynn’s Flowers, followed by Dr. Robert Justus (a local chiropractor) and Canal Towne Emporium.
Winning first prize (same award amounts as the prior two categories) in the small residential category were Robert Justus and family, while second prize went to Jack and Toni Haley and third to Duane and Veronica Heller.
Dennis Wood and family won the $1,000 first place prize in the large residential category, followed by Barbara and Emily Walther ($500) and Jeanne and Larry Roosa ($250).
And don’t think it was just a bunch of flowers that made the grade. Most groups and homeowners laid brick or stone, created shrub-lined pathways and lawns, or even erected new flagpoles, welcome signs, mailboxes and fences.
Other participants included St. Joseph’s Church, the Wurtsboro Board of Trade, SullivanArc, the Chase Elementary School PTO, Wurtsboro Liquors, Saber Communications, Hamill’s Antiques, Bernice Piper, Barbara and Charlie Gutekunst, Charlotte Resinol, Melissa Arnott, Michael and Juli DiToro, Bill and Mickey Maher, Angela Konrad and Karen Schulze, Michael and Dali Roosa, and Paul and Brenda Champagne.
“I hope you all feel like winners today,” remarked Dali Roosa to the crowd, mostly composed of the aforementioned participants, “because we certainly do!”
“The entire Wurtsboro Renaissance board has been moved by what you did,” said board member Monika Karpinsky. “Wurtsboro has gained an experience more than any amount of money can buy.”

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