By Matt Youngfrau
BETHEL August 27, 2002 Last year, the first annual Sullivan Renaissance awards were handed out. This year, based upon last year's success, the prizes were expanded. In all, 29 projects were vying for awards in three separate categories.
The Renaissance Awards were handed out at the kickoff of the Harvest Market Festival at the original Woodstock Site on Sunday. Representatives from every project group came out for the ceremony. In fact, the day saw 500 people come out to the site for the festivities.
"We are here to celebrate Sullivan County and our communities," remarked Sullivan Renaissance Steering Committee member Jacquie Leventoff. "These volunteers gave up their nights and days off to make Sullivan County a better place to live."
"What a day for a Sullivan Renaissance," Head Judge Ted Blowes commented. "What a day for somebody who is proud of their community. We were impressed with all the projects. You are making this a better place to live and visit."
The judges visited each project all day Saturday. When they were done, they faced a problem. They decided that two prizes were not enough for each category. So they petitioned founders Alan and Sandra Gerry, who agreed to add a third prize in each category.
"These projects demonstrate the power of working together," Sandra Gerry stated. "All the groups showed a great deal of enthusiasm and creativity."
"It was a cooperative effort," added Alan Gerry. "We are all playing ball together. You will do better next year and the year after that."
Category A was for single element projects such as welcome signs, small gardens, building landscaping, or sign replacement. Taking third place and $1,000 was Fremont/Hankins for repairs on the stone bridge in Hankins. Second prize and $1,500 went to Hurleyville for their welcome signs. The grand prize winner of Category A and $3,000 was White Sulphur Springs for their Firemen's Park.
Category B was for projects with more than one element. Those included gazebo projects, park enhancement, extensive building landscaping, limited roadside beautification or facade renovation. Third prize and $3,000 went to Kauneonga Lake for park enhancement and their pavilion. Second prize and $5,000 went to Callicoon for the Callicoon Creek Park enhancement. First prize in Category B and $7,500 went to Rock Hill for their ambulance building beautification project.
Category C was for multi-element projects. Those included corridor improvement, extensive main street beautification, or the creation of a new public park. Third prize and $5,000 went to Wurtsboro for multiple main street projects. Second prize and $10,000 went to Roscoe for their business corridor improvement. The grand prize of $20,000 went to Monticello for their DeHoyas Park enhancement.
"We decided to do this park for the future of all of us," Barbara Sush, the head of the Monticello group, said. "The future looks bright for all of us."