Sullivan County Democrat
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Head to Fallsburg,
Not Woodstock

By Jeanne Sager
FALLSBURG — July 8, 2003 – Folks in Fallsburg will have something to crow about this August.
The Gerry Foundation has decided to move its annual awards ceremony for the coveted Sullivan Renaissance project prizes indoors. And that meant looking for a venue that could handle 400 to 600 people, provide enough parking for hundreds of cars and air conditioning to make a long ceremony a more pleasant experience.
After looking long and hard throughout the county, the foundation settled this week on Fallsburg High School’s auditorium.
“High school auditoriums are fantastic,” said Glenn Pontier, director of communications for the Gerry Foundation. “Not to knock Liberty or Monticello’s, but Fallsburg’s had the air conditioning.”
Traditionally, the major money awards for revitalized communities are handed out one muggy day in August at the Woodstock site in Bethel.
But according to Gerry Foundation Executive Director Jonathan Drapkin, the members of the different Sullivan Renaissance groups have been asking to make the ceremony a little bigger.
Instead of just highlighting the winners, requests were made to show the work done by everyone, from Long Eddy to Wurtsboro, to clean up their communities.
“What makes this program unique is that it’s driven by comments we get from the community,” Drapkin explained. “We keep revamping so we meet their needs.”
The new site will allow the ceremony planners to set up a projection screen and do presentations on each of the projects.
Each group will be asked to come to the stage, perhaps comment on the work they’ve done over the past few weeks, and accept their certificate for a job well done. The winners will be announced at the end, after all the oohing and aahing over the transformations is complete.
“We’ll try this this year and take comments at the end as always,” Drapkin said. “We’re very, very flexible.”
This year there are 31 different groups competing for monetary prizes. Each town in the county is represented, with some municipalities offering three different projects.
Despite the rain which washed out flowerbeds and stormed out meeting plans, the entire county is buzzing with Renaissance activity, Pontier said.
“When you talk to the different groups about how they’ve rescheduled and reworked, it’s just really incredible . . . their resilience,” he noted.
This year’s awards ceremony, titled “Something to Crow About,” will be held Aug. 10 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information, call 295-2445.

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