By Jamie Dymond
WOODBOURNE June 13, 2003 The Hemming Farm on Cypert Road in Woodbourne consists of a pavilion, a unisex bathroom shed and a very special ball field.
The facilities are used by Sullivan ARC for recreational activities and training programs. Last Sunday afternoon, over 160 people gathered there to attend the Raymond Dunn, Jr. Memorial Field Dedication Ceremony.
Raymond Dunn Sr. and his wife, Carol, who are longtime residents of the Town of Mamakating, were present to honor their sons memory. Notably, the Raymond Dunn, Jr. Memorial Field exhibits a sign that is a hybrid between a plain sign and a work of art. Looking like a sculpture, the sign was carved out of a stone found on the property.
Artist Greg Wood of Narrowsburg adopted Carol Dunns suggestions and used a rainbow and a cloud motif on the sign.
The brief ceremony included remarks from J. Richard Schwartz, the Executive Director of Sullivan ARC. He shared with the group fond memories of Raymond Dunn, Jr. Carol Dunn, a true advocate for children, informed the audience that her husband would throw the first ball across the mound at the Raymond Dunn, Jr. Memorial Field.
After the invocation, many of those present wasted no time and immediately began playing ball. A traditional family picnic complete with corn on the cob and hamburgers followed.
Raymond Dunn, Jr. was born blind, mute and immobile on July 17, 1974. He had severe allergies which limited his diet to only one food: a meat-based formula made by Gerber Foods. However, Gerber stopped making the formula in 1985.
Carol Dunn stock piled the formula but her supply ran out in 1990. She then appealed to Gerber for help. Gaining worldwide attention, her son quickly became known as the Gerber Boy. Gerber Foods came to the Dunns assistance and provided them with the very important formula.
Raymond Dunn, Jr. passed away on January 17, 1995. He was a boy who evoked compassion from others. During his short life he blessed many and continues to give to others through his parents work and dedication to meeting the needs of children like him.
In 1999, the Dunns sponsored their first project, The Raymond Dunn, Jr. Rainbow House, which is located on Star Lite Road in Mongaup Valley. With the help of Sullivan ARC, the house provides six medically fragile adults with the services they need to be fully functioning members of the community.
The Dunns look forward to working with SullivanARC in the future on other projects in memory of their loving son.