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Susan LeBar | Democrat

Heidi Morse’s family was touched to learn that her poster was chosen to represent EagleFest 2010. From the left, husband Tim Morse, son Jesse, organizers Yoke and John DiGiorgio, volunteer and corporate sponsor representative Debra Reimer of Catskill Hudson Bank, Narrowsburg branch.

Perfect weather for EagleFest

By Susan LeBar
NARROWSBURG — January 19, 2010 — With a coating of ice on the Delaware River and a warm breeze in the air EagleFest 2010 was in full swing in Narrowsburg on Saturday. The day’s events were attended by an estimated 2,500 people and included, live bird demonstrations, observation sites, lectures, films, eagle art and even a poster auction.
This year’s event took on a very special meaning as it honored the memory of Heidi Morse, a past creator of one of the annual EagleFest Posters that are auctioned each year. Morse first created a poster in 2004 that was sold at the event and, before she was killed in a motor vehicle accident last year, she had created a poster for consideration of this year’s event and organizers felt is was only fitting to use her poster, as well as dedicate this year’s EagleFest in her memory.
As the crowds began to fill the gym at the Narrowsburg school location for the morning opening ceremonies, Heidi Morse’s son and husband sat quietly in the audience and only learned then that the day’s event’s were dedicated to Heidi.
“It has been almost nine months since we lost Heidi and my son and I are so thrilled that the Delaware Valley Eagle Alliance is remembering her in such a fantastic way,” widower Tim Morse said. “Heidi loved EagleFest and the eagles, and she loved drawing and sketching the eagles… The first time they picked her poster to represent Eaglefest in 2004 she was honored and today, to see her poster has been chosen again to represent EagleFest, it is just such an honor and I know she would be very proud as well.”
One of the organizers of EagleFest, John DiGiorgio, was pleased with this year’s turn out and with all of the events that this year’s EagleFest had to offer.
“We are very proud and honored to feature Heidi’s poster for this year’s event. She was a very talented artist and had a passion for the eagles I will never forget and I know she is among us here today,” DiGiorgio said. “I have to say that I am also so very proud of all our sponsors and volunteers that have helped out with this year’s event. With the down economy, our sponsors still stepped up to the plate to make today’s event possible and on behalf of the Delaware Valley Eagle Alliance I would like to thank each and every one of them.”
He went on to add, “This year the Alliance was able to expand on our educational programs which are offered throughout the day and we have many exhibits featuring great eagle art work and sculptures. On Main Street we have our ice carver who does a fantastic job, we have kids programs at the library and films at the firehouse, the poster auction is also on Main Street with some really great posters to bid on. In a nutshell, it is a great day to celebrate the comeback of the eagle in the area, as well as a day to be with family and friends. EagleFest 2010 has really turned into another great event in Narrowsburg.”
Also on hand to celebrate was State Senator John Bonacic, who stated, “Here we are in the Eagle Capital of New York and what a great day it is.… This day is truly an educational and fun day for all and I am so thrilled to be here to be part of it.”
Bonacic was presented with one of Heidi Morse’s posters that the committee had framed and he said, “I did not know Heidi, but I can see how special she was to all of you here today and I am proud to say that this framed art work will be hung in my office so that everyone who walks in will see it and admire it. Thank you all for a great job in celebration of the eagle.”
Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther presented the Alliance with a citation for all its great work in educating the public about the eagle.
“It is a great event and it appeals to both young and old. It is educational and fun and just a great day out. Where else could you have a chance to spot a bald eagle in flight but right here at EagleFest,” Gunther noted.
After both Bonacic and Gunther spoke they were each treated to a special introduction by Bill Streeter of the Delaware Valley Raptor Center, who introduced them both to his Golden Eagle “Julia” just before he brought her out on stage to educate people with his Birds of Prey show.
Streeter explained that the animals he uses in his demonstrations are rescued animals and would not survive if they were let back into the wild.
“Some people think it is fun to shoot at an eagle, but it is not fun, it is a crime,” Streeter said. “These animals were found hurt and due to the kindness of a human being they were brought to our center and able to heal. They can never go back to their natural habitat but they will help me to educate the public on the importance of respecting wildlife and nature and hopefully through these educational presentations that we do, that awareness grows more and more.”
Streeter has only missed one of the nine EagleFests and enjoys coming to it every year.
“If we can just raise the awareness to the community, then our trip here is well worth it. I enjoy coming to Narrowsburg; it is a beautiful little community that has welcomed us every year and, as long as they have Eaglefest, we will be here,” he stated.
As people enjoyed the Live Birds of Prey presentation others could be seen on the Main Street observation deck trying their luck to see if they could catch a glimpse of a Bald Eagle. Sharon LaRose and Bobbi Venett came from Saugerties to see if they could spot one of the birds of prey.
“I have waited four years to come to EagleFest and here I am finally and I love it,” LaRose said. “I can see a eagle right there in its nest and it is amazing to see. He is just sitting in his nest and he is beautiful. I am so glad I finally got here.”
Her friend Bobbi Venett summed up the Bald Eagle in one simple word as she was captivated by a sighting of an eagle.
“Majestic, simply majestic,” she stated.

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