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$250,000 Golden Feather Awarded to the Town of Liberty

August 8, 2018

[BETHEL] –  It was a night of celebration at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on Monday, August 6, as over $400,000 in grants and scholarships were awarded to communities throughout Sullivan County at the 18th Annual Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony. 

The Awards Ceremony was the culmination of months of work on the part of volunteers, municipalities, and organizations to beautify communities, enhance gateways, public spaces and main streets. 

The event kicked off with “The Soul of Sullivan” a film tribute to all of the volunteers; created by filmmaker Isaac Green Diebboll.  The theme of celebration continued throughout the evening as speaker after speaker acknowledged the hard work and dedication of community volunteers.

Monetary prizes were awarded in several categories and scholarships and recognitions were presented to individuals and communities.


The Town of Liberty was recognized for the transformation it has accomplished in the areas of beautification, code enforcement and building healthy communities. They won the top prize of the evening, a $250,000 grant secured by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.  “The Town of Liberty is thrilled to receive the Golden Feather Award this year”, said Town Supervisor Brian Rourke. “The outcome proves that Liberty has the vision, ambition and know-how to compete as a great place to live, work and play in the Sullivan Catskills.” 

The Village of Woodridge was awarded a $50,000 grant made possible by a bequest from former judge and Liberty native Tim Stoddard; and the Town of Thompson was awarded a $50,000 grant.  Both the Town of Fallsburg and the Town of Tusten were recognized with the Bronze Feather Award of $25,000. An additional Showing of Flowers Award was presented to the Village o f Woodridge; and the Town of Tusten received special recognition for youth engagement.

COMMUNITY GRANTS: Multiple element beautification projects

First place ($12,000) Neversink Renaissance

Second place ($7000) Lumberland Parks and Recreation

Third place ($5000) Livingston Manor Renaissance

Judges’ Choice Awards were presented to Swan Lake Renaissance; Callicoon Business Association and the Liberty Central School District. The Overall Showing of Flowers award was presented to Jeffersonville JEMS.

GARDEN GRANTS: Single element beautification projects

First place ($3000) Dynamite Youth Center

Second place ($2000) United Methodist Church of Monticello

Third place ($1000) Monticello Elks Club #1544

Judges’ Choice Awards were presented to St Peter’s Church of Liberty; Hudson River Healthcare and the Barryville Chamber of Commerce.  The best overall showing of flowers went to the youth inspired project of the Kenoza Lake 4-H Hummingbirds.

In the MAINTENANCE SUPPORT PROGRAM for previously funded Renaissance projects the Forestburgh Playhouse received an award for Overall Showing of Flowers in the amount of $3,000; additional Judges’ Choice Awards were given to the E.B. Crawford Libery in Monticello; the Loomis Area Neighborhood Watch in Liberty and BATS for Veterans in Liberty.

THE COMMUNITY MITZVAH AWARD Program engaged seven seasonal colonies and camps from throughout Sullivan County in beautification and property enhancement efforts.  There was a tie for first place between Ohel Boruch of Monticello for property enhancement and Pine Tree Bungalows of Monticello for beautification; Camp HASC of Liberty received a $3,000 award and a Judges’ Choice Award was given to Ahavas Isreal in Liberty.

The SUNY Sullivan Foundation awarded one full time scholarship to Amanda Werkmeister, a volunteer who assisted at Hope Farm at SUNY Sullivan; and also around campus. Vanessa is a student at SUNY Sullivan who is planning to continue her studies during the 2018-2019 academic year.

The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties awarded eight Sullivan Renaissance scholarships to volunteers who made a significant contribution to a Sullivan Renaissance project.  These scholarships are for the spring semester at the college of one’s choice. 

McKinley Bernitt                        Marywood University

Nathaniel DePaul                      SUNY Albany

Hunter Ferriero                          Wilkes University

Natalee Herling                         SUNY Delhi

Cheyanne Matulewich                SUNY Cobleskill

Morgan Mitchell                         University at Buffalo

Andrew Russell                         Onondaga Community College

Cristian Serapio                        SUNY Delhi

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation with support from Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, Bold Gold Media Group, The River Reporter, The Sullivan County Democrat, The Times Herald Record, DVEight and Thompson Sanitation.  For information, contact 845-295-2445 or