Garden Party at Bontecou Farm helps Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley community

Aerial view of the Shawangunk Ridge from Bontecou Farm, site of the Community Foundations’ Garden Party. (Photo by Gerald Berliner)

Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley exists to facilitate philanthropy. The 501(c)(3) manages funds for individuals, families, corporations, organizations and nonprofits, and addresses community needs through its grant program in Dutchess, Putnam and Ulster counties. They also provide technical assistance to help nonprofits operate more effectively.

The Community Foundation’s 24th annual Garden Party will be held on Sunday, September 30 from 3-6 p.m. at Linda and Thomas Hopfenspirger’s Bontecou Farm on Keller Lane in New Paltz. The event recognizes individuals who are instrumental in improving lives through their community philanthropy. 


Proceeds from the annual Garden Party help support the group’s Community Grants program, which has granted more than $1.2 million since 2000 directly to nonprofits in our region. Tickets cost $150 per person ($80 of which is tax-deductible), available by calling (845) 452-3077 or at Last year, proceeds from the event resulted in more than $85,000 in grants to local nonprofits.

Live musical accompaniment will be by jazz vocalist Michelle LeBlanc and her trio. Food will be provided by Farmers & Chefs Catering in Poughkeepsie, whose focus is on locally sourced ingredients. Organizers will donate excess catering to FeedHV, a regional food rescue and gleaning network that mitigates the impacts of food waste, and Zero to Go, a zero-waste carting company focused on composting and recycling.

Honorees this year will be Floyd Lattin and Ward Mintz; Lou and Candace Lewis; and Claudio and the late Jean Marzollo.

Floyd Lattin chairs land protection at the Mohonk Preserve and serves on the boards of the Southeastern NY Library Resources Council and Woodland Pond in New Paltz. Trained in ancient Egyptian archaeology, he later went into the financial world, most recently as founding principal of a real estate private equity firm.

Mintz chairs the advisory board of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art and the Kingston Arts Commission. He serves on the advisory boards of the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History, the Latino Folklife Project and the Preservation League of New York State, and currently directs an arts foundation. 

Lou and Candace Lewis believe in empowering local institutions, both with financial support and personal involvement. A practicing lawyer for 50 years, Lou currently serves on the boards of the Dutchess County Interfaith Council and the Dutchess County Historical Society. He has represented many local not-for-profits including Scenic Hudson Land Trust, Locust Grove and Walkway over the Hudson. Candace, a Vassar College graduate with a PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU, has taught art history at Vassar and Marist colleges and currently serves on the board of the Dutchess County Historical Society.

Claudio Marzollo had a career as an internationally-known sculptor until his retirement. He is a 36-year member and past chair of the Philipstown Recreation Commission, instrumental in the acquisition of the Philipstown Park and the Community Center, which is named in his honor. He was also a founding member of the Hudson Highlands Land Trust and the Philipstown Depot Theatre. The late Jean Marzollo, best known for her “I Spy” series, authored more than 100 award-winning books for and about children. She was a long-time member and past president of the Haldane School Board and a founding member of the Haldane School Foundation and the Philipstown Depot Theater. The Butterfield Library in Cold Spring recognized her long-term dedication by naming its new Children’s Room for her. She passed away in April.

Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley Garden Party, Sunday, September 30, 3-6 p.m., $150, Bontecou Farm, Keller Lane, New Paltz; (845) 452-3077,,