NPHS student wins voting-themed art contest
The Ulster County Board of Elections has announced that Giuliana DiBenedetto of New Paltz has created the winning design in the inaugural Ulster Votes “I Voted” sticker contest. DiBenedetto is entering her sophomore year at New Paltz High School (NPHS).
Contestants were asked to design a logo that will be used for “I Voted” stickers, which will be distributed to Ulster County voters participating in November’s general election. The logo will also be used to create digital graphics. New York State senator Mike Martucci of the 42nd District presented DiBenedetto with an official Senate Certificate, and the Ulster County Legislature also awarded her with the “Pride of Ulster” award at its August 17 meeting for her design.
More than 50 students submitted designs, with four of the five finalists entering their sophomore year in the New Paltz Central School District. Joining DiBenedetto in the contest placements are Kalle Masseo, Soleil Miller and Mae Rogers. The contest, which was intended to promote the voting process and give young people a platform for civic engagement, was open to Ulster County students ages 13 to 18 years old.
DiBenedetto, who said she has always considered herself an artist, credited one of her “greatest teachers,” Todd Martin, for teaching students to use Google Draw in the classroom to enter the sticker competition. “DiBenedetto’s design was unique, creative and fun,” said Martin. “To me, it has a playful feel to it.”
Speaking about her winning design, DiBenedetto said that she included a loudspeaker because she wanted to express the idea that voting gives people a voice. “I believe that everyone should exercise their right to vote and express their opinion, because in many other countries, people don’t get to have a voice or an opinion,” she said. Wanting her design to be “a little quirky,” she decided to draw the letters instead of using a computerized font. The winning design took her roughly 40 minutes to create.
DiBenedetto employed art to keep boredom at bay during quiet times of COVID-19 quarantines, doing everything from following a Bob Ross painting tutorial to doodling butterflies on a canvas. “One thing I can say about my art is that everything I have painted has a story or a meaning to me behind it,” she said.
Although DiBenedetto enjoys art as an expression of creativity, she said that she has always dreamed about studying pediatric medicine. She is contemplating becoming a registered nurse to work in a neonatal intensive care unit after graduating from high school.
Teen Advisory Group kickoff at Elting Library
The Elting Memorial Library is expanding its Teen Advisory Group and is looking for teens in sixth to 12th grade interested in participating in and creating library programs. In the past, they’ve had activities like Mini-Golf in the Stacks, movie nights, trivia contests, Halloween Spooktaculars, Battle of the Books, trips to Broadway plays, crafts and more.
Join them on Saturday, September 11 from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Steinberg Room of the Elting Library to join the group and help decide what the group should do in 2021 and 2022.
For more information, call the Elting Library at (845) 255-5030 or contact Deborah Engel-Di Mauro at email@example.com.
Recovery Fest September 19 in New Paltz
The fourth annual Recovery Fest will be held on Sunday, September 19 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Field of Dreams, located at 241 Libertyville Road in New Paltz. The Office for Community Wellness is working in collaboration with its co-sponsors, Step One and the Ulster Prevention Council, as well as numerous treatment providers, practitioners, individuals in recovery and volunteers.
Recovery Fest is a day of fun, support and honoring the journey of recovery from substance use and opioid use disorders. The event will feature information tables, speakers who are in recovery, wellness practitioners and Narcan training, as well as a free barbecue, music, drumming, face-painting and a bounce house for children. All are welcome and no one is asked their recovery status.
For additional information, contact Phoenix at firstname.lastname@example.org or (845) 256-5014.
Ukuleleans! at Gardiner Library
The Gardiner Library hosts The Ukuleleans! on Wednesday, September 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. All ages are welcome, from beginner to experienced. Join accomplished ukulele performer Jeff Pfeffer and have fun with this uniquely upbeat instrument. Learn how to build confidence, possibly to perform in front of audiences.
Participants will be required to wear masks and maintain social distancing if moved indoors. The Library is located at 133 Farmers’ Turnpike. For more information, call (845) 255-1255 or visit www.gardinerlibrary.org.
Annual book sale at Gardiner Library
The Gardiner Library will host its annual book sale on Saturday, September 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, September 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Browse a large collection of hardcovers, paperback and classics, DVDs, music, audiobooks, kids’ books and more.
Live music will be performed throughout both days. Get a free book if you apply for a new library card in celebration of Library Card Signup Month or if you bring in a nonperishable food item to donate to the Helping Hands Food Pantry in Gardiner as part of New York’s Great Give Back. Items are priced to sell.
The Gardiner Library is located at 133 Farmers’ Turnpike. For more information, call (845) 255-1255 or visit www.gardinerlibrary.org.
New Paltz Dems fundraiser September 9
The New Paltz Democrats will hold a fundraiser on Thursday, September 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Garvan’s in New Paltz. Tickets cost $25 to $100 and can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com/e/new-paltz-democrats-garvans-fundraiser-tickets-166463449659.
Senior Citizen Club meets September 8
The Senior Citizen Club of New Paltz/Gardiner invites other seniors to its meeting on Wednesday, September 8 at 1:30 p.m. at the Veterans of Foreign Wars social hall on Route 208 in New Paltz. The guest speaker will be historian Charles Ford, who will talk about Winston Churchill. Arrive a little earlier to get more information about future programs and trips for the fall. For additional information, contact Kathy Rivera at (646) 361-5190.
Wreaths across America 2021 theme: “Live up to their legacy”
Each year, millions of Americans come together to remember the fallen, honor those who serve and their families and teach the next generation about the value of freedom. This gathering of volunteers and patriots takes place in local, state and national cemeteries in all 50 states – most recently at the New Paltz Rural Cemetery and the Ulster County Veterans’ Cemetery at 81 Plains Road in New Paltz, as part of National Wreaths across America Day. Each year, a new theme is chosen to help volunteers and supporters focus their messaging and outreach in their own communities.
The national not-for-profit has announced that the theme for 2021 is “Live up to Their Legacy.” The inspiration for this year’s theme came from a statement made by US Army chief of staff general James C. McConville in an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday in early November 2020. General McConville was there to speak on behalf of the US Army and the upcoming opening of the National Museum of the United States Army, which was being honored as the “Power Player of the Week.” In the discussion, he said, “We stand on the shoulders of heroes that have gone before us, and really what we strive to do is live up to their legacy.”
His message was heard by executive director Karen Worcester and many others, and resonated deeply. “Listening to this man, who is a hero in his own right, speak about what and who motivates him is inspiring,” said Worcester. “It is the men and women who serve, everyday people, giving of themselves for their country and communities. I urge everyone to look to the people and the families that have made these sacrifices to keep this country free and live up to their legacy.”