Stories

State Legislature Restores $2.4 Million for 2-1-1 Helpline Network in NY Budget

<p>New York State Senator Pete&nbsp;Harckham&nbsp;has announced that the State Legislature restored 100% of the $2.4 million funding for the 2-1-1 Helpline New York network in the enacted FY2024-2025 State Budget. Local United Way organizations statewide operate the 2-1-1&nbsp;Helpline network, which ensures that community resources centers can connect individuals with health and human service needs with the right agencies and programs.</p><p>“The 2-1-1 Helpline combines shared services and public-private partnerships to help residents in so many ways, from paying bills and finding caregivers to providing information about disaster relief and pressing concerns,” said&nbsp;Harckham. “It is such an important asset for our local municipalities and state government, in terms of knowing what resources are available to bring certain assistance to our residents. I thank Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and the members of the Westchester legislative delegation for their tremendous support of the 2-1-1 Helpline.”</p><p>The number of inquiries to the statewide 2-1-1 Helpline was up 153% in 2021 over figures from 2019 to over 15 million calls.&nbsp;Harckham, who represents communities in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, has sponsored the bill for putting the helpline funding into the state budget in recent years. He made his announcement during a recent visit to United Way of Westchester and Putnam, which operates the 2-1-1 Hudson Valley community resource center from its White Plains location.&nbsp;</p><p>The increased allocation for the Helpline in the new State Budget will expand 2-1-1’s texting capability statewide, support 2-1-1 activations in areas experiencing a disaster and include 211 in New York State’s emergency plan, which will clarify communications, messaging and activations. The 2-1-1 Helpline New York network matches the legislative appropriation with $5.3 million in local grants, contracts and fees for services agreements, including $1.3 million in local United Way investments.</p><p><strong>Hugh Perry, president of the United Way of New York State</strong>, said, “With $2.4 million state support, we will be able to be a resource for people in need every day of the year, every hour of the day. We will also continue our ongoing efforts to make 2-1-1 easy to use and by those seeking help.”&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p><strong>Tom Gabriel, president and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam</strong>, said, “Two million<span style="color: rgb(49, 49, 49);">&nbsp;New Yorkers rely upon the 211 Helpline each year during times of disaster or when looking for help with their basic needs.&nbsp;For almost 20 years, the New York State Legislature has recognized the importance of 211 in connecting people to the programs and services that can help them.&nbsp;We are honored that New York State will continue to fund this essential service and thank Senator&nbsp;Harckham&nbsp;and all the Legislators that supported it.”</span></p><p>United Way’s 2-1-1 Helpline has nationally certified community resource specialists trained to answer questions and provide referrals for health and human service needs round-the-clock and 365 days a year in 200 languages. For help in the Hudson Valley region, an individual can dial 2-1-1, text their zip code to 898211, or visit&nbsp;<a href="http://211hudsonvalley.org/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">211hudsonvalley.org</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;<span style="color: black;">[Attached photo: State Sen.&nbsp;Harckham&nbsp;with (l-r)&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(49, 49, 49);">Cassandra Rajcumar, Director of Program and Services, 211 Hudson Valley &amp; Long Island Region; Tom Gabriel, President and CEO of the United Way of Westchester and Putnam; and William M. Mooney III, Esq., United Way Board Chair, and Group Director-Senior Vice President at Customers Bank. Credit: Office of State Sen. Pete&nbsp;Harckham&nbsp;/ James Persons]</span></p><p><em><span class="ql-cursor"></span>Pete&nbsp;Harckham&nbsp;represents the 40th Senate District,&nbsp;which includes the towns of Carmel, Kent, Patterson and Southeast, and the village of Brewster in Putnam County; the town of Stony Point in Rockland County; and the city of Peekskill, the towns of Bedford, Cortlandt, Lewisboro, New Castle, North Salem, Ossining, Somers and Yorktown, the town/village of Mount Kisco, and the villages of Briarcliff Manor, Buchanan, Croton-on-Hudson and Ossining in Westchester County.</em></p>

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YMCA OF CENTRAL AND NORTHERN WESTCHESTER CAMP COMBE UPDATE

<p><strong>YMCA Camp Combe Registration is Open!</strong></p><p>&nbsp;Registration for YMCA Camp Combe is going strong, and with all the exciting improvements around camp, The YMCA of Central and Northern Westchetser is gearing up for the best summer ever! Haven't registered yet? Visit their&nbsp;<a href="https://d2t9rz04.na1.hubspotlinks.com/Ctc/GH+113/d2T9Rz04/VWSN2-1J8ZJDW8TVr8t7YsjP1W5j5c_V5fbJXGN1vWRsg3qn9gW7lCdLW6lZ3pFV41ZbD1fKRSLW43bwH17BRR5FN4s-LftVxP9yW1Qgtc65-rV_cW1GrGHj7KSg0jW12LZx86bnjBGW8PJXvX5t9n7lN87xHm64W8FvVkPxb13syHrKMVyDKwZDRDZW5hMFDW81DR53W8p38vW7Btr7cVFr2H01R2Hs0V8kQnK2bHqPyW6DsQYm4_5pSnW3lb3yz2v_Yb1W6yy7D98rkHY1N5LxkXrnnBvyW7zp1FC2pVKYGW6_rBwc71GwbfVy5ktP7BPfsFW5MSrZM6XKp0GW8XT2VT7jQ0fyW8wbj0771KdJ1dhDvNP04" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(0, 164, 189);">Dates and Rates</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://d2t9rz04.na1.hubspotlinks.com/Ctc/GH+113/d2T9Rz04/VWSN2-1J8ZJDW8TVr8t7YsjP1W5j5c_V5fbJXGN1vWRr-3qn9gW6N1vHY6lZ3nsW1K7F472Ny1n2N4S3Lpshl6cMW3r96z6645DdJW47YGrD6pWmgxW66kDwW7jQTyRW8CHtfy1G65RVW2D79d_61KXCWW3ZKJWM7VHTcgW7NGtnY4yZ3C5W9k9Y1n9gCXpYW8tBpFb8FPfNbW4p-gj05NCM3fW3xtcj54B7c8HW9h36mq1XRNnCW6l2PnC8DtF8VW53DXgD4NPTQJV6BTz_85q3S_W4M2x_y5pyxZRN4zFqzWP7WcPW3_mVR21NSR41N84jdT1CZKzQW49X6Sm5n3sRKdX34Q604" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(0, 164, 189);">Theme Weeks</a>&nbsp;pages for more information about summer 2024, or&nbsp;<a href="https://d2t9rz04.na1.hubspotlinks.com/Ctc/GH+113/d2T9Rz04/VWSN2-1J8ZJDW8TVr8t7YsjP1W5j5c_V5fbJXGN1vWRsg3qn9gW7lCdLW6lZ3mRW5Q4PL31Nzjb7W590r6Q7LhbR4W1Ks1_36p6w-FW85Hdmh20RmLdW8zw4r25Vp6FYW13zQwx6Nv02-W8fHrFQ2MqchjW2D2lqD74Q7BNW1lrNXp5WrsBFW5Ctf5T8C7Y66W4QkMDW5NkjPgW4lS7b_1jMGg_W8QdXYy4l8nSVW3Sl9XL80hP90W2bBb-m11NrMSN6FN7ww80-CnW58BvqK13QhJjW2gLh8x3YnXY-VG4CWX29fS9LW62ssT37xVKZ_W9gsS2n4xhrzqW50f2DV361QfnW2S_SQj4pd-T6V9R9LG8tS3VWf8-l4Mj04" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(0, 164, 189);">Register here</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p>The YMCA of Central and Northern Westchester is thrilled to share some fantastic updates about the beloved camp!&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><ul><li><strong>Bridge and Boardwalk Completion</strong>: One of the most anticipated projects, the new bridge and boardwalk, will be completed by the end of the month&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li><strong>Lodge Renovations:&nbsp;</strong>New siding and roofing are completed on the lodge&nbsp;</li></ul><p>&nbsp;Thank you for being an essential part of the YMCA Camp Combe family. YMCA of Central and Northern Westchester looks forward to sharing these exciting new features with everyone and making unforgettable memories this summer.&nbsp;</p>

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Help Assemblyman Slater Help Those In Need In The 94th Assembly District

<p>Help Assemblyman Matt Slater Help Those In Need In The 94th Assembly District</p><p>COLLECTION DATE:Now through MAY 31, 2024</p><p>&nbsp;Help donate feminine hygiene products to those in need throughout the 94th Assembly District Pads&nbsp;</p><p>Items needed include:</p><p>Tampons&nbsp;</p><p>Deodorant</p><p>Shampoo</p><p>Conditioner&nbsp;</p><p>DROP-OFF LOCATIONS:</p><p>TOWN OF YORKTOWN TOWN HALL 363 Underhill Ave, Yorktown Heights&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>PUTNAM CAP 121 Main Street, Brewster&nbsp;TOWN OF CARMEL TOWN HALL 60 McAlpin Ave, Mahopac&nbsp;</p><p>TOWN OF SOUTHEAST TOWN HALL 1360 NY-22, Brewster&nbsp;</p><p>TOWN OF KENT TOWN HALL 25 Sybils Crossing, Carmel Hamlet&nbsp;</p><p>TOWN OF PUTNAM VALLEY TOWN HALL 265 Oscawana Lake Rd, Putnam Valley&nbsp;</p><p>PATTERSON RECREATION 65 Front St, Patterson TOWN OF SOMERS TOWN HALL 335 US-202, Somers&nbsp;</p>

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DEC Announces Reopening of Camp Colby 2024 Summer Camp Season

<h3>Limited&nbsp;Openings Still Available for Female Campers Aged 14-17 at Camp Pack Forest and Rushford&nbsp;</h3><p>The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that online registration for the 2024 summer camp program at Camp Colby will open Wednesday, May 22, at 10 a.m. Applications will be submitted through the online registration program available&nbsp;via the&nbsp;<a href="https://dec.ny.gov/things-to-do/summer-camps" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0); color: rgb(0, 77, 209);">summer camp website</a>.</p><p>“DEC summer&nbsp;camps&nbsp;feature hands-on programs and activities, getting campers outside&nbsp;in nature and inspiring a lifelong love of&nbsp;the outdoors,”&nbsp;<strong>said DEC Interim Commissioner Sean Mahar.&nbsp;</strong>“New York has a long history of environmental&nbsp;stewardship and our summer camps program, now in its 77th&nbsp;season, is a&nbsp;key part of that history and continues to play an integral role in the protection and appreciation of our environment through safe, fun, and rewarding outdoor experiences.”</p><p>Camp Colby will welcome visitors this season after completion of significant renovations and improvements&nbsp;for the enjoyment and comfort of campers and staff. Upgrades include the complete remodeling the main dining hall and construction of a new modernized kitchen, among other enhancements to cabins,&nbsp;the pavilion, facility bathrooms, sheds, and accessible parking areas.</p><p>DEC Summer Camps offer week-long adventures in conservation education for children ages 11-17. DEC operates four residential camps for children, Camp Colby in Saranac Lake (Franklin County); Camp DeBruce in Livingston Manor (Sullivan County); Camp Rushford in Caneadea (Allegany County); and Pack Forest in Warrensburg (Warren County).&nbsp;Registration for Pack Forest and Camp Rushford is currently open with limited spots still available for female campers. Camp DeBruce will remain closed for the 2024 season. The complete schedule of camp weeks and participant age groups is available on the Summer Camps webpage.</p><p>Campers participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities including fishing, bird watching, archery, canoeing, hiking, camping, orienteering, and hunter safety education. Campers also learn ecological principles about fields, forests, streams, and ponds through engaging activities and outdoor exploration. DEC counselors teach youth conservation techniques used by natural resource professionals, such as measuring trees and estimating wildlife populations, as well as mitigating human impacts on the environment.</p><p><br></p><p>DEC also offers Hunter education (Hunter Safety, Bow Hunter Education, or Trapper Education) for several weeks each summer. Weeks and available sessions can be viewed at the&nbsp;<a href="https://dec.ny.gov/things-to-do/summer-camps/hunter-education" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0); color: rgb(0, 77, 209);">Hunter Education at Camp webpage</a>.&nbsp;Camp Colby, Camp Rushford, and Pack Forest will operate for seven one-week sessions (Sunday to Friday) beginning June 30, 2024. One week of camp&nbsp;is $350 per child for the 2024 season and includes meals and trips. This significant value for a week-long overnight camp is supplemented by assistance from New York State to help make camps and the education benefits they provide affordable for New Yorkers.</p><p>In addition to inviting parents to register their children to participate in the DEC environmental education camp program, sporting clubs, civic groups and environmental organizations are encouraged to sponsor one or more children for a week at camp. Information about&nbsp;<a href="https://dec.ny.gov/things-to-do/summer-camps/sponsoring-youth" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0); color: rgb(0, 77, 209);">becoming a sponsor</a>&nbsp;is available on DEC’s website.&nbsp;</p><p>For more information, please visit the DEC’s website at&nbsp;<a href="https://gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dec.ny.gov%2F&amp;data=05%7C02%7CKellyAnne.Rifenberick%40dec.ny.gov%7Caf1a079fb52e49e700a908dc76a6d45a%7Cf46cb8ea79004d108ceb80e8c1c81ee7%7C0%7C0%7C638515706239629198%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C0%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=%2FdvoxyAJmCgndyzCqyatLg57pspS18mQ%2FZQaKZubK%2FM%3D&amp;reserved=0" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0); color: rgb(0, 77, 209);">www.dec.ny.gov</a>, email&nbsp;<a href="https://mailto:EducationCamps@dec.ny.gov/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0); color: rgb(0, 77, 209);">EducationCamps@dec.ny.gov</a>, call 518-402-8014, visit “NYS DEC Summer Camps” on Facebook, or write to DEC Camps, 3rd Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York&nbsp;12233-4501.</p><p>(Photo from New York State DEC Camps Facebook Page)</p>

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 Westchester student raises funds to honor ASPCA's May Adopt-A-Horse Month

<p><strong>Westchester high school student raises money and awareness to help rescue horses to honor the ASPCA’s May National Adopt A Horse Month&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Riley Elkins, a junior at Edgemont High School in Scarsdale, has created an equestrian apparel drive collecting donated gently-used riding apparel, boots and half chaps to raise awareness and money to support horses at Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue, a 501(c)(3) non-profit located in Dover Plains in Dutchess County, New York.&nbsp;</p><p>Riley, who has been riding for nine and a half years, has been collecting outgrown riding apparel in good condition over the past year by setting up donation bins at her barn, Cavallo Dreams Farm in Scarsdale, and getting the support of both the barn’s former and current owner as well as the families who ride at the barn. In total Riley, has collected 158 pieces of apparel and accessories including 26 pair of boots, 77 pair of riding pants, 12 half chaps, 16 riding jackets, 24 riding shirts and other miscellaneous riding apparel.</p><p>Riley has spent weekends going through the donated items, checking the quality, cleaning and sorting and determining which items are the most saleable. She then arranges to sell them online through an equestrian consignment website and then donates 100% of the profits to Lucky Orphans. Items that are not as marketable are being donated by Riley to the Rider’s Closet in Somers, New York, which is part of the EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. The Rider's Closet's mission is to ensure that riding apparel is accessible to scholastic riding programs, pony clubs, therapeutic and veterans programs, equine charities, equestrian camp programs, and individual riders in need. The goal of the program is to promote greater accessibility and inclusiveness in equestrian activities.</p><p>To further her outreach to the community, Riley has set up a GoFundMe that she calls “Second Life Horse Rescue Donation Drive” to collect funds to help support Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue (<a href="https://gofund.me/568f5961" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(70, 120, 134);">https://gofund.me/568f5961</a>). She also created a Facebook page (<a href="https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61550646016932" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(70, 120, 134);">https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61550646016932</a>) under the same name to generate awareness for her initiative where she has posted photos of the items she has collected.As Riley says, “By donating you will not only be helping these rescued horses, but you'll also be helping people who are served by the programs they offer like Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, which helps with PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and other challenges.&nbsp;</p><p>By donating outgrown gear and apparel, it’s giving a ‘second life’ to these once-loved items for others to enjoy and cherish. Please join me in supporting these beautiful animals and giving them a second chance at life. As much as they are rescue horses, they help rescue us as well.”</p><p>Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue’s mission is to help horses heal people through care and rehabilitation and provide educational programming. As a sanctuary, they are committed to the life-long well-being of their horses and the belief in the healing bond between humans and horses, to strengthen the relationship between people and animals and to build a more compassionate future.</p>

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Ossining's Hudson Valley Books for Humanity Celebrates Independent Bookstore Day

<p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Did you know that this Saturday April 27 is Independent Bookstore Day? We’ll be joining more than 1200 bookstores nationwide to celebrate with lots of fun activities and promotions including:</span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">- a free preloved book to the first 25 customers in the door on Saturday</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">- triple punches on HBVH frequent shopper cards</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">- a free Hudson Valley Book Trail or Local Vibes tote bag with $75 purchase or more</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">- and a treasure hunt for kids!</span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">And of course we’ll have our weekly Read Aloud for kids at 11:30. Come and join us on Saturday for fun and games and giveaways!</span></p><h4>Hudson Valley Books for Humanity</h4><p>67 Central Avenue</p><p>Ossining, NY 10562</p><p><a href="mailto:amy@hvbooksforhumanity.com" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: initial; color: var(--paragraphLinkColor);">amy@hvbooksforhumanity.com</a></p><p><a href="http://squarespace.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: initial; color: var(--paragraphLinkColor);">(914)847-0773</a>&nbsp;</p><p><a href="https://www.hvbooksforhumanity.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.hvbooksforhumanity.com/</a></p><p><br></p>

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Harckham Announces Record-High AIM Investments in New State Budget

<p>New York State Senator Pete Harckham announced today that the newly enacted FY2024-2025 State Budget includes $4,084,738 in Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) funding for Senate District 40 (SD40), an increase of $362,836—9.75%—from last year’s budget. Outstanding in the AIM funding is $2,477,102 for the City of Peekskill, a $257,718 increase—11.61%—from the prior budget.</p><p>&nbsp;“This increase in enacted AIM funding is a win for our local governments,” said Harckham. “It gives municipalities more spending power at a time when rising costs have been impacting programs, services and various initiatives. I think this record-high funding is a meaningful benchmark that will benefit our residents in many ways and ease some of the burden from our taxpayers.”</p><p>&nbsp;“The City of Peekskill is extremely grateful for the generous AIM support afforded to us by our partners in state government,” said Peekskill Mayor Vivian McKenzie. “As we move forward with a spectrum of civic improvements, having this source of unrestricted funding available will give us some flexibility in spending on important projects without having to raise taxes to do so.”</p><p>&nbsp;<span style="color: black;">The FY2024-2025 state budget agreement includes $758.1 million for the AIM program statewide, a $43.4 million increase. The main source of unrestricted state aid for local governments, AIM funding has been frozen at about $715 million since the FY2011-2012 budget, and this year’s increase is the first since then.</span></p><p>&nbsp;<span style="color: black;">In SD 40, the 13 towns and six villages all received 6.99% or 7% increases in their enacted AIM funding. Among recipients are the Town of Cortlandt, which is getting $202,702 in AIM, and the Town of Yorktown, which is getting $189,144.&nbsp;The Village of Ossining will be getting $216,573.</span></p><p><br></p><p>&nbsp;The Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM) program was instituted first in the FY2006-2007 State Budget, replacing a number of revenue sharing programs, each of which had targeted municipalities that often overlapped. Funded at $849 million (an increase of nearly $56 million, or 7 percent, from pre-AIM revenue sharing in the FY2005-2006 State Budget, AIM combined six revenue sharing programs into one program, representing the largest appropriation of unrestricted aid to local governments in a decade. The funding dropped to the $715 million level during the Great Recession.</p><p>&nbsp;<span style="color: black;">Town of Cortlandt Supervisor Dr. Richard Becker said, “On behalf of the Town of Cortlandt, I would like to thank Senator Peter Harckham for his ongoing support of the Town of Cortlandt. Once again, he has been instrumental in securing additional financial resources for the Town via the Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIMs) funding program.&nbsp;This ongoing support will assist us in our efforts to provide vital services to residents.”</span></p><p>&nbsp;[Attached photo: State Sen. Pete Harckham discussing the newly enacted FY2024-2025 State Budget with Peekskill Mayor Vivian McKenzie. Credit: Office of State Sen. Pete Harckham / James Persons]</p><p>&nbsp;<em>Pete&nbsp;Harckham&nbsp;represents the 40th Senate District,&nbsp;which includes the towns of Carmel, Kent, Patterson and Southeast, and the village of Brewster in Putnam County; the town of Stony Point in Rockland County; and the city of Peekskill, the towns of Bedford, Cortlandt, Lewisboro, New Castle, North Salem, Ossining, Somers and Yorktown, the town/village of Mount Kisco, and the villages of Briarcliff Manor, Buchanan, Croton-on-Hudson and Ossining in Westchester County. He is chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee.</em></p>

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