Upper Delaware Council honors community partners, volunteers and lifesavers
| September 10, 2023
Congressman Marcus J. Molinaro (NY-19) delivered the keynote address at the Upper Delaware Council’s 35th Annual River Valley Awards ceremony on Sunday at Central House Family Resort in Beach Lake, Pa.
In his remarks, he emphasized his local community roots.
At 18, he was elected to the Village of Tivoli Board of Trustees and became Tivoli’s mayor in 1995. He has also been a state representative and was Dutchess County executive.
He encouraged attendees to get out of their comfort zones and reach out to people they may not agree with all the time: “Local government teaches that when the roof leaks, it leaks on Democrats and Republicans alike. It’s the job of local government to fix the roof.”
Molinaro, a Republican, was elected in 2022 to serve New York’s 19th Congressional District, which includes all or parts of 11 counties, including Sullivan and Delaware in the Upper Delaware River Valley. He is a member of the bipartisan Delaware River Watershed Congressional Caucus and is proud of the work of the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program, which has helped to fund over 200 projects in the Upper Delaware River.
Those honored at the dinner:
Distinguished Service Award: James A. Greier, of Obernburg, N.Y., for his decades of advocacy for the River Management Plan for the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River as a Town of Fremont Upper Delaware Council representative, and his public service roles with town government and local organizations.
Robin M. Daniels Memorial Lifesaving Award: Nancy Lauby and Tom Zibinski of Beach Lake, Pa., for their Aug. 13, 2023, rescue of a father and his 9-year-old son who were in danger of drowning after their canoe capsized on the Upper Delaware River.
Outstanding Community Achievement Award: Damascus Township Parks and Recreation Committee, chaired by Dan Rutledge, for their seven-year project to build a multi-faceted recreational facility on township property.
Partnership Award: Highland River Access Upgrade, coordinated by Heather Jacksy from the Sullivan County Division of Planning & Community Development, with federal, state, county, town and grant agency contributors.
Cultural Achievement Award: Ramona Jan and the Yarnslingers for her accomplishments as a multi-media artist, musician, writer, Callicoon historian and 2012 founder of the Yarnslingers regional storytelling group.
Recreation Achievement Award: Delaware River Sojourn Steering Committee for heightening stewardship of the Delaware River through an annual paddling excursion with educational programming since 1995.
Community Service Award: Richard H. Lowe III of Hancock, N.Y., for his legacy contributions to Hancock’s economic development, beautification, historical and cultural rebranding initiatives.
Community Service Award: Tom and Cecilia Coacci of Damascus, Pa., for offering their time, talents, labor, materials and fundraising assistance to quietly support numerous events in the Town of Tusten and beyond.
Volunteer Award: Cathy Daboul of Barryville, N.Y., for providing her helping hand as Town of Highlands Lions Club president, co-founder of the Greater Barryville Chamber of Commerce, and community volunteer projects.
Special Recognition Award: Rosie Starr of WJFF Radio Catskills 90.5FM, for producing and hosting the Farm and Country show about rural life in the Upper Delaware River Valley and her “Why [I] Farm” multi-media exhibit.
Special Recognition Award: Nathaniel Pereira-Mendoza of Narrowsburg, N.Y., and Sullivan West High School, for designing and illustrating the National Park Service Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River’s new Junior Ranger book and eagle badge.