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FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2020 1B

Letters of

Holidays remind us of what is really important

Dear Sullivan County residents,

I grew up in a family that, like many American families, was somewhat mixed,

and we celebrated both Passover and Easter. Now that I have a family of my

own, we have continued both traditions. My family loves holidays and we con-

sider ourselves lucky to have twice as many to celebrate.

This year, we will share this special time with loved ones

by phone and Facetime to keep everyone safe.

There is so much uncertainty and worry all around us

that it may not feel like we have much to celebrate. But

we should reflect on the reasons we have these holidays

in the first place. Our holidays are a celebration of the gift

of renewal and life after a time of hardship and suffering.

Winter is dark and cold, but it is always followed by the

joyous abundance of spring.

I have been inspired by the abundance of human char-

acter and spirit in this most challenging time. Every day,

we see countless acts of generosity and selflessness in our communities, neigh-

bors checking in on neighbors, community members and businesses deliver-

ing food to those in need. We see the incredible sacrifices made by our

healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines of this crisis, as well

as by the bus drivers, grocery store cashiers, and many other essential workers

who are providing the services we cannot easily do without. We are grateful for

their work not just in this crisis but year-round.

Holidays remind us of what is really important: Taking care of one another,

in our family as well as in our larger community. This is what will get us through.

Love to all, and wishes for good health to you and your families,

Senator Jen Metzger

Our children are a great source of hope, renewal

Dear Sullivan County residents,

Those of us who have kids probably are more than ready for them to return to school

- it's been a long time sheltering together! But what I see in my own children renews

me every day.

My daughter and son take each day as it comes. They find joy,

pain, pleasure and frustration in each one, and they come back

the next day for more.

They look up to momentarily watch the clouds and the birds.

They get down on the floor to rescue some lost toy from under

their beds. They laugh (one of the best sounds any parent can

hear) at silly videos, switch their attention at the drop of a hat,

and occasionally make a fuss or quietly pout when something

doesn't go their way.

They don't worry about COVID-19 - at least, not the way I do.

While I'm working on seeing the County through the enormous health and economic

impacts of coronavirus, they're planning the next game, the next outing, the next fas-

cinating thing to explore. I've forgotten how to do that, and I envy them.

Yes, as adults, we have to worry about life, on behalf of our children as much as any-

one else. And there's plenty to worry about right now. But there's also plenty for which

to be grateful, to be inspired, to take a moment to enjoy…

Like the clouds and the birds. That long-lost toy we'd forgotten we still have. That

silly online video.

And the time I spend getting to do just that with my kids.

Joshua A. Potosek

Sullivan County Manager

We salute all our heroes

Dear Sullivan County residents,

Easter and Passover will feel very different this year. Keeping our friends and

family at a distance will be challenging for all of us, especially when we’re used

to being together for the holidays.

It’s important to remember that each and every single

one of us has a role to play in this battle and we cannot

let up. The sacrifices you are making are working.

We have so many heroes in this community who may

never get the true recognition they deserve.

To all the

healthcare workers, police officers, firefighters, EMS

workers, grocery store clerks, food service employees,

and the countless other essential personnel going in to

work during this crisis: words cannot begin to describe

the debt of gratitude we owe you.

You are on the front

lines, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

While we connect with friends and family over the phone or online this hol-

iday, please try to check in on someone you know who may be alone.

Please have a safe, reflective, and happy Easter and Passover, everyone.

Aileen Gunther

NYS Assemblywoman

Easter Blessings

Easter has always been our favorite! It is such a time

of HOPE. The entire Holy week leading up to Easter

Sunday is so very special.

At this time, more than ever, let us all focus on HOPE.

And let’s all appreciate where we are and each other as

we are all one human family!

Sending you Happiness, Optimism, Prayers and En-


Donna and Phil Vallone, Roscoe

We will get through this together

To Our Community,

Challenging hardly feels like an adequate word to describe what all of our

Sullivan County friends are facing, and what all of us at The Center for Discov-

ery are living. To be honest, we prepare every day like we are going into battle.

We have no option we have to plan this way in order

to protect our students, residents, and our entire staff.

But every single day as the whole world wrestles with

this awful pandemic, without fail, we see signs of inspi-

ration and hope.







the weather


bloom, there are the scenes of rebirth around campus

as our adult and pediatric residents plant fresh new gar-

dens, gather for outdoor sing along songs (six feet apart),

or dance along to Zumba classes via Zoom. Some of our

adults who live on Main Street in Hurleyville entertain

us from their porch with a news and comedy show, “The Porch & Puns Report”,

to keep everyone laughing and focused on the message that there are no limits

Our Passover Seder tradition of nearly 20 years continues uninterrupted as

our Music Therapy team, in masks, laughed, danced, and sang their joyous

songs of liberation for a virtual Seder that is shared across our organization.

There is also no better sign of the rebirth that Easter symbolizes than our

young adults working on egg production - collecting, washing, crating, and

packing eggs from the farm. Or our young adults racing down to the green-

house to seed and plant herbs and flowers - flowers that epitomize the hope

But perhaps what inspires me the most, and fills me with hope, is witnessing

our 1700 staff members during these stressful days. They dress in costume,

they decorate with sidewalk chalk, they send inspiring messages, and they

back each other up. They absolutely refuse to stop. I have never seen anything

And so I am honored to share words of hope with you - our Sullivan County

community because community is a word we are thinking so much about

these days.We have been forced by this pandemic to be physically distant, but

our community at The Center for Discovery – our staff, our administration,

and our residents has never felt more bound together. All of us are inspired

by the work we do, by those we care for, and by those who care for them. And

we are sure that we will get through this together and come out of it stronger

than ever before. That is a hope we are sure will become a reality.


Patrick H. Dollard

to human potential.

of springtime.

School Community still striving for excellence

Dear Sullivan County residents,

services to our commu-

like it.

Our schools are closed, but they are still providing essential

first responders

nities. Schools have been charged with providing child care services to


and essential workers, child nutrition, and continuity of instr

to establish child care

The school districts of Sullivan County have worked together

county. In cooperation

facilities for all first responders and essential workers in the

Center, we are operating

with our community partners and Catskill Regional Medical

a centralized child care facility in the RISE building on

CRMC’s campus. More information on this vital service can

be found on your school district’s web site or the Sullivan

BOCES web site.

All of our school districts are working diligently every day

to distribute food in our communities. Understanding that

our children depend on the breakfast and lunch they re-

ceive each day at school, our local school districts are de-

livering food to centralized locations or have established

grab and go services in their school buildings. With the as-

sistance of Rolling V, First Student, and the bus services op-

erated by Monticello CSD and Eldred CSD, our schools

have distributed well over 43,000 meals in the past three

The Center For Discovery

President, CEO


Our schools have been charged with providing continuity of instruction - which

means finding new and creative ways to continue the education of our students while

they are home during the closure. Schools are using on-line platforms such as Google

Classroom to deliver instruction to students that have cell or internet service at home.

For those without electronic devices, Chrome books have been sent home to ensure

that the students with the connectivity can access the instruction. For those students

that do not have cell service or internet access, our schools have been mailing or de-

livering instructional materials to their homes.

Our schools have delivered pallets of vinyl gloves, masks, paper products, cleaning

solutions, and other essential items to Catskill Regional Medical Center. Faculty and

staff members have been working from home to provide much-needed materials and

Working with the Homestead School in Glen

supplies throughout Sullivan County.

Spey and SUNY New Paltz, they are using 3D printers to manufacture and assemble

PPE in the form of face shields. This past Monday, one teacher and her husband de-

livered 100 face shields that they made to CRMC.

These are difficult, uncharted waters, but there is hope. There is light at the end of

the tunnel. By working together, by cooperating, by helping those most in need, the

residents of Sullivan County are exemplifying the spirit of the Passover and Easter tra-

ditions of giving, charity, and community.

Dr. Robert M. Dufour

District Superintendent & CEO

Sullivan BOCES

Please see more letters, page 8B.