Your Community

Your Community 04.30.20

Books for Troops 

CAPITAL DISTRICT – The Troops Request More Books to Help the Cope with the Pandemic

Although Books for Troops is officially closed, we are unexpectedly receiving numerous e-mails directly from the troops requesting more books to help them cope with the pandemic. Some of the requests are very specific. While we have many of those books in our inventory, there are still many that we seldom have donated. These we are able to order from a very inexpensive book site ( which does not charge for shipping. When the books arrive, I can safely box and send them from my home. However, the purchase of these books and their postage will badly deplete our already very low funds, since due to the pandemic and our closing, we are rightfully receiving very few donations. We are asking those who can, to make a donation to help fill these requests and those we anticipate in the future as the pandemic continues. To do so, make out a check to Books for Troops and mail it to: Books for Troops, 152 Oak Brook Commons, Clifton Park, NY 12065. All donations are tax deductible. 

We will continue with our policy of not accepting books to protect our volunteers. As always, thank you for your support of our troops, especially during this difficult time.  Stay safe. Ellen Keegan, Director

Education Leader Honored for Life-Long Contributions

RENSSELAER – Michael Dawkins, retired principal from the Rensselaer City School District, has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Irving Schwartz Distinguished Retiree Award by the School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS). Irving Schwartz was a founding member of SAANYS. This award is given annually to a retired SAANYS member who, in retirement, has made significant contributions to the welfare of the association, education, and the greater community.

During his tenure in the Rensselaer City SD, Dawkins was known as a mentor to all with a goal of paying it forward. He states that he “worked with teachers to assist them in developing their goals and how those goals would impact student and organizational structure. They were able to see the value of sharing their experiences and expertise, many became mentors to their colleagues, which helped to enhance the value of ongoing professional development and organizational success.” While speaking with a colleague about Dawson’s impact as a leader, Jennifer Drautz recalled, “She went on for a while to talk about him as a principal, along with what she still remembered and admired about his leadership. Six years into his retirement, and this new future administrator continues to have Mike as her model of school leadership, that’s nice evidence of a long-term impact.”

In addition to his mentorship of colleagues, Dawkins has continued to serve his profession in a variety of roles. He has served as a SAANYS Regional Representative, APPR specialist, labor relations specialist and negotiator, and often assists in recruiting units to join SAANYS. He has also presented a variety of workshops at state-wide conferences, and was instrumental in the launching of the SAANYS Mentor Coaching service. In addition, he’s worked as a college supervisor of student teachers for SUNY Oneonta and Siena College.

Dawkins received his associate of arts from Hudson Valley Community College, his bachelor of arts in history from Siena College, his master of arts in education from the University at Albany, and his doctorate of education from Nova Southeastern University.

Dawkins will be honored for his contributions at an awards ceremony at a later date.

Golf Partners Wanted

EAST GREENBUSH/RENSSELAER – Two senior leagues are getting organized for the 2020 golf season.  If you are at least 60 years old, a duffer, haven’t golfed in a while and do not want to keep score and have fun then this is the league for you.  The newly revitalized Pheasant Hollow Golf Course has reserved Monday’s and Thursday’s at 8:30 AM for these two leagues.  We will have two nine week sessions. In accordance with the latest guidelines for golf courses the dates of the start of the leagues is undetermined at this time. For more information call Mary (518) 949-5740 or (518) 423-5010.

Poestenkill Residents

POESTENKILL – The Bread of Life Food Pantry is open the First and Third Thursday of each month from 5:00 to 7:00 PM to service Poestenkill Residents experiencing difficulty feeding themselves and immediate family members. We are here to assist you with basic nutritional food items during these challenging times. Please remember to bring identification showing your current Poestenkill residence. The Bread of Life Pantry is also gratefully accepting food and monetary donations from Town Residents wishing to support our efforts. Donated food items can be left at the side door of the Poestenkill Evangelical Lutheran Church. Our mailing address is: Poestenkill Evangelical Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 167, Poestenkill, NY 12140. Individuals interested in volunteering at our Pantry can call 518 – 283 – 6045 to leave your name and contact info. Thank you!

Glendora Vegetarian Club 

It is excruciating to see our beloved friends, relatives and neighbors suffer and die, and in such huge numbers. It is double death for us at Glendora Vegetarian Club. We feel the same way about our animal friends. We are hoping that people will choose the way of healthy eating to better defend themselves against viral infection. The death of an animal or a friend bores equally because we feel the oneness of God. Each is a blessing for each other. A blessing for one is a blessing for all.  In this time of social distancing, you can tune in to the Glendora Vegetarian Club through the miracle of Youtube, Facebook or Twitter.

News from Averill Park CSD

AVERILL PARK – Averill Park CSD has appointed Brian Rhode as the Interim Principal at Poestenkill Elementary School. Mr. Rhode has been with the District since 2005, most recently working as the Director of Professional Development and Teacher Evaluation. APCSD is currently conducting a search for a long-term replacement of current PES principal John Bishop and expects to announce its decision in May.

Congratulations to Joe Milanese and Bryanna Swinson for being named recipients of the 2020 NYS AHPERD High School Leadership Award! Joe plans on attending St. John Fisher College and will play football for the Cardinals. Bryanna expects to attend RPI, playing on the soccer team with the Engineers. Way to go Joe and Bryanna! Best of luck in your future endeavors.

The Averill Park CSD Board of Education voted to rescind the Capital Project referendum which was expected to take place this spring. Due to the current economic state, the Board decided it could not bring a project of this magnitude to the community at this time. A vote is now expected to take place in the Fall.

As always, for the latest news from the District, please visit our website – You can also follow AP on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Submitted by Dr. James Franchini, Averill Park CSD Superintendent

Mission: Meeting the needs of and creating opportunities for every student every day. #AP_EveryStudentEveryDay

Cornell Cooperative Extension Outreach Initiative

RENSSELAER COUNTY – As educators we are doing our best to keep the community informed about updates and opportunities regarding everything going on with COVID-19.

Please see some of the most recent ones below:

Miss local Farmers Markets? They may be closed, but you can still buy from and support local producers! Check out this link that the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market released with vendors who are offering delivery services by going to their Facebook page. Looking for other locations, not listed? Check out the Harvest Connection website, Harvest Connection Facebook page, or a specific farm’s website. Don’t forget to contact them to make sure they are open and that their hours of operation are correct!

Looking for Educational Opportunities? 4-H, farms, and other businesses/organizations are offering virtual tours and activities to keep youth engaged during this time.

Looking for Information about COVID-19? Due to the large amount of speculation regarding COVID-19, this is a reminder to rely on OFFICIAL sources for accurate information. Help control the spread of rumors by checking out FEMA and Federal Agencies website as well as sign up for the latest updates from your local & state officials.

We are trying our best to stay up-to-date. Check out our website or follow CCE Rensselaer County on Facebook for information about these various opportunities as well as other updates regarding COVID-19. Questions? Send Kayela an email at

Mohawk Humane Offers Pet Food Pantry, Home Delivery for those in Isolation in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga Counties

Menands –The Furry Friends Pet Food Pantry at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, located at 3 Oakland Avenue in Menands, is available to anyone who needs help feeding a pet. Those needing food can stop by the shelter any day between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm and be met by a staff member at the door. For those who are ill or in self-isolation and live in Albany, Rensselaer or Saratoga County, the Society can deliver food. Please call 518-434-8128, ext. 227 or email to make arrangements. No pet should go hungry.

Food Drive to Benefit the Anchor

SCHODACK – On Saturday May 2nd, the Town of Schodack and Schodack Central School District are parenting together to hold a food drive to benefit the Anchor Food Pantry. Dry goods, non-perishable food, and personal care items can be dropped off on May 2nd at either the Schodack Town Hall, Castleton Elementary School, or Maple Hill School from 10am-2pm, look for the Schodack School Buses. If you have any questions please email Town of Schodack Public Information Officer Charles Peter at Thank you and we look forward to seeing you Saturday!

Virtual Troy/Rensselaer CROP Hunger Walk May 3

TROY/RENSSELAER – The Troy/Rensselaer CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, May 3 will be a virtual, individual walk. Proceeds benefit local organizations that feed the hungry.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals are encouraged to walk by themselves or at a safe distance to raise money for the hungry in our community and around the world. Those interested in walking or donating may do so at

CROP Hunger Walks are community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service and organized by religious groups, businesses, schools and others to raise funds to end hunger in the U.S. and around the world.

Walk virtually. Give online. Change the world. For more information, contact Kathleen Culhane (518) 274-5920 x201 or

CROP Hunger Walk Goes Virtual 

CAPITAL DISTRICT – The 40th annual CROP Hunger Walk in Albany, now known as the John U. Miller Memorial CROP Hunger Walk, is going virtual.  We won’t let the coronavirus stop us from taking steps to end hunger, so are asking all of our walkers to register on-line and raise funds there. The Albany CROP Walk page is at  Then, on May 3rd, walkers are encouraged to “Walk Together—Apart”. In other words, instead of gathering en masse as we have done in the past, walkers are encouraged to walk with their families or a small group in their own neighborhoods, around the block, or in a nearby park.  Arrangements will be made to turn in funds if people have cash or checks, but on-line donations are preferred.  Many local food pantries and soup kitchens benefit from the funds raised in the CROP Walk, as do global hunger relief programs, and these agencies will need our support more than ever during this difficult time.  For more information or if you have questions, call the office of the Capital Area Council of Churches at (518)462-5450  or e-mail the Walk Chair, Kitt Jackson, at 

Blood Drive at Brunswick Church

BRUNSWICK – Brunswick Church will partner with the American Red Cross for a blood drive on Saturday, May 9, from 9 am – 2 pm on the church campus. Many donation sites have been unable to hold drives, so there is an added sense of urgency for blood donations. During this time of social distancing, the Red Cross is taking special care to ensure the safety of their donors and their personnel. Temperatures will be taken of staff and donors. Staff will wear the required protective equipment. All donors are required to wear masks — if unable or unwilling, they will be directed to donate at a time when these precautions are no longer needed. Sign up to donate online at

The Decline of the Middle Class: How and Why it Happened and What to do About it

CAPITAL DISTRICT – This talk will review the changes that have taken place in the US economy as it shifted from one which values workers to one that places shareholder interests above all else.  The extreme inequality thus created has significant implications for the coming election, as well as future policies.

Paul F. Cole was secretary-treasurer of the 2.3 million member New York State AFL-CIO from 1984 to 2006.  He served as a vice president of the American Federation of Teachers from 1974 to 2006 and on the Board of Directors of the New York State United Teachers from 1972 to 1997.  Mr. Cole has a BA in Political Science from Marquette University and a Masters of Science degree from Canisius College.  He has completed additional graduate work at Niagara University, SUC at Buffalo and the University of California, Irvine.

This talk will take place online on Sunday, May 10th, at 1 PM.   Current paid members of CDHS will automatically receive, via e mail, a link to join the talk.   Anyone who is not a current paid member of CDHS is welcome to join us online, simply send an e mail to requesting the link.

When you receive the link feel free to share it with family and friends, but please do NOT post it to any public forums/sites.

The Capital District Humanist Society provides a supportive community for exchanging ideas, heightening our knowledge of the world and ourselves, fostering moral and ethical growth, and promoting the principles of secular humanism.  CDHS is a member organization for people with humanist values.  Our values include commitment to free inquiry, rational thought, life-long education, democracy, social concern, and fellowship.             

Attention Poestenkill High School Seniors

POESTENKILL – The Leo B. Clement/ Poestenkill Library Scholarship of $500 is ready to be claimed by a High School Senior who is a resident of the town of Poestenkill. The student, from a public, private or home school must be planning to attend a two or four-year college after graduation.

A 500-750-word essay based on the applicant’s love of reading is due by May 31, 2020. No specific font or spacing is required. Applicant’s name should not be on the essay page since the judging is done solely on the content of the essay.  A cover sheet must be attached which includes: applicant’s name, address, phone #, High School currently attending (or equivalent) and College attending in the Fall.

Essay can be e-mailed to:, sent by regular mail to PO Box 305, Poestenkill, NY 12140, or hand delivered to the library. 

Dunham Hollow West Stephentown Scholarship

AVERILL PARK – The scholarship committee announces the availability of the Dunham Hollow-West Stephentown Scholarship. The scholarship is in memory of Frank Johnson. It is open to anyone (graduating senior, post graduate, or adult wishing retraining) living within the boundaries of the Averill Park School District and has been accepted to a trade or vocational school. The deadline for submission of an application is June 1. Scholarship applications may be obtained by contacting the Averill Park High School guidance department at 518-674-7025 or by emailing 

Ilium Literary Club Cancellation

TROY – Due to COVID-19, the Ilium Literary Club of Troy is cancelling our Annual Meeting and Luncheon, scheduled for June 5th, at the Troy Country Club. If you have suggestions or ideas for speakers/presenters for our 2020-2021 yearbook, please call Barbara at 518-274-2949.

Poestenkill Fire Co 100th Anniversary Vendor/Craft Fair

POESTENKILL – Looking for crafters & vendors for craft fair for June 6 from 3-8 pm. Activities for the day include: dress parade, ceremony, bouncy bounce for kids, food truck with beverages, block dance followed by fireworks. For more information for the vendor/craft fair contact Nancy Rogers at

A Call to Artists for a Summer Juried Art Show “The Power and the Glory”

RENSSELAER COUNTY – Artists of all media are invited to submit up to two works for a juried art show titled The Power and the Glory! at Sand Lake Center for the Arts. The exhibition opens on July 1, 2020 and ends August 31, 2020. Twenty pieces will be selected with first, second, third, and people’s choice cash awards ($300., $200., $100., and $100.,) will be given. The juror for this show is Matt Crane.He is a Capital Region Artist and Adjunct Lecturer of Art, University at Albany.

Submissions should be sent to in jpeg format by May 29, 2020. Selections will be announced by June 6, 2020 and selected works must be delivered to Sand Lake Center for the Arts – (2880 NY 43, Sand Lake), NY 12018, from June 8 to June 19, 2020 between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm, or by appointment (call 518-674-2007). For more information go to www.slca-ctp.corg.

All artwork chosen will be on display from July 1 to August 31, 2020. There is no submission fee.

There will be an artist reception on July 8 from 5-7pm that is free and open to the public.

Awards will be announced and given out at the reception.

Juried Art Show Specifications:

-No more than two submissions per artist

-Two dimensional pieces should be framed or otherwise ready to hang

-Submissions should reflect the concept of or be inspired by lyrics from the song “The Power and the Glory” written by Phil Ochs. See lyrics below.

-Two-dimensional work should not exceed 3ft x 4ft.

-Three-dimensional work should not exceed 14 inches H x 15 inches W.

*All work must be labeled with the following:

Last name, First name, Title: Medium, Size-(HxW)-Year

Questions or more information please contact Brian Sheldon at 518-674-2007,

Chorus: Here is a land full of power and glory

Beauty that words cannot recall

Oh her power shall rest on the strength of her freedom

Her glory shall rest on us all (on us all)

Ilium Literary Club Meeting

TROY – The Ilium Literary Club of Troy, NY will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in Oct 2020. We are looking for members & former members to help us plan this celebration. If you have memorabilia, stories of different events and/or history of the Club, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Barbara at or call 518-274-2949.

Vaping – Public Service Announcement

CAPITAL DISTRICT – Vaping has become almost more common today then cigarettes. Originally marketed as being more safe than other tobacco products recent events have made it clear that this is not the full story. One study found that those who vape the equivalent to a pack of cigarettes a day had a 70% higher risk of stroke. This is only one of the health risks that can arise from vaping. For more information visit:

Addiction Screenings – Narconon can help you take steps to overcome addiction in your family. Call today for free screenings or referrals. 1- 800-431-1754.

Fentanyl – Public Service Announcement

CAPITAL DISTRICT – Fentanyl has been making headlines recently, this is because the incredibly potent chemical has been contributing to the increase in overdose deaths across America. Most people however do not know much about the chemical. For instance many don’t know that one of the things that makes fentanyl so dangerous is the fact that it can be absorbed into the system through skin contact. Meaning getting it on your skin could cause a potentially fatal overdose.

To learn more about Fentanyl visit:

Addiction Screenings – Narconon can help you take steps to overcome addiction in your family. Call today for free screenings or referrals. 1- 800-431-1754.

Rensselaer County Recovery Helpline

RENSSELAER COUNTY  – 1-833-467-3123 – Do you need help with substance use issues? Are you interested in volunteering for the helpline? The Rensselaer County Recovery Helpline offers information, local resources, and referrals for individuals and their families regarding substance use issues. The toll-free line is available 7 days a week from 9am-9pm. Each volunteer chooses shifts of 4 hours at a time to be on-call. When someone calls the number, a volunteer answers on their own smartphone, and can enter information to a database on their own computer, allowing for easy and quick access to resources. The information is sent to one of the 9 leaders, who will then assist the caller. If you or someone you know needs information, resources, or a referral for a substance use problem, call 1-833-467-3123. For more information, or if you are interested in volunteering, contact

Six Center Redemption is partnering with Alzheimer’s Association

WYNANTSKILL/RENSSELAER – Return your bottles and cans and help The Northeastern New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Through an arrangement with: Six-Center Redemption.

Two Locations – 461 Main Ave Wynantskill (Corner of Sharpe and Main Ave) & 550 South Street Rensselaer.

The Alzheimer’s Association will receive six cents for every container you donate to the cause. Simply drop off your containers and say “These are for the Alzheimer’s Association.”

No need to count the cans or bottles, no waiting or standing in lines to feed your cans or bottles in to a machine. The mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

The first survivor of Alzheimer’s is out there, but we won’t get there without you. Join the fight with your bottles & cans!

Hudson-Mohawk Search & Rescue is Looking for Volunteers to Join our Team

CAPITAL DISTRICT – If you enjoy being outdoors in the wilderness, working with others to help people, follow directions well and have a willingness to learn, then our SAR team might be for you! Prior knowledge is helpful, but definitely not required as we provide the training. Check out our website at: for more information.

Search and Rescue Volunteers Needed

CAPITAL DISTRICT – the Tri-State Emergency Team is recruiting volunteers to provide wildland and underwater searches within a 100 mile radius of Waterrford, NY.  This includes all aspects of field and underwater search.  The Tri-State Emergency Team responds when requested by NYS Forest Rangers and other police agencies throughout New York State, Western Vermont and Massachesettes.   We are looking for certified scuba divers, experienced boat handlers, and people who enjoy hiking and the outdoors in general who wish to help people in need.   The team will provide training and complete support as needed.  Our headquarters is located in Waterford.  Applicants need not live in Waterford to volunteer. If interested, please call 518-237-6744 or visit our website at

New York State Commission for the Blind 

CAPITAL DISTRICT – The New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) provides free vocational rehabilitation and other services to legally blind New York State residents, including children, adults, and older adults.  NYSCB assists participants in   achieving economic self-sufficiency and full integration into society.  Call toll-free (866) 871-3000 or visit our website:

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