Speaker Carl Heastie today joined Assemblymember Aileen Gunther in the Hudson Valley as part of his annual statewide tour. During the tour, the pair visited a youth center, a not-for-profit that assists families in need, a local ballfield and Fei Tian Academy for the Arts.
"Today's tour presented another unique opportunity to see the strengths and challenges facing our communities here in New York, how our investments are affecting them and how we can continue to help down the road," said Speaker Heastie. "The Hudson Valley is working hard to provide after school opportunities for kids in rural areas, help families facing food insecurity and provide top notch higher education opportunities."
"It was such an honor and an amazing opportunity to host the speaker here in the Hudson Valley today," said Assemblymember Gunther. "I am incredibly proud of this community's commitment to our youth and helping families in need, as well as the outstanding local academic institutions that are preparing students for professional success."
The first stop on today's tour was at the Delaware Youth Center, also known as the Delaware Community Center, in the rural hamlet of Callicoon. Although the center is a member and donor supported facility, they allow everyone to use the playground and the grounds, and provide free Wi-Fi to visitors. With limited broadband access available in the area, the center provides local youth with access to the internet. The Assembly invested $5,700 for technology upgrades at the Delaware Youth Center.
Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Gunther later visited the Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless. The organization is a not-for-profit that provides assistance to individuals and families in need. They operate the only soup kitchen in Sullivan County, providing breakfast and lunch five days a week to local residents. Twice a month they operate a food pantry where individuals receive canned food, cereal, juice, pasta and other staples. The Assembly invested $15,000 for facility improvements at the Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless.
The pair also made two stops in Middletown, the first to Fei Tian Academy for the Arts. The college's mission is to provide an outstanding education to students, enabling them to gain the knowledge and skills for professional success and to nurture in them the wisdom and virtues of humanity's cultural traditions that serve as moral guidance in their lifelong endeavors. The college is currently looking to expand.
The second stop was to the Middletown ballfield, which is part of an expansion of Fancher Davidge Park. The park offers many fun, family-friendly outdoor activities such as picnicking, swimming, hiking and fishing. The Assembly contributed $250,000 to help aid in the construction of the new ballfield.