Food drive from Sept. 20 to 24 will support regional food bank Newburgh A short-term project to fight hunger in the Hudson Valley organized in 2009 by a group of professionals throughout the Hudson Valley region has been reinitiated to once again help combat the ongoing food crisis in the region. Organized by the Pattern for Progress Fellows Program, the second annual Hudson Valley Food Frenzy Food Drive will be held from Sept. 20 to 24. September is National Hunger Awareness Month. Originally implemented in Sept. 2009 the Food Frenzy encourages friendly competition between businesses and organizations of similar size and/or mission to collect donations of food and money during a designated time period in September. Prizes are awarded to the organizations that collect the most donations. All donations will be directed to the Hudson Valley Food Bank to help stock the regional Food Bank’s warehouse. The Hudson Valley Food Bank serves Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Rockland, Sullivan, and Putnam counties. The program capitalizes on Pattern for Progress’s commitment to regionalism and the benefits of collaboration to create a regional response to hunger in the Hudson Valley. “Local businesses and organizations really stepped up to the plate last year to support the Food Frenzy,” said Howard Protter, managing partner of Jacobowitz and Gubits. “The competitive nature of the event and the desire to make a change in the local community helped propel the project beyond our expectations. The need is still very real for many individuals and families in our region and the Pattern Fellows want to continue to help.” Participating organizations can collect donations of both food and money. Every dollar raised translates to seven meals that can be provided. Details regarding the collection of non-perishable food items are available in the Food Frenzy registration package available on the Food Bank’s website www.foodbankofhudsonvalley.org. Nominations open for Jewish Community Hero Last year, the Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County helped award $25,000 to a Jewish Community Hero who was working to improve his community. To nominate someone to be entered in the contest, go to www.jewishcommunityheroes.org/orangecounty. Last year, the federation received more than 400 nominees people for whom “tikkun olam” is not just an abstract principle, but a way of life. Every one of these nominees is now an official Jewish Community Hero. Nominees came both from the community and from across North America and their projects were just as varied. One of the finalists worked to ensure that kosher restaurants not only followed Jewish law, but also engaged in ethical and humane practices; the Hero of the Year organized a Jewish volunteer program that performed acts of community service all across the country. Reading these descriptions, has someone come to mind? Anyone you nominate will receive a Jewish Community Hero certificate and be eligible to win a $25,000 investment in his/her community service project. Dan Devens joins Verticon Monroe Dan Devens has joined the Monroe-based Verticon Ltd., a general contracting and full-service construction firm, as its general superintendent. Devens, of Rhinebeck, has over 25 years experience developing, implementing and managing a wide variety of construction projects. In his new position, Devens is charged with construction of the new Sullivan County Transfer Station, from breaking ground to completion. Devens will work alongside Verticon Co-President and Project Executive Alan Zuckerman. Devens previously served as a project manager for Pizzagalli Construction Company in South Burlington, Vt. for 10 years. At Pizzagalli, Devens supervised several million-dollar projects, working extensively with IBM in East Fishkill and the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Devens began his career as lead foreman for K&J Devens Construction Co., specializing in commercial and residential construction, from 1988-93. He has completed several OSHA Health & Safety Courses and regularly attends management and safety training seminars required by Verticon. Seligmann honors set for Sept. 2 Sugar Loaf - The Orange County Citizens Foundation will honor the Historical Society of the Newburgh Bay and the Highlands with the 2010 Seligmann Award on Thursday, Sept. 2, at 5 p.m. on the grounds of the historic Seligmann Homestead in Sugar Loaf. The award is presented annually to an individual or organization that has shown an outstanding long-term commitment to arts and culture in Orange County. Organizers said the Historical Society serves today as a steward of local history, dedicated to preserving, promoting and protecting the history, architecture and culture of Newburgh. Headquartered in the Captain David Crawford House, the organization offers tours of the house as well as educational and cultural programs. Over 10,000 Newburgh-related photos, documents, maps and other printed materials have been identified and archived by the Newburgh Historical Society. These documents are available to the public for viewing and research. In addition, the society serves as a repository for the collection, preservation and interpretation of local artifacts and revolving exhibitions and houses a permanent collection of Hudson River model ships. The public is welcome to attend. Call 469-9459, or visit www.occitizensfoundation.org for more information. Health care reform is chamber meeting topic Newburgh Dr. Michelle Koury, Chief Operating Officer at Crystal Run Healthcare, will discuss “Health Care Reform: A Medical Group Practice Perspective” at the Orange County Chamber’s Wednesday, Sept. 22, membership breakfast, which will begin at 7:27 a.m. at the Ramada Inn in Newburgh. Koury joined Crystal Run in 1996 as a traditional internist. She earned her certification as a medical director for long-term care, one of only two in Orange County at the time, and served as such for eight years at Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation. Koury was appointed as Crystal Run Healthcare’s first medical director in 2002 and served in that role until being named chief operating officer in 2008. Breakfast reservations, at $25 for members and $50 for non-members, can be made by visiting www.orangeny.com, callingt 457-9700 or e-mailing email@example.com. Drug chains offering seasonal flu shots NEW YORK Many drug stores are offering flu shots earlier than in past years in line with a federal recommendation that everyone older than six months be vaccinated this season. The three largest national chains will be selling flu shots by next week. Rite Aid Corp. said Aug. 19 that flu vaccinations are now available at most of its stores. Walgreen Co., the nation’s largest drug chain, started selling the shots last week. And stores run by No. 2 CVS Caremark Corp. will start selling flu shots next week. Rite Aid said about 3,000 of its pharmacies are selling vaccinations against the 2009 swine flu, influenza B and the H3N2 flu strain for $24.99 each. A booklet with more than $100 in coupons comes with each shot while supplies last. The Camp Hill, Pa., company, which has 4,800 stores in 31 states, plans to host flu clinics at 800 more stores in October and November. The chains are moving up the start of flu shot season in the wake of last year’s swine flu outbreak. Last year’s Sept. 1 start was already a month earlier than in previous years. Walgreen, based in Deerfield, Ill., said some of its stores started offering the shots last week. CVS, based in Woonsocket, R.I., said nearly all its 7,100 stores and all 500 of its in-store MinuteClinics will sell flu shots. In previous years, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended shots for more specific groups, such as the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. In February, it recommended vaccinations for everyone older than six months.