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The Beacon Free Press has been Beacon’s primary center of news and entertainment coverage for over 25 years. Coverage includes local city and school news and features, Dutchess County Legislature, county legal notices, obituaries, plus coverage of arts and entertainment, hospitals and health, education, libraries and local businesses and organizations.

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09/24/14 Highlights of this week's edition...

Ready to celebrate Beacon

By Kristine Coulter

(Continued from cover) “Planning’s been very good,” she said. “People are contacting us and we’re moving along.” Roy Ciancanelli, the Rev. Michael Dandridge, Bob Outer and Diane Sedore are helping with the planning.
Story said it is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together when it comes to “getting the vendors where they want to be.” Vendors may start setting up after 10:30 a.m., she said.

One of the tricky parts is making sure that the food vendors all have permits from the Dutchess County Department of Health, she explained.

The parade will include local fire departments, churches, social groups and schools.

It is highly recommended that people do not bring dogs and do not ride skateboards or bikes at the event. Parade line-up is at noon at the Municipal Building on Main Street. Main Street will be closed from Teller Street to Brett Street.

“Most challenging is definitely choosing the volunteer of the Year. Since 1996 when I started, there are many unsung (behind the scene) volunteers for organizations that we have to go search for and find. Volunteers never approach us,” said Ciancanelli. “We have to find them.”

He added that Story “had no idea that the committee was working behind the scene to nominate her. The committee felt she should be recognized for not only volunteering for the Spirit of Beacon Day for years, but should be recognized and honored for the numerous other organizations that she volunteers her time with to make them function.”

Among some of the organizations Story has been involved with are: past president and treasurer and Paul Harris Fellow of the Beacon Rotary Club; for nine years on the advisory board of the Salvation Army; 12-year-member of Fairview Cemetery Association and president for 10 years; United Way Campaign Manager for 10 years; former Troop Leader for Tioronda Council Girl Scouts.

She has also been involved with St. Francis Hospital Auxiliary and St. Fidelis Fraternity, Secular Franciscan Order.

“I first told them no – I didn’t think it would be proper,” Story explained. “They convinced me because of all the organizations I have been in.”

Story said she volunteers because “many years ago someone made a comment that you should give back to the community and that stuck in my head. Volunteers are what make a community”

Story said Spirit of Beacon day is the largest event in Beacon every year.

“Just being able to get out and meet neighbors and see what’s available in the city and the food,” said Story is what people enjoy about the day.

There will be a sing-along in front of the Towne Crier Café in honor of Pete Seeger, said Story. DJ Mad Mike will once again help call the parade. M&T Bank will judge the floats. Trophies will be awarded to the top three floats. Story added that every year they look for donations from the community to continue the tradition of hosting the event.

Elizabeth Resco, a resident of Beacon, said, “Everyone comes,” about Spirit of Beacon Day. She continued, “I like everything about it. I come for the parade, the music, the food… everything.”

Story said the Beacon Highway Department does an amazing job cleaning up afterwards.

“We always appreciate the cooperation from the merchants along Main St.,” said Story.

Ciancanelli noted, “It’s satisfying to see everyone enjoy themselves and the day.”

The rain date is Sunday, Oct. 5.

Gospel Café to highlight African-American experience

Beaconite Dorothy Medley will present her historical sketch “Hats ’n History: The Everchanging Times of Africans in America” on Saturday night. - Courtesy photo

By Goldee Greene
Staff Writer/Arts & Entertainment

You don't have to be super-religious to love the Gospel Cafe. Just be willing to share the warmth of spiritually uplifting music performed by various area church-members. All are welcome.

This popular monthly event held at the Howland Cultural Center attracts a culturally diverse crowd of Beaconites and visitors. This Saturday evening, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m., it will feature an evening of varied spiritual fare entitled, "Take Me Back: An African-American Experience Through Drums, Song, Dance and Drama". The roster includes Kazi Oliver African Drummers, vocalists Linda Terry, baritone Gregory Oliver; praise dancer Barbara Davis, dramatic historical interpreter Dorothy Medley and instrumental combo Higher Ground.

Springfield Baptist Church Deaconess Linda Terry, expressed enthusiasm. "I'm elated to be on this wonderful program," she said. "I'll be singing a medley of traditional songs including Kumbaya and I'll Trust in the Lord."

Beaconite Dorothy Medley, will present her twenty-minute historical sketch, "Hats 'n History: The Ever-changing Times of Africans in America". During the piece framed by excerpts from a monologue by James Cornelius, Medley dons a dozen different hats to signify changing times. "I start from the beginning from when the enslaved people were brought over from Africa in chains, to Civil rights era and up to the present day. These include African royalty headgear, straw bonnets worn for heavy farm labor, 1950's Stetsons worn by men at marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King, pointed KKK hat and contemporary X-embossed Malcolm X caps. The graduation cap also plays an important role, as you will see."

Medley has performed "Hats" for the Neighborhood Luncheon held at the Grand Hotel, Les Soeurs Amiables Luncheon, and at the Northeast Federation Women's Club Convention, in Albany. "The Newburgh Free Academy (high school) principal asked me to do it for the students and they were spellbound," she said. "Afterwards they had all kinds of questions and the curious look on their faces was amazing."

Higher Ground, founded in 2004, is the Cafe's first and longstanding house band. It is acclaimed for a unique blend of gospel and reggae. Personnel comprises guitarist Nick Fuller, Chet B. Williams on bass keys, drummer Rendal Archibald and Darel Holly at the mic."It's great and an honor to be participating," said Williams, who co-writes the tunes with Holly. "The guys in Higher Ground are true friends from Beulah Baptist Church in the Falls, in Wappingers." Williams is also pianist for multi-faith gospel choir, Souls United of the Hudson Valley.

The Howland Cultural Center is located at 477 Main Street (Corner of Tioronda Avenue). Admission is $10 at the door. For more info call 845-831-4988 or 845-543-0884.

Read the full story in this week’s print edition.

Also in the Sep 24-30, 2014 issue:

  • VA officials hear from veterans during town hall meeting at Castle Point.

Margarte Caplan, director VA Hudson Valley Health Care System, right, speaks during the town hall meeting Sept. 16


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