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Hudson Valley Press

March 12th, 2014

Newburgh is Home for YWCA Orange County

Barbara Valentino (right), President of the Newburgh Day Nursery Board of Directors, presents the keys to the Nursery building at 21 West Street, Newburgh, to its new owners YWCA Orange County Executive Director Christine Sadowski (left) and Board President Glynis Cowart (middle).

NEWBURGH - The building at 21 West Street in the City of Newburgh, home to the Newburgh Day Nursery since 1920, may have new occupants, but the commitment to the City’s residents remains the same. Upon announcing nearly a year ago that the Nursery would cease operations in June 2013, the not-for-profit organization’s board president Barbara Valentino said that the Nursery would transfer ownership of the property to YWCA Orange County. The transfer was completed in February when the two organizations closed on the property and the YWCA began moving into their new location at the beginning of March.

"We are delighted to be bringing YWCA back to the City of Newburgh," said Christine Sadowski, YWCA Orange County Executive Director. "That’s where we began more than 125 years ago, when YWCA Orange County was first established on Grand Street in 1888. We are extremely grateful to the Newburgh Day Nursery for recognizing YWCA’s commitment to the residents of Newburgh and providing us with this opportunity to return," continued Sadowski.

YWCA Orange County left the City of Newburgh in the late 1970s when it moved to New Windsor to add a pool and fitness center to its services. The fitness center was sold to a private owner in 2007 when the not-for-profit organization reaffirmed its commitment to the core mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. It has been operating out of leased space on Route 300 in New Windsor since then.

"Transferring ownership of the Nursery building on West Street to YWCA Orange County is bittersweet for the staff, volunteers, and board members who so generously gave of their time, talent, and resources to the program," said Barbara Valentino, President of the Newburgh Day Nursery Board of Directors. "While it marks the official end of a program that served the Newburgh community for nearly 120 years, it also marks the beginning of new opportunities for an organization that shares our commitment to this wonderful City. We wish YWCA Orange County much success in their new home," added Valentino.

This is not the first time that these two organizations have collaborated to support their shared commitment to the City of Newburgh during their Century-long affiliation. For many years, YWCA Orange County and Newburgh Day Nursery provided the only opportunities for women to serve on boards and develop their leadership skills in a volunteer capacity.

YWCA staff began moving into their new space on West Street at the beginning of March. Dates for upcoming YWCA programs such as wage negotiation skills and job training will be announced once the office is settled.

The building, which was used as a pre-school for nearly 90 years will require some renovation to make it better suited for the YWCA’s business, programmatic, and technological needs.

In addition to its return to the City of Newburgh, plans are also under way for YWCA Orange County to open offices in the City of Middletown in 2014. The staff is currently searching for appropriate office space.

"YWCA programs are available to people from throughout Orange County, but as we work to fulfill our mission as a social justice and feminist organization, we have seen that many of our program participants reside in the cities," said Sadowski. "If we want to best serve the people who need us, it’s important that we be accessible to them. It just makes sense."

YWCA is planning an open house at their new Newburgh location for some time this spring.

YWCA Orange County is a feminist, anti-racist, social justice organization dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women. YWCA offers programs addressing economic empowerment, racial justice, women’s health, violence against women, and community collaboration. They have been serving the people of Orange County since 1888.

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