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Hudson Valley Press

June 18th, 2014

Third “Thumbs Up Awards”

Ina Tietjen, Dave Ouelette, NYS Assemblyman Frank Skartados, Juliana LoBiondo, Melissa McCoy, and Carol Lindeman; Haylei Peart (Newburgh Rowing Club Alumni), Dr. Michele Winchester-Vega, Nick Bourne (NRC Alumni and Kidz4Causes volunteer), Juliana LoBiondo and Christian LoBiondo.

NEWBURGH - Recently, Kidz4Causes held its Third Annual Thumbs Up Awards at Chadwick Lake Park, attended by more than 200 people. Kidz4Causes gave out five awards, one grant, and helped start a fund in perpetuity, said Natasha Vega, president of Kidz4Causes.

The founders of the organization, Natasha Vega, and her mother, Dr. Michele Winchester-Vega, along with many volunteers, successfully established a fund in perpetuity with the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties, and gave its’ first major donation, a grant for $500.00, to the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill in Hyde Park, accepted by Director Kathleen Durham, to continue their work on human rights issues and girls’ leadership.

"Kidz4Causes has always been known for our collaborative efforts," said Dr. Vega. "We are giving a portion of the proceeds of today’s event to the Strommer Family to establish the Brian Strommer Fund in memory of a young man killed in an automobile accident; this will help them begin their fund with the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan County, which is another example of our commitment to others." Many members of the Strommer Family were in attendance.

Five community collaborators were honored and NYS Assemblyman Frank Skartados was present to give a powerful speech about children and the community, and to hand out certificates of recognition from the NYS Assembly to the following: Carol Lindeman, Juliana LoBiondo, Melissa McCoy, Dave Ouelette and Ina Tietjen.

"When I began Kidz4Causes 7 years ago," said Natasha Vega, president of Kidz4Causes, "I never expected to have as many supporters a we do today. I knew that our mission would be strong and that our volunteers would be committed to helping our community and others worldwide, but I never imagined that we would grow into the organization we have. It was an honor and a privilege to give five awards to collaborators who have worked closely with others. We have been blessed with a great day and a wonderful turnout, I look forward to growing this organization and helping even more community members."

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