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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

‘Kingfisher' reigns over non-profits

Anti-heroin initiative wins Innovation Award

By Matt Shortall - staff writer

Matt Shortall | Democrat
Catskill Regional Medical Center CEO Dr, Gerard Galarneau, at back, is happy for the Kingfisher Project organizers as they show off their $5,000 check. From left, Kevin Gref, Julie Pisall and Jason Dole. All are affiliated with WJFF's “Making Waves,” which originated the Kingfisher Project.
BETHEL — The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts hosted the fifth annual Non-Profit Leadership Summit on Wednesday. Presentations were made by finalists from three organizations vying for the $5,000 Innovation Award: The Eat Healthy Sullivan County Farmers' Market, Sullivan County Breastfeeding Coalition (SCBC), and the Kingfisher Project.
After the short presentations by the nominees - all of whom represented worthy causes - the judges tabbed the Kingfisher Project for the top prize.
The Kingfisher Project seeks to inform the public about the dangers of heroin. It airs regularly on “Making Waves,” Monday nights at 8 p.m.
on WJFF, 90.5 FM.
There was a standing ovation as Julie Pisall and James Dole were presented the award by County Legislature Chairman Scott Samuelson. It was the death of Pisall's daughter Rebecca in an heroin-relating shooting last summer that spurred the creation of the project.
“We'll use the money to bring our message to more people,” said Dole. “We need better sound equipment for broadcasting our public meetings. We're also looking into expanding our online presence.”
The Kingfisher Project is hosting two “Heroin In Our Communities” meetings on Saturday, March 28. The first is in Narrowsburg at the Tusten Town Hall from 10 a.m. to noon. The second is in Jeffersonville at the Callicoon Town Hall from 2-4 p.m.
The runners-up each won $500. Eat Healthy Sullivan County Farmers' Market, located in Monticello, promotes healthy nutrition habits by providing locally sourced produce to largely low-income communities.
“Lower income families buy the food that's cheap, but low in nutritional value,” said Erin Burch, program coordinator for Catskill Mountainkeeper. “Too often it's either processed, frozen, or fast foods.”
The Eat Healthy Sullivan County Farmers' Market is located across from the Government Center in Monticello. All of the farmers and producers at the market are eligible to accept vouchers - both (WIC-VF) and WIC/Senior FMNP vouchers- from recipients.
The Sullivan County Breastfeeding Coalition (SCBC), was established in 2014 as a collaborative effort toward improving community health by providing a support network to educate new mothers on the science of breastfeeding
SCBC is provided through the Maternal Infant Services Network (MISN) and the Women Infant and Children (WIC) Program of Sullivan County Public Health Services (SCPHS).
“The baby formula companies have spend a lot of money convincing women that breastfeeding isn't enough,” said Susan Clark of the Sullivan County Department of Health. “We're saying that breastfeeding is more than enough, it's the most natural preventative care.”
“It's a great honor to win this award. It recognizes the effort so many people have put into The Kingfisher Project to make it a big success in just a few short months,” said Dole, program director at WJFF. “All of the nominated projects are fantastic community endeavors. We were glad just to stand there, raise awareness about the seriousness of heroin in our communities, and let folks know that WJFF's doors and airwaves are always open to the community.”
Regarding how the money will be used, Dole commented, “There's also a need to continue enhancing WJFF's web presence, allowing Kingfisher producers to better collaborate on projects and allowing the community to access our content more easily. More good things will follow. Stay tuned!”
“Making Waves” Executive Producer Kevin Gref said, “ The Kingfisher Project had a tremendous amount of support right from the start and that just goes to show the pronounced need for a community discussion on heroin and narcotics in our towns and villages. I am very pleased to be airing the Kingfisher Project on our program.”

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