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Cortlandt Hospital Celebrates 125th Anniversary With Acts of Kindness

Cortlandt's Hudson Valley Hospital Center honored local residents as part of the hospital's 125th anniversary celebration.
Cortlandt's Hudson Valley Hospital Center honored local residents as part of the hospital's 125th anniversary celebration. Photo Credit: Contributed

CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- Cortlandt's Hudson Valley Hospital Center honored local residents as part of the hospital's 125th anniversary celebration. 

The hospital hosted more than 100 people for the “Acts of Kindness Awards” presented by HVHC President John C. Federspiel. The event recognized Nancy Montgomery and her husband, the late Jim Lovell of Cold Spring, Ellen Buccatello of Peekskill and a team of hospital employees who led the annual Santa's Helpers holiday gift drive. 

Lovell, who died in the Metro North train derailment last month, was recognized posthumously. Buccellato’s award was accepted by her fellow chaplain Barbara Walker as Buccellato was traveling with her friend Collette Carpenter, who accompanied the body of her son Army Pilot Clayton Carpenter back home. Carpenter died recently in a helicopter accident in Georgia.

“Kindness is at the heart of everything we do so I am very pleased that we have chosen Acts of Kindness as our theme for this 125th Anniversary Celebration,’’ said Ed McDonald Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors. “I am very proud to be a part of this Hospital family. It is a very special place that combines medical excellence with a caring, community spirit.”

The following is a listing of biographies of the honorees, courtesy of Hudson Valley Hospital Center: 

  • Nancy Montgomery and Jim Lovell have served the Cold Spring community both as volunteers and public servants. Nancy, a Philipstown Councilwoman, served on the Recreation Commission and as a volunteer with the Ambulance Corp. Even after being elected to public office, Nancy continued to volunteer at senior luncheons, fundraising events and family nights. Nancy has a deep connection with older adults, and was well known for this ability when she served on the Ambulance Corp. She and Jim were active in Philipstown’s Depot Theater for many years. Music was at the center of both their lives, and they shared this love by bringing music into the community. Nancy was more visibly active in town, but after her husband Jim died last month in the Metro North train derailment, there was an outpouring of testimonials from the community about Jim’s quiet contributions. 
  • Ellen Buccellato is a dedicated and energetic person who has given countless hours of her time to the community and to Hudson Valley Hospital Center. An advocate for the homeless and hungry, she is currently chairperson of Caring for the Homeless of Peekskill (CHOP.) CHOP has helped thousands to overcome hunger and homelessness through its shelter and feeding programs including the Jan Peek House Shelter for the Homeless, Sunny Donut Free Breakfast Program, and Fred’s Pantry at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. 
  • Santa’s Helpers was started 18 years ago when Hospital President John C. Federspiel suggested that instead of exchanging gifts, employees should start a fund to benefit the less fortunate. From that time on, the program was adopted by hospital employees, volunteers, physicians, board members and the entire hospital family. Committee members are Sue Lepore, Denise Pilla, Rebecca Bowen, Debbie Petranchik and Maureen DiMaggio.

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