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Lifestyle

Leadership Dutchess, Abilities First Team Up For Renovation Project

Leadership Dutchess
Leadership Dutchess Photo Credit: Contributed

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- The Leadership Dutchess Class of 2016 recently participated in their annual Day of Service working with Abilities First to benefit the restoration of the nonprofit’s art facility.

Every year, the Leadership Dutchess class participants volunteer for a Day of Service to benefit a local community organization. Along with this project, the participants develop their leadership skills. Recipients of the Day of Service must be a community based service organization within Dutchess County. Applicants are chosen by a committee based on the project’s potential to impact the community, overall benefit to the organization, engagement of multiple audiences and other criteria.

During the 2016 project, the class turned the un-winterized Abilities First art facility into a place where program residents could use the space year-round for art therapy. A ribbon cutting will be held on Monday, June 20 at noon to open the facility, located at 99 Inwood Ave. in Poughkeepsie. To RSVP for the ribbon cutting, call (845) 454-1700, ext. 1000.

The project involved the complete restoration of the garage. Abilities First prepared the space by clearing it and installing new sub-flooring. Then, in April, Leadership Dutchess participants worked inside and out painting, restoring the gardens, power washing, and more. The class also bought furniture including shelving units, lighting and fans, and a desk was also donated. The volunteers also worked alongside Abilities First participants who would benefit from the project.

Melissa McCoy, Chief Advancement Officer of Abilities First, was very pleased with the outcome.

“The renovation of the Art Garage, surrounding garden and green space has resulted in a beautiful, welcoming environment where our adults and students can explore their abilities and independence year-round,” McCoy said. “Abilities First is extremely grateful to The Chamber Foundation and the 2016 Leadership Dutchess Class for their focus on community and the importance of leadership in doing for, and with, others.”

For more information on the Leadership Dutchess Program, visit this link . For more on Abilities First, visit this link.

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