More than 400 key community and business leaders, friends and family gathered on November 16 to see RJ Smith and Gerald & Rosemary Skoda receive the David T. Cocks Award for Commitment to Community, presented by the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan. The evening celebrated the accomplishments of the honorees, as well as the Foundation’s milestone of exceeding $21 million in assets spread over 250 charitable funds that the Foundation administers. It also celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Foundation’s expansion into Sullivan County. As a testament to the honorees, the event broke all previous fundraising records. More than $135,000 was raised to support the foundation’s operating budget.
Mr. Smith, of Pine Bush, is a respected member of the Orange County business and civic community. A commercial realtor, he helped establish a community health center in Pine Bush, and has served as town councilman, county legislator, and school board member. Among the many boards he serves, Mr. Smith is founder, past president, and current board member of Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan. The Skodas, of Woodbourne, though officially retired, remain exceptionally active across Sullivan County and beyond. Mr. Skoda now runs a farm and a second business, while serving many boards, including Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan. He is a founding member of the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development and was past Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension. Mrs. Skoda now dedicates her time primarily to the United Way of Sullivan County.
Sponsors for this signature event were: Crystal Run Health; The Kaplan Family Private Foundations; Bonura Hospitality Group; Hudson Valley Investment Advisors, Inc.; Orange Bank & Trust Company; Orange Regional Medical Center; Focus Media; Rand Commercial; Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan; BNY Mellon Wealth Management; Empire State Bank; Focused Wealth Management; Wilmington Trust; M&T Bank; Lakeland Bank; Orange & Rockland; The Rowley Family; Walden Savings Bank; Advent Valuation Advisors; Jay and Carol Anthony Foundation for Autism Support; Blustein, Shapiro, Rich & Barone, LLP; Boyce Excavating; The Bratton Family; Central Hudson Gas & Electric, PLLC; Drake Loeb; GiveGab; Jacobowitz and Gubits, LLP; Jeff Bank; Susan D. Najork; Optima Environmental Services; Mary Etta Schneider; TD Bank; Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine; Times Herald-Record; Bold Gold Media Group; and Fox Radio.
Established in 1999, the Community Foundation empowers local people and organizations to make a profound difference in the quality of life in our region by helping them establish charitable funds that will forever provide grants and scholarships to causes important to them. To date, the Foundation and its component funds has awarded more than $8 million in grants and scholarships in support of animal welfare, arts & culture, education, the environment, and health and human services. To learn more about the work of the Community Foundation please contact Elizabeth Rowley, President and CEO at firstname.lastname@example.org.