GOSHEN – Established in 1970, the Orange County Human Rights Commission has a mission to serve the citizens of Orange County by fostering mutual respect and understanding among all racial, religious, and nationality groups in the County. For 18 years, the Commission has recognized community-minded individuals who work to advance human rights in Orange County.
Orange County Executive Edward A. Diana and Human Rights Commission chairman Fred Cook are proud to announce the names of the six individuals and organizations that will be presented with the 2013 Orange County Human Rights Award at the Commission’s annual dinner. This year’s honorees are:
Victoria Garloch, of Sugar Loaf, a Warwick Valley High School student who saw a need in her community and met it by creating the Warwick Community Kitchen that serves more than 300 free meals monthly to a diverse population.
JoAnne Gurda, of Campbell Hall, a leader in the development of the Neighborhood Resource Center and the Center for Hope, both in Newburgh. The first offers residents an opportunity to have their health and human service needs met within a single building while the latter provides Newburgh’s at-risk children with a safe haven during the out-of-school hours.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh, Inc., a volunteer-driven organization that has helped to rebuild families by building 61 homes in the City of Newburgh since its founding. Habitat volunteers work alongside hardworking partner families, fostering partnerships across racial, economic, age and gender lines.
William Kaplan of Newburgh, who seeks ways he can help organizations that are working to meet the needs of a diverse citizenry in his home city. After leading the fund drive for the creation of the Newburgh Armory Unity Center, he has taken a personal role in the development of its educational offerings including classes in citizenship, computer proficiency, high school equivalency degree, and English as a Second Language.
Latinos Unidos of the Hudson Valley, Inc., a community organization founded in 2001 that is concerned with equity and fairness. It serves as an advocate and provides referral service in the areas of immigration, education, economic development, housing, and other issues affecting the community at large.
Anita Manley of Newburgh, a leader and organizer of the Newburgh chapter of PFLAG which promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay and transgender persons. She celebrates diversity and envisions a society that embraces everyone, including those of diverse sexual orientation and gender identities.
"Congratulations to the 2013 Human Rights Commission honorees. This panel of award recipients exemplifies the ideals of the Commission and recognizes that good will and understanding among all residents are key to preserving and promoting the well-being, stability, and quality of life in our County," said County Executive Diana. "It gives me great pleasure to join with the Human Rights Commission to recognize these Orange County residents and organizations that have gone above and beyond in their efforts to protect and advance the rights of all those who live and work in our County," added Mr. Diana.
The Human Rights Commission’s 18th annual award dinner will be held April 11th at The Fountains of Wallkill, 40 Sands Road, Middletown. Human Rights Commissioners Kara Dorsey and Dan McMann are co-chairing the event. Reservations are required. For tickets or more information, contact the Human Rights office at 615-3680 or visit the Human Rights Commission’s Department page on www.orangecountygov.com.