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“A Special Fair Helping Special Needs” By County Executive Ed Day

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Without question parenting often times is a thankless role. There is so much you’re doing for the good of your family day in and day out that nobody sees and, at times, is almost expected. It’s a lifelong responsibility with no manual, no training, and no compensation other than the joy of seeing your children learn and grow. There is no doubt the hardships and challenges that come with the charge are far greater for parents raising a child with special needs. This is exactly why back in 2019 I restored the county’s Office for People with Disabilities (OPWD).

The charge of the OPWD is to advocate on behalf of people with disabilities and ensure they have access to all the rights and responsibilities they desire to exercise. The OPWD is an informational resource for people with disabilities by connecting families with available services, including an upcoming event I’m proud to highlight called the Rockland Resource and Transition Fair.

This annual fair offers support to students with special needs who are transitioning out of high school and into the world of work or other educational opportunities. As students leave high school, they experience a very big change. All during their school years they receive a variety of individualized services adjusted according to their needs. However, when they exit high school, they no longer receive those services automatically. They must know what to ask for and how to do so, which can be daunting for families and students who still need those services.

This transition fair was created to bridge that gap and make the transition a little easier for families. Multiple community-based agencies along with some colleges and other programs that service these young individuals will be at the fair showing multiple pathways available following high school, such as recreation, advocacy, education, and employment training. The highly interactive event, which includes presentations and break-out sessions, is scheduled for April 17th from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Palisades Mall Community Rooms located on the 4th floor by the ice-skating rink.

In Rockland, we do not feel any parent should have to bear these challenges alone and encourage all families to attend this fair and take advantage of the help being offered to navigate these difficult decisions with comfort and confidence. We remind residents that our Office for People with Disabilities can be reached at 845-364-3980.

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Events

Rockland LGBTQ Pride Sunday Celebrates 25 Years June 9th

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On Sunday, June 9 from 11am to 5pm, the Village of Nyack will host the 25th Annual Rockland Pride Sunday, the oldest LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) Pride celebration in the Hudson Valley.

This year’s event features a parade, which steps off at 11:30am, vendors, live performances, music, speeches, and activities for children, families, and teens. 

Why is June Pride Month? Because it was in June of 1969 that New York City’s Stonewall Riots took place in New York City, giving birth to the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.

As it does each year, Rockland County Pride Center will host a family-friendly street fair designed to celebrate LGBTQ+ history,  elected officials to show their support for our community, and give parents of LGBTQ+ young people an opportunity to see happy, successful LGBTQ+ adults. 

This year’s event is supported by grants from the Rockland County Department of Economic Development & Tourism and Arts Westchester. A full sponsor list will be available at the event. 

WHAT:               25TH Annual Rockland Pride Sunday

WHERE:            Downtown Nyack, NY

WHEN:               Sunday June 9, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

                             Parade step-off: 11:30 a.m., Memorial Park

                             Speaking Program: 12:00 noon, Hezekiah Easter Park Gazebo

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Events

Remember The Incredible Sacrifice Our Brave Men And Women Made For Our Continued Freedom

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On May 27th we are honoring and remembering the military servicemen and women whose lives were lost while serving this great country.

There are some days throughout the year when it feels great to be an American. One of those days is Memorial Day. It’s the first official cookout of the year. It becomes acceptable to eat watermelon straight from the rind and corn on the cob. Memorial Day weekend is when pools open and moms start nagging their kids about wearing enough sunscreen and not tracking water into the house. We are on the verge of popsicles, hamburgers, and cakes with strawberries and blueberries in the shape of an American flag.  

When life is good, we wrap ourselves up in it and so often forget the meaning of days like today. Like so many other holidays, the meaning of Memorial Day is often lost in the midst of celebration and relief at days off of work and school. What exactly are we celebrating? Today is the day we remember the fallen. We remember those who gave their lives fighting for a better tomorrow.

 

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