Fifty-one students, all members of the Valley Central Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society, pitched in to raise more than $3,000 to feed the Backpack Snack Attack program.

The funds came in nonperishable food, raffle tickets and cash donations during the recent “Stuff a Bus” fundraiser.

The students volunteered between one and four hours to collect donations of food and cash outside the Montgomery Dollar General Store.

The backpack program is used to provide nourishing snacks and more solid foods for the weekend when school is closed and meals can’t be provided through the cafeteria.

Successful blood drive

The John S. Burke Catholic High School family continues to be generous when it comes to blood drive donations. Although hosted by the students, it is open to the public and they respond each year making it a successful project. This year’s drive brought in 168 life-saving donations, making it the best yet.

It honored the memory of Andrea Cushing, who died last year as a young mother. As a result of the generous donations, 504 patients will be helped during upcoming treatments and procedures, said Elizabeth Martinez of the New York Blood Center, which sponsored the drive.

Coming up

• With fewer than 50 tickets unsold for the “Sunset at Winslow” Party in the Town of Warwick, another sellout social is expected. It will be from 6-10 p.m. at Winslow’s indoor arena at the Therapeutic Riding Center.

Under the co-chairmanship of Cindy Vander Plaat, Susan Ferro and Betsy Mitchel, the center will be transformed into a jazzy night club with food catered by the award-winning chefs at the Helm Restaurant in Greenwood Lake. Music will be provided by the CloudNYne Band.

Marge King Porter is chairing the auction activities, which always bring in extra funds for the nonprofit communities.

Last year’s “Sunset at Winslow” attracted 400 people and raised $86,000.

For tickets, visit

• The iconic Jersey Band Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes return to Newton, N.J. at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets start at $49. For information, visit, or, or call the Skylands Performing Arts Center at 973-383-3700, ext. 101.

• The Democrat Women of Sullivan County will host their 4th annual Spring Fling - Hats Off to the Ladies. The brunch will begin at 11 a.m. at the Eagles Nest in Bloomingburg. Tickets are $50. For reservations, contact Eileen Conway-Whitaker at 239-6047.

• The Roscoe Kiwanis 26th annual Golf Tournament will be June 10 at the Tennanah Lake Golf Course. The entry fee is $70. It begins with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. For information, contact Laurie Allen-Kuehn at 607-498-5397.

• Tai Chi & Wushu Fitness is said to benefit all ages by teaching holistic and neuropathy approaches through Chinese and Japanese methods. It is being offered on Saturdays at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Route 9W in New Windsor. For information, call 249-9230 or email Sifu Juan Melendez at

• The Middletown Garden Lovers’ Club will host its 22nd annual Hidden Gardens Tour on June 23, beginning at Morrison Hall on the SUNY Orange campus in Middletown. From 9 a.m.-4 p.m., rain or shine, gardens will be open to tour. On the mansion’s veranda will be flowers, plants, refreshments and a white elephant table. Tickets are $15 for everyone 16 and older.

• The Community Garden Club of Pine Bush will host its 10th annual Blossoms and Butterflies Garden Tea at 2 p.m. May 20 in the new Community Center on Route 302 in Pine Bush. Tickets are $20 and in very limited numbers. For information, call 778-1682.

Barbara Bedell’s column appears daily. She can be reached at 346-3125 or by email: