“Police officers dedicate their careers to keeping all of us safe,” said Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler in a press conference outside his office in the Orange County Government Center this past Wednesday in commemoration of Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

“Despite their sacrifices, some people in our society ignore all of the good that police officers do and they deserve better than that," Hoovler said. "These brave men and women risk their lives every day to protect us, and they should have our support, not just on Law Enforcement Day but every day.”

Law Enforcement Appreciation Day is a nationwide day of support for police officers established by Congress of Police Survivors (COPS). For information, contact Justin Rodriguez, assistant to Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus, at 291-3255.

Coming up

National Hugging Day, which has been around for more than 20 years, is Jan. 21.

Speaking for myself as a grandmother, the best hugs come from the grandchildren, at every age and every visit. I love those precious little people even when they grow up and are much taller than you. And of course some are better huggers than others. But a hug is a hug and you don’t measure it, or maybe you just can’t measure it. But they are remembered.

In my household we’ve now entered the great-grandchild arena with the grandchildren having grandchildren. That’s double hugs! I think we have 12 grandchildren and five great-grands with two on the way, and due before summer. The grandchild that lives the nearest will give me hugs on Hugs Day, but in my heart it is coming from everyone. And cards, pictures and phone calls count! Happy Hugs Day!

Whoever thought of Hugging Day supplied it with press releases, especially to the printed media, reminding them that hugs are in short supply. When you are alone, feeling isolated, and blue because you are either widowed or alone and have no relatives close by to give you a heartfelt hug, National Hugging Day was created just for you.

The Visiting Angels, a national in-home care provider with a local office, sends designated huggers to local homes of seniors to surprise them with a warm embrace. Local retirement homes often supply their own huggers.

This & That

Mary Juliano, a longtime resident of Warwick, will serve as the chair of the Bon Secours Warwick Health Foundation for the 2019 term. She will work with the Foundation‘s volunteer Board of Directors, community leaders and the Warwick Healthcare Campus. Raul Berina, who served as chair of the Foundation for five years, will continue to serve on the board as chair emeritus. For additional information, call Helene Guss at 368-5570.

Coming up

• High school students interested in attending Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh are invited to a tour from 2-7 p.m. Jan. 15. The event is called “an instant decision admission.” It will take place on campus in the James Cotter Villa Library, 330 Powell Ave.

“This is a one-stop event for high school students interested in attending the Mount,” said Matt Frey, director of media relations who was pitching a visit to the college. “Register now at MSMC.edu/RSVP, and bring your official high school transcript, official SAT or ACT scores, and one letter of recommendation to receive an instant admissions decision.” He further said the application fee will be waived during this session. “Not ready to apply? No problem,” Frey added. “come for a campus tour to jumpstart your college search.”

For information, call 1-888-YES-MSMC or email admissions@msmc.edu.

• If you have a few hours to spare and enjoy gardening or topics related to gardening, consider being a volunteer at the Orange County Arboretum. A recruitment meeting has been set up for 10 a.m. Feb. 13 at the Ottaway Education Building. It is located in the Arboretum in the Thomas Bull Memorial Park at 41 Grove St., off Route 416 in Montgomery. Registration is required by calling 325-4718 or by email:greenhouse3971@gmail.com. A snow date is Feb. 14, same time and place.

The Orange County Friends of the Arboretum, as well as Peter Patel, the arboretum’s horticulturist, will be on hand to welcome you and to answer your questions.

• Southern Ulster Rotary, led by Jennifer Salemo, recently raised $1,000 for ShelterBox USA. The program was established in 2000 to help families around the world rebuild their lives after losing everything to natural disaster or conflict. The $1,000 donation is an annual commitment of the local club. The funds are used to provide life-saving shelter and equipment to set up a household, which could include relief tents, tools to repair damaged buildings as well as supplies such as solar lights, water purification, thermal blankets and cooking utensils. ShelterBox tailors the form of aid after each disaster based on assessments of the affected community’s needs. For information on fundraising, volunteerism, or making a donation, call 941-907-6036.

• The Knights of Columbus, in conjunction with the New York Blood Center, will host a blood drive from 2-8 p.m. Jan. 21. It will be at the Holy Name of Mary Church at 89 Union St. in Montgomery. For information, email Nick Scarano at nickscarano77@gmail.com.

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