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UDC Announces Honorees for Awards Ceremony on April 23

Award Reservation Form

Caption: Upper Delaware Council Secretary Cindy Odell, left, and Executive Director Laurie Ramie greeted guests at the 2015 Awards Banquet which also took place at the Central House Family Resort in Beach Lake, PA. 

NARROWSBURG – The Upper Delaware Council, Inc. (UDC) will honor those who have enhanced the quality of life or protected the resources of the Upper Delaware River Valley at its 29th Annual Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 23.

Reservations at $27 per person are due by April 14 for the banquet that will take place at Central House Family Resort, 81 Milanville Road, Beach Lake, PA.

A reception with appetizers and a cash bar begins at 3 p.m. The buffet dinner menu at 4 p.m. will offer slow-roasted prime rib, chicken breast with cranberry sage stuffing, eggplant rollettes, garlic mashed potatoes, long grain & wild rice, glazed baby carrots, cheese tortellini vinaigrette, fresh fruit medley, tossed salad, dinner rolls, and a choice of dessert.

U.S. Congressman John J. Faso, who represents the 19th District of New York, will deliver the keynote address at 5 p.m. prior to the presentation of awards.

The UDC will honor the following recipients:

Distinguished Service Award – Ed Wesely of Damascus, PA, for his Upper Delaware River Valley contributions as a naturalist, educator, conservationist, monarch butterfly expert, Damascus Forest Trail designer, and advocate for the properties of the Milanville Historic District.

Robin M. Daniels Memorial Lifesaving Award – Michael K. Smith of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, for his July 3, 2016 rescue of a drowning swimmer at Skinners Falls while paddle boarding on the Upper Delaware River.

Public Service Award – Chris Gibson of Kinderhook, NY, retired Member of Congress, for exemplary support of the Delaware River Basin during his 2010-2016 tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives, 19th District, New York.

Community Service Award (organization) – Pennsylvania Environmental Council Northeast Office, based in Luzerne, PA, for coordinating the locally beneficial Community Illegal Dumpsite Clean-up Program.

Community Service Award (individual) – Vanessa DeGori of the Milanville General Store, Milanville, PA, for her successful petition drive to re-open the 1901 Skinners Falls, NY-Milanville, PA Bridge following emergency repairs and offering charitable aid to those in need.

Recreation Achievement Award – Operation Safe River, coordinated by the Lackawaxen Township Fire Commission, for implementing a comprehensive safety markers program for the Lackawaxen River.

Partnership Award – Debra Conway, Dorene Warner, the Town of Highland, and Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, Inc., for producing the “Revitalizing the Monarch Butterfly” brochure and starting an awareness-raising campaign about threatened pollinator species.

Cultural Achievement Award (individual) – Elaine Giguere of the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance based in Narrowsburg, NY, for founding this organization in 1976 and nurturing it in her role as executive director from 1978 to her pending retirement on June 30, 2017.

Cultural Achievement Award (organization) – Wayne County Historical Society, based in Honesdale, PA, for celebrating its 100th anniversary of historical preservation and promotion in 2017.

Volunteer Award – Scott Rando of Shohola, PA for offering his services as an Upper Delaware River Valley field volunteer for the National Park Service and other natural resource agencies, and his talents as a nature photographer and columnist.

Special Recognition Award – Grace Johansen (posthumously), LouAnn Joyce, Lauren Schlagenhaft, and Tina Spangler for authoring the 2016 local history book, “Tusten’s Colorful History: A Delaware River Town Comes of Age”.

Special Recognition Award – Connie Lloyd of Beach Lake, PA, for three decades of contributions as an Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River Interpretive Ranger for the National Park Service through 2016.

Oaken Gavel Award – Fred Peckham, representative of the Town of Hancock, NY, for his leadership and service as Upper Delaware Council chairperson in 2016.

All are welcome to attend, with advance payment requested by April 14. A downloadable reservation form is available at or contact the UDC at P.O. Box 192, 211 Bridge St., Narrowsburg, NY 12764; phone (845) 252-3022; e-mail


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