Volunteers made Rhinebeck special events program successful

Coordinator outlines grassroots efforts on sports, fitness and music events for community

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From an Easter egg hunt to an upcoming bonfire, from Zumba classes to basketball for kids, and from live outdoor music at the park to a half marathon/5K, the Rhinebeck Recreation Department’s special events program has added major new elements to community entertainment this year.

At a Town Board meeting Oct. 22, Special Events Coordinator Sara Hanaburgh described the grassroots efforts that took place as volunteers raised money for still-ongoing sports, fitness and music events and donated their time.

Aside from the Easter egg hunt, no money came from the town budget, Hanaburgh said, adding that partnerships with area businesses such as WKZE radio and Rhinebeck Bank helped as well.

“Our fundraising was a grassroots marketing campaign,” Hanaburgh said. “We’ve gotten on all of the community calendars and we reached out with social media, a website and newsletters.”

There were six nightly outdoor concerts held in July and August at the Thompson-Mazzarella Park, with an audience of 50 to 75 people at each event, Hanaburgh said. “Some people didn’t know we had a park,” she noted.

The concert series continued with the Saugerties Community Band on Sept. 8, and then moved to Town Hall with Vickie Russell on Oct. 13. Upcoming will be Boxcar on Nov. 10 and Mister Roper on Dec. 8 at 7pm, both at the Town Hall as well.

Other events included Rhinecliff Waterfront Day on June 2 and a Fall Foliage Half Marathon and 5k on Oct. 14. “It took many volunteers to pull it off,” said Hanaburgh.
There were also adult fitness programs like Aqua Zumba and Aqua Aerobics. Youth basketball has already begun and Atomic Zumba for kids will start in December. Also in December will be a bonfire on the 21st at the Rhinecliff Waterfront.

“I want to thank the community for all of their supporting our special events programs,” she added. “It was a tremendous first year.”

Town Supervisor Tom Traudt had only words of praise for Hanaburgh’s efforts. “She’s reached out for partnerships with our business community. We give her a lot of credit,” he said.

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