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Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro congratulates the Town of East Fishkill for bringing “ThinkDIFFERENTLY Day at the Beach” to Red Wing Lake, a Town of East Fishkill park, on Saturday, July 29th. The free event will take place from noon to 6 p.m., rain or shine, is open to the public, and will showcase the lake’s accessibility for residents of all abilities.
County Executive Molinaro said, “We thank the Town of East Fishkill for choosing to ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ and welcoming residents with special needs to experience how supportive Red Wing Lake is for every resident of every ability. East Fishkill is one of more than 20 communities throughout Dutchess County that have accepted our challenge to be more inclusive to individuals of all abilities. I hope more local municipalities follow East Fishkill’s example and similarly ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY.’ ”
Red Wing Park offers beach mats for easy access to and from the water, a floating sand wheelchair, , aquatic assistant swimming devices, and new playground equipment; much of the new equipment was donated by local businesses. Red Wing Park is a 17-acre park, located at 11 Old Farm Road in Hopewell Junction.
“ThinkDIFFERENTLY Day at the Beach” will include music, face-painting, sand castle building, and a hands-on bird program from Taconic Outdoor Education. Dutchess County Legislator John Metzger and Town of East Fishkill council members Nicholas D'Alessandro and Tom Franco were among those instrumental in the formation of the event.
Families are invited to pack a lunch, and food and beverages will be available for sale. Residents who would like more information or to make special requests can call (845) 226-8395.
Town of East Fishkill Supervisor John Hickman said, “County Executive Molinaro’s ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ efforts have positively impacted countless people – not just here in Dutchess County, but throughout our state. Our town is honored to join the County Executive’s movement and welcome all residents of all abilities to our great Red Wing Lake, which offers countless recreation opportunities for children with special needs. East Fishkill is proud to ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY,’ and we hope to make positive changes to the lives of our neighbors with special needs.”
In 2015, County Executive Molinaro established the “ThinkDIFFERENTLY” initiative, which looks to foster a more inclusive community for Dutchess County residents with special needs. Since then, Dutchess County has taken numerous steps to “ThinkDIFFERENTLY” about residents with special needs, including funding, through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, several projects featuring accessible infrastructure; partnering with the Anderson Center for Autism to provide free Autism Supportive Environment training to businesses; and appointing Dutchess County’s Deputy Commissioner of Special Needs, the first such position of its kind in the state.
In the past year, more than 60 towns, villages and cities throughout New York State have adopted “ThinkDIFFERENTLY” resolutions to promote an inclusive environment for residents of every ability. The majority of communities in Dutchess County, including the Town of East Fishkill, have adopted similar resolutions.
Dutchess County Legislator Marge Horton said, “Every boy and girl, regardless of ability, deserves a chance to enjoy their childhood, and ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY Day at the Beach’ will provide that opportunity for children in East Fishkill. County Executive Molinaro has set the example with his ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ efforts, and I applaud the Town of East Fishkill for answering the call to welcome every individual of every ability.”
Red Wing Lake also includes a bath house with restrooms and showers, a first-aid office, a concession stand, basketball, volleyball, badminton, playground, fishing, swim lanes, picnic areas and a pavilion.