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Dutchess County to Host 7th Annual ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ Picnic
Circus midway theme and acts highlight July 23rd event in Pleasant Valley

Published: 6/28/2019

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus, (845) 486-2000                                                            

cpillus@dutchessny.gov

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro invites children and young adults with disabilities, their families and support agencies to the County’s seventh annual ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ Picnic on Tuesday, July 23rd, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cady Field, 1554 Main Street in Pleasant Valley. The picnic is free for all, but reservations are required and can be made online at dutchessny.gov/picnicrsvp.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Hundreds of residents of all abilities and their families have come to enjoy the care-free day of fun, entertainment, food and music our ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ picnics bring them each year, and our 2019 picnic will be no exception. Dutchess County Government proudly collaborates with our community partners to provide this inclusive event, and others like it, to demonstrate our commitment to ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ about our friends and neighbors living with disabilities. We’re honored to offer these events year-round and provide a supportive environment for every individual of every ability.”

The picnic is the result of collaboration between multiple Dutchess County Government departments, including Community & Family Services, Public Works, Behavioral & Community Health, the Office for the Aging, and the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office. Other community organizations, including Taconic Resources for Independence, Little Brays of Sunshine and Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue, as well as the Town of Pleasant Valley, have also collaborated with the County to make this year’s picnic a success.

Among the additions to this year’s picnic is a circus midway theme. Westchester Circus Arts will create an interactive midway, including professional jugglers, stilt walkers, and carnival games for attendees of all ages and abilities.

The lunch menu will include a gluten-free options, as well as picnic fare, with sandwiches, potato and pasta salads, watermelon, chips and brownies, among other options.

The annual “ThinkDIFFERENTLY” Picnic is made possible through donations from the community. This year’s sponsors include Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, MidHudson Regional Hospital, New Horizons Resources, Dave's Tree Service, Royal Carting, Baright Enterprises - Foam & Wash, Wappingers Congress of Teachers, Williams Lumber & Home Centers, Greystone Programs, Blue Path Service Dogs, Access Supports for Living, Barton & Loguidice and Rhinebeck Animal Hospital.

County Executive Molinaro conceived the “ThinkDIFFERENTLY” initiative in 2015 as a way of fostering a more welcoming and inclusive community for individuals all abilities. Dutchess County has since taken numerous steps to “ThinkDIFFERENTLY,” including holding events such as the annual picnic for children with special needs and their families and expanding education and employment opportunities. Since 2016, more than 100 communities throughout New York State have adopted “ThinkDIFFERENTLY” resolutions, pledging to offer a supportive environment to residents of all abilities.

More information about the initiative is available at thinkdifferently.net. The site offers simple navigation through the comprehensive array of local services available to residents with special needs and their families. It also serves as a resources to connect families to resources, information and community events to enhance the lives of individuals with special needs.