The Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber's July 2022 Nonprofit Newsletter
The Nonprofit Committee brings you a newsletter once a month that focuses specifically on the issues confronting nonprofit organizations including an educational article and an article highlighting a Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber member nonprofit.
Let Us Help You Get the Word Out!
Is your organization having a Gala? Fundraiser? Volunteer Recruitment Day?
Chamber member nonprofits please contact us
so we can publicize your event in this newsletter.

Hyper Local News an Your Organization

by Mary F. Foster

On June 21st, Bruce Apar, Editorial Director and Associate Publisher for River Journal and River Journal North, stressed the importance of local news media, print or on-line, as a credible source of information that is focused on the events and happenings in your community. Journalism, he reminds us, is intended to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Local media is the eyes and ears of the local community that help make truthful information accessible to the public. Local media help to hold local public officials accountable. Reductions in newspapers increase the local government’s borrowing costs.
Major portions of the country are uncovered geographical areas that have few or no news outlets and receive little coverage. These are news deserts or communities that are no longer covered by daily or nondaily newspapers. According to a study in 2018 by the UNC School of Media and Journalism, more than 1,300 communities in the U.S. are considered news deserts. Many other communities, while not technically a news deserts, are served by ghost newspapers. Of the 3,143 counties in the U.S., more than 2,000 no longer had a daily newspaper and 171 counties, with 3.2 million residents combined, had no newspaper at all.

These terms emerged after hundreds of daily and weekly newspapers were closed in the 2000s and the 2010s. The total number of newspapers fell from 8,891 in 2004 to 7,112 in 2018, a decline of 1,779 newspapers, including more than 60 daily newspapers. Of the remaining publications, an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 newspapers were considered ghost newspapers after scaling back their news coverage so much that they were unable to fully cover their communities. Although thousands of counties and communities have some media coverage, how much of that is really focused on their community.

Why does Hyper Local Media matter to you?
Residents and businesses in Westchester County have media options. But the kind of media you want, and are willing to support, becomes the critical question. There is county-wide and inch-deep news, Hudson Valley regional coverage, state-wide and national news, and international publications. But hyper local media is coverage that is relevant to where you live and the quality of life you enjoy.

News about down county communities, while interesting to read, does not inform you about what is happening at your local school board, city council or town board. It doesn’t cover local events and business news.

Hyper local media can go deep with its coverage but narrow in terms of geographic reach. It encourages civic engagement and can boost volunteerism and donations to local causes. With hyper local news, journalists are embedded in the communities, residents can be guest writers to provide a unique perspective, and the content can be both monthly and weekly, in print and on-line.

Hyper local news embody both community and citizen journalism. It can be positive, aspirational and lifestyle oriented. Citizens can send in notices of upcoming events.

Bruce outlined the hyper local publications available from River Towns Media that are pertinent to Peekskill. The River Journal North and the River Journal print media are monthly publications, with online updates at and on Facebook at RiverJournal. There are also hyper local podcasts on RiverTalk. There are also other hyper local media publications available from other publishers. It’s worth researching which might best meet your interests.

Using hyper local media to get out your message
With a focus on local communities, hyper local media can be an effective way to reach your audience. Publications are distributed by zip codes in the target market which enables micro marketing. Think about inserts for certain zip codes, advertising on streaming services that are targeted to hyper local viewers, and press releases and story pitches aimed at the hyper local viewer.

Consider who the hyper local media reaches and how you can tap into that audience to share the good stories about your organization and promote upcoming events. Have your media advisory at the ready…who, what, when, where and why.
Mary F. Foster is a member of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit Committee; Vice President of the Peekskill Rotary Foundations Board; Treasurer of The Field Library Board; a founding member of HVH2O; and a retired partner from Deloitte, an accounting and consulting firm. 
To request that your nonprofit be featured in this newsletter, please contact Lynn Amos at
To request an article about a specific topic, please contact Lucille Geraci-Miranda at
The Society of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel: Celebrating 100 Years!

by Lucille Geraci-Miranda

The Society of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was born in 1922. A nonprofit organization creating community and preserving tradition, it was created by a handful of immigrants from Calabria, Italy, many who came to work at the stone quarry and brick ovens on the Hudson. This Italian heritage social and civic club was established in honor of the parish in their hometown.
It's mission certainly boasts to their humble beginnings, “the aims of the Society shall be mutual assistance, the promotion and improvement of the intellectual, moral and economic welfare of its members and the inculcation of Liberty and Brotherhood."

With an Executive Board of seven and a dedicated Board of Directors who oversee the club, the Society supports many civic, religious, youth, veterans, and other local organizations. They are entirely a volunteer organization with no paid staff as it relies on its steadfast membership -- around 75 active members – to get the job done.

Even through the pandemic, The Society of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel stayed strong. But, like many nonprofits, the pandemic brought about some challenges for this century-old organization. “Between the lack of meetings and the inability to fundraise, there was the general feeling of being out of touch with the membership and community,” said Vince Tropiano, Board member and former president. But they pivoted with purpose and found new ways of working by giving specific tasks to people, and streamlining expenses to meet its needs not wants. “Being more aware of what is important,” continued Tropiano. “It’s not the size of the organization – it’s using the talent that you have wisely and asking for help.”

And that’s what has kept The Society of our Lady of Mt. Carmel going strong for 100 years! “In fact, my father was a founding member and my brother is the oldest and longest active member,” stated Tropiano.

Famous for its Italian Festival the third weekend in July since 1922, complete with sausage and peppers, the organization will celebrate its centennial anniversary! It’s the longest running Italian feast in the Hudson Valley and is home to the World's Largest Tarantella! 
The 100th Feast of Mt. Carmel commences on Sunday, July 10 with a “100 Years Celebration Mass” officiated by His Eminence Cardinal Dolan at 10:15 AM at St. Patrick's Church, 11th Street, Verplanck. The Feast, which takes place at 155 Highland Ave, Verplanck, opens after mass, and continues for eight nights of food, vendors, music, and tradition beginning at 6 PM. In honor of this centennial event, the organization will have a commemorative journal that will feature historic photos of the last century of its feast.

There is a jam-packed event calendar that goes through July 17 showcasing live music. Sunday begins with Sounds Familiar from 3 - 6 PM, followed on Monday with Austin Giorgio of The Voice performing at 7 PM. Tuesday brings rides and games on the field and DJ Bobby James from 6- 10 PM. On Wednesday, the Chairman’s Party takes place in the banquet hall with entertainment at 7 PM by The Hudson Valley Accordion Ensemble, followed by fireworks at 9:30.   Thursday brings DJ Tony Corda from 7 – 11 PM, and Friday follows with 6 String Country from 7:30 – 11. Saturday begins with the Fireman's Parade at 5 PM, followed by performances by Vanessa Racci from 6- 8 PM, and Butch Barbella’s Streets of the Bronx Band from 8 – 11 PM.

The 100th Feast of Mt. Carmel culminates on Sunday with an Italian mass and procession at noon, Mary Mancini & Mario Tacca performing from 7 – 9 PM, and DJ Capi entertaining from 9 – 11 PM. Fireworks will close the centennial celebration!

It’s guaranteed that a good time will be had by all!

To Donate to The Society of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
please send a check payable to:

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Society
PO Box 40
Verplanck, NY 10596
Lucille Geraci-Miranda, M.P.A. serves on the Board of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber Foundation, chairs the Chamber’s Nonprofit Committee and is President and Founder of Geranda Projects – Management Consulting for Nonprofits. Celebrating ten years of serving nonprofits, Geranda Projects is ready to offer its vast, integrated experience to help more nonprofits create a strong foundation and inspire them to reach their greatest potential, straight from the heart of their mission:
Tuesday October 18, 2022
Mary Lee of
Innovative Microsystems Consulting, Inc.
Protect Yourself from E-mail Phishing
Chamber office
1 South Division Street
Peekskill, NY 10566
Tuesday November 15, 2022
Rick Misrok of
Ace Pension Solutions, LLC
Retirement Benefit Options for Nonprofit Organizations
Hosted by
The Extended Family
352 US-202, Somers, NY 10589
Arts10566 Gateway Arts Collective Summer Dance Fest
July 16, 2022

Music Fest
Hosted by Peekskill Business Improvement District
July 23, 2022
Outdoor stage in downtown Peekskill
The Ozland Festival
Sponsored by Antonia Arts
August 6, 2022
Downtown Peekskill
Would you like to host an event for your nonprofit colleagues at your facility once COVID restrictions are lifted?

Please contact please contact Lucille Geraci-Miranda at
Do you have expertise to share with other nonprofits? Ask us about writing an educational article for this newsletter!

Please contact Lynn Amos with your ideas at

Follow the Chamber's Nonprofit Committee on Facebook:
The Chamber’s Nonprofit Committee provides meaningful opportunities for nonprofit staff, managers and board members to come together to collaborate, and embrace the importance of growth and sustainability. The Committee serves as a resource for ongoing professional development and as a forum for sharing best practices.

Committee Chairperson
Lucille Geraci-Miranda

Committee Members
Lynn Amos, Fyne Lyne Ventures
Mary F. Foster, HVH2O and The Field Library
Chereese Jervis-Hill, Events To Remember
Tim Warn, Civic Member
Justin Wingenroth, The Dance Conservatory