Ninth annual Gala celebrating New Paltz honors extraordinary volunteers

Jeffrey and Joanne Fredenberg of Hurley and Barbara Scherr of Newburgh
are recognized for their sustained commitment to volunteerism in the Hudson Valley

NEW PALTZ – SUNY New Paltz is proud to announce that Jeffrey and Joanne Fredenberg of Hurley, Ulster County; and Barbara Scherr of Newburgh, Orange County have been selected by the Gala Celebrating New Paltz Board of Directors as guests of honor at the ninth annual Gala Celebrating New Paltz. The Fredenbergs and Mrs. Scherr will be recognized for their significant and sustained commitment to volunteerism in the Hudson Valley at a ceremonious event on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011 at the renowned Mohonk Mountain House.

Proceeds from the Gala Celebrating New Paltz support a scholarship endowment that enables students from Ulster, Dutchess, Orange and Sullivan Counties to attend SUNY New Paltz. The Gala Celebrating New Paltz commences its ninth year with an endowment over $450,000. This year’s scholarship recipient is Thomas Plitsch ’14. A resident of New Paltz, Thomas hopes to one day inspire young minds as a mathematics professor. After experiencing financial hardship for many years in a single parent home, Thomas is most grateful to the donors of the Gala Celebrating New Paltz Scholarship for allowing him the opportunity to continue his studies at the place he calls home, New Paltz. Thomas has been awarded $1000 for the 2011-2012 academic year.

For Jeffrey and Joanne Fredenberg, volunteerism was instilled by them by their parents. Both families held leadership roles volunteering for non-profit organizations. During the frightening polio outbreak of 1952, Jeffrey’s father chaired the March of Dimes committee. Joanne’s father was a member of the Kingston Lions Club, and both he and Joanne’s mother were dedicated volunteer fundraisers for Saint Joseph Parish, Saint Ursula’s Academy, and Coleman Catholic High School. As life-long residents and business owners in Ulster County, it was a natural transition that Jeffrey and Joanne would continue that tradition.

Today, Jeffrey serves the local community as a director on numerous boards, including the Center for Spectrum Services, Gateway Community Industries, Mid-Hudson Chapter of the American Red Cross, and SUNY New Paltz School of Business, Business Advisory Council. He is also a member of Ulster County, New Paltz Regional and Middletown Chambers of Commerce. Joanne is past-Chair and current board member of the Kingston Hospital Foundation where she chairs the Gift Shop, 2012 Tulip Ball and Autumn Garden Party Committees. She serves as Chair of the American Cancer Society Ulster County Council, and is on the Board of The Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation at New Paltz. Joanne is a past Chair and Board Member of the Chamber of Commerce of Ulster County and Chair of the St. Ursula Academy Alumnae Association.

Barbara Scherr is a longtime community volunteer who currently serves on the boards of United Cerebral Palsy for New York State, the New York City region, and Orange County (Inspire) where she is past president. She established CUB’s Place, an organization for children in the Hudson Valley who are experiencing major crisis in their young lives, in memory of her husband Harry. CUB’s Place has grown to include five locations including Vassar Brothers Medical Center and St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital. Barbara was a founding board member of the Hudson Valley Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz. She currently serves on the boards of the Museum of the Hudson Highlands, Temple Beth Jacob, and the SUNY New Paltz Foundation. In 2008, Barbara and her late husband Harry were honored by the Orange County Citizens Foundation with the Ottaway Medal for more than 25 years of volunteer service and dedication to improving the quality of life in Orange County.

The Gala Celebrating New Paltz is a highlight of the fall social season. Mohonk Mountain House provides the ideal backdrop for an enchanting semi-formal event that begins with cocktails and hors d’oeuvre in the grand parlor. A silent auction provides an opportunity to win beautiful art, gift certificates, and even vacations that have been donated to the cause. Each year, Mohonk Mountain House chefs design a memorably themed four-course dinner that draws upon the finest local agriculture. The evening is crowned with dancing to the Hudson Valley’s #1 dance band, Bill’s Toupee.

Tickets to Gala Celebrating New Paltz are $175 per person $325 per couple. Sponsored tables of 10 are $1,750. This event has frequently drawn sold-out attendance in previous years. Tickets are on sale now at or by contacting the SUNY New Paltz Development Office at 845-257-3240 to purchase them. If you cannot attend the event, there are advertising sponsorship opportunities also available, which is an ideal way to congratulate our honorees and/or have your business or organization recognized. Please visit or call 845-257-3972.

Platinum Sponsors are Alpha Apple, Inc. and Campus Auxiliary Services. Gold Sponsor is The Kempner Corporation. Silver Sponsor is Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley. Bronze Sponsors are Empire State Bank, M&T Bank, Mohonk Mountain House, Viking Industries and Woodland Pond at New Paltz.