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Adrienne Citrin remembered as ‘inspirational force’

Ancramdale Neighbors Helping Neighbors Association board members are pictured with Adrienne Citrin Memorial Scholarship recipients in the Adrienne Citrin Gazebo. They are (l-r, back): Hila Richardson, Jane Moore, Laura Ponkos, Nancy Bryant, Glenda Rose, Jack Lindsay, Eric Wiener, Mike Sturdivant; (front), David Ditto, Annette Sturdivant, Mike Citrin, Leslie Boice, Alissa Cleveland, and Sydney Cleveland. Missing from photo is recipient Sarah Mason, and board member Jane Shannon. Photo by B. Docktor

ANCRAM—Adrienne Citrin had a long, dedicated career as a school teacher.

It seems appropriate that she now has an annual series of educational grants named in her memory: The Adrienne Citrin Memorial Scholarships.

Mrs. Citrin died earlier this year from a rare type of cancer at the age of 74.

From 2012 until her death, Mrs. Citrin served as president of the Ancramdale Neighbors Helping Neighbors Association (ANHNA) and was “a main inspirational force” for the grassroots, charitable efforts of this not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization, which relies on community contributions to provide: fresh food to several local families; grants to local students for higher education expenses and to adults for courses to improve their earning power; school supplies to children in need in three area school districts; holiday baskets for area families; and help, monetary or otherwise, during family emergencies, such as job loss or health crisis.

At a ceremony prior to the July 18 Ancram Town Board meeting, ANHNA Acting Board Chair Jack Lindsey told those gathered, Mrs. Citrin was “always generous with her time, determined, knowledgeable and strategic. She used every opportunity or challenge to help bring people together to improve the lives of others in need. And she did this all with modesty, compassion and humor.

“She was at her core an impassioned educator. Her teaching career informed her sensitivity with children, and her knack for identifying an effective, thoughtful way to help them. Many of us witnessed her working quietly and effectively behind the scenes, meeting with school social workers or a teacher to make sure that a struggling student got the extra attention they needed. If a child needed a home computer or extra tutoring to keep up, she somehow found the funding.”

For the past six years, ANHNA has provided higher education grants to help Town of Ancram students who graduate from high school and then attend an accredited college, community college, or vocational school.

Mr. Lindsey said, “it is most fitting that we honor the accomplishments and memory of this great woman and friend tonight by renaming the Neighbors’ Annual Educational Grants: the Adrienne Citrin Memorial Scholarships.”

These grants are intended to help students pay for food, clothing, books or transportation during the academic year, and they are based on need. To date, ANHNA has awarded 36 grants.

As a result of the many generous memorial gifts received in Mrs. Citrin’s honor, ANHNA was “thrilled to be able to increase the scholarships awarded this year to $2,000 for each recipient. Adrienne was always so proud of every awardee and their accomplishments, I am sure that this would have made her so very happy,” Mr. Lindsey noted.

Scholarship-winning students were invited to the Town Hall ceremony to be recognized for their achievements and to receive their grant certificate and checks.

Scholarships were awarded to:

• Leslie Boice, entering her second year of graduate school at Russell Sage College majoring in occupational therapy. She is on the dean’s list, is a member of the Psi Chi Honor Society and the Athenian’s Honor Society

• Alissa Cleveland, a teaching assistant at Taconic Hills working with at-risk students. She plans to return to graduate school for her special education certification

• Sydney Cleveland, a recent graduate of Pine Plains High School. She was an active participant in many high school organizations, is a strong member of her church, and a Red Cross-trained lifeguard. She will be attending Columbia-Greene Community College to study environmental science.

*David Ditto will graduate from Dutchess Community College with an associate’s degree in engineering. He plans to transfer to a four-year university to pursue a bachelor’s in civil engineering with a minor in power systems engineering. He has been on the President’s List and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa fraternity

• Sarah Mason is a senior at SUNY New Paltz where she will receive her elementary education degree with a concentration in history. Her goal is to continue her graduate work at SUNY to earn a master’s degree in special education. Sarah is also Ancram Kid’s Camp director.

• Annette Sturdivant is entering her second year at C-GCC. She is the first person and the first woman entering the new construction technology and carpentry program at the college.

To contact Diane Valden email

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