Astor Services to get Val-Kill Medal award

Astor Services for Children & Families, the Rhinebeck-based nonprofit, will be one of six recipients of this year’s Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal Awards, which honor individuals and organizations that reflect the ideals of the former first lady.

The awards will be presented Sunday, Oct. 19, at a ceremony and luncheon at the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, where the former first lady lived after the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The awards are given annually to those who have made significant contributions in areas that were the focus of the work of Mrs. Roosevelt’s life, such as education, advocacy, social justice, public service and human rights.

The other 2014 honorees are: Diana Nyad, champion athlete, journalist and humanitarian; Geraldine Laybourne, advocate for women’s leadership and serial entrepreneur in media and technology; Nobel Laureate and Liberian peace activist Lehmah Gobowee; Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation; and Ambassador William J. vanden Heuvel, founder and chairman emeritus of the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy Inc., and former U.S. Ambassador to the European Office of the United Nations

“This is our opportunity to honor those who bring to life the values of Mrs. Roosevelt’s legacy,” said Chris Roellke, Val-Kill Board Chairman and Dean of the College at Vassar, in a news release. “This year’s medalists come from all walks of life and are role models for the global community.”

“On behalf of the children, board and staff of Astor, we are honored to be the recipient of the 2014 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal Award along with the other distinguished award recipients. We feel privileged to do the work we do on behalf of vulnerable children and families, carrying on Eleanor Roosevelt’s life’s work to educate and care for the well-being of children and families and to ensure that all children have a childhood,” said Jim McGuirk, executive director/CEO of Astor Services for Children & Families.

Tickets to the event, at $75 each, and sponsorship information are available at, or call 845-229-5302.

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