CASTELLI GOES EQUESTRIAN TO HELP LOCAL RIDERS
30th Annual Pegasus Riding Event Showcases Special-Needs Riders
Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli (R, C – Goldens Bridge) attended the 30th Annual Pegasus Riding Show at Coker Farm in Bedford this weekend. The event provides equestrians with special needs an opportunity to showcase the riding talents earned over the course of a yearlong program in a unique and welcoming environment.
“The Pegasus program provides important therapeutic treatment to individuals of all ages and who are both physically and developmentally challenged,” said Castelli, a long-standing advocate for developmentally disabled New Yorkers. “Riding horses offers both physical and mental therapy while providing students with a unique and exciting experience in a safe environment.”
For nearly 30 years, the Pegasus Riding Academy has provided equine-assisted activities overseen by instructors certified in therapeutic riding. The program serves riders ranging in age from 18 months old (early intervention) to 85 years old (stroke recovery) with numerous physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral disabilities.
“The high point of this busy weekend was the opportunity to award these young riders their medals,” Castelli said. “Each one was given a medal and told they were a champion. The tremendous work that Pegasus does reminds us that all of us are capable of doing anything, if we try hard enough.”
Assemblyman Castelli also noted that equine-assisted therapy is unique, using the movement of the horse to facilitate treatment. According to the Pegasus Riding Academy, the horse and its movement closely resemble a human gait because it is three dimensional, repeatable, and helps the brain and muscle groups to learn to work together. Riding also stimulates the rider’s brain and neurological system in order to help riders with developmental delays, socialization skills, and disorders such as autism.
“This riding showcase is a terrific event that provides riders and spectators with hours of exceptional riding,” said Castelli. “This worthwhile program should be replicated throughout the state to help more people, especial children, who are living with developmental disabilities.”
During the event, Assemblyman Castelli praised Coker Farm’s owners, the Richter family, for their help in hosting the Annual Pegasus Riding Show.
CASTELLI ANNOUNCES ITALIAN-AMERICAN SCHOLARSHIP
WINNER FROM 89th ASSEMBLY DISTRICT
Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli (R, C – Goldens Bridge) was happy to announce that Angela Falisi of White Plains has been named a 2011 receipient a the New York Conference of Italian-American State Legislators scholarship.
The Conference has awarded four $1,500 scholarships (two academic and two athletic) to student applicants from around the State.
“As a former College Professor, I was pleased to recommend Angela, whose strong academic achievements, coupled with her community involvement, and overall commitment to excellence, made her one of the most qualified candidates I have seen,” Castelli said. “Her commitment to excellence reflects great credit upon herself, and the 89th Assembly District.”
Falisi, a student at Cornell University majoring in Biology and Society, will receive the academic scholarship.
“The Conference of Italian-American State Legislators has provided a terrific opportunity for Italian-American students to receive a scholarship to assist them with the cost of paying for college,” Castelli said. “A college degree will open many doors in life, but is also expensive. Next year I will continue to encourage students in and from my district to apply for the scholarships as a way to secure financial assistance to help offset the rising costs of a higher education.”
Each State Legislator was allowed to recommend two students, one athletic and one academic, from their district for a chance at one of the scholarships. Falisi was first recommended by Castelli from a pool of dozens of applicants, and later selected by the Conference Chairman, Senator Joseph Griffo, from amongst a pool of over a hundred applicants.
ASIAN AMERICAN HERITAGE FESTIVAL WELCOMES CASTELLI
Assemblyman notes contributions of Westchester’s Asian-American community
Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli (R, C – Goldens Bridge) today attended the 13th Annual Asian American Heritage Festival, the largest event in Westchester County celebrating the cultural contributions of New Yorkers of Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Japanese, Malaysian, Burmese, and Indonesian descent. Organized by the Organization of Chinese and Americans’ Westchester and Hudson Valley chapters, the festival took place from noon to 6 p.m. at the Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla.
“Asian Americans have added to our social, cultural, and economic fabric here in the Empire State, particularly in Westchester County,” Castelli said. “I recently introduced a resolution in the State Assembly praising the festival’s organizers for their support of our Asian communities, and I remain committed to advocating for the issues which most affect our Asian-American friends and neighbors here in Westchester County.”
During the event, Castelli had the opportunity to present a copy of Assembly Resolution K436, to the organizers of the event. The resolution, which he cosponsored, memorialized Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim May 2011 as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month in the State of New York.
CASTELLI ATTENDS OPERATION COOKIE DROP
Girl Scouts program designed to benefit overseas military
Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli (R, C – Goldens Bridge) today attended the 2011 “Operation Cookie Drop” event, a program spearheaded by local Girl Scouts in an effort to provide free care packages to soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen serving abroad. The event occurred at the New York Armory in Valhalla.
“As a combat veteran, I can tell you that Operation Cookie Drop provides more than just care packages to our troops serving overseas,” Castelli said. “It also lets our fighting men and women know that, more than anything, their service has not been forgotten. A little piece of home delivered to you in the field can serve as a real and necessary morale boosts for soliders, sailors, Marines, and airmen alike.”
Castelli also helped at the event in 2010. The program ships boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to American servicemen and women serving overseas.
Last year, the region’s Operation Cookie Drop donated 47,500 boxes of cookies to be shipped to military personnel overseas. Volunteers and Girl Scouts from across the Hudson Valley are working to break last year’s record, by shipping thousands more boxes to U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and in military hospitals around the world.
For more information on how to get involved in Operation Cookie Drop, visit Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson website.