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Awards of Distinction Finalist Spotlight: Accessible Hospitality

Publish Date: 2020-05-29

What about your business / organization is inspiring to you?

Julie’s Jungle at Lime Kiln Park: Our inspiration comes from the people who inspire us, the people who use the playground. They include: the mother who sends us photographs of her partially blind daughter able to be the most independent she has ever been on a playground while at Julie's Jungle. The hand drawn sketch plans we received from elementary school students in Canada who heard about our playground and wanted to include their ideas for inclusion. The Physical Therapist who writes to tell us how she brings her patients to the playground for a fun PT environment. And there is nothing more inspiring than seeing the mother who is wheelchair-bound due to multiple sclerosis wheeling around the playground able to be alongside her children while they play. More now than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is experiencing the challenges that face so many people with disabilities on a daily basis. The challenge of the unknown, the absence of a social norm, not knowing what the future will bring. Those that face these challenges time and time again are the people who inspire us. 

Egg Hunts for All at Tymor Park: I appreciate the organizations willingness to do things to support families that have children with special needs. Not only have they allowed us to hold the egg hunt and joined in right alongside us, but they have also allowed local students to install universally accessible playground equipment for their senior capstone project at Arlington High School.

Roosevelt & Lyceum Cinemas: Keeping movie-going affordable for everyone. Offering cost effective advertising opportunities to other local businesses and fund-raising opportunities to charities and local youth activities as well as participation with other businesses in their charitable events.

How is your business / organization handling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Julie’s Jungle at Lime Kiln Park: Sadly, our playground is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19. The good news is that we are continuing to work on building the Julie's Jungle serenity garden which is going to be a 5,600 sq. ft. garden for all people of all abilities to enjoy alongside the playground. 

Egg Hunts for All at Tymor Park: Unfortunately, this pandemic has forced us to postpone our Egg Hunts for All this year. However, Tymor Park continues to be a great place to escape the house with all of the wonderful hiking trails they have to offer and the event hopes to be back again in the future!

Roosevelt & Lyceum Cinemas: Trying to provide a bit of escapism for folks who do not want to participate in the epidemic of fear by offering limited food service including the best popcorn in the Hudson Valley. We held a free lunch take-out for first responders in the Lyceum Cinema parking lot on Friday, April 10th with the cooperation of the Dutchess County Sheriff's office and local volunteers. Will be sending hot dogs, popcorn, soft drinks and candy to the Dutchess Co. Sheriff's office the 3rd week in April.  

What are your hopes for the future of travel in Dutchess County?

Julie’s Jungle at Lime Kiln Park: We knew that Julie's Jungle would be a wonderful place for local residents, but never did we realize just how far the word would spread. We're sure that Dutchess Tourism is a factor in helping to bring people to the playground, and we are grateful.  As a travel professional myself, I know that Dutchess County has so much to offer in the way of history, nature, and attractions and Dutchess Tourism does a great job of public relations and bringing people to Dutchess. My hope has always been to see more local tours for local residents, senior citizens, and families. While there are some, there are very few bus tours around Dutchess, or companies that offer them. There could be more wine tours, historic tours, nature tours, distillery/brewery tours, etc. Just like Julie's Jungle, it starts with the local residents and then it spreads. 

Egg Hunts for All at Tymor Park: I hope that people find Dutchess County to be a place that is inclusive to everyone.  There are so many wonderful treasures to visit and experience here. 

Roosevelt & Lyceum Cinemas: I hope that somehow we can attract a more diversified group. Perhaps a few from Kansas or West Virginia might be a breath of fresh air.! Our efforts should not be restricted to any metropolitan area. Money is important, but so is cultural and civic diversity.

 

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