Chamber Foundation Announces Mentorship Opportunities and Ball Drop Fundraiser

In June, participants in The Chamber Foundation Student Mentorship Program attended their final session and graduation at Bounce in Poughkeepsie.

The program was developed as a collaborative effort between the Chamber Foundation and the Workforce Development Center at the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce. The partnership provides students in the Poughkeepsie High School Career Action Center and the Youth One Stop program with mentors from the local business community.

The mentors share their career expertise, offer goal-setting tips, help find solutions to the students’ academic challenges, guide the students in developing strong organizational and leadership skills and serve as role models. The process proved rewarding for this year’s mentors and mentees alike.

Participants look at art with their mentor at the Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz in February

“I enjoyed working with the Poughkeepsie High School youth and learning more about their aspirations in life,” said Candice Brown, assistant athletic director and head women’s basketball coach at Vassar College, who served as a program mentor and helped kick off the program as the opening speaker at Vassar. “It was nice to have the opportunity to share my experience with the students and hopefully help them achieve their goals.”

The program included a series of monthly mentoring sessions in which small groups of students met with their mentors for a variety of activities, including a campus tour of Vassar College in January, a tour of the MakerBot Innovation Center and The Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz in February, a Construction Career Day at Rockland Community College in March, a campus tour of Mercy College in April and a Golf Mentoring Program at Vassar Golf Course in May. To qualify for the graduation session at Bounce, students were required to attend at least three of the mentoring sessions. The initial six-month program was sponsored by TD Bank.

“We were proud to partner with Poughkeepsie High School as well as the Workforce Development Center in helping the students experience the world outside their everyday lives,” said Nicholas Shannon, executive director of the Chamber Foundation. “We look forward to continuing and expanding this mentorship program starting in September.”

The next mentorship program will start in September and run through June. The program will serve up to 50 youth per year through June 2017 with the support of the Dyson Foundation.

Want to become a mentor? Contact Nicholas Shannon at 845-454-1700 ext. 1026 or email

Also!! Joint chamber mixer/helipcopter ball drop happening August 5th.. Baseballs are $10.

  • $2000 grand prize
  • Drop happens after the game is over. Closest ball to target wins.
  • No limit to number of balls that can be purchased (By August 5th)
  • Winners do not have to be present to win
  • A game ticket and ball are just $15 on August 5th by visiting and entering the password “balldrop2015.” 

Home Run Helicopter Drop sponsors include Meyer Contracting Corporation; Cobeso Incorporated; Hudson Cadillac Buick GMC; Hudson Valley Renegades; Independent Helicopters; Integrated Enterprise Solutions; LCS Companies; Legion Fireworks; N&S Supply; People’s United Bank; Phelps Memorial Hospital Center and Vanacore, DeBenedictus, DiGovanni and Weddell.

2014 Home Run Helicopter Drop

Headlining photo: Mentorship program participants learn how to play golf at Vassar Golf Course in May (provided)