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Cowpokes dance, raise funds for Astor - Poughkeepsie Journal

May 10, 2014 Emily Stewar - Poughkeepsie Journal

RHINEBECK – Folks donned bandanas, plaid shirts and cowboy hats for a boot-stomping, country Western-themed fundraiser.

Astor Services for Children & Families hosted a night of line dancing Saturday at its Rhinebeck headquarters.

About 100 people attended. Tickets cost $75 for adults and $50 for students. The event was estimated to net the organization about $8,000, said Astor Executive Vice President Sonia Barnes-Moorhead.

While the government funds about 90 percent of Astor's roughly $52 million budget, private donations such as those raised Saturday night help "fill in the gaps," she said.

"The kids love to fish. We buy fishing poles, take them on fishing trips. That's an example of some of the things we think are important for kids to have," she said.

Beacon resident Marty Miller, 55, came to the line dance with his wife, Susan, 56.

"It's for the kids," he said. "These kids are having a rough time and there are very few places that take care of them."

Astor serves more than 6,000 children and their families each year in Dutchess, Ulster and Orange counties, as well as the Bronx. Its services include residential programs for children with severe behavioral and mental health challenges, early childhood programs, and outpatient mental health services, Barnes-Moorhead said.

Astor Executive Director James McGuirk thanked supporters and welcomed a group of about a dozen children who live at the Rhinebeck facility, who showed off some country dance moves — and smiles — during a short performance at the event.

"They were absolutely joyful," said Wappingers Falls resident Paulette Maggiacomo, who came to the fundraiser with her husband, Jim. "They were so proud of themselves."

Emily Stewart: 845-437-4882; estewart@poughkeepsiejournal.com;Twitter: @estwrt

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