The New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce held a grand Retirement Bash on Sunday, May 6, 2012 in honor of its retired president, Joyce Minard. The event, which was held at Mohonk Mountain House, celebrated Ms. Minard’s legacy of service to the Hudson Valley community in regal style.

The evening began with cocktails in the Pavilion, featuring a live performance by the Bernstein Bard Trio and a bounty of tastings from members of the Shawangunk Wine Trail, Tuthilltown Spirits and Gilded Otter Brewing Co. and two signature cocktails by Fox and Hound Wine & Spirits – the Firecracker and the Giggle (Venice Spritz), named for Ms. Minard – alongside hors d’ouvures by Aroma Thyme Bistro, Harvest Real Food Catering & Events, Henry’s Farm to Table at Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa, High Falls Café, Jamaica Choice Caribbean Cuisine and LaBella Pizza Bistro. Appetites whetted, guests moved into Mohonk Mountain House’s main dining room for a delightful appetizer of smoked duck breast and foie gras, and an extravagant entrée of roasted sea bass and local beef.

Retired New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce President Joyce Minard shares a moment with current President Michael Smith at the grand retirement bash celebrating Minard’s more than 30 years of service to the Hudson Valley Community.

Over desserts by Bridge Creek Catering and Moxie Cupcake, Ms. Minard’s contribution to the region was fêted with moving presentations by some of the people who know and love her best, emceed by Chamber board member Tom Edwards of Fox and Hound Wine & Spirits. Leading off the tribute, Ulster County Executive Michael P. Hein’s touching remarks culminated in the surprise announcement that May 7 was proclaimed Joyce Minard Day in Ulster County . Hein was followed by past Chamber board members Officer Scott Schaffrick of the New Paltz Police Department and Doug Thompson of Main Street Bistro; Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce President (and Ms. Minard’s ostensible brother) Charlie North; and Christine Crawfis, New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce Director of Marketing and Communications. All five presenters used their own experiences to highlight the ferocity of Ms. Minard’s unique spirit and the tenacity with which she has applied herself to the mission of improving the quality of life for all who live, work, play, worship and visit the Hudson Valley region. Wrapping up the program was the screening of a tribute video, recorded and edited by Dr. Gregg Bray and SUNY New Paltz Communications and Media students, after which there was not a dry eye in the house.

With the program completed, bidding began on the tremendous live auction item: a community gift basket valued at $4,000, included items and gift certificates contributed by Artco’s Copy Hut, Bodymind Massage Therapy, Center for Therapeutic Massage, Chronogram Magazine, Clear Channel Communications, Cumulus Broadcasting, Dedrick’s Pharmacy & Gifts, Essence Medi-Spa, Fox and Hound Wine & Spirits, the Fox Radio Group, Gadaleto’s Seafood Market, G. Steve Jordan Gallery, the Gold Fox Restaurant, Henry’s Farm to Table at Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa, Highland Manor B&B, Hudson River Cruises, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Hudson Valley Magazine, the Inn at Stone Ridge/Hasbrouck House, Jenkinstown Motors, Mike Arteaga’s Health & Fitness Centers, Mountain Brauhaus Restaurant, Mohonk Mountain House, Mohonk Preserve, and Village Tea Room. The live auction was called by emcee Tom Edwards, and the winning bid was made by Margie DeCicco and Ed Kort of KIC Chemicals, Inc. Attendees ended a spectacular night to remember by dancing the night away to Ms. Minard’s favorite band, Bill’s Toupee.

The Joyce Minard Retirement Bash could not have been possible without the dedication of the tireless planning committee: Tom Edwards of Fox and Hound Wine & Spirits (chair); Lydia Fitzgerald of Charmed Places; Frank Curcio of Bank of America/Merrill Lynch; Chris Drouin of Beyond Wealth Management; Robert Leduc of Mohonk Mountain House; Kathy Ferrusi of Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union; and Christine Crawfis of the New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce.

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