The ThinkDIFFERENTLY Initiative, originating back in 2015 by County Executive Molinaro, was designed to change the way that communities relate to their neighbors with varying abilities.  According to, more than 100 communities throughout the state, and several across the US, have adopted some sort of ThinkDIFFERENTLY resolution that pledges to foster a more welcoming and inclusive environment for residents and visitors with special needs.

Here in the Hudson Valley, let's get ready for ThinkDIFFERENTLY Field and Fun Day on July 22nd, to be held at Bowdoin Park.  This free event requires pre-registration, will kick off at 11am, and includes various field games, fitness activities and attractions, free lunch, and will highlight the health of people of all abilities.  Registration/RSVP should be completed by Friday July 16th.

The events on the 22nd will be held at Bowdoin's lower soccer fields, adjacent to Pavilion 1.  Participants will be treated to the Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue and Bee Bee the Clown on site.  The event will be held completely outdoors, and masks or face coverings are NOT required, regardless of vaccination status, for attendees.

This is not the first ThinkDIFFERENTLY associated event in the Hudson Valley.  Since 2013, there's been an annual picnic for residents with special needs, and in 2016 Dutchess County hosted a ThinkDIFFERENTLY Dash/Run/Walk through Poughkeepsie.

There are also plans for a ThinkDIFFERENTLY Thursday at the Dutchess County Fair on August 26th, the fifth time that The Dutchess County Government and Dutchess County Agricultural Society will offer early entry for those with special needs, and a special midway setup with no flashing lights or loud music during the morning.

More information about the event, including registration details, can be found here.  Bring the family out for summer fun, field games, fitness activities, free bagged lunch picnic and metals for all participants.

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