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August 30, 2019
For Release: Immediately
Central Hudson Sponsors "Back To School Brigade"
Benefits children of military service members

Children and their families stationed at the Air National Guard at Steward Air Field in Orange County were provided with backpacks and school supplies, offered through a sponsorship by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. in support of Operation Homefront’s Back to School Brigade.

"Central Hudson is pleased to once again support the Back to School Brigade to benefit military families at Stewart Air Field," said Denise D. VanBuren, Vice President of Public Relations at Central Hudson. “By sponsoring this initiative, we hope to make preparations for back-to-school a little easier for these families.  About 70 veterans are employed at Central Hudson, and we understand the sacrifices made by our military families in serving their country.”

Central Hudson's sponsorship provided 200 school backpacks. The supplies were distributed as part of the base’s Airman and Family Readiness Program’s “Moose” summer camp for children ages 5 to 15 (“Moose” refers to the sound of Boeing C-17 airplanes, which is a large military transport aircraft used at the airbase). Central Hudson employees and veterans James Rhoda and Kenneth Alonzo, who each served with the Marines and in the Navy, respectively, personally handed out the backpacks and supplies to the children at the airbase on Aug. 29, 2019.

“The Back to School Brigade offers military children an opportunity to come together as one community,” said Kelly Williamson, manager of the Airman and Family Readiness Program. “This gives them a sense of belonging because they see that the community cares about them. We are setting these children up for future success.” Williamson also explained that extra backpacks will be filled with daily essentials and donated to service members before they deploy.

Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong military families that can thrive in the communities they serve.  The Back-to-School Brigade is Operation Homefront's annual nationwide school supply collection and distribution campaign.

To learn more about Central Hudson's initiatives in support of the community, log onto For more information on Operation Homefront Back to School Brigade, visit; and to view additional photos of the Back to School Brigade event at Stewart Air Field, go to #operationhomefront#backtoschool#stewartairnationalguardbase.

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Top: Central Hudson employees and military veterans James Rhoda (top) and Kenneth Alonzo (middle) participated in the Operations Homefront Back to School Brigade by distributing backpacks and school supplies to children of families of the Air National Guard at Stewart Air Field.  Above: Central Hudson sponsored the event, in support of military families and their children at the air base.