Rotarians who boarded the Pride of the Hudson in support of the Hope For Youth Foundation (HFY). This group was among 110 HFY supporters who enjoyed a beautiful day on the Hudson while supporting HFY charities.

Hope For Youth Partnership with Peekskill Rotary Continues Growth to Meet Children’s Needs

After 25 years of selling calendars to raise funds to meet the needs of children in the Hudson Valley through his Hope For Youth Foundation, Jim Witt was looking to scale back his leadership. Despite his young appearance and igorous
life style, he didn’t feel he could continue the extraordinary challenges required to keep the foundation moving forward.
But giving up on Hope For Youth (HFY) was not in his DNA. Since he and his wife Nancy created the foundation in 1984, HFY raised and contributed more than $2,000,000 to more than 100 youth-oriented charities in the Hudson Valley and to scholarships for college students from the area.
To make that possible, he and volunteers sold some 20,000 long term weather calendars each year. The accuracy of his daily weather predictions is unrivaled. Even national government forecasters consult him.
These calendars—noted as much for their beauty as for their weather accuracy—always featured Hudson Valley photos donated by noted photographer Joe Deutsch. The photos attracted Hudson Valley supporters and calendar buyers throughout the country.
To cease publication and stop raising funds for youth in need was troubling to Jim. As it was to members of Peekskill Rotary who sold HFY calendars to help raise funds at its annual Horse Show & Country Fair. Among these Rotarians were Sybil Canaan, Larry DeNoia, Pete Goodale, Charlie Gruetzner and Joe Hooke—and later joined by Cliff Heaton, John Weeks and Jim Martin—who were elected members of the HFY board. Since 2008 these Rotarians along with key support from Keith Bobolia and Don Bennett helped insure that Hope For Youth would not cease its caring and support for young people in the years ahead.
Since then Hope For Youth has continued to grow, raising and distributing some additional $950,000 not only from calendar sales but also from a new golf outing and boat ride.
The 2016 calendar features photos by Jack Callaghan, Rotarian Howard Copeland and Vincent Ferraro. Copies are now available at businesses throughout the Hudson Valley.
Help keep Jim’s dream of hope live on. Buy a 30th Anniversary issue at the Rotary Horse Show while you’re here and know that the $8 price is contributing to non-profit organizations that provide essential services to young people in need throughout Peekskill, Cortlandt and the Hudson Valley.