Story and photos by Carol Montana
MONTICELLO, NY (November 21, 2012) – On Thursday, November 15, the SYDA Foundation honored Thunder 102’s morning host, Paul Ciliberto, for his outstanding service to the community.
Established in 1986, the SYDA Foundation Community Service Award, honors Sullivan County citizens for “exceptional and ongoing service to the local community” and includes a grant of $5,000. Candidates are nominated and chosen by a committee of past award recipients and civic leaders from the community.
Located in the Town of Fallsburg since 1979. the SYDA Foundation is the not-for-profit organization that makes Siddha Yoga meditation available to students around the world.
Ciliberto is the morning co-host of Thunder 102 radio’s “Ciliberto and Friends.” The station is just one of many owned by Bold Gold Media.
On behalf of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Maggie Damon enumerated Ciliberto’s many charitable efforts, including: beginning a radiothon for The Families of Iraq and Afghanistan War Vets; organizing concerts and other fundraisers for Sullivan County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA); a recent concert to benefit the Allison Whitney and Brittany Miller Foundations; numerous “Blood Bowls” for the American Red Cross and Catskill Regional Medical Center; the YMCA of Sullivan County; Community Unity; GALA Catskills; the Sullivan County SPCA; the Boys and Girls Club of Sullivan County; Sullivan County RISE; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and many, many others.
“Every humanitarian act has a profound effect on the community,” said Damon. “Paul, we thank you for your golden voice, your generosity, your kindness, your hard work, your altruism …”
Ciliberto was unable to accept the award himself due to the passing of his mother, so accepting the award on his behalf was Vince Benedetto, founder, president and owner of Bold Gold Media, parent company of Thunder 102 and eight other stations.
In accepting the award, it was Benedetto who gave Ciliberto the title “Citizen Broadcaster,” remarking also on his employee’s “passion for radio and passion for service.”
Ciliberto will be donating back the $5,000 to various Sullivan County charitable organizations.
In addition to the SYDA Foundation Award, Ciliberto also received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman Maurice Hinchey “In recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community”; a Proclamation from NY State Assemblyman John Bonacic “Honoring Paul Ciliberto upon the occasion of receiving the 2012 SYDA Foundation Community Service Award”; and from Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, a Certificate “Honoring Paul Ciliberto – 2012 Recipient of the SYDA Foundation Community Service Award.”
The 27th Annual Award presentation was hosted by the Sullivan County Legislature at their November monthly meeting.