Hot Dog Picnic

A hot dog

“Democratic informality” returned to the Hudson Valley as the Foundation hosted a tented fundraiser at Top Cottage in honor of the 79th anniversary of the famous Royal “hot dog” picnic at the site in 1939.

The buffet-style menu, prepared by local chef Charles Fells, Jr. of The Artist’s Palate in Poughkeepsie, took its cue from the original culinary choices made by FDR and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and included a salad whose main ingredients were picked from the newly restored two-acre home garden managed by the National Park Service on the Roosevelt property, with funding from the Foundation.

Some 70 guests attended the commemorative picnic, which began with light refreshments, vintage musical selections, and Ranger-guided tours of Top Cottage, the modest Dutch colonial home President Roosevelt designed as a retreat for himself, apart from his mother’s house at Springwood and Eleanor’s Stone Cottage at Val-Kill. Though FDR didn’t survive the war to live there, he hosted numerous events and dignitaries at Top Cottage while in the White House – the first being the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at the end of their whirlwind US tour to affirm “the special relationship” between Britain and America.

The Greenway Conservancy for the Hudson Valley is a public benefit corporation that was established in part to facilitate and support the creation of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Trail System. Twelve miles of trails serve to connect the four prominent historic sites in the Town of Hyde Park: Vanderbilt Mansion, the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Presidential Library, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill, and Top Cottage. These twelve miles of trails are part of the Hyde Park Trail system and are designated Greenway Trails. We are so thankful for their support of this project.

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CAITLYN GERMINARO is a Human Services professional whose passion is supporting and advocating for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Caitlyn is a Senior Program Coordinator for a non-profit organization serving people with disabilities and partnering with communities across the Mid-Hudson Valley. In 2022, Caitlyn received a CP State Annual Conference Staff Recognition Award. She also received the 2023 Leadership Dutchess Community Advocate Award and is a graduate of the Leadership Dutchess program. Caitlyn holds a BS from the College of Saint Rose and an MS from Walden University. A golfer, gardener, and sunset enthusiast, she lives in Red Hook, NY, with her husband and their two dogs.

DAVID SCHWARTZ Born in 1951, David grew up in New York City. In 1972, he received his B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance. Following graduation, David began his career with Mikasa, a leader in the Tableware and Housewares industry – first in sales, then in management and as a company principal. Following the company’s initial public offering on the NYSE, David retired from the firm in 1996 and has since made his livelihood as a private investor. Recently, he’s become an active member of the Hudson Valley Start-up Fund, an Investment group that seeks to enable a stronger business ecosystem for entrepreneurs in the Hudson Valley region.

David lives at “Windridge”, a 130 acre former dairy farm (now mostly forested), in Hyde Park, New York. The land adjoins the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site.

David serves on the Boards of several Hudson Valley non-profits, including the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, the Vassar Haiti Project, and the Mid-Hudson chapter of Mensa.

FDR Hyde Park Foundation Symbol

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