in Ulster County, The Community Guide, Hudson Valley, New York NY

United Way of Ulster County, NY

COVID 19 Resources - New York, NY

Ulster Savings Bank

Welcome to Ulster County, NY And Beyond!

Whether you live here, need local resources, or are planning a visit to the area,
you will find that Ulster County and the Mid-Hudson Valley region have so much to offer!
Welcome, Explore and Enjoy!

A Note From the Publisher...

Alas, after over 21 years of serving the community, and with a full heart and gratitude, this online resource - in Ulster County, NY & Beyond, published by First Connections, Inc., will be retired at the end of 2021.

Over the years, so much great information had been accumulated and organized!

While we have taken down most of the web pages, this Home page will stay up through 2021 and includes Quick Clickable Links (on the left panel) plus logos/ads for easy reference to some important and helpful community resources as well as to some of our generous Supporters, which when clicked on will link directly to their websites.

We hope that you will find this new web page to be a great resource, in and of itself. has always endeavored to be "Your First Connection to the Resources, Businesses and Services in Your Community"! And that is obviously still true!

We will be upkeeping this page throughout 2021, so feel free to bookmark it and visit us often!

If you come across any additional broad topic resource link suggestions that you think we might like to know about, please reach out to us via email.

What an honor and privilege it has been to get to know and work with so many of the people, businesses and organizations in our glorious mid-Hudson Valley, NY region, and have the opportunity to provide what we hope and think was/is a useful resource in this community.

Ours has been a sweet journey... evolved over 21 years (Est. December 1999) when it started by offering a wonderful little program to welcome new residents to northern Ulster County, NY, known as "The Welcome Connection" (later known as "First Connections", and also as "Community & Family Guide", before finally becoming
The Welcome Connection offered a binder with info on community information and services, and discount coupons, and little gifts from local businesses (supporters), plus lots more, all placed in a tote bag with our supporters' logos on it, and delivered directly to the residents' new homes/apartments with a welcoming bouquet of flowers (supported by our wonderful participating florists). It was a really lovely and personal program!

At that time, we worked primarily with Realtors and apartment complexes in northern Ulster County. There were also a lot of weekly trips to the Ulster County Real Property offices in Kingston, as well as a lot of phone calls to welcome new residents and help answer any questions they might have. They were very appreciative!

The real estate agents had then requested if it was possible to have the info that was presented in the binder, made available to give to all of their clients, not just the new residents, as people were moving from one community to another within the county, and this information was a very helpful intro to familiarize themselves with the various townships and resources and questions that come up time and time again (like what to do with the garbage and recycling, or what lessons & enrichment activities are available, or what kids birthday party options are available, etc.).

So we later moved into creating a beautiful 65-page print publication (with color cover) of local resources for the Ulster County, NY area, which included lots of information about each of the townships, all the schools and lessons and day camps and birthday party options, and events & happenings, plus we included a great deal of information for people in need, heavily used by therapists as a resource of human services to reference (they used to call it their bible!). And, we verified things annually so the information was current and viable.

All of our efforts were solely supported by local business and services who wanted to advertise or sponsor us while being able to introduce themselves to new residents and people exploring the various communities. We were very fortunate to have some great support and we made long lasting friendships along the way.

Eventually we moved into primarily becoming an online venue, which, for a long while, included most of the schools & pre-schools, enrichment classes, day camps, and kids birthday party options offered throughout Ulster County, NY, plus township details, lots of events happening in several counties, human service resources, plus additional helpful information, and, of course, details on our business supporters and sponsors. Being an online resource helped us to keep current with any changes that might happen.

We also printed beautiful little promotional pieces with tidbits of good info from the website for people to hold onto, and then we distributed them around the various communities and at venues and trade shows to let people know who we were, and to check us out online.

Stacie Flint
was a tremendous and generous supporter in allowing us to use her whimsical colorful artwork for many of our print covers and she even produced some original drawings for inside a few of our publications, just for us! So great!!

Additionally, for a long while we also offered a weekly E-Newsletter which included lots of non-profit community outreach, as well as news/happenings from some of our supporters.

Plus, we helped collect gifts from wonderful local businesses to support caregivers attending caregiver events, in appreciation of all that caregivers do to help those they tirelessly and respectfully care for. (A special thank you to Colleen - couldn't have made those efforts happen without you!)

I was a very proud mama for the work we were doing, the relationships we had forged, and the amazing and conscientious team we had put together to do the research and verify the details so that we could offer a true resource (Bernie, Sue, Rochelle, Lynda, India, and Charlotte, just to mention a few of the team I could totally count on to provide the best work ethics, integrity, capabilities, and fun!).

The response from the community and supporters was lovely. And that was very fulfilling. After all, this was really a labor of love.

Ultimately, COVID got in the way for us and for many of the businesses and organizations in the area.

But what a beautiful ride it has been for I thank you to those who took the ride with us! Who knows what the future will hold.

Wishing you all peace, good health, lots of laughter, and...
enjoy our beautiful communities!!

With much appreciation,

Gail Kandel

Some of our early print publications and later print brochures:


2014 - It's All About Community, In & Around Ulster County, NY    Festivals & Events & Community - August 2013 - Feb 2014    2013 Explore Ulster County, NY!       Great Gift Ideas, serving Ulster County, Dutchess County, Hudson Valley NY


COVID-19 Breakthrough Data For NYS

NYS Excelsior Pass
Provides Digital Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination or Negative Test Results

COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline For
Scheduling Vaccination Appointments For Eligible New Yorkers
1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829)

Ulster County COVID-19 Vaccination Resource Center

Local Pharmacies Vaccinating Seniors Over Age 65 Years

COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs

Ulster County COVID-19 Cases Dashboard

Ulster County COVID-19 HOTLINE: 845-443-8888

Updates From Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan

Dutchess County Coronavirus Information HOTLINE:  845-486-3555

Dutchess County COVID-19 Cases Dashboard

Orange County, NY Information:

NYS COVID-19 Vaccination Information

NYS Coronavirus Information HOTLINE: 1-888-364-3065

Persons Tested Positive To COVID-19 By County

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)


NY Governor (sign up for daily COVID-19 updates via email):
Sign Up To Receive Email Updates From the River


NYS Dept. of Labor - Unemployment Insurance Info:


Holistic Health Community

Nana's Creative Cafe in Woodstock, NY
MAC Fitness, Kingston NY

H Houst & Son Inc., Woodstock NY

Town & Country Liquors

Art Party Central Virtual Art Parties
Saugerties Chamber of Commerce - Discover Saugerties NY

HITS Horse Shows In The Sun in Saugerties NY
Fall for Art

Hudson Valley Sunrooms / Four Seasons Sunrooms, Port Ewen/Kingston and Beacon NY
Ulster County Habitat for Humanity - ReStore

RCAL - Resource Center for Accessible Living
Breast Cancer Options, Kingston, NY

Center for Spectrum Services

Stacie Flint, Expressionist Paintings and Portrait Commissions

Moondance Ridge Bed and Breakfast of New Paltz
Veillette Guitars - Woodstock, NY - 845-679-6154

MAC Fitness, Kingston, NY
 | published by First Connections Inc.
P.O. Box 42, Woodstock, NY 12498 | 845-679-0569 | Facebook page

DISCLAIMER: Please note that while we appreciate the patronage of our Advertisers, and
we encourage you to support their businesses, we would like all users to know that
these supporters, and all listed on this page, are independent businesses and we cannot
assume any responsibility for their goods or services rendered. We urge you to perform
your own due diligence before transacting with any business or relying on any of their expertise. In addition, while every effort has been made to assure the accuracy and dependability of all materials and links on this page, it is expressly limited by and subject
to errors, omissions and changes. No representations or warranties are intended herein.
The liability of this publication is hereby limited and users hereby assume all normal risks.

All Contents Copyright© 2021 by First Connections, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of the publication or website may be reproduced, stored or
transmitted, in any form or by any means (mechanical, electronic, copying, or otherwise),
without the prior written permission of the Publisher.