Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Monticello, NY – Catherine “Cat” Scott is the kind of person who doesn’t mind having her face plastered with pie – and then plastering that image all over social media! But hey, it was for a good cause – it always is.
“There’s no shame in my game!” says this irrepressible Hortonville resident. “I am a big advocate for Sullivan County. Basically, if someone needs help and they call me and I have the time, I do it!”
That mindset shapes her volunteer undertakings, like the Jeffersonville JEMS (Jeffersonville Enhances More of Sullivan, a Sullivan Renaissance group), and paid efforts, including serving as an addiction counselor for a drug rehab center and currently as a sales representative for Delaware River Solar, a local company.
She believes in its mission, as she does in everything she takes on: “By using energy from a solar farm, you’re reducing your carbon output by about 12,000 pounds a year!”
An unapologetic optimist, Cat has always seen the good in Sullivan County. Born in New York City, she came to the Town of Fremont as an infant, ultimately graduating from the former Delaware Valley Central School in Callicoon. She eventually returned to the city as an adult, working for a law firm in Manhattan.
“I didn’t grow up in the city, but I’m very comfortable in it,” she affirms. “I’ve used that to my advantage.”
Yet the call of the countryside has repeatedly brought her back to Sullivan County, from finishing her liberal arts degree at SUNY Sullivan to taking care of her mom after a traumatic brain injury. Through those challenges, she sought work wherever she could find it, often in local stores as what she amusedly calls “a substitute shopkeeper.”
“I ‘freelanced’ for 13 years,” Cat recalls. “I started just doing stuff to see if I liked it. And I found out that what I liked most was helping people.”
While that’s perhaps most prominently manifested in her current presidency of the Jeffersonville JEMS – which continues to lead a downtown renaissance – she’s a deeply appreciated volunteer at Western Sullivan Public Library book sales and a valued fundraiser for Rocky’s Refuge, a group focused on rescuing and finding foster families for (you guessed it!) cats. In fact, she hopes to expand those cat rescue efforts across Sullivan County.
Cat and her boyfriend, Brock Lady, are also beloved for their spectacular Halloween celebrations at their Hortonville home, which attracts folks from far and wide.
“People love coming to town to see it,” she nods. “It’s like a little bit of a block party!”
Her latest effort? Starting a free library at the Delaware Valley Job Corps Center in Callicoon.
“If people want to donate books,” she notes, “I’m more than willing to take them!” (Give her a call at 845-701-1020 if interested.)
Her goals may seem expansive, but Cat is ever on the lookout for more ways to help Sullivan County. “You don’t have to change the world,” she says. “You just have to change your world.”
“And for that attitude alone, she deserves praise,” observes District 5 Legislator Terri Ward, in whose district Cat resides and who today presented Cat with the Legislature’s latest Distinguished Citizen Award. “I am so grateful our community is home to someone as caring, selfless and positive as Cat Scott!”
“She is just the kind of person we seek to recognize and honor every month,” adds Legislature Chairman Luis Alvarez. “While there are many well-known names making a difference in Sullivan County, there are just as many citizens ‘flying under the radar,’ and we seek to promote their inspiring efforts. We want people like Cat Scott to know how much we appreciate what they do!”
To nominate someone for the Legislature’s Distinguished Citizen Award, contact Director of Communications Dan Hust at email@example.com.
Cat Scott took a pie in the face during the recent Jeffersonville Jamboree to benefit Jeffersonville JEMS, a Sullivan Renaissance group of which she is president. Her fundraising efforts, however, extend all across western Sullivan County.
The Legislature’s Distinguished Citizen Award for September was given to Hortonville resident Catherine “Cat” Scott in honor of her tireless fundraising and community organizing efforts. From the left are Legislator Alan Sorensen, Legislature Chair Luis Alvarez, Legislator Mark McCarthy, Legislator Joe Perrello, Legislator Ira Steingart, Cat Scott, Legislator Terri Ward, Legislator Scott Samuelson, Legislator Catherine Owens and County Manager Josh Potosek.