Goshen gets a dog park, thanks to a Girl Scout with vision

Kelly Fellenzer's creation is an instant hit with Goshen's canines and their two-legged companions

Photos

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    Goshen Dog Park creator Kelly Fellenzer (center) is flanked by Phyla Wright, wife of the park's namesake, Paul E. Wright, on her right and the Village of Goshen Mayor Kyle Roddey and Julie Turi, daughter of Paul and Phyla Wright on her left. Kevin Armistead, chair of the Goshen Parks and Recreation Commission, is in the back. (Photo by Geri Corey)

 
  (l-r) Jim O'Donnell, (Rotary Club of Goshen NY, President-Elect), Kelly Fellenzer, John Fellenzer (Rotarian) and Kevin Armistead, chair of the Goshen Parks and Recreation Commission.

 

"I never imagined the support and assistance — time, money, effort — that I would receive. I’m speechless.”
Kelly Fellenzer

 

By Geri Corey

— Under a cloudless blue sky tinged with fall, dogs romped and played and ran up and down the hill at Goshen's Salesian Park on Route 207.

For seventeen-year-old Kelly Fellenzer, this day was a dream come true. Columbus Day, Oct. 10, marked the grand opening of the Goshen Dog Park, dedicated to the memory of Paul E. Wright — Goshen’s “Music Man.”

 

 

The dog park is Kelly's creation. She began working on her Girl Scout Gold Award project in late 2015. And after plenty of hard work, which included fundraising to offset construction costs, opening day had finally arrived. Kelly raised $15,000 for the project.

“I received a lot of support from the community," she said. "I never imagined the support and assistance — time, money, effort— that I would receive. I’m speechless.”

Resident Therese Urato is not a dog owner but came out to support Kelly’s efforts.

“Congratulations, Kelly," she said. "I know you’ve been working so hard, and I’m glad to see this project come to fruition. This is a great example of when young people set their minds to do something and do it.”

Although Kelly, a high school senior, hasn't finalized her future plans, she would like to be a veterinarian. She's considering the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.

Goshen Village Mayor Kyle Roddey had high praise for Kelly.

"You’re the driving force behind this project,” he said. “As you go off into the future and do things, this will always be here because of your vision.”

Calling it her “doggie day care,” resident Sue Armistead brings her son’s dog, Trek, to the park daily.

“I’m thanking Kelly for this beautiful addition to Goshen," she said. "I now have dog friends, as well as new people friends.”

 

Honoring Wright's memory

Julie Turi, daughter of park namesake Paul E. Wright, spoke on behalf of the Wright family, with his wife, Phyla, and other members in attendance. Wright, who died four years ago, was a well-loved music teacher and director at Goshen Central High School for 30 years, and an organist at the First Presbyterian Church of Goshen for 40 years.

Turi explained that, as a Goshen resident, her father would bring his dogs twice a day to Salesian Park. He’d get great pleasure from watching them run around the pond for their exercise.

Turi’s son and Wright’s grandson, Scott Turi, had wanted to do something to honor his grandfather. He saw donating to this project as the perfect way to do it.

”This was Scott’s way of giving to the community and honoring his grandfather, who loved walking his dogs here,” said Turi.

Giving her lots of comfort on this grand day — and behaving very nicely — was Kelly’s own dog Shadow, a Cavapoo, a crossbreed between a poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

“He’s a great dog, a great cuddlier,” Kelly said. “He’s a lap dog but never without energy.”

She knows he’s sure to have a lot of fun at the dog park. There is almost one acre of fenced-in land with four agility centers.

“This is a great day," said Kelly. "I didn’t expect so many people to come today. The dogs are so well behaved. This is happening just the way I hoped it would."

She said she feels more a part of the community now because of the correspondence, emails and letters that she has received.

"What started as a smaller scale park of a little less than one-half acre became a bigger project because people loved the idea and the fundraising took off," said Kelly. "Thank you to all.”

The park opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes after sunset.
 
NOTE: We donated $500 to the Park!
 
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