Meet Our November 2016 Hudson Valley Hero: William Kaplan

This WWII veteran is fostering futures in the Newburgh area

A World War II veteran and distinguished businessman, William Kaplan of Newburgh has spent the better part of his life giving back to the community as one of the area’s leading philanthropists.  It’s in recent years, however, that his passion for the local educational system has really come to shine.

Back in 2010, his ardent and enthusiastic efforts, organizing, and funding propelled the plans for the Newburgh Armory Unity Center to become an educational and social center for the city’s people. Former President and CEO of the NAUC, Deirdre Glenn, notes how Kaplan has especially “enabled us to make ready the basketball court, first floor classrooms and handicap accessibility in the Armory.”

But these days, as Founding Chairman of the facility, Kaplan gets a bit more hands on. He views the NAUC as a space to help, “get the kids off the streets,” and into constructive programs with potential to really benefit their futures, with a diverse range of options for “kids of all ages,” ranging from acting, kitchen chemistry, and math skills for children, and ESL courses and Zumba sessions for adults.

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As Melody Gregory, a volunteer at the NAUC said, “The vision and energy of William Kaplan is endless. He never stops to rest and you will find him present six to seven days each week at the NAUC.” Hosting fundraising events, participating in organization meetings, and making sure the Saturday morning and after-school programs continue to grow and enlighten children, are just a few examples of his weekly involvement at the center.

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