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MIDDLETOWN — Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie youth counselor Uniquah Jackson smirked on Wednesday as one of her 14-year-old charges made a heartfelt declaration at QB Ball in Middletown.
“When I get out, I’m going to FaceTime and call all of you” counselors at the home, said Kathryn, of Poughkeepsie, who’s lived for about two weeks in the home, which provides emergency housing for children dealing with abuse, neglect and maltreatment.
Asked why she’ll call the counselors even after she’s placed in safe housing, Kathryn said they “help you learn how to make the right decisions, like not to just follow everybody else.”
“It’s very special that they (the counselors) are here, especially on the holidays when they should be spending time with their families, and they’re spending time with us and helping us,” she added.
QB Ball, where competitors try to knock over bowling pins with footballs, teamed with other local businesses to buy the home’s children pizza and desserts on Christmas.
The businesses’ goals: Remind the children that love can be real, some adults do care, and, if the kids hang on, life can improve or, at the very least, they can get better at handling its trials.
Among those pitching in to show the children a good time on the holiday were the mid-Hudson law firm of Sobo & Sobo, Superior Mortgage Services of Chester, Ulster Computers Inc. and a local State Farm branch.
QB Ball, located next to Clemson Bros. Brewery on Cottage Street, opened on the holiday with the children in mind.
“It’s all of our responsibilities to take care of children out there, not just our children,” said QB Ball owner Ari Lehman, who hopes to make it a holiday tradition to host children facing difficult circumstances.
Nearby, Lehman’s daughter, Nina Lehman, QB Ball’s 20-something-year-old manager, whirled about, smiling and cleaning hither and thither, after the children left.
Staff at the 172-year-old Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie seek to teach their own lessons – from woodworking to career-building, cooking and people skills, said Jackson.
“We never know how long we’ll actually have a child” before they’re placed in a safe home with family, through foster care or via adoption, Jackson said.
“Most of the children have gone through a lot of traumatic things, so they don’t see much of a future,” Jackson added. “But they’re in great hands with people who care and who want to give them a bright future.”
But while the adults sought to teach the children about fun and hope, at least one child had her own lesson, which she wanted to share with local adults.
Those hung up on buying the perfect presents should “appreciate what you have because other people don’t have what you have,” said Kathryn from the children’s home. “Other people don’t have food. Other people don’t have family. Other people don’t have shoes. They don’t have the love that everybody else gives you.”
Haven’t heard of QB Ball? You’re missing out, man. Sometimes called “fowling,” QB Ball is a fusion of football and bowling, requiring all of the dexterity to knock down pins but rather than bowling, you toss the ol’ pigskin. Plus, with cornhole leagues and axe throwing, QB Ball is not your typical night out. There is a full-service bar with cocktails and over 35 beers to choose from. Food is brought in from Clemson Bros. Brewery next door. Sandwiches, pizza, and burgers like the Big Bad Wolf — loaded with bacon, a bacon onion jam, Taylor ham, and smoked gouda — keep you fueled up for the next game, with vegetarian options available.
Middletown — 14 Cottage St, Unit 4, 845.467.4074
MIDDLETOWN Apr 21, 2018 – Tom Roome remembers his reaction last May, when childhood friend Ari Lehman asked him to co-found a football-bowling business in New York.
Roome was somewhere between dismissive and derisive when Lehman began gushing about investing in fowling. It’s a fledgling sport, popular in Michigan, where players topple each other’s bowling pins by throwing footballs.
“I said, ‘Ari, you’re out of your mind,’ when he first called, and I hung up the phone,” said Roome, who still lives in the Village of Warwick. “I was concerned about his mental well-being.”
A year later, the pair is working toward a Memorial Day weekend opening for QB Ball in more than 10,000 square feet of Middletown’s former Clemson Brothers Hacksaw factory on Cottage Street, next to the Clemson Brothers Brewery. Read more of the article here...
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