Senator Sue Serino is pictured above with Dutchess County Tick Task Force Chair Donna Bolner and event participants Cassandra Guarino, Matt Frye, and Joyce Tomaselli.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY— With school back in session and children of all ages spending more time away from home, Senator Sue Serino today held a unique awareness event at the Poughkeepsie Galleria Mall aimed at providing children and families with the tools they need to stay tick-free.

Senator Sue Serino said, “As parents, we all do the best we can to keep our kids healthy and safe, but the reality is they spend a great deal of time outside our homes. We want kids to spend time outdoors, so it’s important for them to know how to identify ticks and to know how to report the finding of a tick to a trusted adult as soon as possible. This event was a fun way to teach kids of all ages these important lessons, and I thank the Poughkeepsie Galleria for their partnership, as well as our team of experts who work tirelessly to help us increase awareness.”

Donna Bolner, Dutchess County Legislator and Chair of the Dutchess County Tick Task Force, said, “I want to thank Senator Serino for providing an opportunity to educate the public about ticks at the beginning of the fall clean up season. Too many times we forget that even though the weather may be cooler ticks are still out. Also, unfortunately tick borne disease may easily be thought to be the flu when symptoms begin to occur.”

Children ages five to nine have the highest incidences of Lyme Disease. Early detection of a tick is key and frequent tick checks play a critical role in keeping kids safe and healthy. Experts were on hand at the event to show parents and kids how to spot a tick on themselves and their pets, and to demonstrate proper removal techniques.

Event participants included:

  • Donna Bolner, Dutchess County Legislator and Dutchess County Tick Task Force Chair;
  • Robert Akoko, MPA Public Health Advisor at Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health;
  • Matt Frye, PhD, NYS IPM Program, Cornell University;  
  • Cassandra Guarino, PhD, Extension Associate for Serology/Immunology, Cornell  University College of Veterinary Medicine;
  • Joyce Tomaselli, Community Horticulture Resource Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County;
  • Stephanie Dea and Monica Marrone, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies;
  • Jeff Levy, Lyme Action Network; and
  • Rachel Dildilian, Hudson Valley Lyme Disease Association


Radio DJ ‘Uncle Mike’ of 107.3 WRWD provided entertainment and kid-friendly music for the event and Senator Serino’s team was on hand leading a series of interactive, educational games and craft activities for the kids.