GOSHEN – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus has recognized Jerrod Lang as the Citizen of the Month Award winner for the month of May.
A lifelong Newburgh resident, Lang was honored for his many contributions and dedication to the City and community. He is a U.S. Army veteran and the owner of the popular café Blacc Vanilla, which is located downtown.
“Jerrod is proud of his deep-seated Newburgh roots and he demonstrates that daily in his business and his community service,” Neuhaus said. “He is respected by the entire community and has had a positive impact on residents, including many young people. Jerrod is hard-working, humble and serves as a wonderful role model. I enjoyed spending some time with him and recognize Jerrod for his many contributions.”
Lang grew up on tough N. Miller Street in Newburgh, an area which was well-known to drug dealers in the 1980s and 1990s. The area has been revitalized and he opened Blacc Vanilla with his wife, Melanie Collins-Lang, in September of 2017 on the corner of North Miller and South Streets. They opened Blacc Vanilla to provide a space where Newburgh’s diverse residents can socialize. In addition to running the cafe, Jerrod Lang holds another full-time job.
He graduated from Newburgh Free Academy in 2004 and served in the U.S. Army from 1996-04, before returning home. Lang mentors neighborhood children in Newburgh and is a supporter of the Newburgh Illuminated Festival, an event which celebrates the city and its culture. Blacc Vanilla hosted a Blacc Tie Gala last month to benefit this year’s Newburgh Illuminated Festival, which will be held from noon until 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 2nd on Broadway and Liberty Streets in Newburgh.
Blacc Vanilla was one of several Newburgh restaurants without electricity that donated food to residents during last week’s storm.
Neuhaus introduced his Citizen of the Month Award, which acknowledges outstanding Orange County residents, in January of last year. To nominate someone for the Citizen of the Month Award, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail a letter to “Citizen of the Month” at 255-275 Main Street Goshen, N.Y. 10924. Be sure to include the nominee’s name, hometown, a list of their accomplishments, why you are nominating them and any other pertinent information. Nominees must be from Orange County.