For the past two years Dutchess County, NY residents Hilarie Burton, (One Tree Hill) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, (The Walking Dead) have hosted “Ghost Stories” to benefit renovation efforts for Astor Services for Children & Families. Astor Services provides behavioral and educational services to Children in New York State’s Mid-Hudson Valley area and the Bronx.
The event typically takes place around Halloween but in 2018 professional obligations pushed it into early 2019. Buzz around the event has caused it to outgrow its original location at the Richard B. Fischer Center for Performing Arts at Bard College at Annandale and move to a larger facility at UPAC in Kingston.
This event is one of many ways the couple gives back to their new community. Since trading in Hollywood life for farm living in upstate New York, they shop locally and are partners with friend Paul Rudd, (Ant Man), in a candy shop in town called Samuel’s Sweet Shop. The Instagram posts featuring their animals have been a hit with fans including their most recent additions to the farm, Jack the Donkey and Diane the emu. Jack and Diane were adopted together due to their intense bond on a farm in Kershaw, South Carolina when their owner disappeared. A call for help on Social Media moved Morgan to action.
A quick update to those interested… J&D made it HOME. They spent the day exploring new digs… and I just tucked them in to bed with some berries for Diane, apple for Jack. Family is in love with its newest members. Thanks to @waterfowlrescue the world needs more of you. Xojd
— Jeffrey Dean Morgan (@JDMorgan) December 5, 2018
The move to farm life has been a big change for the couple but a welcome one according to Burton.
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“I think when you really respect what your partner is doing on your property, whether it be a sliver of an acre or 100 acres, I think it’s healthy for relationships,” she said.
According to residents, the pair are just neighbors who happen to be actors and ones who work to make a difference in their community. Burton’s philosophy is simple, “You can’t just move into something and leech off of it. You have to move into something and help support it. So hopefully, that’s what we’ve been able to do.” she says in a Poughkeepsie Journal Article.
Burton has a memoir set to publish in the spring that will share the journey they have taken from Hollywood to the Hudson Valley for those interested in moving from the hubbub of a bustling city life to a busy, but much simpler one, on a small town Farm.
For now, the county looks forward to the Ghost Stories III event at UPAC in Kingston, NY on Feb 9 at 5pm. Details can be found on the Astor Services Events Page.