Category Archives: Featured Stories

News in Brief

Trinity United Methodist Church in Oswego will serve an all-you-can-eat pancake Breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday Jan. 11.

The menu includes your choice of French toast, waffles, or pancakes, sausage, juice, coffee or tea.

Trinity United Methodist Church is located at 45 E. Utica St. (corner of East Fourth at Utica Street) in Oswego.

For more information, you may call the church at 343-1715.

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Granby Center United Methodist Church is hosting an all-you-can-eat soup luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or until sold out) today, Saturday, Jan. 11.

Takeouts are available. The church is one mile west of Fulton on County Route 3.

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The first meeting of the new Fulton Alliance Church Pioneer Clubs will be from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16.

The club are for children age 2 through sixth grade. The Fulton Alliance Church is located at 1044 State Route 48, two miles south of Pizza Hut.

Pioneer Clubs will meet every Wednesday evening and all children are welcome to come and join the fun and excitement.

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The First United Church of Fulton is having a series of health forums during January.

Each Wednesday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., local men and women will share their experiences from childbirth to menopause providing tips and tools for total wellness and improved health.

The programs are Jan. 15, 22 and 29 at the church at 33 S. Third St., Fulton.

The classes are free if you preregister by calling 593-1113 or emailing red4roxie@aol.com.

If you don’t preregister, they are $5 at the door.

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The Phoenix Public Library will host local fitness instructor Jennifer Johnson from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13 in the Century Club Room.

She will give a presentation on nutrition and provide attendees the latest information on your best food choices for weight loss and weight control.

Johnson will talk about food choices and the optimum portion sizes for your nutritional needs. There will be handouts and a question and answer session after the program.

The event is open to the public.

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Registrations for the upcoming 2014 season for Fulton Little League Baseball and Softball will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Jan. 18 at the Fulton War Memorial.

Other dates for signups are noon to 4 p.m. Jan. 25 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 1.

All boys or girls who reside in, or attend school in, the Fulton and Hannibal school districts are eligible to play Fulton Little Baseball or Softball.

A child must be 4 years old before May 1, 2014 for the T-Ball program. A girl cannot be 17 as of Dec. 31, 2013 and a boy cannot be 17 as of April 30, 2014 to play in their respective Senior Divisions of play.

All participants should present a birth certificate at the time of registration. A late fee will be assessed for any player registered after Feb. 1.

Anyone with questions can call John Florek, league president, at 591-4993 or Dave Webber, vice president, at 532-2598.

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Trinity United Methodist Church in Oswego will have a Penny Carnival from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18.

There will be games and activities of all sorts, such as a duck pond, bean bag toss, face painting, spin the wheel and more.

Don’t be stuck inside — come on out and join us to enliven a dreary winter day!

There will be hotdogs, popcorn, water and soda, too.

Trinity United Methodist Church is located at 45 E. Utica St. (corner of East Fourth at Utica Street) in Oswego.

For more information, call the church at 343-1715.

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The Fulton Board of Education and Superintendent William Lynch will host a morning coffee from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, in Room 130 at G. Ray Bodley High School.

The intent of the meeting is to provide members of the community and school district the opportunity to ask questions of the superintendent and school board members relative to thoughts and concerns regarding the Fulton school district, services and current education initiatives in the district and New York state.

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The First United Church of Fulton is conducting its first ever Karaoke Night at 7 p.m. Jan. 25 at the church, 33 S. Third St., Fulton.

Admission is free. Chuck Ramsey will be with us to provide the latest in Karaoke performance. Popcorn and soda will be served free of charge. All ages, children, youth and adults, are welcome to share in the fun. The community is welcome.

This event is sponsored by Children and Families Team of The Open Doors Neighborhood Center of the First United Church. For more information, call the Rev. David Nethercott at First United Church at 592-2707.

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The Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce donated more than $900 to the United Way of Greater Oswego County for local food pantries.

The money was raised from a silent auction held at the chamber’s recent Holiday Social event. This is the third year the chamber has made this donation from this event.

Founded in 1915, the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce today has more than 500 members who are working to improve businesses and the quality of life for the entire region.

The growth of Oswego County has been top priority within the chamber for over 85 years and continues the legacy today. For further information on the Chamber, visit oswegofultonchamber.com.

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A New Year-New You Health and Craft Fair is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Fulton Polish Home.

More than 30 vendors and crafters will be on hand. Admission is free and there will be giveaways, blood pressure checks and more.

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The Oswego Public Library’s learning center will offer a Twitter For Organizations workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 21.

This class is free and topics covered by the instructor include: tweeting, best practices for using Twitter for non-profit organizations, using Hashtags and understanding the site’s privacy settings.

In addition to our Twitter For Organizations workshop, the learning center will feature Computer Tune Up, Advanced Iphones, Downloading Ebooks for Ipads, Photoshop Elements, and SkyDrive.

Dates and times are as follows:

1 to 3 p.m. Jan. 11 — Advanced iPhone

2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 14 — Downloading E-Books for iPads

3 to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 25 — Photoshop Elements

2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 28 — SkyDrive

The Library Learning Center is located on the lower level of the Oswego Public Library, and is open Monday-Saturday. All programs are free and open to the public.

Call 341-5867 to register for workshops or if you have further questions.

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Oswego City School District 2014 graduating seniors are invited to apply for scholarships or an occupational education award offered by the Oswego Rotary Club.

Applications are available at the Oswego High School guidance office or at the Student Services Office of Oswego County BOCES. Completed applications must be postmarked by March 31.

Each of four college scholarships provides $1,000, paid in two $500 checks upon the successful completion of full-time study in the first and third semesters of college.

The principal criterion for the scholarships is need for financial assistance in meeting college expenses, but consideration will also be given to high school academic record, school activities, community activities, academic honors and awards, quality of a written essay, and likelihood of success in college.

The occupational education award offers $500 for a graduating student who has completed an occupational education program.

Selection will be based on demonstrated skill in the chosen field of work and demonstrated leadership.

Applications may be requested or questions answered by calling 343-9692.

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A meeting concerning cover crops and soil health is scheduled for 10 a.m. Feb. 18 at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County in Auburn.

The meeting is being held so the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service can kick off a National Soil Health Initiative.

The National Conference on Cover Crops & Soil Health in Omaha, Nebraska kicks off this major effort.

The NY USDA-NRCS State Conservationist Don Pettit will start the meeting and then there will be a live broadcast by webinar concerning the soil and crop initiative.

Howard G. Buffett, an Illinois farmer, conservatonist and philanthropist, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will lead the webinar by discussing: The Big Picture: Conservation, Cover Crops and Soil Health.

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The New Haven Senior Citizens are sponsoring a trip to Lancaster, Pa., April 29-30.

The trip is open to the public. Attendees will see “Moses” at the Sight and Sound theater and a play called “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” at the Dutch Apple Theater with dinner.

For more information, call Elaine Parkhurst at 343- 9475 or 289-2148. Reservations and deposits are due by the middle of February.

Real estate group donates to homeless youth program

The Oswego County Board of Realtors® recently presented Karen Merrill, coordinator of Oswego County Opportunities’ PATH program with a check in support of the programs’ efforts of helping area youth. Each year, the Oswego County Board of Realtors® organizes a fundraiser for the PATH program.

“Our members open their hearts and their pocketbooks to support the PATH Program,” said Gene Friske, Executive Officer of the Oswego County Board of Realtors®.

“We are happy to be able to assist such a worthwhile endeavor as OCO’s PATH program and I am pleased to say that our support has increased steadily over the years,” Friske added.

Established in 1991, OCO’s PATH program has provided hundreds of homeless youth with transitional independent living services and helped them become contributing members of society.

This year, the program was awarded another 5-year grant from the federal government to continue to provide services to the homeless youth of Oswego County.

“The donations we receive from caring organizations such as the Oswego County Board of Realtors® helped us provide youth in the PATH program with a little something special at Christmas such as food, clothing, and some gifts, many times these gifts are the only ones these youth receive.,” Merrill said.

“The homeless youth population is a very misunderstood and many times, unjustly criticized population,” added Merrill.  “PATH helps youth realize there are members of the community and that their community supports them and acknowledges the positive things they are doing to better themselves.”

Those interested in learning more about the PATH program may contact Karen Merrill at OCO’s Crisis & Development Services office, 598-6664, ext. 1708.

Birdlebough grads discuss gender stereotypes, healthy relationships

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Two John C. Birdlebough graduates returned to the Phoenix Central School District as educators this week, promoting healthy relationships and discussing gender stereotypes.

The 2002 graduates, Megan Bittel, an educator with Oswego County Opportunities’ Services to Aid Families program, and Colleen Saxby, community development manager with the Girl Scouts, led discussions with middle school students in Joe Adams’ health classes.

Divided into two groups – one for boys and one for girls – the educators addressed a variety of social and relationship issues that commonly lead to bullying.

“We are working to identify gender stereotypes and hoping they can break these stereotypes through education,” Bittel said.

“We teach acceptance of others, we should be aware of things that affect bullying so we can put an end to it.”

The group of boys talked about the adjectives that describe what society believes a man should be, the misconceptions that still exist in regard to male and female roles, and the judgment that teens often face from their peers if they don’t possess “typical” male traits.

“The reality is that boys and men who don’t fit neatly into these stereotypical categories, they’re called some pretty nasty things … sissy, wuss, wimp, girl. What message are we sending to boys when the worst thing they can be called is a girl?” Bittel asked.

“No one deserves to be called names because they don’t fit into this teeny, tiny box society expects them to,” she said.

Both Bittel and Saxby also discussed the importance of healthy relationships, from friendships to dating. Topics included dating violence and age of consent.

“This program teaches students what a healthy relationship looks like,” Saxby said. “It gives them a sense of self.”

The educational initiative spanned several days, with five classes participating in two sessions each.

Former Fulton resident ordained a priest in ceremony in Rome, Italy

Nicholas Fisher, of Fulton, was among 31 men who were ordained to the priesthood by His Eminence Cardinal Velasio de Paolis, CS, Pontifical Delegate for the Legionaries of Christ on Dec. 14 at the Papal Basilica of St. John Lateran, Rome, Italy.

Of the total 31 new priests, eight are American and one from Canada. The others are from Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France, Columbia and Chile.

Fisher said he had the beginnings of a calling as young child living in New York state.

The Fishers’ home parish was Our Lady of the Rosary in Hannibal, where Nicholas Fisher received his first sacraments and was an altar server during the Rev. Dennis Hartnett’s pastorate.

At the age of 5, Fisher remembers being in Mass at his local parish.

“That day our parish priest, Father Hartnett, a holy man, asked me if I would like to ring the bells during the consecration.  I said yes, so he gave me the bells and I sat in the first pew with my mother.

“At the moment of the consecration, she told me when to ring them, and I did, first for the consecration of the bread, and then of the wine. At that moment, I remember, I thought for the first time that perhaps I would like to be a priest.

“After that it was something I thought about over and over again all these years,” Fisher said. “I come from a Catholic family and we were educated in the faith. They always told me when the priest says those words and they ring the bells, the bread becomes the body of Christ.

“We used to talk with my friends about what we wanted to be when we grew up: of course one wanted to be a politician, another a firefighter, another a doctor, another the president,” he said. “In short, we all wanted to be heroes. In that instant, there in my parish church, I understood in some way that the priest is more important than all those others, for only he can change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus.”

Fisher was born in Oswego June 5, 1982, to David and Carol Fisher, then residing in Sterling. they now live in Fulton.

His grandparents are the late Robert and Angie Arduini of Fulton and the late Carl and Dolores Fisher of Williamson.

As a young boy, Fishers attended Fulton Catholic and Seton Home Study Schools. In the summer of 1993 he entered the minor seminary of the Legionaries of Christ in Center Harbor, N.H.

In 1998, he joined the Legionaries of Christ as a novice, and did his novitiate in Salamanca, Spain, from 1998 to 2000.

He studied humanities at the order’s College of Humanities in Cheshire, Conn.Fisher has a bachelor’s degree in theology and a master’s degree in philosophy, both from the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome, Italy.

He has done apostolic internships in New York, Padua (Italy), and Vienna (Austria). He was ordained a deacon by the Rev. Msgr. Renato Boccardo, Archbishop of Spoleto-Norcia (Italy) in Rome June 29, 2013 and a priest Dec. 14, 2013 also in Rome.

Ten members of the family traveled to Italy to attend the ordination and events in Rome before and after, including a general audience and Sunday Angelus with Pope Francis, a retreat for families of the newly ordained, a presentation on the Shroud of Turin and Fisher’s first Mass the day after his ordination.

He was assisted by the Rev. Sylvester Heereman, LC, Vicar General and acting General Director of the Legion of Christ.

Fisher offered his first Masses of Thanksgiving in the United States at Our Lady of The Rosary Church, Hannibal, the Legionary Seminary in Cheshire, Conn., the Guardians of the Eucharist Center in Salina and at Holy Trinity Church, Fulton.

He also concelebrated and presided at several Masses throughout the Christmas season at Holy Trinity in Fulton, assisting temporary administrator the Rev. Richard Morisette, Deacon David Sweenie and the Rev. Moritz Fuchs.

Fisher returned Jan. 2 to his first assignment as chaplain of a Catholic elementary school in Mexico City.

For more details about their stories, go to ordenaciones.legionariosdecristo.org.

The Legionaries of Christ are a religious congregation of priests of pontifical rite founded in 1941 in Mexico. Members include four bishops, 932 priests and some 900 religious in preparation for the priesthood.

Fulton author needs stories on the Blizzard of ’66

By Debra J. Groom

Local author Jim Farfaglia remembers playing board games with his siblings as the mighty Blizzard of ‘66 blew outside his Granby home.

And he figures there have got to be lots of other folks in Central New York with memories of the storm for all ages. He’s gathering these stories for a book on the blizzard to come out right before the 50th anniversary of the storm in 2016.

“I think everyone who has a childhood memory of it gets a smile on their face when they think about it,” he said. “When I write my books, I like to use personal observations, so I’d like people to talk to me about their memories of the blizzard.”

To contact Farfaglia, email him at sjimf903@twcny.rr.com or call him from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 402-2297.

People who lived through the Blizzard of ‘66 will tell everyone how that storm was worse than any other storm since.

“I think part of that is people actually feared for their life in 1966,” Farfaglia said. “There was not a lot of TV coverage and people were not quite sure what was going on.”

Farfaglia remembers his father being out of work for a week from his job at Sealright in Fulton. The four kids played board games all week while his dad, getting a little stir crazy being inside with the kids all week, fashioned himself some homemade snowshoes and walked to the Triangle Dairy.

”Weather gets people so down,” he said. “I hope this book is a fun way for people to look at it.”

The weather outside has been frightful

By Debra J. Groom

The letter “S” has been at the forefront of Oswego County residents’ minds of late.

It could stand for shivering — temperatures Friday Jan. 3 and Tuesday Jan. 7 were beyond cold. With wind chills, the mercury on Tuesday never made it to zero.

Can you say minus 25 degrees?

It was actually colder Friday, Jan. 3, but the wind chills were not as frigid. Temps that day got down to about minus 5 as residents cheered the lack of wind.

“S” also could stand for snow. As of Tuesday, Jan. 7, Fulton had 72 inches of snow for the season, said John Florek at the city’s water works, an official reporting station for the National Weather Service.

For the storm that hit the Oswego-Fulton area beginning Thursday, Jan. 2, through Friday, Jan. 3, Fulton got about 9 inches.

Weather observer Paul Cardinali measured 9 inches for that storm while Florek measured 9.8 inches.

William Gregway, who is a National Weather Service observer in Oswego, said the Port City saw about 13.5 for that storm.

But nothing in the county’s two cities even comes close to the northern part of the county -— namely the snow capital, Redfield.

Weather observer Carolyn Yerdon said the area already has topped 200 inches for the season — and it’s only the beginning of January.

“We are having a pretty wild winter so far — 224 inches and counting!” she said. “This is the most snow I have recorded in the past 18 years this early in the season.

“We should be headed for possibly a record breaking year if we can get over 420 inches, which is the current record (from 96-97 winter season),” Yerdon said.

The final “S” could stand for shoveling — something folks from Pulaski north have been doing more than they’d like.

After the Thursday-Friday storm of last week, a huge lake effect band swept off Lake Ontario Monday and didn’t move much for a couple of days.

Yerdon said another 17 inches fell in Redfield from 1 p.m. Monday to about 2 p.m. Tuesday and then another 5 inches came down Wednesday.

The season’s total is at 224 inches as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7.

The bitter cold actually has been causing more problems for folks in the Fulton-Oswego area than the snow.

AAA reported on its website Tuesday afternoon that areas such as Fulton and Oswego had three-hour waits for service calls.

The same was true for the Interstate 81 corridor from Mexico to Adams Center in Jefferson County.

Cardinali said he recorded a high Fulton temperature on Jan. 7 of 6 degrees and a low of minus 2.

But with winds gusting up to 45 mph, Cardinali estimates wind chills in the minus 25 to minus 30 range.

“These were the coldest wind chills we’ve had since Jan. 17, 1982,” he said.

It was actually colder Jan 3, with a high of 8 and a low of minus 5. “But there was not as much wind,” Cardinali said.

On that bitter day, Fulton saw a high of minus 4, a low of minus 8 and winds more than 40 mph.

Oswego County search and rescue academy to begin

Submitted by Oswego County

The Oswego County Pioneer Search and Rescue Team will begin its second Search and Rescue Academy beginning March 6.

Class size is limited to 24 individuals. Classes begin March 6 and end June 15.

The academy will be held primarily at the Oswego County Emergency Response and Training Center, 720 E. Seneca St., Oswego. Classes will be held on Thursday nights and one to two weekend days a month.

Individuals interested in attending  should obtain an application at the team’s website or contact Dan Arena at djarena@gmail.com.

Completed applications, along with a check for $100, should be mailed to the team at:  Oswego County Search and Rescue, PO Box 229, Parish, NY  13131-0229.

Applications must be received no later than Feb. 16, 2014.

“The curriculum will provide a thorough introduction to Search and Rescue and meets the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s minimum training requirements,” said Roger Fox, Oswego County SAR Coordinator.

The SAR Academy will cover topics such as map and compass, global positioning systems, man-tracking, wilderness survival, radio communications, search techniques, cold weather emergencies, crime scene preservation, the National Incident Management Systems (NIMS), and a variety of other topics.

Individuals who complete the Academy will be certified  as state Deaprtment of Environmental Conservation Basic Wildlands Searcher, certified in Wilderness First Aid, American Heart Association CPR, certified as a Project Lifesaver Electronic Search Specialist.

The academy is open to all interested individuals — applicants do not need to reside in Oswego County.

Students should be in good health, at least 18 years of age, and capable of passing a moderate physical fitness test.  Graduates of the academy who are accepted onto a local SAR team may be eligible to have their course fee reimbursed.

More information can be found at the team’s web site www.oswegosar.org.

All applicants will be contacted and interviewed prior to selection to the Academy. As soon as the class selection is finalized, applicants will be contacted.  Individuals who are not accepted into the class will have their money refunded.

Oswego couple are “Petal Pushers” at Rose Parade

By Ashley M. Casey

More than a decade ago, when Hannibal High School music teacher Shirley Terrinoni worked in the Mexico School District, she added an item to her “bucket list”: decorate a float for the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on New Year’s Day.

Shirley’s inspiration was her then-coworker, history teacher and travel writer Sandra Scott, who had volunteered with the Petal Pushers to decorate the massive, flower-covered floats.

Since then, it had been a dream of Shirley’s to do the same.

“She’s always wanted to go there. She filled out the online application. When we got accepted, she was pretty excited. I heard her scream,” said Shirley’s husband, marketing strategist Jim Terrinoni.

“I was very excited because I didn’t think they would take everyone (who applied),” Shirley said. But with thousands of volunteers and several floats to decorate, the Petal Pushers will take all the help they can get.

“We’ve done volunteering for about five years,” Jim said. For the Race Across America (RAAM) transcontinental bicycle race, the Terrinonis would travel to Parkersburg, W.Va., to operate a time station from 2003 to 2008.

Once the route changed and different volunteers were involved, they stopped going.

“It was some of the same people, but it wasn’t that core group,” Jim said.

After years of California dreaming, the Terrinonis, who live in Oswego, finally made their trip to Pasadena a reality.

They made the cross-country trek and stayed in Pasadena for a week before New Year’s to help the Petal Pushers.

The Petal Pushers are made up of 4,000 volunteers, ranging from ages 13 to 96, who gather to decorate seven floats for the Rose Parade.

The most famous of these floats is the one sponsored by Lutheran Hour Ministries in St. Louis, Mo. It is the only Christian float in the Rose Parade.

This year’s theme was “Dreams Come True,” and depicted a church with a grove of trees.

Jim recalled Petal Pushers coordinator Dick Gast joking, “I realize for some of you that putting a single rose on the Lutheran float would be like going to Mecca.”

The Terrinonis were two of the lucky few assigned to work on the LHM float, though they worked on others as well.

Shirley also worked on the “closer” float, or the parade’s final float, which was a giant football covered in palm bark.

“We were fortunate that we ended up on a float that most people wanted to be on,” Jim said.

They were assigned the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift. In some cases, the following evening shift worked through the night to get the floats finished.

“You wouldn’t think that it would happen, but every night when you leave and you know how much has been done, and there’s a second shift that comes in, in the morning you’re truly amazed at what was accomplished. Each person doing a small amount adds up quickly,” Shirley said.

Every surface on the float needed to be covered in flowers, seeds or other plant material.

“I’ve watched the Tournament of Roses Parade many times, and I know that they always tell you that everything has to be covered,” Shirley said. “But until you’re there, you don’t truly realize they mean everything from the trailer hitches to the grates that are over the engine exhaust outlets … All of those have to be covered one line at a time in seeds. Every space has to be done.”

“The judges go through it with a fine-toothed comb to make sure there wasn’t anything that wasn’t covered — not even a half-inch space,” Jim said. “Sometimes, you can’t even look at it because it’s so overwhelming.”

Despite the week of hard work, Jim said that working on the floats was “an enormous amount of fun” and the float designers’ “creativity is mind-boggling.”

“I witnessed the total experience. I’m glad I was there from the beginning when there wasn’t anything on the float to when it was totally finished,” Shirley said of their weeklong stay. “I think if I’d only been there one day, I wouldn’t have gotten the whole experience.”

Some of the families the Terrinonis met had been Petal Pushers for more than a decade.

“I would recommend it to anybody,” he said. “It is definitely a family affair. Outside of Disney, I have never seen … such a diverse population.”

“I would truly love to do it again,” said Shirley, “if I have the chance.”

Would Jim do it again?

“I’m open to thinking about it because it was a good experience. The people were so friendly,” Jim said. “We’ve traveled and done a lot of things, but never anything like this.”