Category Archives: Featured Stories

Maroun Elementary students receive dictionaries

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Third-grade students at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School have another resource to bolster their knowledge and vocabulary, thanks to a donation from the Fulton Sunrise Rotary Club.

On Dec. 20, Rotarians Ellen Nowyj and LaVerne DeLand brought 124 dictionaries for each third-grader at the school.

The resource books, complete with a periodic table, maps, a list of presidents, a plethora of words and other information, were funded through three Rotary Club fundraisers.

Nowyj said the dictionary initiative is a great way to get students using physical resource books rather than immediately going to the Internet and searching for information that may not always be reliable.

“All the information is right there for you,” Nowyj said. “You don’t have to go to the computer. It has everything from charts to metric system tables.”

In addition to the dictionary distribution, the Rotarians also discussed the importance of their organization.

“Our motto is service above self,” Nowyj said. “That’s something we really take to heart.”

That message wasn’t lost on the students, as the children asked questions about community involvement and discussed ways that people make a difference.

Birdlebough inducts 25 in National Honor Society

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

More than two dozen John C. Birdlebough High  students were celebrated Dec. 17 as their service, scholarship, leadership and character were recognized with induction into the National Honor Society.

“An honor such as this is a wonderful way for the school and community to recognize and celebrate the choices and sometimes the sacrifices you have made,” said Adviser Angela Neiss.

The 25 inductees joined 33 current honor society  members who celebrate scholarly achievement and service to the community.

Neiss said members help organize blood drives, serve Thanksgiving dinner to the less fortunate, participate in an Earth Day community cleanup and volunteer for a variety of activities.

It is this kind of service that keynote speaker Joanna Young, JCB’s instrumental teacher, cited as a critical component of National Honor Society membership.

“Students have concerned themselves with the welfare and well-being of their fellow classmates and society as a whole,” Young said. “Their actions as leaders will be models for others to follow.”

The inductees took the Honor Society pledge and Superintendent Judy Belfield presented each with a pin signifying their membership.

New members are: Kellen Arnold, MacKenzie Berube, Alexis Bowering, Marisa Dona, Mike Doran, Chris Fisk, Nicole Fitzgerald, Matti Gleason, Sarah Hoag, Jordan Jock, Jessica Jones, Meghan Lees, Chris Nicolella, Meghan Rowe, Michael Sadoski, Jonathan Schmidt, Austin Scruton, Andrew Smith, Morgan Stobart, Zack VanGorder, Abby Venskus, Derick White, Caroline Woodside, Ryan Wranesh and Jolene Zaia

BBB alerts donors about local nonprofit charity

The Better Business Bureau is alerting donors about a Central New York  charity, Camp Fire USA Central New York Camp Talooli – currently F rated – that has had its tax-exempt status revoked.

This means anyone donating to the nonprofit would not be able to use that donation as a tax deduction on his or her income taxes, said BBB spokeswoman Peggy Penders.

The BBB said while the tax exempt status was revoked, Camp Fire and Camp Talooli still is operating as a charity and soliciting gifts from the public.

She said the Internal Revenue Service revoked the organization’s 501(c)(3) IRS tax exempt status in February 2013 for failing to file its 990 forms for three years. A 990 is a nonprofit’s equivalent to a 1040 tax form.

The BBB states the revocation was not contested and was posted to the public in May.

Camp Talooli is located near Pennellville in the town of Schroeppel.

Since the Camp Talooli revocation posting date in May, any donations made were no longer tax-deductible. The BBB said in a release that Camp Talooli advertised donations would be tax exempt.

The Camp Fire and Camp Talooli website this week states: “Currently we are updating/resolving some filing inconsistencies that are required to regain/retain this status (tax-exempt) for 2014 and beyond. If you have any questions in this regard please do not hesitate to contact me (Executive Director Jan Peneston) at 934 4051.

BBB officials say not all charities operate the same and encourage donors to do their research and verify current tax-exempt status before they give.

Camp Talooli officials have not responded to BBB requests for information.

Peneston said Monday the organization has submitted one of the three 990s to the IRS and it is waiting to hear what the  next step is to obtain tax-exempt status again.

She said Camp Fire also has hired a new accounting firm and should have all 990s filed by the end of January.

Volney councilman retires

Town of Volney Councilman Carl Rusaw retired from public service Dec. 31.

Rusaw has a long career as a six-year Oswego County legislator, six-year Town of Volney Planning Board member and five-year member of the Volney Town Board. Proclamations from the offices of Sen. Patricia Ritchie, Assemblyman Will Barclay and the Oswego County Legislature were read at Volney’s December town board meeting.

Supervisor Dennis Lockwood presented a plaque to Rusaw from the town of Volney. Rusaw plans to spend his winters  in Florida and summers in Fulton.

OCO to receive grants to improve agency

Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. is one of six Central New York nonprofits selected to participate in the Gifford Foundation’s fourth round of a major capacity building initiative.

ADVANS, or Advancing and Developing the Value and Assets of Nonprofits in Syracuse, was started by the Gifford Foundation in 2007. ADVANS 4 will include more than $500,000 committed to six nonprofits — including OCO – from Onondaga, Oswego and Cayuga Counties.

OCO is Oswego County’s Community Action Agency. Founded in 1996, OCO serves about 30,000 people each year through more than 50 programs.

These programs provide assistance for the homeless, education services for preschoolers, literacy services, reproductive health, independence for the disabled, meals for the elderly, disabled and youth, safety for the abused, case management services, crisis services, support for youth and transportation.

Between December 2013 and December 2015, OCO will undertake an intensive assessment and capacity planning process and will receive roughly $70,000 in grants and consulting services.

ADVANS follows the organizational capacity model developed by Dr. Susan Kenny Stevens as outlined in the book “Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage-based Wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity.”

The organizations will work with trained area consultants utilizing the self-assessment techniques of Dr. Stevens, and then identify their primary capacity needs.

“We anticipate many positive improvements that will benefit OCO and the consumers we serve,” said Diane Cooper-Currier, OCO’s executive director.

Cover photo dates for The Valley News available

UPDATE, UPDATE — Feb. 26, March 5 and March 19 are taken.

 

Hello and Happy New Year to all organizations, nonprofits and groups in the Fulton-Oswego-Hannibal-Phoenix area.

Now that the holidays are concluded, I hope you all are looking at your calendars to see when you have special events or even annual events coming up in 2014.

As you all probably know, The Valley News runs half page photographs on its Wednesday edition covers to highlight events coming up in the community. Some organizations already have stepped forward to reserve covers for 2014.

But many dates are still available, including the following that are coming up soon: Feb. 12, Feb. 19, Feb. 26, March 5, March 12 and March 19.

Many other dates also are available, especially in July and August.

So check over your calendars, see what’s coming up and give me a call to book a cover photo. The only criteria is your event should be a few days to a couple weeks after the edition that your cover appears. For example, if you had the March 5 cover your event would be somewhere between March 6 and say March 20 or so.

My phone number is 598-6397, ext. 31 or just ask for me, Debbie Groom.

I hope these dates fill up soon and fast.

 

Interstate 81 closed from Brewerton to Watertown due to storm

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today (Jan. 6) declared a state of emergency for numerous counties including Oswego County as a major winter storm has moved from the Midwest into Western New York and the Tug Hill Plateau region of the state.

The State of Emergency covers the following counties: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Monroe, Oneida, Orleans, Oswego, Wayne and Wyoming.

He also said Interstate 81 between Exits 31-45 (Brewerton to Arsenal Street-Watertown-Sackets Harbor) will be closed to all traffic tonight at 8 p.m.