Category Archives: Fulton News

Longtime Fulton athletic official named to Hall of Fame

Don Distin, of Fulton, has been named to the Class of 2014 for the New York State Athletic Administrators Hall of Fame.

He and others were installed into the Hall of Fame March 14 at the Saratoga Hilton in Saratoga Springs. This was part of the New York State Athletic Administrators annual conference and Dave Martens Awards Luncheon.

Distin grew up and spent most of his life in Fulton. He was a staff sergeant in the US Army and member of the Signal Corps.

He was sent to Germany, and when the Army found out he could play football, he became captain of the 6th Armored Cavalry in 1952. The team won the European championship. He was also the trainer for the 6th Armored Cavalry boxing team.

Distin received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as permanent certification as director of health and physical education, from Ithaca College. He earned his administrative and supervision certificate from SUNY Oswego.

Distin was hired as a social studies teacher and head football coach at G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton.

He is credited with starting the wrestling team in Fulton in 1959. In 1962, he became director of athletics and taught physical education. Three years later he was promoted to administrator of health, physical education and recreation for the Fulton City School District.

Distin served as president of Section 3 from 1978-80. He also was president of the New York State Council of Administrators of HPER, New York Stae Dental Health Teachers Association, Central New York Cities League and Central Zone President for Council of Administrators of HPER.

Distin was on the original organizing committee of the New York State Athletic Administrators Association in 1981 and attended the first organizational meeting in Binghamton. He was selected and served as the first past president for the New York State Athletic Administrators Association from 1981-83.

In addition to serving on many section, state and national committees, Distin also served as speaker at many of those state and national conference workshops.

He has had numerous honors bestowed upon him by his community, school, Section 3, state and national organizations.  Upon retirement, the new Fulton Athletic Complex was dedicated in his honor.

Distin has also served his church and acted as chairman of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for the Syracuse area for five years.

Distin and his wife, Carolyn, were married for more than 50 years and had four children, sons Sherman and Mark and daughters Susan and Mary Beth.

After his retirement, they retired to Florida. Carolyn passed away in 2006, and Distin has been remarried to Judy, and they live in Avon Park, Florida.

In addition to Distin, those installed were in the hall of fame were:

** Robert Douglas (deceased), a member of the original organizing committee, second state president, first finance chair

** Joseph Farrell (deceased), Binghamton, original organizing committee and host of first official meeting.

** Dr. John Foley (deceased), national publications committee, state Public High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame,

** Alan Mallanda, Lake Luzerne, original organizing committee, fifth state president, second executive director, 14th national president, NIAA merit and hall of fame

** David Martens, Fairport, (deceased), original organizing committee, first state president, fifth national president NIAAA hall of fame and award of merit

** Mason Morenus, Homer, original organizing committee, conference presenter and organizer, Otis Sennett Award, NIAAA state delegate

** Bernie O’Brien, Section 8 executive director, original organizing committee, first treasurer, NIAAA award of merit, New York State Public High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

** Roy O’Neill, Mamaroneck (deceased), fourth state president, first executive director, NIAAA award of merit.

** Otis Sennett, Baldwinsville, original organizing committee, organized first conference, New York State Public High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame, NIAAA award of merit, NIAAA Hall of Fame.

News in Brief

The annual Spring Live and Silent Auction at Oswego Community Christian School is today (April 5) at the Elks Lodge in Oswego.

The silent auction is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and the live auction is 2:30 to 4 p.m. There also are some special drawings.

Visit the school’s website at 22.myoccs.org for more information.

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The City of Fulton Department of Parks and Recreation is once again sponsoring Line Dance Instruction featuring popular dance instructor, Phil Eno.

Instruction will begin in the City of Fulton Municipal Building Community Room at 141 S. First St., Fulton, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8.

Registration will take place at the first class. There are fees for the class.

For more information, call 592-2474.

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A program titled “Breakfast and Brainfood: When You Wish Upon A Star” is scheduled for two days in April at the SUNY Phoenix Center.

Part I will be from 8 to 9:30 a.m. April 10 and Part II will be 8 to 9:30 a.m. April 24. The session is free and being put on by the Greater Oswego-Fulton chamber of Commerce.

During the sessions, participants will learn how to turn their business strategy into reality by evaluating seven key organizational elements, and harnessing their momentum to propel your organization forward.

Kelly Sullivan of CSTI-Core Skills, True Impact will share the principle drivers of organizational change along with practical tips that will help you to plan and execute your strategy.

Rich Burritt, of Burritt Motors, will share his insight and experience using those principles to dramatically improve the customer experience at his organization.

This sessions are free and open to the public. Please register either online at http://oswegofultonchamber.com/cwt/External/WCPages/WCEvents/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=962, by phone at 343-7681 or by email at membership@oswegofultonchamber.com

The Mexico Historical Society will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday April 10 at the Wilcox building, Presbyterian Church, Church Street.

This first meeting of the year will include a brief business meeting followed by a program “The History of Vacuum Cleaners.”

May’s program will be the War of 1812, 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Big Sandy.  On June 12, the scheduled program is Historic Homes of Mexico presented by Historian Bonnie Shumway and Diane Miller.

The public is invited to all programs.

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The Hannibal Ecumenical Bake Sale is set for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 12 at the Hannibal Village Market, IGA.

The money raised from the two bake sales each year are used to support The Hannibal Resource Center Thanksgiving Dinner Giveaway and the Hannibal Central School Christmas Bureau Giveaway.

The Ecumenical Key Council of the Churches Of Hannibal is made up of members of each of the village churches. The Council meets at 2:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of the month at Our Lady of the Rosary Church.

Everyone is welcome.

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The Greater Fulton community is invited to meet city and county elected leaders at 5 p.m. April 12 at the First United Church of Fulton, 33 S. Third St., Fulton.

There will be free pizza and soda. Elected leaders will include Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward, Fifth Ward Councilor Jay Foster, Sixth Ward Councilor Lawrence Macner, and County Legislators Frank Castiglia Jr. and James Karasek.

The purpose of the event is to build better communication and understanding between citizens and their civic leaders, and to encourage neighborhood based cooperation and coordination. The conversations with the elected officials will be from 6 to 7 p.m.

This event is sponsored by the Open Doors Neighborhood Center, a community outreach ministry of the First United Church of Fulton.

For more information about the First United Church and our Open Doors Neighborhood Center, call the Rev. David Nethercott at First United Church at 592-2707 or email him at prairieborn@aol.com.

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There will be a chicken barbecue from noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday April 13 at the Granby Center Firehouse.

Both full dinners and chicken halves will be sold.

The next barbecue will be May 25.

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The Oswego Town Historical Society will host its April meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday April 16 at the Oswego Town Hall 2320 County Route 7.

The guest speaker will be Jim Farfaglia, who will present his new book “Of the Earth,” which is about muck farming in Oswego County and includes interviews with muck farmers of the area.

Muck farming was and is an important part of Oswego Town’s economy.  You will find the evening with Farfaglia informing and entertaining as he relates his experiences in gathering the information for his book.

The public is cordially invited.

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The First United Methodist Church in Fulton is presenting “Tenebrae, A Rock & Roll Easter Cantata” at 7:30 p.m. April 18 at the church at 1406 State Route 176 (across from the junior high).

Experience Good Friday in a different way. Join us for “Tenebrae, a Rock and Roll Easter Cantata,” performed by Sent Forth Ministries. Hear and experience the last hours of Jesus life in reflection and song.

All are welcome. A free will offering will be taken.

For further information, visit www.fultonfumc.org or phone the office at 592-7347.

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The Oswego Community Ecumenical Good Friday Cross Walk, again indoors, is being held at noon April 18 in the sanctuary at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 103 W. Cayuga St.

The service of prayer, reflection, silence, and song, will follow the traditional “Stations of the Cross,” the way of Jesus from his condemnation, through his crucifixion and burial on Good Friday.

The sanctuary is handicapped accessible and there is seating at each of the stations.  The service should be done by 1:15.

For more information, contact Roger Martin at Faith United Church, 343-3480, or Richard Klafehn, Grace Lutheran and Church of the Resurrection, 216-4416.

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Port City Faith will introduce a series titled “He Still Moves Stones” during its two Easter Services at 9 and 10:45 a.m. April 30.

The series will address many of the concerns and obstacles people in our community face: depression, anxiety, emotional disorders, relational struggles and many more applicable issues.

“There is a solution to these heartbreaking life struggles, I challenge you to join us for these services and find out what the answer is!” said Pastor Sebastian Foti.

This is the first time the church will present two Sunday services in order to accommodate the growth of the congregation as well as the holiday surplus in attendance.

Port City Faith has an upbeat style of service with contemporary worship and relevant preaching. Its intricate children’s church program is offered to grades pre-kindergarten through six, and nursery is also offered for those less than four years of age.

For additional information, visit www.portcityfaith.com or the church’s Facebook page.

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Oswego County’s Earth Week is April 25 through May 4.

Groups, nonprofits and organizations will get together at times during that week to help clean up areas of their communities.

For more information on the cleanup, go to www.oswewgocounty.com/earthweek.html or call 343-4565.

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Local author Jim Farfaglia, will give a discussion and photo slideshow about muck farming and its impact on the town of Volney and Oswego County at 2 p.m. April 27 at the Volney town hall.

Farfaglia will talk about his recently-published book on muck farming, including interviews and stories of local farmers, their families, neighbors, and workers.

Farfaglia’s book and a book title “Muck Farming in Volney” will be available.

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May Day (May 1st) is celebrated in many places around the world.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County will celebrate May Day by teaching a quilting series, the May Basket Quilted Wallhanging.

This two-part workshop will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays, May 1 and May 8. Participants will learn to sew their own May basket quilt blocks to assemble into a quilted wallhanging.

The cost is $16, which includes the instruction and pattern. This quilting program will be held at the Oswego County Cooperative Extension office in Mexico.

Call Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County at 963-7286 ext. 302 to register and also to receive a materials list. Registration deadline is Thursday April 24.

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The monthly meeting of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 56 in Fulton will be at 7 p.m. May 7 at the VFW, 216-218 Cayuga St., Fulton.

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FULTON FAMILIES – The good earth: The Vescios’ roots go deep in Fulton

Front page – The Vescios gathered for youngest child June’s baptism in November 1934. This photo appeared with a story about the family in The Post-Standard. Photo courtesy of Sam Vescio
Front page – The Vescios gathered for youngest child June’s baptism in November 1934. This photo appeared with a story about the family in The Post-Standard.
Photo courtesy of Sam Vescio

Editor’s note: This is the seventh installment of stories about Fulton Families. The monthly series will tell the stories of families that have either lived in Fulton for ages or perhaps only a short while — but the common bond will be they love the city and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. If you know of a family we should highlight, please email Debbie Groom, Valley News managing editor, at dgroom@scotsmanmediagroup.com. 

By Ashley M. Casey

“One of Fulton’s Largest Families: Vescio’s 12 Children Range From 5 Months to 18 Years” reads the 1934 Post-Standard clipping’s headline.

Although the story is 80 years old, it’s not unlike headlines found in The Valley News today. Now, the Vescios’ appearance in the local media has come full circle.

Of the 14 children born to Angelo and Rosina Vescio, only 12 lived to adulthood. Today, four of the original Vescio children are alive in Fulton: Joe, Sam, Ellen and June. Sam Vescio, now 87, and his daughter, Rosemary Vescio Pollard, shared their story of what keeps them in the city that their clan has called home for more than a century. Continue reading

Aldi’s wants to come to Fulton

By Ashley M. Casey

The supermarket chain Aldi Inc. has requested a special use permit from the city of Fulton to begin building a store on the former Nestlé site on the corner of Fay and South Fourth streets.

The Common Council approved a resolution to set a public hearing April 15 for the special use permit.

Mayor Ron Woodward told The Valley News Aldi and the site’s owner, Carbonstead LLC, approached the city about a month ago about the proposed construction. The property falls under the Manufacturing M-1 district and would need to be re-zoned as Commercial C-2.

According to Aldi’s special use permit application, the store will be 17,651 square feet.

Aldi is a German supermarket chain that operates 1,200 stores in the United States and 9,235 stores globally.

The public hearing will be held at the next Common Council meeting — 7 p.m., April 15, in the Common Council Chambers of the Municipal Building, 141 S. First St. Continue reading

Fulton teams receive Scholar/Athlete awards

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has recognized the seven varsity winter athletic teams in the Fulton City School District.

The association presented Scholar/Athlete Team Awards to the following teams: Girls’ basketball, boys’ basketball, girls’ bowling, ice hockey, boys’ indoor track, girls’ indoor track, and boys’ swimming.

To receive the NYSPHSAA’s scholar distinction, the team average must be 90 percent or higher during the season.

Health clinics set for week of April 7

The Oswego County Health Department offers a variety of services to all residents of Oswego County, including preventive health services, certified home health care, long-term home health care, certified hospice, and a maternal and child health program.

Walk-in influenza clinics are held weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego for people age 19 and older. No appointment is needed; walk-ins are welcome.

Children’s flu vaccine is now available every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Oswego, and the third Tuesday of every month from 9 to 11 a.m. at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.

The children’s flu vaccine is available at no cost to all children who qualify for the Vaccines for Children Program provided by the state Department of Health. For those who do not qualify, the cost is $37 for the inactivated vaccine.

The health department accepts cash or checks for payment. The department does not accept credit or debit cards. Patients with private insurance, Managed Medicaid, Managed Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare, and Medicare Part B should bring their benefit cards with them to the immunization clinic.  No one will be turned away due to inability to pay.

The following services will be offered during the week of April 7 at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego.

OSWEGO:

** Adult Influenza Clinic: Monday through Friday, 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m., walk-in clinic.

** Immunization Clinic: Tuesday, April 8, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., walk-in clinic.

** Pregnancy Testing: Free pregnancy testing is available. Call 349-3391 to schedule an appointment.

** Sexually Transmitted Disease Testing and Treatment Services: Call 349-3547 to schedule an appointment.

** HIV Counseling and Testing Service:  Call 349-3547 to schedule an appointment.

Immunization clinics are held every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at 70 Bunner St., Oswego, and the third Tuesday of every month from 9 to 11 a.m. at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.

For more information, call the County Health Department, weekdays phone 349-3547 or (800) 596-3200, ext. 3547. For information on rabies clinics, call 349-3564.

Llewellyn ‘Red’ Calkins, veteran, enjoyed camping, hunting

4-5_OBITcalkinsLlewellyn “Red” Calkins, 79, of Fulton, went to be with the Lord on Friday, March 28, surrounded by his loving family.

Born in Lysander, he had lived in the Fulton–Volney areas for most of his life.

Red had retired in 1991 from the Oswego County Highway Department.

He enjoyed hunting, camping, spending time outside and making maple syrup.

Red was a member of the Fulton Alliance Church and enjoyed attending the Men’s Breakfasts.  He was an Air Force veteran.

He was predeceased by his parents, Lincoln and Ora Hart Calkins.

Red will be greatly missed and forever loved by his wife of 58 years, the former Janet Spaulding; children Randy, Ron (Paula), Richard and Renee (Rob) Warren; siblings, Noreen Pickard, Lincoln Calkins, Ora Lee Dorval and Denise Wisowaty; 11 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Calling hours were April 1 with a service to immediately follow at Fulton Alliance Church. Contributions in memory of Red may be made to the church, 1044 State Route 48 South, Fulton, 13069.

Gordon M. Sheldon, dairy farmer

Gordon M. Sheldon, 78, of Granby,  passed away Sunday, at Oswego Hospital.

He was born in Syracuse and had resided most of his life in Granby.

Gordon owned and operated a dairy farm in Granby.

He was an Army veteran, serving from 1953-1956.

He is survived by his wife, Theresa of Granby; a son, Gordon J. (Mina) of Marietta, Calif.; a daughter, Camille J. (Douglas) Elkins of Liverpool; a brother, Robert (Ruth) Sheldon of Granby; two granddaughters, Alexandra and Katherine Elkins; several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours were April 1 with a service to follow at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton.

Burial in the spring will be in Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Fulton.

Contributions in memory of Gordon may be made to Catholic Charities, 365 W. First St. S., Fulton, 13069.