June R. Holden

Holden, June OBJune R. Holden, 80, of Fulton, formerly of Hubbardsville, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014 at Morningstar Care Center. She was born on June 9, 1934 in Hamilton, a daughter to the late Ernest and Fiona Clark Ramsdell. June was a longtime member of First United Church of Fulton. She enjoyed reading and writing. June helped with the writing of The History of Fulton. She was predeceased by her brother, Ernest “Bub” Ramsdell.

Surviving are her husband, Francis “Snuffy” Holden; four sons, Hank Holden of S.C., Hugh Holden of China, Eric (Sonia Page) Holden of Hannibal and Carl Holden of Oswego; five grandchildren, Dan, Jason, Aaron, Deanna and Andy; four great-grandchildren; as well several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours are Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton. Funeral services are 10 a.m. Friday at First United Church of Fulton, 33 S. Third St., Fulton. Burial will be in Fairdale Rural Cemetery. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to charity of choice in June’s memory.

Joseph LaRocca

Joseph LaRocca, 82, of Florida City, Fla., joined our Lord in heaven on Oct. 22, 2014 in Syracuse, N.Y. He was known as “Joe LaRock.” He was a true pioneer farmer of Florida City, and the rock for his family.

LaRocca was born in Hannibal, N.Y. to Salvatore and Maria LaRocca on Nov. 17, 1931.  He is survived by his loving wife, Frances LaRocca of 58 years; his four daugthers, Angela DelliVeneri, Joann Speers, Anna LaRocca-Hill and Francene Hagarman; sons-in-law, Robert Speers, the late Larry DelliVeneri, Jr., Jeffrey Hill and Kevin Hagarman. He cherished his seven grandchildren, Justin Speers, Kerri Speers, Danielle DelliVeneri, Lawrence DelliVeneri, Matthew Hill, Joseph Hill, Bryce Hagarman and his beautiful great-grandchild, Leah Pacheco Speers.

Visitation was held at Branam Funeral Home, 809 North Krome Avenue, Homestead, Fla., on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014 from 6 to 9 p.m.

A funeral mass was held at Sacred Heart Church, 106 S.E. Road, Homestead, Fla., on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014 at 10 a.m.  Burial will follow at Palms Woodlawn Cemetery located at 27100 Old Dixie Highway, Naranja, FL 33032.

Joe attended high school at both Hannibal High School in Hannibal, and Homestead High School in Homestead, Fla., and graduated in 1949. He began farming at the age of four in upstate New York with his parents, where he would farm during the spring and summer.  He also farmed in Florida City during the winter months.

He was a dedicated parishioner of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Homestead, and Our Lady of the Rosary Church, in Hannibal. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Elks Club in Homestead, and recently he and the family were recognized as the Farm Family of the Year by the Florida Farm Bureau.

He loved spending time with his family, traveling the world with his wife, and watching NASCAR races every weekend.  He enjoyed spending weeks in Marco Island with family and friends, basking in the ocean, and vacationing at his farm in Upstate New York.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Homestead, Florida  “In memory of Joseph LaRocca.”

Parke C. Warner

WarnerParke OBParke C. Warner, 94, a life resident of Fulton, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Oct. 30 with his wife Carolyn at his side. Parke was the son of the late Claude and Kathryn Warner. He was predeceased by his sister, Lillian Peacock, and his brother, Cecil Warner. Parke enjoyed a long career in engineering at Hunter Fan, Sealright and retired from Alcan Aluminum in 1982. His other interests included camping, boating, snowmobiling and repairing anything mechanical.

Parke is survived by his wife of 64 years, Carolyn, of Fulton; son, Parke Richard of Fulton; two daughters, Linda (Jeffrey) Auser of Liverpool and Laura Warner of Flagler Beach, Fla.,; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; two nieces and one nephew.

The family received friends and relatives on Monday, Nov. 3 with a memorial service that followed at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay Street, Fulton. In lieu of flowers please donate to your favorite charity or perform an act of kindness for someone in Parke’s memory.

Friends of Fulton Parks asking residents to ‘Raise the Bar’ with donations

Friends of Fulton Parks is looking to the city’s residents to determine which park will be the group’s primary focus next year.

The non-profit organization announced its “Raise the Bar at Your Park” initiative Monday, in which community members are asked to make a financial contribution toward the park of their choice as a way of voting for which park the organization designates as its primary focus in 2015.

“We want the community to give its input on which park should get the focus next year,” said Kelley Weaver, one of the organization’s board members. “We want it to be based on community support and interest, not just something we decide on.”

Weaver said the organization picks a particular park to focus on each year. Once it’s chosen, Friends of Fulton Parks devotes its resources to hosting community fundraisers and seeking grant money from various foundations and corporations to fund upgrades in that park.

As a way of selecting next year’s park, the organization is asking community members to make some sort of monetary donation, however large or small, in the name of either Foster, Hulett, Patrick, Recreation or Van Buren park. Weaver has set an ultimate goal of raising $28,000 for each park. Whichever park is closest to that mark by Jan. 1, 2015 will receive the “primary focus” designation.10-22 FultonParks1

“It could be any amount. It could be a dollar if that’s all a person can give. Yes, this itself is a sort of fundraiser, but what we’re really trying to do here is see which parks the community wants us to be focused on,” Weaver said. “We need, and want, the community input. Calling out to the community to say ‘which parks do you want us to be working on?’ allows residents to get in on the planning.”

Each of those parks is in need of playground equipment, though the specific needs at each park differs. For instance, the organization is trying to raise money to install equipment designated for older kids, ages 12 and up, at Recreation Park. At Foster Park, which recently received a $1,500 donation from the Fulton Sunrise Rotary club, the organization plans to install equipment geared toward younger children, ages 2 through 12. That equipment is slated to be installed next spring, Weaver said.

The Fulton Sunrise Rotary club recently showed its support of Foster Park through grant donations for playground equipment, which will be installed in 2015. Pictured at Foster Park are Rotarians LaVerne DeLand, Linda Rossiter, Doug Stevens and Betty Maute, Friends of Fulton Park Board members Cheri Lenhart and Kelley Weaver, and Superintendent of Parks and Recreation Barry Ostrander.
The Fulton Sunrise Rotary club recently showed its support of Foster Park through grant donations for playground equipment, which will be installed in 2015. Pictured at Foster Park are Rotarians LaVerne DeLand, Linda Rossiter, Doug Stevens and Betty Maute, Friends of Fulton Park Board members Cheri Lenhart and Kelley Weaver, and Superintendent of Parks and Recreation Barry Ostrander.

Weaver said, regardless of which park becomes the 2015 primary focus, the money given during the “Raise the Bar” campaign will only be used on the park named in the donation.

“If someone makes their contribution toward a specific park, that’s where that money will go,” Weaver said.

The organization has three goals it sets for its projects each year, which are to maintain safe playgrounds in compliance with insurance safety inspection requirements, promote developmental benefits to children through play, and provide community events at the parks. Last year’s primary focus was Hulett Park.

To achieve the first goal, the group installed safe-landing material at the Voorhees Park Playground, and C.V. Abbott Playground in Hulett Park.

Using $16,000 in grant money given by the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, and other donations from local individuals, the group accomplished its second goal last year by having a space cleared in Hulett Park for the installation of the new playground equipment. However, Weaver said the group still needs $9,500 to complete that installation this summer.

In fulfillment of the third goal, the group coordinated four community events in the parks last year, as well as 15 different volunteer clean-up events, Weaver said.

Weaver said people interested in getting involved with the projects or fundraising can mail their name and preferred contact information with $5 dues to Friends of Fulton Parks, P.O. Box 572, Fulton. Donations for the “Raise the Bar” campaign can be made in the same way.

United Way helping Fulton youth succeed through CYO

United Way has touched the lives of countless families and individuals throughout Oswego County. Whether working to stop hunger, improving a community’s health and well-being, or helping children and youth succeed, the positive impact provided by United Way has made difference in lives of many.

While much of that impact is immediate and can easily be seen, there are some United Way programs that offer services that provide a positive impact that lasts a lifetime. For one Fulton resident it all began with a trip to Catholic Charities’ CYO Program.

When Mike Curtis was nine years old he learned from his friends that there was a place where he could go to have fun, meet new friends and best of all play basketball. The place, the Fulton CYO, soon became a favorite spot for him. He was soon going to CYO after school, evenings and Saturday mornings. The opportunity to play basketball and partake in the many other youth activities CYO offered was too much to pass up.

Investigator Michael Curtis with the Fulton City Police Department recently shared his story of the positive impact that the Fulton CYO Program had, and continues to have, on his life.  CYO is one of the 27 programs that received funding as result of the United Way’s Annual Campaign.  Pictured from left with Curtis are CYO participants Kiera Purdy, Alexa Halstead, Avery Nunez, Blake Tyler and Kamrin Ledger.
Investigator Michael Curtis with the Fulton City Police Department recently shared his story of the positive impact that the Fulton CYO Program had, and continues to have, on his life.  CYO is one of the 27 programs that received funding as result of the United Way’s Annual Campaign.  Pictured from left with Curtis are CYO participants Kiera Purdy, Alexa Halstead, Avery Nunez, Blake Tyler and Kamrin Ledger.

“I really looked forward to going to CYO. It was a big part of my life. I was still stopping in to play basketball some Saturday mornings when I was in my early 20s,” said Curtis.

In addition to basketball and the other activities, Curtis said that the all-night sleepovers were one of his fondest memories.

“They were great, especially around the holidays as there would be special holiday-themed activities,” Curtis said. “No really ever slept…we were having too much fun!”

While CYO provided Curtis with hours of fun, it also offered life lessons that would help shape his future.

“CYO taught me about discipline and responsibility. I remember having to stop at the front desk to sign in and CYO Director Jim Smiley explaining the proper conduct we were to display while we were at CYO. It was a privilege to be at CYO and he reminded us of that. It also taught me the value of hard work. I have vivid memories of painting those blue stairs that led to CYO when I was involved its summer work program. More importantly, it taught me how to build relationships. Life lessons like discipline and responsibility are only valuable when they can be passed on through strong relationships with family, friends and others, which is what I did,” explained Curtis.

As a 13-year member of the Fulton City Police Department, currently in the criminal investigation unit, Curtis has seen that the impact CYO had on his life is continuing to shape the lives of youth that visit CYO today.

“For many youth CYO is a respite from turmoil. It’s an alternative that offers healthy activities in a safe setting for those families that may not have the financial means to participate other wise.  The impact that CYO has on our community is invaluable. It has the ability to intervene in the life of high-risk youth and offers a chance to help break the cycle of generational struggles and negative behavior. CYO teaches youth how to build relationships in a stable environment that are predicated on positive behaviors. The results of which benefit the community as a whole now and in the future,” said Curtis.

Curtis’ reflection on his experience with CYO is just one of the many stories that could be shared by the thousands of youth and adults who have experienced all that CYO has to offer.  It paints a clear picture of how United Way and the programs it supports impact a community.

“Every experience in your life has a role in shaping you as a person, said Curtis. “CYO is a big part of why I am the person I am. I’ve heard people say why should I give to United Way. The answer is simple…results! We have a responsibility to support each other in our community. We need to give of our time, talent and finances if possible. One never knows when the tide may turn and it will be you in need of help, encouragement or even a life lesson. The impact that United Way has produces positive results that can help end hunger, assist our children and youth in succeeding, and improve the health and well-being of our county.

He continued, “for me the results are in the numbers: 42 years in the community, 21 years of marriage, 13 years with the Fulton City Police Department, three beautiful children, and one lovely wife.”

Michaud, St. Luke’s service workers reach tentative agreement with management

After nearly six months of negotiations, unionized service employees with Michaud Residential Health Services in Fulton and St. Luke’s Health Services in Oswego may have finally reached an agreement with their company.

Pictured are union workers from St. Luke's Health Services in Oswego and Michaud Residential Health Services in Fulton holding a non-stoppage picket outside St. Luke's in August. 
Pictured are union workers from St. Luke’s Health Services in Oswego and Michaud Residential Health Services in Fulton holding a non-stoppage picket outside St. Luke’s in August.

St. Luke’s officials announced Friday that “tentative contract agreements have been reached” with the service employees. The previous contract agreements had expired on July 31.

The service employees, represented by Service Employees International Union (SEIU #1199) Upstate, include certified nursing assistants (CNAs), dietary workers and members of the groundskeeping staff.

Details of the tentative agreements were not available as of press time, as they were still pending final approval by both the St. Luke/Michaud Board of Directors and the union. Company spokesperson Greg Osetek told the Valley News the union would be voting on the agreement this week, and that the board is expected to evaluate the contract and make its decision some time in the next couple weeks.

“We are pleased that the work of all the parties involved in negotiations has resulted in tentative agreements,” said Osetek. “To continue to deliver the quality healthcare that St. Luke and Michaud are known for in our community, we need to be able to operate our not-for-profit affiliate organizations in a fiscally responsible manner. We believe these agreements allow us to accomplish this, and are fair and equitable for our hard-working employees.”

Calls to an SEIU #1199 spokesperson were unreturned.

In August, after a four-month stalemate in negotiations, the service employees, alongside union representatives and other supporters, held a non-stoppage picket outside St. Luke’s. There, workers spoke out against the company’s desire to eliminate their 15-minute shift overlap period, which would have cut down their weekly hours. In order to make up the difference in pay, workers were offered a total 4.3 percent raise in that contract – 3.3 percent of which was designed to supplement the time loss, while the remaining 1 percent would have served as their cost of living increase.

Most of those employees, who are paid hourly, would still have been considered full-time, and eligible for benefits accordingly.

Protesters called the wage increase unfair, and said residents’ care would suffer as a result of the time cut.

“The quality of care is going to decline. We’re not going to have as much time to take care of the residents,” said Eric Susino, a St. Luke’s employee. “They’re saying that they’re giving us a 4.3 percent raise, but 3.3 percent of it is just making up for the lost wages we would have had with the 15-minute loss of day. Only 1 percent of that is real money going into our pockets, and we don’t think that’s fair.”

If accepted, the new agreement would extend for the next three years, Osetek said.

Vernon C. Collett


Vernon C. Collett, Jr., 65, of Fulton passed away Thursday at the Syracuse VA Medical Center. Born in Syracuse, he lived in Fulton for several years. Vernon worked for Crucible Steel for 32 years, retiring in 2003.

He was a U. S. Marine Corps veteran and POW of the Vietnam War. Vernon was a life member and past commander of the Mattydale VFW Post 3146. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Norma L. Collett of Baldwinsville; his companion for the last three years, Ilene Pickering of Fulton; a brother, Don (Barb) Collett of Baldwinsville; three sisters, Patty (Dale) Butler of North Carolina, Sandra Yager of Oswego and Mary Collett of Fulton; several nieces, nephews and his faithful and loving cat, Bud. Burial with military honors was held Wednesday, Sept. 24 at Onondaga County Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Howlett Hill Road, Syracuse. A reception was held following the services at the Vernice Suttle American Legion Post 113, 8529 Smokey Hollow Rd., Baldwinsville. Foster Funeral Home, Fulton has care of arrangements.


Local authors to speak at Friends of Fulton Parks event

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Pictured are Craig Abbott and Joe Abbate, co-authors of Craig’s autobiography “Classified Terminally Ill: My Story of Beating the Odds,” at Bullhead Point. Photo provided

Local writers Craig Abbott and Joe Abbate, co-authors of Craig’s autobiography “Classified Terminally Ill: My Story of Beating the Odds” will be speaking at a Call for Writers kick-off event on Sept.13 at 1 p.m. under the Bullhead Point Pavilion, state Route 3, Fulton. Craig will be discussing his connection to the playground at Hulett Park, known as the “C.V. Abbott Memorial Playground,” named after him when he was a baby and not expected to survive. The book chronicles Craig’s life from his birth to the present day as an author and public speaker. As an infant he was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type-1 and was anticipated to die before the age of two. He is now in his mid-20s.

The Friends of Fulton Parks is hosting this Call for Writers to author a portion of their upcoming book about Fulton’s city parks. The book will be filled with stories including that of C.V. Abbott, as well as residents’ answers to the question “Why are parks important?”

Editor Jim Farfaglia explains the purpose of the book.

“Just like where we went to school or worked or gathered in faith, our city parks were a part of our growing up. Gathering people’s stories about playing at a neighborhood park, working for the city in summer recreation programs and volunteering to keep the parks looking beautiful helps Fulton continue to be a great place to live,” Farfaglia said.

“We are writing a book celebrating the parks in the past and present, to revitalize them for the future,” said Friends of Fulton Parks board member Kelley Weaver.

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