In And Around Hannibal – March 22, 2014

I’m off to Maryland this week where I will volunteer with SERRV for a few days. SERRV is a nonprofit organization with a mission to eliminatee poverty by providing opportunity and support to artisans and farmers worldwide.

It began when a small group of church relief workers helped refugees rebuild after World War II. SERRV has grown into a $9 million fair trade network connecting thousands of artisans in developing countries with customers and volunteers across the United States.

If I’ve raised your curiosity, check it out on the net! Some of our local churches put on SERRV Fairs.

While in Maryland, I’ll also be delivering more that 250 school kits to Church World Service from all across Central New York.

On Friday, I’m headed to DC to attend Ecumenical Advocacy Days; EAD is a movement of the ecumenical Christian community and its recognized partners and allies.

Their goal, through worship, theological reflection and opportunities for learning and witness, is to strengthen their Christian voice and to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues.

On Monday, 1,000 Christian advocates will take to Capitol Hill for meetings with their members of Congress. This year’s theme is, “Jesus Weeps: Resisting Violence, Building Peace.”

The longer I live, the more I realize that all those tiny beams of light that work on food pantries and clothes closets, fight and support for better health care, advocate against drug use, prepare free meals, put together assorted kits, etc. are just treading water.

It takes government to do for people what they can’t do for themselves. So it’s time I took that bigger step in faith and went to Capitol Hill. It will be a new experience for me, but one I’m looking forward to.

I feel a little like Ella Leonard Stevenson must have felt when she left Hannibal, traveling far and wide on behalf of women’s suffrage!

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This year’s honoree of the Hannibal Libraries’ Woman of the Year award is Christine Learned. The reception will be from 2 to 3:30 p.m. today, Saturday, March 22 at the Library.

Lenten Services of the Enoch Thomas Cluster of United Methodist Churches continue. All services start at 5 p.m. with refreshments afterwards; all are on Sunday, March 23, at Hannibal Center; March 30 at Ira (please note Hannibal and Ira have switched dates from what was previously announced); April 6 at Bowens Corners.

On Sunday April 13, Palm Sunday, they will all be taking part in a Choir Festival at Hannibal.

The Tri-County Singers will perform their Easter Cantata at the Hannibal United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. March 30. A free will offering will be received.

Senior Center

The Senior Meals Program meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday for lunch at the Senior Center promptly at noon. The Center opens at 10 for those who like to work on puzzles, read the paper or just have a chat over coffee.

There’s always something to do at the Center, which is located in the Library across from the Hannibal Fire Hall on Oswego Street.

This week’s menu features:

Monday, March 24: Hot turkey sandwich, mashed potatoes, vegetable blend, fruit cup

Wednesday: Turkey sloppy Joe, baked beans, cole slaw, mixed fruit

Friday: Chicken breast w/mushroom sauce, rice pilaf, vegetable blend, cookie

Activities: Monday is Wii bowling; Wednesday is Bingo after lunch; Friday is   shuffleboard, games.

Please call Rosemary at 564-5471 and make your reservation.

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The Hannibal Historical Society will be meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Community Center, Oswego Street. Alena Patane Sanford will tell about the history of the Hannibal Nursery School.  The school now operates under the umbrella of the Hannibal Free Library and provides for small group educational opportunities for pre-school children aged 3-5 years.

I remember 35-plus years ago receiving info for this column about the nursery school from Alena’s mom Vivian … wish I could be there to share the trip down memory lane.  Refreshments will be served.

Bone Builders don’t take the winter off — they meet at the American Legion at 9:45 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you have osteoporosis, there is help for you and your bones —stop in and check it out, or give Louise Kellogg a call.

The Elderberries will meet for a covered dish dinner at noon this Tuesday at the Community Center.  Please bring your own table service and dish to pass.  The center is on Oswego Street in the Community Center, Library building.

This will be the last noon meeting.  In April, they will begin their summer schedule and resume meeting at 6 p.m.

They voted to continue to collect food and non-food items for the Hannibal Resource Center and blankets and pet food for the Humane Society. Some of the Berries involved with these organizations have agreed to drop them off.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly meets at Our Lady of the Rosary (Cayuga Street across from the High School) meets at 5:45 p.m. Wednesdays.

ZUMBATHON to benefit Upstate New York chapter of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday March 26 at Hannibal Village Tavern. For more information call 564-5266 or 564-5479.

The Hannibal Methodist Church serves a free lunch (donations for this ministry accepted though) at 11:30 a.m. Thursdays. The church is one block west of the Village Square on Route 3 (Church Street).

Hannibal Fire Co. Breakfast with the Easter Bunny will be from 8 to 11 a.m. Sunday, March 30 at the firehouse on Oswego Street. FREE pictures with the Easter Bunny will be provided By C. Perkins Photography from 9 to 11 a.m.

They will be serving pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries toast, sausage gravy, biscuits and beverages.

The Hannibal Lenten soup dinners and devotionals will begin April 1 at Our Lady of the Rosary Church across from Hannibal High School on Cayuga Street.

The next one in on April 8 at the Hannibal Methodist Church and the last one is April 15 at God’s Vision Christian Church.

The Senior Council rooms are available for groups and family rental when not being otherwise used.  Please give Rosemary a call for information and booking (564-5471.)

The Friends of the Hannibal Free Library will be holding its Spring Book and Bake Sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 5, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday April  6 at the Hannibal Community Center nextto the Library.  There will be hundreds of books,  for all ages and interests.

There will also be a wide variety of baked goods  for sale. For more information call Faith Chaffee,  564-5192.

Craft and Bake Sale at the Hannibal United Methodist Church, Church Street (one block west of the Village Square on Route. 3) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 12. Lunch will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. All homemade soup, chili, sandwiches and pie!  Two floors of crafts for you to browse and shop!

The Hannibal Library has a Garden Time raffle basket full of containers, gift certificate from Travis Floral, books on container gardening, gloves, tools and more. The drawing will be on April 15.

There will be a Community-wide Yard Sale in the Hannibal area at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 3. Last year we had 27 sales — all offering MANY bargains!

If you wish to participate and would like your sale placed on the master list call 564-6410 and provide your street address and phone number by Sunday, April 27.

If you will have special sale content like tools, antiques, sports equipment, or if multiple-families are participating, please note that also. (There is no need to provide your name.)

Multiple copies of the master list will be available for the buying public at the Community Center (Library) beginning at 8 a.m.

I can’t write it unless I have it — so you know what to do … phone or email me with your club’s or organization’s info. That includes the schools, churches, Dollars for Scholars, blood drives, Scouts, 4-H, TOPS, Resource Center etc.

Rita Hooper
706-3564
Twohoops2@juno.com

JERRY’S JOURNAL: Transportation with Walt Carrington

I’ve never met Walt Carrington but he sounds like a real interesting guy.

I now share with you a letter from him, a former Fultonian who has sent me some interesting notes of what it was like growing up in our hometown.

The subject of this particular letter is “Transportation.”

“Air: Somewhere between 1957 and 1962, my Mom sent me a newspaper front page (Herald Journal probably) which had headlines claiming Fulton’s airport had 20-foot drifts of snow.”

“Buses: When I was in grade school (40s, early 50s) there was a period during which Fulton had a bus system. The reason for remembering was that the end of the line was at Whitcomb Road and West First Street.

I had left my sled there in a pile of snow to talk to a friend, Jim Kring, and while I was talking the bus turned around and crushed my sled.

“I seem to remember there was a bus stop at the State Theatre, and at the plaza in front of the Green and White Diner, where the bus lines converged.

One could also catch the Syracuse and Oswego Bus Line, which stopped next door to the State Theatre at its terminal where tickets were sold. I rode that bus to the State Fair in Syracuse and back a couple of years.

“Railroads: In the 1940s Fulton had passenger train service. My Mom told my sister and me that if we would stop chewing our fingernails she would take us on the train to Oswego and back. I didn’t get to take the trip but my sister did, and the depot was out Oneida Street where the passenger train station was overhead at the overpass.

“My Dad took Mom and Joann out for their trip and we waved ‘bye.’ That was the New York Central’s passenger station there.

“On the west side of the river, across the street from Henderson and Thompson Lumber Yard, on the west end of the Lower Bridge, there was the terminal for the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western (DL&W) Railroad Co.

“I remember seeing steam freight switches in the freight yard in the 1940s, serving the feed mill and Henderson Thompson’s coal trestle and lumber yard, but I don’t remember any passenger operations at that time.

“In the 1880s, Fulton had 10 passenger trains a day running on the Oswego Syracuse Division of what was to become the DL&W, and later the Erie Lackawanna and still later ConRail.

For those interested in history, until 1957, when it failed, the Ontario and Western Railroad also served Fulton from the east. This railroad was nicknamed “Old Weary” and came into Fulton from Central Square.

The Old Weary began as the New York and Oswego Midland Railroad’s Northern Division. An 1873 time table shows 10 trains a day going through Fulton with freight operations only. “

I thank Walt Carrington for reminiscing with us per his correspondence. He supplied some date sources: When the Railroads Went to the Beach, John Taibi, 1909, p. 17, and Lackawanna Route in Central New York, 1977, and Steam Railroads of Central New York, 1973. Sorry but I can’t supply the source of these publications

I don’t know about you but Walt’s memories provoked a few of my own. I think the winter of 20-foot snow drifts at the Fulton airport was the winter of 1958.

That year Mike spent a lot of his evenings and weekends painting the inside of our about-to-be new home in the Patrick Tract on West Third Street.

One day he was so busy at his task that he didn’t realized how much snow had fallen and when it was time to go home our car was buried. Thank goodness for the help of our soon-to-be-new next door neighbor Joe LiVoti, Mike got shoveled out and got home okay.

I am very familiar with that corner of Whitcomb and West First Street Walt wrote about. I lived just a couple houses up and next door to the Kring family when I was a child.

As far as the old bus line around Fulton, I often rode the bus as a young working woman, on the route that took me from out in the Sixth Ward where I lived on Porter Street to downtown Fulton and my job at the Oswego County Telephone Company on South First Street.

The bus line that used to be called The Syracuse-Oswego, that stopped downtown near the State Theatre on the corner of South First and Rochester Streets, and is now known as Centro and still goes to Syracuse. You can still catch a ride to the State Fair in the fall (for $3 a head, correct amount only, no change.)

As for the trains that once ran through our city, my long ago neighbor on Porter Street, Home Bailey, worked for the DL&W and was a familiar sight in his engineer’s cap and coveralls of white and gray pinstripes.

And then there were the train whistles all times of the day and night that could be heard in our West Third Street neighborhood. That noise, mournful sounding at night, waking up small children tucked into bed, came from the railroad tracks that cross Curtis Street near the Junior High School.

I never rode a train to Oswego in my youth, but did walk the tracks to Sharp’s Pond many a summer, and I did ride the New York Central a couple of times — once when I when 12 and went to Hackensack, N.J. with an adult friend of our family, and once to New York City to spend time with Mike when were still newlyweds in 1952 and he was in the Navy.

OK, dear readers, let’s fast-forward back to the here and now: I don’t know where Walt Carrington lived here in town so I dug out my 1950 City Directory and looked up what I think was his old address and discovered that a Walter and Mary Carrington once lived on the corner of Whitcomb Road and Forest Ave — and their actual address was RD3 (imagine that,  that area wasn’t part of the city just yet, and no Whitcomb Tract or Lanigan School back then)…

I’m also guessing that Mr. and Mrs. Carrington were Walt’s Mom and Dad. Walt’s mother was listed as h (staying home), while his father was listed as a foreman at the PCKSCCo — Peter Cailier Kohler Swiss Chocolate Co. — which became Nestlé’s!

Speaking of our old chocolate factory, I think it would be fun to do a series of columns on people who worked there.

If you are one of them and want to share your story, please write or email me a paragraph or two — not more than a page — and let’s see how it all works out.

But be patient, it may take me some time to put it all together.

Now here’s my caveat:

Readers beware! I write for fun. I am not a historian, nor a reporter. I write from memory and from what others want to share.

Sometimes I look things up; sometimes I mess things up. I hope you have fun reading my stuff. Your comments, additions and corrections are always welcome.

You may contact me at 133 Tannery Lane, Fulton, phone 592-7580 or email JHogan808@aol.com. Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line. Thanks!

VALLEY VIEWPOINTS: Majority party needs GPS; Vet fees too high

GPS, rearview mirror needed

The Oswego County majority party in the County Legislature needs to know how to use both of these.

They need the GPS (I would suggest a Garmin) to find out where they are headed because even with as many times you try and tell them something they don’t hear you.

They listen just like some teenagers do when you tell them how important an education is, but just like those teenagers they don’t hear you.

Then they need to learn how to use a rearview mirror and what it shows you when you look into it. A rearview mirror has two functions: First it shows you what is coming at you from behind. Second it shows you where you have been.

I have been a legislator now for three months and I have been to three full legislature meetings and about five committee meetings. The only meeting in which they didn’t spend or authorize to spend money was the first full legislature meeting (I believe).

Now this isn’t their money, it is your money and maybe that is why they think nothing of spending it.

The spending of this money is why they need a GPS. Now I know one of them will say “its unfunded mandates. That is why we spent the money.”

Well the last time I checked the state government has not mandated we put up a new mix plant building in Hastings costing the taxpayers $200,000. It wasn’t mandated for almost $200,000 more that they have passed (needed yes, but not mandated).

I am no way in favor of unfunded mandates. Now I relate these to saving of jobs and we could save at least 10 to 15 jobs without spending this money. The reason I say this is as the experts all say “History repeats itself.”

Ten years ago, the county had a general fund balance of  $5 million (almost broke)and then over the next two years they hit the taxpayers with about 35 percent tax increases. With very watchful spending the county general fund reached a high of about $32 million by 2010.

Now over the last 2 years, we have spent or transferred almost $12 million  so our balance is now down to $20 million. Now if they (county majority party) can’t see where this is headed then that is why they need a GPS.

Another useful tool is the rearview mirror and if they used it they could see that where they have been (2003) is not somewhere they want to go back to.

Even more they could see the facts that if they keep spending money this way, job cuts and double digit tax increases are coming up from behind them. It may not happen this year but mark my words, it will happen.

I know that unions are not in favor of any kind of tax freeze and I can understand why. I would like to see the unions use their power to force Albany to give back the funding for the mandates.

Raises could be given with that funding and without raising costs to the taxpayer.

The fact of the matter is that the taxpayers can’t afford and don’t want any double digit tax increases. What I myself want is a tax freeze that will guarantee single digit tax increases and save the jobs of those workers we now have.

The way the county majority party is spending money, they don’t want any tax freeze because they want to be able to repeat what they did in 2003 and 2004. It’s not right.

Frank Castiglia Jr. 
Oswego County 
Legislator, 25 District

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Reduce vet fees

I have a request for all the veterinary services in Oswego County.

We all know the shelters are full of unwanted dogs and cats. I know when you adopt from a shelter there is an initial fee, which covers a vet-check and shots.

Why don’t you offer an additional discount price for further treatment? It doesn’t cost a lot to feed an animal, but the vet costs are getting extreme.

I know, myself, I would gladly adopt another dog if I could afford the vet costs. It would, I’m sure, make adoption more appealing and help the shelters.

Think about empty shelters. What a great thing that would be!

Thanks.

Judy Holmes
Volney

Nine Mile 2 out of service for refueling

Operators removed Nine Mile Point Unit 2 from service at about 12:30 a.m. today to begin the station’s planned refueling outage.

During the outage, Constellation Energy Nuclear Group employees and more than 1,200 supplemental workers will perform more than 2,000 maintenance activities, tests and safety inspections on a variety of plant components and systems. Many of the activities performed during the outage cannot be accomplished while the unit is operational and all are designed to ensure the continued safe, efficient and reliable production of electricity.

“The safe, reliable operation of Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station is always our top priority,” said site vice president Chris Costanzo. “We’re also proud to stimulate our community’s economy by bringing to the area so many supplemental workers who will support local businesses.”

In addition to replacing nearly one third of the reactor’s fuel, outage workers will be performing a host of equipment enhancements and modifications while the unit is offline. Nine Mile’s two units are on a 24-month refueling cycle. Efficient completion of this necessary work, combined with longer operating cycles, helps the customer by optimizing nuclear energy’s benefits as a reliable source of emissions-free electricity.

 

Brindsley “Brin” McCann, retired from Sealright

Brindsley “Brin” McCann, 85, died Friday March 21, 2014 in University Hospital, Syracuse.

Mr. McCann was born in Volney, the son of Myron and Gertrude McCann.

Mr. McCann worked for Sealright Co. for 45 years before his retirement.

He served in the United States Army from 1950 until 1952.

He was a member of the Volney seniors and a communicant of Sacred Heart Church.

Mr. McCann was predeceased by his wife Mary F. McCann in 2014, and his siblings Fred, Richard, Maurice, Donald, Worden, Louis McCann and Eileen Mileskey, Dorothy Miller, Eleanor Lachut, and Gertrude Craw.

He is survived by several nieces and nephews.

Spring burial will be in New Haven Cemetery. There are no calling hours. The arrangements are in the care of the Sugar Funeral Home, 224 W. Second St. S., Fulton.

HODGEPODGE: Mom’s ‘Club,’ Squirrelympics, Vintage Hodgepodge

Mom’s “Club”

“I fixed you some sandwiches. You’ll have to go upstairs early and play quietly until bedtime.”

We knew that if that was my mother’s message to us, it meant that the “club ladies” were coming.

We could have guessed that though, because since we arrived home from school we had been dusting and vacuuming and picking up all our “stuff” and putting it “where it belongs.”

We had to be reminded that the living room floor wasn’t “where it belongs.”

My father observed the same strictly outlined rules as us kids on “club night.”  He usually spent a couple of hours each evening at the dining room table doing his “homework,” which consisted of filling out orders for his bakery route.

On club nights he scrunched himself up to sit in the small chair at the small desk in our bedroom.

Our house was small and one of the problems that fact presented was that there wasn’t room for the ladies’ coats downstairs, so during gatherings when coats were necessary they were neatly spread out on my parents’ bed, so my accommodating father had to lay down with my brother or me in one of our small bunk-size beds until the ladies went home.

Most of the club members lived on Kenmore Avenue, one block from our house. At one time five club ladies lived in three houses next to each other.

To observers, it didn’t seem that the club ladies, most of whom saw each other on a daily basis, had an exciting agenda at their meetings. The ladies would entertain themselves when they got together by talking; some of them sewed while they talked.

The club’s custom was the hostess would serve “lunch” sometime around nine o’clock. The appetizing aromas of that late evening meal often caused a problem for the upstairs campers whose gulped down supper of sandwiches was a long ago memory.

There were leftovers the next day, but they didn’t seem the same without the club ladies’ lively chatter.

Not only did the club members have their evening get-togethers at each other’s homes, they gathered many times in the summer at picnics when they brought their children along.

Kids’ birthday parties were also a frequent event. So all the kids saw each other often and were, more or less, members of their own club.

The club ladies were visiting each other’s homes and enjoying their frequent parties long after their children had grown up.

As the years went by, there was a new era for the club ladies when some of the members were joined by their daughters for their social evenings.

Sometimes the memories from many years ago come back to me and I return to a living room full of my mother’s friends; to the enjoyment that those ladies received from each other and to the enduring friendships which were nurtured during those evenings with the “Club Ladies.”

Squirrelympics?

I entertain myself quite often by watching some of our neighborhood’s many squirrels flying from tree to tree around our backyard.

In an article that I wrote in 2012, I called them “The Flying Squirrellendas” (do you remember Ringling’s Flying Wallendas?) as they performed in our backyard every day:

“I am happy to say that their performance arena is right here in our backyard … One problem is that you never know when the show might begin. … As I sit here one of the performers has appeared … I can’t tell what color his performance tights might be … He is being very cautious, this is obviously just a warm-up session … and then he disappears … no show for now.”

Two years later, they are still at it, and there are times when I am at the kitchen table just in time for show time. A couple of days ago I got so excited watching the tree tops activity that I spilled my coffee all over the table.

I’m sure our neighborhood squirrels belong to some kind of a social/athletic club. Often times one or two squirrels will be chasing each other from branch to branch and soon I can count 10 or more participating in the games.

There is another large group of squirrels across the street in the park and still another smaller one further up the road. Who knows? Maybe they are participating in their own Winter “Squirrelympics”.

Squirrel watching and counting has become a winter afternoon fun activity. Squirrelympics — summer or winter, it doesn’t matter.

These athletic, bushy-tailed rodents compete during all seasons and they excite the audience (me and my coffee cup) and score points.

As I watch the neighborhood squirrels these days I wonder if they are trying to tell us something.  When they’re not chasing each other around our yards the squirrels seem to be busy storing more winter provisions.

Maybe we should be paying more attention. Perhaps the squirrels know more than the groundhogs, and even more than the television prognosticators.

And, they’re having a great time.

Vintage Hodgepodge

From The Fulton Patriot, Feb. 23, 1993:

I have been asked a lot of questions during the past couple of weeks. I have run out of answers. I am beginning to dread these questions.

  • When are you going to shovel the snow?
  • Enough snow for you?
  • Do you think it will ever stop snowing?
  • Is it going to snow tonight?
  • Is it going to snow this afternoon?
  • When are you going to shovel the snow?
  • Where are you going to put all this snow?
  • Have we got more snow than Oswego?
  • Is there school today?
  • Is there going to be school tomorrow?
  • When are you going to shovel the snow?
  • Why do you live in Fulton in the winter time?
  • Where is the car?
  • What is that huge pile of snow doing in the driveway where the car used to be?
  • When are you going to shovel the snow?

… Roy Hodge

Bookmobile council uses grant to buy books for children

In the photo from left to right are Amy Armet, Oswego bookmobile student council adviser; Bill Reilly, river’s end bookstore; Olivia Flint, Oswego bookmobile student council member; Victoria Armet, Oswego bookmobile student council member; Dawn Metott, Oswego City-County Youth Bureau; Carrie Victory, AmeriCorps program assistant; and Joan Dain, Oswego bookmobile.
In the photo from left to right are Amy Armet, Oswego bookmobile student council adviser; Bill Reilly, river’s end bookstore; Olivia Flint, Oswego bookmobile student council member; Victoria Armet, Oswego bookmobile student council member; Dawn Metott, Oswego City-County Youth Bureau; Carrie Victory, AmeriCorps program assistant; and Joan Dain, Oswego bookmobile.

Members of the Oswego Bookmobile’s Student Advisory Council recently reported on their winter project.

The project involved helping the bookmobile purchase popular books to give to youngsters free of charge during the bookmobile’s summer program.

Students who are Advisory Council members are generally avid readers who talk with their classmates about favorite book titles, and are therefore well qualified to suggest favorite and popular books for purchase.

Members of the Council also help to prepare the high-interest books for the bookmobile.

“It’s like opening Christmas presents for the students when the new books arrive,” said Amy Armet, who advises the Student Advisory Council.

The Student Advisory Council met recently at Frederick Leighton Elementary School in Oswego to see and showcase newly arrived books for Oswego Bookmobile Committee members.

Also on hand were representatives of river’s end bookstore, who assisted with the book purchase, as well as AmeriCorps and the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau.

The books were purchased with a $1,000 Mini-Grant from the Youth Bureau.

The project was also made possible by the state Office of Children and Family Services.

The Oswego Bookmobile and its Student Advisory Council express their appreciation for the funding and to those who assisted with this project.

Hundreds of area children will benefit during the next year due to this grant.

OCO fights hunger in Oswego County

Staff and volunteers for OCO Nutrition Services prepare meals at OCO’s kitchen facility in Mexico. Nutrition Services prepares over 1,000 meals daily for distribution to OCO’s Activity and Dining Centers, and Meals on Wheels program. Last year OCO Nutrition Services served 239,769 meals to Oswego County residents 60 and older; provided 16,360 meals to youth up to 18 years of age. Above from left are: Hilarie Himes, Torrie McCray, Cody Cowen, Joyce Burnard, and Lesley Kline.
Staff and volunteers for OCO Nutrition Services prepare meals at OCO’s kitchen facility in Mexico. Nutrition Services prepares over 1,000 meals daily for distribution to OCO’s Activity and Dining Centers, and Meals on Wheels program. Last year OCO Nutrition Services served 239,769 meals to Oswego County residents 60 and older; provided 16,360 meals to youth up to 18 years of age. Above from left are: Hilarie Himes, Torrie McCray, Cody Cowen, Joyce Burnard, and Lesley Kline.

When it comes to fighting hunger in Oswego County, perhaps no one plays a more important role than Oswego County Opportunities.

Virtually all of OCO’s human services programs have elements that address hunger. From homebound seniors to homeless teens and single mothers, to low-income families and hungry youth, OCO does its best to provide nutritious meals to those in need.

With the need for food subsidy at almost record levels in Oswego County, and state and federal funding continuing to dwindle, OCO’s fundraising efforts are on a roll.

To help continue to feed those in need OCO will host its “Retro Bowl” fundraiser Saturday, April 5, at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton.

Proceeds from the Retro Bowl will be spread across all of the agency’s programs to assist in providing consumers of these programs with emergency food when needed and help the agency build a reserve for the future.

Executive Director of OCO Diane Cooper-Currier said supporting programs and services that combat hunger aligns nicely with OCO’s mission.

“As an anti-poverty agency, our focus is fighting poverty in any form. The inability to afford or prepare nutritious meals is certainly one of the most troubling forms of poverty we see,” she said.

“Our Retro Bowl fundraiser will help ensure that our consumers, regardless of which program they are accessing, will have the emergency food supplies they need for themselves and their families,” said Cooper-Currier.

While food subsidy is an aspect of all of OCO’s programs, the agency’s premier anti-hunger program is its Nutrition Service program.

Originally established to help provide meals for seniors, OCO Nutrition Services has evolved into a well-rounded program that operates eight dining and activity centers; provides a home-delivered meal service for seniors, as well as a private pay program for those under 60; offers a supplemental summer food program for youth throughout Oswego County; and an after-school program in Fulton that provides food for youth up to 18 years of age.

Last year alone, OCO Nutrition Services served 239,769 meals to Oswego County residents 60 and older; provided 16,360 meals to youth up to 18 years of age; and fed 50 children in its after school and summer food programs.

Additionally, OCO Nutrition Services delivered 650 “Blizzard Bags” filled with non-perishable foods to homebound residents so that they may have a day or two of food on hand in the event of bad weather.

The centerpiece of OCO Nutrition Services is the eight Dining and Activity Centers that the program hosts.

The centers provide a warm meal and a welcoming environment for those 60 and older wishing to enjoy some fun, quality time with others in their community.

The Dining and Activities Centers are open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and are located at:

  • Constantia – St. Bernadette’s Church, 1667 State Route 49, open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 623-9803
  • Fulton – Fulton Municipal Building, 141 S. First St., open Monday through Friday, 592-3408
  • Hannibal – Community Library, 162 Oswego St., open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 564-5471
  • Mexico – Presbyterian Church, 4316 Church St., open Wednesday and Friday, 963-7757
  • Parish – Presbyterian Church, 814 Rider St., open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 625-4617
  • Phoenix – Congregational Church, 3 Bridge St., open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 695-4841
  • Sandy Creek – Methodist Church, 2031 Harwood Drive, open Monday through Friday, 298-5020

“It’s amazing to think of the impact that our program has on hunger in our county,” said Amy Roland, director of OCO Nutrition Services.

“Our kitchen staff, our drivers, the staffs of our dining and activity centers, and our army of volunteers that we are fortunate enough to have, are busy all day long preparing, packaging and delivering meals each and every day, Monday through Friday,” she said..

Roland added she is looking at ways to expand the OCO Nutrition Services by providing even more meals and making the summer food program for local youth available at more locations.

The summer food program, currently at 12 locations in the county, provides up to two meals per day, Monday through Friday throughout the summer break.

The OCO Retro Bowl takes place from noon to 6 p.m. April 5 at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton.

Registration is now open for five-person teams, with choice of flights: noon to 2:30 p.m. or 3 to 5:30 p.m. (first come, first served).

For registration or sponsor information, or to donate a door prize, contact OCO at 598-4717 or visit the agency’s website at oco.org.

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