Phoenix softball pitcher raises money to fight cancer

Team up with the Phoenix Lady Firebird Varsity Softball team this season for an opportunity to strike out cancer.

Support seasoned pitcher Megan Brown in her mission to raise money for the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Center.

Brown, a student at Phoenix’s John C. Birdlebough High School, is accepting sponsors to pledge a dollar amount for each strikeout she throws during the upcoming 2014 regular season.

Inspired by her team’s participation in the annual local “Strike Out Cancer” tournament that raises money for the same mission, Brown said, “I really want my journey this season to help others.”

Varsity softball coach Raina Hinman said she is so proud of her junior pitcher, saying, “Megan finished last season with an astounding 128 strikeouts. This year she really wants her varsity career strikeouts to make a difference in more than just stats.

“Megan is a leader on and off the field and truly wants her strikeouts to help others and make a difference in someone else’s life,” Hinman said.

To join Megan Brown’s strikeout cancer campaign, make a donation or pledge a per-strike amount, contact Hinman at 695-1521, 552-7526, email at rhinman@phoenixcsd.org, or visit www.PhoenixCSD.org and look for more information under the news section of the homepage or under the Athletics Department page.

The 2014 varsity softball season begins in March.

CNY Arts Center casts “Searching for Eden: The Diaries of Adam and Eve”

CNY Arts Center announces the casting of Peter and Kelly Mahan in the roles of Adam and Eve in “Searching for Eden: The Diaries of Adam and Eve,” written by James Still.

The romantic comedy will be presented for three performances only Feb. 14, 15 and 16 as part of a Valentine’s Date Night special event at the Arts Center located at 357 State St. Church (Park Street entrance), Fulton.

“I’m delighted to work with Peter and Kelly on this project,” said Nancy Fox, director. “We have worked together on numerous productions in the past, most recently including Helen Keller last spring.

“This is the first time for the two of them to work together as the only characters in the play,” Fox said. “Their personal relationship as husband and wife lends credibility to the story unfolding in the play.”

The play, based on Mark Twain’s original Diaries of Adam and Eve, in Act One finds Adam and Eve in contemporary society caught up in the whirlwind of busy lives and annoying cell phones in Act Two.

Drawn to revisit Eden, now a resort called “E,” the couple struggles to rekindle the innocence of their beginnings in the garden when everything was new and an adventure.

“The play is a wonderful portrayal of relationships, the sweet innocence of discovering the special person created just for you, “Fox continues.

“Adam and Eve lead us through those moments of awareness as self-perception makes room for the other person until you realize you’re incomplete on your own; you were created for relationship which makes the personality differences worth the confusion,” she said. “The play has rich moments of humor and tenderness. It’s a healthy look at what’s important in all relationships.”

“We’re especially excited to combine this wonderful play with an evening of dinner and dessert — Friday, Feb. 14 when we’ll offer a Pasta Bar with sides and a lavish Chocolate fountain with an exotic array of dipping choices,” said Fox.

“Saturday 8 p.m. and Sunday 3 p.m. performances will offer delectable desserts and hot beverages available for purchase in addition to the regular ticket price of $12,” she added. “Friday’s complete dinner, dessert and show package is $25 pre-sale only.”

Tickets can be purchased online at www.CNYArtsCenter.com, or picked up at the Arts Center at 357 State St. Church,  or Arts in the Heart Gallery, 47 S. First St.  For reservations and more information, call 592-3373.

Phoenix girls’ hoops seeks elusive second win

By Rob Tetro

The Phoenix girls’ varsity basketball team continues to search for another win, with losses at Cazenovia 59-46 and Bishop Ludden 58-48.

The girls now have an overall record of 1-12.

In the game with Caz on Jan. 21. the Lakers led by only two points after the first period. Cazenovia extended its lead during the second quarter, outscoring Phoenix by 4 points to take a 24-18 lead into halftime.

The deficit faced by the Lady Firebirds continued to grow during the third quarter, as Caz outscored Phoenix by 9 points to push its lead to 15 points. But the Lady Firebirds didn’t fold. During the fourth quarter, Phoenix outscored Cazenovia to cut into its lead, but the deficit proved to be insurmountable as Cazenovia came away with a 13-point win.

Phoenix was led by Samantha Doupe with 17 points, followed by Kimberly Holbrook with 11, Alexandra Wilson with 7 and Morgan Stoutenger chipped in 5 points.

Bishop Ludden jumped out to an early 8-point lead over Phoenix Jan. 24 and then increased the lead in the second period to go into the half with a 35-18 lead.

Bishop Ludden continued to pour it on during the third quarter, outscoring the Lady Firebirds by 8 points to extend the lead to 25 points. However, Phoenix went down swinging. They outscored Bishop Ludden by 15 points during the fourth quarter to cut into the lead. But despite these valiant efforts, Bishop Ludden held off Phoenix for the 58-48 win.

Leading the way for the Lady Firebirds was Alexandra Wilson with 14 points, followed by Samantha Doupe with 11, Kimberly Holbrook scored 9 and Shannon Dolan chipped in 8 points.

Valley Viewpoints

Missing Margaret

Jerry Hogan Kasperek devoted her Jan. 25 “Jerry’s Journal” column to Margaret Beckwith.

Jerry’s thoughts and memories captured what anyone who had known Margaret knew to be true. We got to know Margaret as members of the Fulton Athletic Boosters Club many years ago and were fortunate enough to develop a friendship and an association with this truly remarkable woman.

How do you describe Margaret? There aren’t enough adjectives to do her justice but here are a few: loving, caring, sensitive, emotional, detailed, consistent, dedicated, determined and strong.

Knowing Margaret, you have to begin with the love she had for her husband, sons, their wives, and especially her grandchildren. here was nothing that she wouldn’t do for them.

All of us are “suppose” to love our children and grandchildren, but in Margaret’s case, there was something extra special about their relationships.

As we learned over time, Margaret was a good athlete in her day, so it was natural that her boys and grandchildren might have some athletic ability. They were all involved in sports, which led to her being involved in the Fulton Athletic Booster Club. She could be seen at all of their events and if they weren’t playing, watching other children play or working in the concession stand.

The concession stand was her baby, making sure everything was in order and operating at its full potential. She was the last person to leave at the end of an event.

Margaret was the club’s treasurer for many years and, she was a strong advocate for recognizing athletes, coaches and fans by organizing award ceremonies. She took pride in everything she did always adding a special touch to make the event extra special.

No detail was overlooked.

This was the base that carried through to her caring for everyone she met, especially kids. Margaret genuinely cared more for others than herself.

Whenever we had health issues, Margaret was the first to call to see if we needed anything, which was followed by her visits, delicious strawberry salad and later meatballs and sauce. Soon thereafter, Margaret would come bearing gifts. We both have been the recipients of Red Raider jackets.

When Margaret became ill, we would either call or stop in to see her. Before we could ask her how she was doing, Margaret would ask us if we were okay and how our kids were doing. She always deflected anything to do with her situation by saying, “I’m okay.”

There seemed to be someone with her whenever we called or stopped by. Usually friends during the day. The last time we stopped by family members were with her.

Margaret’s condition had seriously worsened from our previous visit.

Margaret appeared to be sleeping when we got there with her favorite movie, The Student Prince, playing on the TV.

When her son Bill went up to her and said “the Westons are here,” she responded and indicated that she wanted us to come near.

Even though she was so weak, beautiful Margaret asked if we wanted some water (thinking of others again). She also let it be known that she wanted to squeeze our hand.

We kissed her forehead before we left, knowing in our hearts that would probably be the last time we could.

Needless to say, Margaret Beckwith made a tremendous impression on the both of us. We loved her dearly and deeply miss her. We are all better off having known her.

Bob & Sandy Weston

Fulton

More on Margaret

As most of you, upon hearing of Margaret Beckwith’s passing, I was stricken by a deep sense of lose.

The obituary, from The Valley News, was well written, gave brief highlights of Margaret’s life, accomplishments and loving family members.

Fortunately, on the same page Jerry’s Journal column was dedicated to memories of Margaret’s earlier life — she shared many of these memories with us written from her unique position as lifelong friend and peer to Margaret.

Somehow I feel Jerry could have expounded boundless paragraphs beyond the wonderful recollections she shared with us in her column. Hopefully in future columns she will do so.

Thank you Jerry for your touching memories of Margaret’s early years. Your memories of Margaret only further reinforce all the great aspects of Margaret’s life of which we have all come to know.

The Margaret we knew was a spark plug of vitality and positivity, ever encouraging, prodding to excellence, smiling, laughing and always lending a concerning ear to all in our close knit community.

Nothing could cheer you up more than a “Hi, how are you doing? How are the kids” and her then listening intently as you described their achievements of life’s goals during and after college. She always took a motherly pride in their achievements as if they were her own children.

Little did she know, they all were her own. She adopted them all from her very first words. The famous Margaret “Hug” cemented that relationship for the rest of their lives.

At football games, wrestling matches, volleyball, soccer, concerts, academic and athletic gatherings, all were Margaret’s purvey. Margaret was always there extending her positive influence and encouragement.

I feel it is no accident in the picture accompanying Jerry’s column showed a volleyball team in which Margaret (Smith) Beckwith is “Top Row, Center,” an early recognition of her life to follow.

That is the position she has taken with all of us who were blessed enough to know her. “Top Row, Center.”

Two and a half generations of Fultonians have been blessed by her presence in our community. To Rita and I, a friend has left us, to my children an honorary aunt has left them and to my grandchildren, a loving grandma has gone to heaven.

Our commonality is we were all lucky enough to be touched by her and at the same time to be greatly saddened by our mutual lose. We are all part of her enduring legacy. We are all the better for having known her.

To George, Christine, Bill and Sue, to Megan,Coutney, Austin Callie and Evan, thank you for sharing your beautiful mother and grandma with us all. As you grieve so do we all. To all who have been blessed by Margaret, let us do her greater honor with the lives she has touched. God Bless this tender soul.

Bogardus/Tanner Family

Fulton

 Also missing Margaret

Editor’s note: This letter was written as a thank-you to Jerry Kasparek, who wrote the column about Margaret Beckwith.

Your Friend, Margaret Beckwith, “Aunt Marg” was my Aunt.

I would like to thank you so much for the article you wrote this Saturday. You described Marg’s qualities so clearly and to the point, that I had tears welling up in my eyes.

My father Henry was born in 1917 and his father died in 1921-23 in White Plains.  Elizabeth moved to Fulton in the mid-20s (her siblings were married to  the Tetros.)

Anyway, Grandma married Mr. White, and that’s why Fred White, Joe White, Edie Fiorini and Marg’s last name were all White!.

Anyway by the time Marg was 10 or so, my Dad was 20 or 30 and working at Sealright helping the family who lived on South First. Well, knowing my father during those years, he would come home after a night out and raise hell with his mother and dance with his impressionable sister, Marg.

Thank you again for your recognition of your friend and I enjoy reading your contributions every week.

Hank Latino

Fulton

Oswego school board handles appointment, retirements, BOCES board appointee

Submitted by the Oswego school district

The Oswego school board had its regular meeting Jan. 22.

Two Oswego High School students, Emily King and Cassandra Hondro, were recognized for their selection as the two lone high school musicians in New York state to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band in San Antonio.

They thanked the board members and superintendent for their support of a strong music program. They also talked about the tremendous life experience that was provided by the selection to this elite marching band.

In regular action the board approved an amended policy that would allow a non-sitting board member to represent the Oswego City School District on the BOCES Board of Education.

Under the “Instruction” area, two field trips were approved. The Oswego girls’ lacrosse team will travel to Orlando April 10-15. The board indicated that it authorized the trip, but that transportation would be provided by the girls’ lacrosse team.

The Paradox yearbook staff was approved to attend a conference at Columbia University in New York City March 18-23.

There was some concern over the supervision of students and discussion relating to the permission form that was being used for the trip. Oswego High School Principal Brian Hartwell indicated he would conduct research and report back to the Superintendent of Schools Ben Halsey.

Under “Personnel” items, two retirements were accepted by the board as veteran elementary teacher Mary Jane Battista will retire effective on March 1 and custodian George Walpole retired Dec. 28.

A leave of absence was granted for one year to Oswego High School English teacher Isaac Kain while Amy Bonoffski was appointed as a regular substitute for the remainder of the school year at the Fitzhugh Park Elementary School.

Chelsea Jones was approved as a half-time special education teacher through June 30 while both Amanda Sprague and Elizabeth Heckert were approved as temporary school psychologist interns for the 2014-15 school year.

The support team of the Oswego High School musical was approved, as was Paula McKenney-Myers as Leighton chorus director.

Gary Caprin Jr. was approved for a leave of absence.

Probationary appointments were made for Katherine Nalle as part-time library clerk and registered professional nurse Deborah Brookes-Bauer.

Permanent appoints included Riley Elementary custodian Diane Mitchelson, Education Center senior typist Annette Geers and Transportation account clerk-typist Michele Carter.

Temporary appointments included part-time teacher aides Shannon Harter and Amanda Peterson.

Under “Finance,” transfers of funds for music equipment repairs and supplies as well as travel expenses for a district administrator and payment of the Town of Minetto sewer and water bills were OKed.

Other resolutions passed included an agreement between Tyler Technologies and the district for training on routing and planning software, acceptance of a $3,500 donation from Walmart for the holiday assistance program, a three-year contract renewal for Verizon and the payment to King and King Architects for previous work conducted in relation to The Buc School.

In his “Superintendent’s Report,” Halsey said the budget process is moving forward and talked about the state report regarding “fiscal stress” relating to the Oswego school district.

The next regular school board meeting will be after the committee meetings Wednesday, Feb. 12.

The committee meetings are open to the public. Those meetings, covering personnel, finance and instruction begin at 5 p.m. in the Oswego High School Anthony J. Murabito Media Center.

SUNY Oswego honors December grads

Several local residents completed their baccalaureate studies at SUNY Oswego in December and were recognized Dec. 14 at graduation:

Brittany M. Hilton, Cato (childhood education)

Ivan E. Castro, Central Square (psychology, cum laude)

Jane M. Deforge, Central Square (childhood education)

Britnie M. West, Constantia (teaching English to speakers of other languages)

Nicholas A. Coyne, Fulton (history)

Chelsea V. Hans, Fulton (wellness management)

Brandon Hood, Fulton (wellness management, magna cum laude)

Christina L. Liddell, Fulton (human development, magna cum laude)

Donald C. O’Brien, Fulton (philosophy-psychology)

Michael S. Prime, Fulton (psychology)

Marissa N. St. Onge, Fulton (psychology)

Daisy L. Vasquez, Fulton (global and international studies)

Erin L. Wilcox, Fulton (public justice)

Cynthia L. DeWolf, Hannibal (business administration)

Donald A. Tyson, Hastings (English)

Shelby L. Rusaw, Mexico (childhood education)

Aliza J. Smith, Mexico (history)

Dustin H. Blodgett, Orwell (wellness management)

Kyle J. Dolan, Pennellville (broadcasting, mass communication)

Zachary Pentland, Phoenix (information science)

Jessica L. Schauer, Phoenix (accounting)

Brooke A. Radley, Pulaski (psychology)

Kelly Brodeur, Richland (graphic design, cum laude)

Holly A. Greenfield, Sandy Creek (adolescence education)

Joseph J. Ostrom, Sterling (art, cum laude)

Shay N. Sheldon, West Monroe (childhood education)

Granby students learn about bucket-filling

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Students at Granby Elementary School in Fulton have made friends with a BFF — a Bucket Filling Fairy.

A BFF and a colorful cast of characters made a stop at the school last week to perform the character-building play “Have You Filled a Bucket Today.”

The play is based on Carol McCloud’s award-winning book “Have You Filled a Bucket Today,” which introduces young readers to the concepts of bucket-filling and bucket-dipping.

The play, like the book, is a modern twist to the golden rule — “Treat others the way you want to be treated” — using the idea of invisible buckets to reinforce how saying and doing nice things creates happiness and “fills” a person’s bucket.

Doing or saying hurtful things can “dip” into a person’s bucket and leave a person feeling sad.

The play’s characters acted out a variety of skits to illustrate the difference between bucket filling and bucket dipping at school, at home, in cyberspace and on the school bus.

Through humor and audience interaction with a rhyming and high-energy BFF, the students became empowered to fill buckets and pay kindness and respect forward to others.

Cold weather comes in handy for Oswego County BOCES students

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Oswego County BOCES Exceptional Education teacher Mary Ryan has been making the most out of the cold weather by conducting science experiments with her students.

After learning about the physical properties of water, and seeing a video on Reddit.com on how hot water freezes faster than cold water, Ryan’s class tested the theory.

When boiling water is tossed in the air, it creates a larger surface area, which then turns the water to cool droplets.

In extremely cold temperatures, these droplets freeze, and turn the boiling water into a cloud of ice crystals midair.

Sure enough, when the boiling water was tossed into the air, the water turned instantly into what looked like mist.

Students were able to see for themselves how hot water changes from a liquid to a solid as soon as it comes into contact with cold air.

Students have also been learning about air pressure, and conducted their own experiment using a Styrofoam cup.

When a Styrofoam cup is filled with water, and an index card is placed over the rim, the cup can be flipped upside down without water flowing out.

This is because the air pressure inside the cup keeps the index card in place.

Once the index card is removed, a force is felt as the air pushes the water from the cup.

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