News in brief

Area residents have until Jan. 31 to place a sub sandwich order benefitting the Oswego Center United Methodist Church.

The sale is from 11 a.m .to 3 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Elks Club in Oswego. Place orders by Jan. 31 by calling 343-6746.


Wellness Wednesdays continue at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at First United Church of Fulton, 33, S. Third St., Fulton.

Tips and tools for total wellness and improved health. A small group of local men and women will share their experience from childbirth to menopause, and depression to sleep challenges.

Classes are free if you preregister by calling 593-1113 or exmailing

They are $5 at the door.

Classes are held Wednesdays through Feb. 26.


The Delaney Brothers will perform a gospel bluegrass concert at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 at Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church, Fulton.

A free will offering will be collected. The alternate date if the weather is bad is 7 p.m. Feb. 8.

Go to Delaney-Brothers on Facebook to check for updates or changes.


The Fulton Alliance Church will hold its annual Super bowl Party at 6 p.m. Feb. 2.

There will be free food and soda and a chili contest for anyone interested. A highlight during half-time is the popular football throwing contest.

The event is for anyone and any age. The party is held in a comfortable area with multiple seating and televisions conducive for watching the game and talking with friends.

Chili contest participants must enter their chili by 5:30 prior to the event.

For infomation about the Super Bowl Party or other events held at the Fulton Alliance Church, call 593-6842, ext. 103.

There is plenty of free parking and the church is handicap accessible. The Fulton Alliance Church is located just outside the city limits at 1044 State Route 48.


Stakeholders from 33 school districts will converge on North Syracuse Junior High School at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, to draw attention to the ongoing fiscal crisis facing public schools.

The forum will also allow these stakeholders to work on developing a firm understanding of the key issues and learning how to be effective advocates for their children, schools and communities.

The event, “Our Kids, Our Schools…Our Future!,’’ has been organized to bring community members of all backgrounds together for an informative and inspiring forum that will let them know what is at stake if state leaders do not eradicate the Gap Elimination Adjustment and provide adequate, equitable and sustainable funding for our schools.

“The goal of  ‘Our Kids, Our Schools… Our Future!’ is to inform the public about the state of the crisis and how it equates to lost opportunities for their children and their communities,’’ said Charles Borgognoni, executive director of the Central New York School Boards Association.

“We are on a mission to inspire people to contact their state legislators and express their concerns as the 2014-15 state budget is hammered out in Albany,” he said.

The featured presenter for the forum is Rick Timbs, executive director of the Statewide School Finance Consortium. Timbs will address the need to repeal the Gap Elimination Adjustment.

The forum is being coordinated by the Central New York School Boards Association in partnership with the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison and Oswego County BOCES.


The Auburn/Cayuga Community College Alumni Association is offering an overnight bus excursion to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio, from Saturday, April 12, to Sunday, April 13.

The trip will depart from the Auburn campus at 6 a.m., and the return trip will leave mid-afternoon on Sunday and arrive in Auburn about 9 p.m.

The cost of $225 per person includes a one-night hotel stay (based on double occupancy) at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center, round-trip motor coach, admission to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a private extensive Sunday brunch at the Hard Rock Café.

Individuals age 65 or above receive a $3 discount.

The trip is open to the public. Age restrictions may apply. Seating is limited and reservations must be paid in full through the college’s Alumni Office.

For information, contact Louise at or call 255-1743, extension 2224.


Elvis is coming to the State Street United Methodist Church from 3 to 5 p.m. Feb. 8.

Fulton’s own Elvis impersonator, Tom Gilbo, will be performing in Thomas Hall to raise money for the Helping Hands Cupboard outreach program.

The program helps provide 10 household items that cannot be purchased with Food Stamps to those in need in our community.

Tickets are $10 a piece and include refreshments that will be served at the end of “Elvis’s” performance.

State Street UMC is located at 357 State St, Fulton, NY Tickets may be reserved by calling Sally Downs at 887-5061.


The Pennellville United Methodist Church, 389 County Route 54 in Pennellville, will be having a roast pork and dressing dinner at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8.

The menu will consist of roast pork, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, rolls and butter.  There also are a wide selection of homemade pies and other desserts to choose.

Coffee, tea, cool aid and water will also be available.

The dinner is served family style. Music will be provided while you wait to be seated.

The next dinner will be on March 8th.  If you have any questions, call Anne Jones at 695-6086 or, on the day of the dinner, you may call the church at 695-5964.


A Night at the Cabaret is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday Feb. 8 at the First Universalist Church of Central Square.

A Night at the Cabaret! will be a program of music and fun, featuring the Paul V. Moore High School Vocal Jazz Ensemble and members of the high school band.

Members of the Oswego Community Youth Orchestra will also perform as well as local artists.

Refreshments will be available and raffles will be held.


Attention Town of Palermo veterans.

Town Historian Beverly Beck is seeking information concerning veterans from the town to be added to the historical records.

A few years ago, a book was published from the information gathered about the town’s veterans. Also, there is a display at the Town Hall listing all the veterans with some of the facts regarding their service.

Since that time, there have been many new veterans that are not listed in our current informational database.

If you are a veteran living or born in the town of Palermo, call the historian at 593-6825.  If you had a relative that served in the military who is now deceased, the historian would still like to have their information.

There is a short form to fill in plus the addition of a photograph of the veteran would be appreciated. A copy of the discharge DD 214 papers would most likely answer all questions.

For more information, call Beck at 593-6825.

New Volney Elementary principal on the job

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

With the new year also comes a new principal for Volney Elementary School.

Lisa Garofalo has replaced Interim Principal Michael Egan, and brings with her 10 years of administration experience.

Her most recent job was with the Syracuse City School District, where she was a vice principal at the West Side Academy at Blodgett.

She also worked at Seymour Elementary and was an assistant principal at Ed Smith Elementary in Syracuse.

Garofalo holds three certifications, including one in special education. She was a former principal of special education and pre-kindergarten at Herkimer County BOCES and also taught high school math in the Whitesboro School District.

Garofalo said she is thrilled to be principal at a school with such a high reputation.

“The first few days here have been fabulous, I can’t stop smiling,” she said. “I enjoy interacting with the children; I had lunch with a group of fourth grade girls and we had great conversation.”

Garofalo has always wanted to be an elementary principal, and it seemed like the next step in her career.

In her second interview for the position, she found the staff to be so passionate, and wanted to be a part of such a successful school.

“I can tell this will be a good fit because the staff is so dedicated and puts the students first,” she said.

Joining mid-year, Garofalo has had a lot of catching up to do. She recently attended at Parent Teacher Group meeting, where members shared with Garofalo the school’s annual traditions, like the end of the year ice cream social.

She is interested in starting her own traditions in time, but for now, is diligently taking notes and trying to make connections.

“I’ve made it my personal mission to learn the names of every student in the building,” she said.

If a name slips her memory, she asks students to remind her upon each greeting.

“My job (as principal) is all about building relationships and developing an understanding of behaviors, and that starts with knowing the students and my team on a personal level.”

“I want the students to see me as a support, and I want parents to see me as someone that will be there to make their child’s elementary experience positive.”

Garofalo, who commutes from Fayetteville, is looking forward to becoming part of Volney community.

“This is a family oriented building, and I want to find out what is important to the people here,” she said.

Gertrude Halstead, born in Germany

Gertrude H. Halstead, 91, of San Diego, CA, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 7.

A native of Stuttgart, Germany, she had lived in San Diego since 1954.

Gertrude retired as a keypunch operator for Accounting Corp. of America after 30 years.

Surviving are her husband, John H. Halstead of San Diego, CA; a son, J. David (Joann) Halstead of Fulton, NY; two grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held at Fairdale Rural Cemetery, County Route 3 in Hannibal at a later date.

Foster Funeral Home, Fulton has care of arrangements.

Jerry’s Journal, by Jerry Kasparek

Margaret Beckwith was my good friend.

She died last Saturday, Jan. 18. I got the sad news just before I sat down to write my every-other-week column. It was going to be Part 3 of North Sixth Street.

But I decided to put it aside for now and instead dedicate it to my dearly departed friend.

I have no special claim to Marg’s friendship — she was a good friend to everyone she knew. Some were more “close-knit” than others, however,  but far too many to list all their names here, except for maybe her niece Barbara Collins who is quick to say: “We did everything together . . . It’s hard to lose someone you’ve had your whole life.”

I’m going to miss her too, just like so many other people will. They’ll miss her at all the school sporting events cheering on the teams.

They’ll miss her at Mimi’s — Marg just loved going to Mimi’s — she was a steady customer at breakfast and she would table-hop to talk to nearly everyone in the place!

And, they’ll miss her at all the other places you might see her around town where she’d always greet you a warm hug. She was Fulton’s very own “Joy-germ” ambassador.

She was a positive kind of person; the kind of person you’d liked to be around. She enjoyed life and good food, and pretty clothes in pastels, pink, yellow and blue — blue was her favorite color and her house is generously decorated with it — and she made a very delicious strawberry salad she was always glad to share when a special occasion called for it.

Margaret White, as I first knew her, was a year behind me at good old Fulton High School, and a very good athlete. Her picture is in my Class of ’51 yearbook as a member of the championship junior class girls’ volleyball team that beat the senior girls’ team that winter, and she captained the junior girls’ basketball team that almost beat my classmates’ team as well.

She took up bowling and golf in later years and was good at those sports, too.

As the years flew by, I’d run into her once in a while and knew she worked in Niagara Mohawk’s commercial office here in Fulton, had married her long-time boyfriend George Beckwith, and was the mother of two little boys, Goerge and Billy.

When NiMo shut its commercial office doors in the early 1980s, she was transferred to the office that housed the line crew on the Howard Road out in Volney where my late first husband Mike Hogan also was employed.

Thus, as side-by-side workers often do, Marg and Mike became close friends and confidantes, sharing stories about their families and lives, and their enthusiasm for our high school wrestling team of which they were both avid fans.

Whenever I’d see Marg, she’d tell me nice things about Mike, what a good guy he was, about how proud he was of his kids and grandkids, and about how much she knew he loved me. It meant a lot to me, especially after he passed away.

Marg was at my house almost night and day when Mike died that summer of 1998, dishing out food, doing dishes, doing whatever needed to be done, and giving solace to my family and other friends. There was no way I could ever thank her enough!

Even when George died, there was nothing I could do to match what she had done for me.

That was Marg — always thinking about somebody else — always the first one to lend a helping hand.

Perhaps, though, her greatest amount of time and energy was spent (besides her dedication to her beloved husband and family) on school sports and the student athletes.

She was a member of the Fulton Athletic Booster’ Club and was instrumental in its awards programs at Bodley High School, as well as being involved in their many other activities.

Margaret seldom missed a game — football, basketball, wrestling, soccer, boys or girls, be it home or away — and she knew the coaches well and loved the young athletes who played the games and could tell you the name of each and everyone of them. And they knew her!

She simply adored young people, and it’s more than safe to say her crowning moment came when she become a grandmother.

She loved being a grandmother! She doted on her five grandchildren like they were precious jewels. She babysat them when they were little, took them places as they grew up, and nourished and nurtured them. You’d see them all together — she and George and the children — at Mimi’s for breakfast.

When she was diagnosed with cancer a little over a year ago, she took it as well as anyone could, and was determined to do everything she could, chemo treatments and all, so she could enjoy her grandchildren as long as she could.

She put up a good fight too, while at the same time facing the inevitable as bravely and cheerfully as she could.

Now she is gone.

Death will come calling to all of us someday. I just hope when it’s my time, I can face it with the same kind of grace and dignity Margaret Beckwith did.

May God rest your soul, my friend, I love you.

Part 3 of North Sixth Street coming soon: Hopefully I can get it written up and in for next week.

Meanwhile, here’s my caveat:

Reader 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 Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line. Thanks!

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