Elks lodge welcomes new officers

The Fulton Elks Lodge held its annual Installation of Officers lask weekend. Pictured in the front, from left, are the new officers: Bonnie Hoyt, Marlene Northrup, Ross Belfiore, Dean Salisbury, Debbie Caprin, Raymond Caprin, Ryan Wallace, Linda Hughes, Dawn Thomspons and Ted Stoughtenger. Standing, from left, are outgoing officers and regional Elks representatives: Michael Shinnick, Jim Phillips, Sheila O’Connor, Daniel Capella, Robert Young, Charlie Diefenbacher, Christine Hawksby and Pamela Allen. (Absent from the photo is William Shinnick.) Matthew Reitz photo
The Fulton Elks Lodge held its annual Installation of Officers lask weekend. Pictured in the front, from left, are the new officers: Bonnie Hoyt, Marlene Northrup, Ross Belfiore, Dean Salisbury, Debbie Caprin, Raymond Caprin, Ryan Wallace, Linda Hughes, Dawn Thomspons and Ted Stoughtenger. Standing, from left, are outgoing officers and regional Elks representatives: Michael Shinnick, Jim Phillips, Sheila O’Connor, Daniel Capella, Robert Young, Charlie Diefenbacher, Christine Hawksby and Pamela Allen. (Absent from the photo is William Shinnick.)
Matthew Reitz photo

By Matthew Reitz
Ten members of the Fulton Elks Lodge were sworn into new leadership positions last weekend during the organization’s annual Installation of Officers ceremony.
The ceremony, which is held each year in the spring, relieves the past year’s officers from their duties, congratulating them on their leadership and issuing awards, before swearing in the coming year’s leaders.
Linda Hughes, installed as Lecturing Knight, gave some insight into what she plans to accomplish from her leadership position in the coming year.
“I’m very community-minded, so this is a way of giving back,” Hughes said.
Hughes specifically mentioned working with children in the community, saying “the Elks do a lot of good things, especially with the kids. That’s my goal.”
Debbie Caprin, the lodge’s new Exalted Ruler, had similar goals for the organization, with an emphasis on giving back to this area’s veterans.
“I wanted to become an Elk because I believe in what it stands for,” Caprin said, “which is your youth, your veterans, and the community.”
Caprin said veterans are often underappreciated and she plans to continue the Elks’ efforts to remedy that.
“I don’t think they get appreciated enough,” Caprin said, adding “they deserve more for what they do for our country.

Fulton man helping launch minor league football team

Pictured here is the leadership for the Syracuse Strong minor league football team, which is co-owned by Fulton resident LeRoy Collins. Photo provided
Pictured here is the leadership for the Syracuse Strong minor league football team, which is co-owned by Fulton resident LeRoy Collins.
Photo provided

Staff Report
Syracuse is welcoming a new football organization, and a current Fulton resident is behind the team’s creation.
Leroy Collins Jr. is co-owner of the Syracuse Strong, a team that will compete in the Empire Football League.
According to a press release from the team, the Syracuse Strong is a non-profit football organization that prides itself on excellence, commitment, and dedication.
Collins said the team will be very much involved with the community and he’s set lofty goals for the future of the team.
“We want to be more than just football,” said Collins, who co-owns the team with Chris Gorman.
Included in the team’s community outreach will be football camps and leadership workshops for kids. Collins added that the team plans to work in the future with notable charities such as the United Way and Habitat for Humanity.
Along with helping the community, Collins said he wanted to get back into football for the love of the game and to give local players the opportunity to excel at it.
“These guys have a lot of talent. There’s a lot of people locally who don’t even know of their skill,” Collins said.
Currently, the team is looking to cut its roster from approximately 120 players to 55 by the season opener on July 11 at the league’s defending champion, the Plattsburgh North Stars.
Along with Plattsburgh, the EFL also includes the Glens Falls Greenjackets, Glove Cities Colonials, Sussex Stags, and the Watertown Red and Black.
The Strong’s home field will be at Nottingham High School, and the team’s home opener will be on July 18 against Glove Cities.
The regular season in the six-team league lasts through the end of September, followed by playoffs.
Collins has even bigger goals for his team, and they stem from his personal football background.
He attended Alfred State College. In two years, he gained 1,880 yards on 198 carries and scored 25 touchdowns. He was inducted into the Alfred State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.
He transferred to Louisville and entered the 1999 NFL Draft but went undrafted as a running back. Collins eventually linked on with the Washington Redskins and then the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad.
But after his time with those teams, Collins said he almost had nowhere to go for his career.
“When I went to Jacksonville it was like I had to start all over and get my legs back under me,” he said.
In 2014, the Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL) was founded. The league is attempting to be a professional minor football league for the NFL.
Collins said he’s hoping in the future, even in just a few years, the Syracuse Strong could be a potential market for an NFL minor league city, much like the Syracuse Chiefs and Syracuse Crunch are for baseball and hockey, respectively.
“That’s my vision and ultimate goal, to run one of those,” Collins said. “I always wished back then that there was a league that I could go to and play and stay in shape.
“Baseball has it. Hockey has it. Basketball has it. I always wondered why football doesn’t,” he added.
For more information about the team, sponsorships, or in-kind donations for the nonprofit organization, contact Leroy Collins at LCollins@SyracuseStrong. co m or at (315) 254-4799.
See www.empire-football-league.com for more details.

Patricia A. Grant

Patricia A. Grant, 74, of Hannibal, passed away Sunday at home.
Mrs. Grant retired in 2003 from Nestles after working for 41 years from 1962 to 2003. She was pre-deceased by two infant sons, Kevin and Edward Grant, and two grandsons, Ian Woodridge and Kelsey Devenney. Mrs. Grant is survived by her husband of 53 years, Gerald Grant of Hannibal; two children, Eric (Lynn Burns) and Heidi (Ronald) Samson; four grandchildren, Jared Grant, Alex Grant, Lauren Samson and Morgan Samson.
A Graveside Service and Burial will be privately held in the spring at Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Fulton. The Sugar Funeral Home, Inc., 224 W. 2nd St. S. Fulton has care of the arrangements.

Phyllis E. Jackson

Phyllis E. Jackson, 73, of Fulton died Sunday at Oswego Hospital after a brief illness.
She was born in Syracuse, N.Y., to the late Raymond and Esther (Maloney) Combs. Mrs. Jackson retired as a manager from K-Mart, Mattydale, N.Y., after working for 25 years. She was predeceased by her husband Neil Jackson and granddaughter Christina Elkin.  Mrs. Jackson is survived by her five children, Scott Jackson of Camillus, N.Y., Tracy (Michael) Elkin of Fulton, N.Y., Neil Jackson of Cato, N.Y., Brian Jackson and Lisa (Thomas) Searor, both of Fulton, N.Y.; four siblings, Charles (Lois) Maloney and Beverly (Lester) Grome, both of Baldwinsville, N.Y., Shirley (Jack) Whipple of Fla., and Thomas (Cindy) Maloney of Auburn, N.Y.; 12 grandchildren, one great-grandchild and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral Services were held Thursday at the Sugar Funeral Home, Inc., with Deacon Melvin J. Anthony Jr. officiating.  Burial will be held privately.

Ralph E. Virgo

Ralph E. Virgo, 68, of Oswego, died Sunday, March 29, 2015 at his home with his family at his side.
Mr. Virgo was born in Oswego the son of Mary Helen Virgo of Oswego and the late Nicholas Virgo. He received a Bachelor of Art degree in sociology, and educational psychology from SUNY Oswego; a Master of Science degree from SUNY Binghamton, and he was a graduate fellow in educational communication at the University of Iowa. Mr. Virgo worked at Control Data Corp. in Minneapolis, Minn., as an educational programmer and computer trainer. He was the founder and CEO of Virgo & Associates, an innovator of computer-based education and training. He is survived by his sister Linda Carter of Oswego; brothers Daniel (Karen) Virgo of Dunkirk, N.Y. and Michael Virgo of Oswego; and several nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be Saturday April 4, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home 147 W. 4th. Oswego, NY.

Freda E. Harmon

Harmon, Freda OBFreda E. Harmon of Manlius, N.Y., and previously of Lakeland, Fla., and Fair Haven, Baldwinsville and Fulton, N.Y., passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 28, 2015.  She was 89 years old.
Freda was born on September 10, 1925 in Laceyville, Pa., to Jay and Angie Carter. She graduated from the Robert Packer Hospital School of Nursing in Sayre, Pa., in 1946. On May 14, 1948 she married the love of her life, Paul Harmon, in Ithaca, N.Y. After moving to Fulton, N.Y., Freda worked as a registered nurse at the A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital for 12 years, and later as an industrial nurse for 20 years with Armstrong World Industries, where she retired in 1986. She was a member of the North Lakeland Presbyterian Church and the Sandpipers Golf and Country Club, both in Lakeland, Fla.
Freda had a wonderful, witty sense of humor, and never met a stranger. She will be remembered as a devoted wife, a caring mother and grandmother, a compassionate friend, and a talented nurse.
Freda is survived by her loving husband, Paul Harmon, five daughters, Linda Harmon  (Doug Mack) of Bristol, Vt., Diane (Donald) Kastler of Hilton Head, S.C., Deborah (Thaddeus) Lewkowicz of Manlius, N.Y., Susan (Robert) Barry of Fulton, N.Y., Sherri Wakeham (Terrance Glancy) of Auburn, N.Y., one son, Bear (Carol) Harmon of Fulton, N.Y., and one sister, Luna Maurer of Hauppauge, N.Y. She is also survived by 14 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her sister, Grace, her brothers, Boyce, George, Harry, and Mark, and her grandson, Jason.
A calling hour and special service were held Wednesday at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay Street, Fulton. Burial will be in Mt. Adnah Cemetery in Fulton at a later date.  Condolences can be sent to Foster Funeral Home. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Oswego County Meals on Wheels, Office for the Aging, 70 Bunner St., Oswego, NY 13126.

John W. Dix

Dix, John OBJohn W. Dix, 83, of Volney, passed away peacefully Friday, March 27, at his home surrounded by his family. John had been a lifelong resident of the Fulton-Oswego areas. John had been a fuel truck driver for many years. He was an outdoorsman and enjoyed camping. He and his late wife were members of the Fulton Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and, together, enjoyed participating in their many events. John was predeceased by his wife, the former Lena Mae Reynolds, and children Brenda, Joel and Lincoln. John will be greatly missed and forever loved by his children, Donna Abbott, John Dix, Georganna Woodworth, Christopher Vaughn; siblings, Edith Ives and Marjorie Calkins; 24 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews.  Calling hours were Thursday at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton. A memorial service will be Saturday, 11 a.m. at The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses Fulton Congregation, county Route 85, Fulton. Burial in the spring will be at Peck Cemetery in Scriba.

District looking for input on website changes

By Colin Hogan
The Fulton City School District is looking to make changes to its current website, and hopes parents and others in the community will offer some feedback.
In a school board meeting last week, district officials said they are in the process of revamping the design of the website, www.fulton.cnyric.org. Superintendent Bill Lynch said, after recently talking with people from Onondaga-Cortland-Madison (OCM) BOCES on plans for the redesign, district officials decided to post a survey on the website to collect input from the public.
“We’re in the process of continuing to work with (OCM BOCES), but what we’ve come up with right now is a survey that has been posted on our district website. And what we’ve done is we’ve communicated this out to parents, staff, principals and students in the district so they get the opportunity to offer input,” Lynch said.
The 13-question survey asks visitors things like how often they visit the  district’s website, what types of information they visit the site for, what they like or dislike about the  site,  which social media tools they tend to use and how they’d prefer to receive  school-to-home communications.
“To make the  website  as effective and beneficial as possible we really are looking for input from the community — parents, students, teachers, board members — we really want to make this a great communication tool for our schools,” said Stephanie Maturo, director of technology for the district.
Lynch said by receiving as much input as possible, the district can tailor the website to the needs of those who use it most.
The survey will remain available on the site until April 10. After all of the information collected has been processed, the district will meet again with OCM representatives to come up with a final design plan, which Lynch said will then be presented to the board of education for approval.

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