Christine A. Pelo, enjoyed camping, demolition derbies

Christine A. Pelo, 63, of Mt. Pleasant, passed away Tuesday Nov. 19.  A native of Oswego, Chris had lived in the Fulton area most of her life.  She retired from Birdseye Foods after more than 35 years.  Chris enjoyed camping, crocheting and demolition derbies.

She was predeceased by her first husband, Edward Vanderhaden.

Chris is survived by her husband of eight years, Harold Pelo; three children, Michael, Mark and Stephanie; a brother, Stephen Bartosek; several grandchildren; nieces and nephews.  Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Saturday (today) at Foster Funeral Home, Fulton.

Burial will be at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.  Calling hours were Friday at the funeral home, 910 Fay St., Fulton.

Agencies work to help pregnant women quit smoking

By Ashley M. Casey

Integrated Community Planning of Oswego County, Inc., is teaming up with agencies across the county to help pregnant women quit smoking.

The campaign is part of the 38th annual Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

Using funds from its Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Community Health Award, ICP is contributing to smoking cessation efforts coordinated by Oswego County Opportunities, the SUNY Oswego Communications Department, the Oswego County Health Department and local health providers.

Helping pregnant women stop smoking has “been a target of ours for a very long time,” said Ellen Holst, senior director for health and nutrition at OCO.

“Any way we can help pregnant women understand how to help themselves is something we want to strive for,” Holst added.

According to the 2010-2013 Oswego County Community Health Assessment, more than 28 percent of pregnant women in Oswego County smoke. Among pregnant women who receive Medicaid, that number jumps to 75 percent.

Local data from WIC reported that 11 percent of breastfeeding mothers and 35 percent of postpartum mothers in the county continue to smoke.

Twenty-one percent of pregnant women in Oswego County have been exposed to secondhand smoke.

The Center for Disease Control outlines several risks of smoking while pregnant, or being exposed to secondhand smoke:

Increased risk of miscarriage

Problems with the placenta

Premature birth and low birth weight

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Increased risk of birth defects such as cleft palate

“Efforts to help smokers quit and keep even the youngest kids from starting to smoke will continue to have a major impact on the health of New York State now and in the future,” ICPs Executive Director Christina Wilson said in a press release. “We hope all smokers take advantage of the resources available today for the Great American Smokeout and give quitting a chance.”

Smokers who want to quit can visit for smoking cessation resources. Call 343-2344 or email at to find out more about ICP’s programs for pregnant and parenting smokers.

Fulton Lions hear talk about Lake Neatahwanta

Joe Fiumara, director of the Fulton Community Development Agency, made a presentation on behalf of the Lake Neatahwanta Revitalization Project at the Lions Club Nov. 14 meeting.

Also, Zac Merry was inducted as the newest member at the Fulton Lions Club.

Merry is a Fulton native and is a pharmacist at The Fulton Medicine Place, 360 W. First St. S., Fulton.

Lion Past President Frank Badagnani was his sponsor and Fulton Lions Past President Leo Chirello conducted the induction ceremony.

The Fulton Lions Club, also know for their Lions Loot Sweepstakes and annual Duck Derby, provides financial assistance for those in need of eyeglasses, eye exams and hearing aids to residents in the Greater Fulton area.

For further information on Fulton Lions, visit For more information on the revitalization project visit

Williams named program coordinator for Children’s Mental Health Services

Mary Margaret Pezzella-Pekow, executive director of Catholic Charities of Oswego County, has announced that Christine Williams has been named program coordinator for the agency’s Children’s Mental Health Services.

Williams, who previously served as a parent educator in Catholic Charities, will oversee the Family Education Partnership program as well as the Community Based Mentoring, and Keeping Kids Connected programs.

Williams said her passion for helping children and families helps her look forward to the challenge of growing these programs and serving as many youth and their families as possible.

“Having worked as a parent educator, I am very familiar with the need of our Children Mental Health Services and how successful they are,” she said. “I enjoy working with youth and helping them create stronger bonds with their families and their communities.”

In addition to her work as a parent educator, Williams has been a mentor with Catholic Charities’ Community Based Mentoring program.

The program matches youth between ages 8 and 17 with a mental health diagnosis with an adult mentor. The match is determined based on personalities, likes and dislikes, and other similarities.

“It’s a wonderful experience for both myself and my mentee. It’s an opportunity for youth to experience a different kind of family life and feel that they are a part of our family as well,” Williams said.

“Our Children’s Mental Health Services offer unique programs that makes families stronger, children stronger, and our community stronger. I am proud of these programs and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to oversee them and interact with the youth and their families they serve,” added Williams.

For more information on Catholic Charities’ Children’s Mental Health Services, call Christine Williams at 598-3980, extension 227, or visit the agency’s website at

OCO seeks donations for this year’s Blizzard Bags

Even though the grass is still green and the weather’s mild, members of Oswego County Opportunities’ (OCO) Nutrition Services already are planning for another winter season.

Each year, businesses, organizations and community members help OCO’s Nutrition Services prepare and distribute hundreds of “Blizzard Bags” to home delivered clients throughout Oswego County.

The “Blizzard Bags” program provides OCO’s clients with an emergency supply of food in the event that they are unable to receive their regular home-delivered meal due to inclement weather conditions.

Each “Blizzard Bag” is individually prepared and labeled and contains food and  a friendly note to brighten the recipient’s day and explain the purpose of the bag.

Last winter, more than 500 “Blizzard Bags” were delivered to OCO’s home-delivered meal clients with another 100 distributed to clients at OCO’s dining and activity sites.

With the “Blizzard Bag” project entering its eighth year, OCO’s Nutrition Services is looking forward to expanding the program and has begun soliciting donations and volunteers to ensure the program will be ready to go when the snow starts to fly.

“Our ‘Blizzard Bag’ program has been well received by both our clients and the community,” said volunteer coordinator Christine Parks.

“Thanks to the generous donations we receive from local grocery stores, concerned community members, service groups and our own OCO employees, we are able to ensure that our clients will have a nutritious meal on hand in the event that winter weather prevents the home delivery of their meal or if they are unable to visit one of our dining and activity sites,” she added.

Parks said they have already received support from the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of Oswego County.

“Many troops are returning this year to once again participate in our ‘Blizzard Bag’ project,” Park said. “Additionally, many elementary school students throughout Oswego County are decorating the bags, making cards and ornaments for inclusion in the ‘Blizzard Bags.’

“The students enjoy being a part of this community project. With all of this help from our community partners, this will be an awesome year for our home delivered clients,” said Parks.

OCO is accepting donations of food and paper bags for this year’s “Blizzard Bags.” Donation boxes can be found in the lobby OCO’s main office, at 239 Oneida St., Fulton, OCO’s Nutrition Services site at 5871 Scenic Ave. in Mexico, or at any of OCO’s eight Dining and Activity Centers.

Food items needed include:

Oatmeal packets

Ramen noodles/soup packets

Cereal bars

Small packaged crackers

Small packaged cookies

Small juice bottles/juice boxes

Hot cocoa packets

Tea bags

Hard candies

Microwave dish or packets

Fruit and pudding cups

Small can soups

OCO is also accepting donations of pet food so that they can offer pet “Blizzard Bags” for their clients who have pets.

For more information on donating items or volunteering to assist with OCO’s “Blizzard Bag” program, call Parks at 598-4712, extension 1807, or visit

It’s time to ring bells for the Salvation Army

Oswego Mayor Thomas Gillen recently proclaimed Nov. 15 through Dec. 24 to be Salvation Army Kettle Fund Drive Season.

The proclamation noted all funds raised will be returned to Oswego County people in need throughout the year for clothing, housing assistance, groceries and hot meals from the soup kitchen each week in Oswego and Fulton.

The Christmas kettle campaign provides about one-third of the county corps’ annual budget. The goal this year is to raise $110,000.

Additional funds come from the Army’s mail appeal, donations for specific programs like the soup kitchen, and grants such as the Emergency Food and Shelter Program. Many individuals, businesses, and organizations contribute gifts in kind of food and clothing.

Major James Purvis, corps officer, said there is a great need for kettle volunteers.  There are more than 20 kettle locations in Central Square, Fulton, Hannibal, Oswego, Phoenix, Pulaski and Sandy Creek.

The kettles are in place from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Most kettle locations are outdoors, but there are indoor kettles available in Fulton, Mexico and Oswego. Anyone wishing to volunteer at a kettle may call 343-6491, or stop at the office at 73 W. Second St., Oswego from 1 and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Customer service topic of upcoming Women’s Network program

Kelly Sullivan, of Core Skills, True Impact, will show business owners how to attract and retain customers at the 8 a.m. Dec. 5 Women’s Network for Entrepreneurial Training’s (WNET) monthly breakfast meeting at the SUNY Oswego Phoenix Center in the Oswego County Industrial Park, Phoenix.

In this workshop, attendees will learn strategies for creating a relationship with customers that will keep them coming back. Sullivan will show those at the workshop how to dazzle customers with excellent customer service.

Sullivan is a strategic consultant, trainer and catalyst for change. In business since 1996, she has worked with manufacturers, universities, service-sector businesses and non-profit organizations to help them harness the potential of their people.

A certified facilitator and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, Sullivan has helped organizations develop employees, build skills, execute strategy, enhance leadership capability, improve collaboration and cultivate customer relationships.

Through networking, presentations and information sharing, the Women’s Network for Entrepreneurial Training provides professional development and personal growth for women business owners.

The cost for each seminar is $12 for members and $15 for non-members. Pre-registration is required by calling Operation Oswego County, weekdays, at 343-1545, or via e-mail Payments may also be made via Credit Card on our website.

For more information about WNET, visit

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In and Around Hannibal

Moving along at our usual rapid rate, I bring you news from School District No. 5 in beautiful downtown Fairdale.

The exact date of the construction of the first school in Fairdale is not known, but would have been in the early 1800s. It was a red brick structure and contained seats with writing desks running around the inside.

The schoolhouse, like so many others of the day, was used as a Christian meeting house on Sundays.

In this instance, it was the Methodists who used the structure. In addition, many funeral services were held there, often under the direction of Harvey Randall. It was said his manners were perfect and had undertaking been in vogue, he would have found his vocation.

Eventually, a larger schoolhouse was built to the east of the intersection of County Route 7 and Old Route 3. Usually two teachers were employed there. For small classes, the cloakroom sometimes doubled as a classroom.

About 1934, the main classroom was partitioned into two classrooms.

The original school was sold to Dennis Broderick, who proceeded to add a second story. He then used the remodeled structure as both a residence and a grocery store.  Later on, the grocery business was operated in partnership with Melnychuk and Penkala.

Many years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Noah Wright lived near the school and when any of the students got sick they went to Mrs. Wright for comfort. The couple also had a number of fruit trees and it wasn’t uncommon for them to share the fruit with the youngsters.  For several years, Mrs. Raynor held the school library and kept the scholars supplied with good books.

In 1850, Miss McDugall taught in Fairdale – there is a more complete list of the early teachers in the Hannibal Historical Society’s Hannibal in History and Prose. Teachers beginning in 1927 were Bertha Youngs and Marie Gallagher, who taught there until 1933 with fellow teachers Marjorie Jackson, Kenneth Upcraft Winfred Beckwith.

Howard Wilson and Flossie Kellogg taught together from 1933-41. Joanne Baldwin and Lois Chaffee taught in Fairdale from 1941-43, Clara Smith and Mildred B. Johnson from 43-45, Minnie Perkins and Lena C. Ward 45-46.

In 1946-47 Minnie Perkins and Lois Chaffee worked together. Emily Cox and Lois Chaffee worked together in 1947 and 48, and Emily Cox and Evelyn Baldwin in 1948 and 49.

After centralization the schoolhouse was sold. It has since been converted into a private residence but still maintains the outline of an old schoolhouse and is easily recognized as such.  It is located next to Deb’s Diner in Fairdale.

As always I look for people who can fill in with any additional information about teachers, students and neighbors in Fairdale.  So send me an e-mail or give me a call!


Well folks, the weekend you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived.  Hannibal officially kicks off the Christmas season this weekend with the 10th Annual Country Christmas this Saturday and Sunday.

Town merchants and organizations will be greeting guests, running specials and offering holiday treats. Each merchant will also be offering a door prize.

The Friends of the Library will hold their annual Christmas Tree Festival. Visitors to the Community Center, 162 Oswego St., can bid on decorated trees and wreaths from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The theme for this year’s Festival is “The Polar Express.” Trees and Wreaths decorated with theme decorations will be eligible to win “The People’s Choice” Award.” Look for the featured Pet Tree.

The Annual Thanksgiving Raffle Basket is at the library full of great stuff for your holiday. It has a gift card from the Village Market, gift certificate from Travis Floral, turkey platter, tablecloths and more. Drawing is Nov. 24.

If you have ordered this year’s Christmas ornament from the Historical Society you may pick it up this weekend at the Library.

The Hannibal United Methodist Church, 320 Church St., is sponsoring a craft show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. A soup, sandwich and homemade pie lunch will be served 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Takeouts are available.

God’s Vision Christian Church, 326 Church Street, will be holding an open house and tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. There will be refreshments.

The Hannibal Fire Company Auxiliary Breakfast with Santa from 8 to 11 a.m.  Sunday Nov. 24 at the Firehouse on Oswego Street. Pictures with Santa 9 to 10:30 a.m. provided free by C. Perkins Photography

Our Lady Of The Rosary Famous Chicken and Biscuit will be tempting your palette from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24.

On Sunday afternoon, the Hannibal Historical Society is hosting The Village Christmas Tree Lighting Festival. This event starts at 4 p.m. in the Village Square, with the arrival of Santa Claus. At 4:15 students from Kami’s Kix Dance Studio will perform.

Community organizations involving students have been invited to set up tables where children can make crafts or families can make purchases.  At 4:45 The Port Byron Brass will begin playing songs of the season. Door prize drawings will take place, followed by the children’s parade and the lighting of the Christmas Tree in the Village Square. Each child who attends this event will receive a gift from Santa, and be given an ornament to hang on the Village Christmas Tree.

There will be a community Thanksgiving Service following the tree lighting – about 6 p.m. at the Hannibal Methodist Church, 1 block west of the village square on Church Street (Route 3.) The Rev. Dean Flemming will bring the message and refreshments will be served. You are asked to bring groceries for the Hannibal Resource Center…they are anticipating  they will need food for 2500 meals over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The Country Christmas merchants and organizations look forward to seeing everyone, and are excited to kick off this 2013 holiday season.

Hannibal Senior Dining Center meets at noon for dinner at the Senior Center (Library Building) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Come early for coffee and news or to work on a jigsaw puzzle or  play games or just some idle chit-chat. Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation, 564-5471.

This week’s menu is:

Monday: Baked chicken, garlic red potatoes, vegetable blend, juice, jello

Wednesday: Roast pork w/gravy, sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts & carrots, ice cream

Friday: Center closed.

Activities: Monday, Ellen Wahl from RSVP will be here to talk to anyone interested in volunteering; Chris Parks from OCO will be here also to meet with volunteers and volunteer wannabees. On Wednesday, there will be a hot game of BINGO after lunch.

Kenney Middle School is holding a BoxTops for Education contest. Two students that bring in the most BoxTops in one week win free ice cream from the cafeteria. Anyone who brings in five or more BoxTops in one week is entered in a drawing for a large cheese pizza from the Village Market. The contest runs through Dec. 16.

The student who brings in the most BoxTops for the contest will win a Bowling Party.  Anyone that brings in 5 or more BoxTops during the contest will be entered in drawings for several prizes. Each BoxTops are worth 10 cents to the school.  We have raised over $ 600 for the school so far this year.  All monies earned benefit programs for the students.

We also have a new collection box at the Village Market for your convenience.

The Village Market (IGA) will be hosting their annual Christmas Luncheon for seniors at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10. This is free and no registration is needed. The high school music department will provide music for your enjoyment.

Life is just so full of choices this time of year…

The Elderberry Christmas Dinner will be at noon Dec. 10 at the American Legion. Catered by Brenda Fletcher. Call George Darling and make your reservation today.

The Hannibal Senior Band will be presenting their Holiday Concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10 in the Lockwood Auditorium. This concert will feature the Jazz Ensemble and the Concert Band presenting many familiar carols and winter songs. Audience members are asked to bring a donation for the Christmas Bureau.

Prior to the concert band members will serve their annual complimentary lasagna holiday dinner for local senior citizens in the high school cafeteria beginning at 6:15 p.m. Community seniors wishing to attend should make a reservation by calling 564-7910 extension 4132 before Dec. 9.

Shirts ‘N Skirts, Square Dance Club, meets from 7 to 9:30 p.m. every Friday at the Fulton Municipal Building, South First Street. All ages are welcome, under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Info: 591-0093 or email

Remember this column is about and for the people of Hannibal and the surrounding area.  If you have an event that you would like the public to know about, send me an e-mail or give me a quick call. Rita Hooper, 706-3564,

Your hometown. Your news.