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April 14, 2004

Young and Old Fill Easter Baskets for Less Fortunate Families

PULASKI -- Thanks to the efforts of students in the Leadership Oswego County Youth class and 18 residents of Evergreen Manor, several families in Oswego County had a sweet and bountiful Easter this year.

The students, who attend high schools all over Oswego County, brought loads of baskets, eggs, Easter grass, and groceries to the Evergreen Manor on North Jefferson Street on a Sunday afternoon shortly before Easter. Along with 18 residents, they assembled 75 Easter baskets and 11 large boxes of food and donated them to the Oswego County Catholic Charities food pantry.

The Oswego City-County Youth Bureau and the Center for Business and Community Programs at Oswego State University sponsor Leadership Oswego County Youth (LOCY).

The class meets once a month at Oswego County BOCES, where students learn to develop and improve their leadership skills. Jim Farfaglia, senior youth services specialist for the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, facilitates the program.

The students spent several months organizing the Easter basket project. They solicited and collected donations, coordinated with senior citizens, assembled the baskets, and finally delivered them to the food pantry in Fulton.

"When we first started brainstorming for projects, there were many disagreements," said Jericka Faulkner, a student at Altmar-Parish-Williamstown High School. "Once we decided to go to Evergreen Nursing Home, we all knew it was the best thing to do, and we were ready. If students have the opportunity to join LOCY, I would encourage them, because it has definitely made me a lot more outgoing and is helping me learn to reach my goals."

Baskets were filled with candy, toys, eggs, Easter grass, pencils, and egg coloring kits. Ham, spaghetti, vegetables, fruits and canned foods were packed into the boxes. The baskets and boxes were given to less fortunate families in time for Easter.

"I think it was a very good experience, as we were making a difference in the lives of the senior citizens and simultaneously making a difference in the lives of children of Oswego County," said Fulton High School student Christy Bunce

.

Residents of Evergreen Home also enjoyed their afternoon. "I had a very good time," said Harry March. When asked how it felt to "have all these kids around," Linda Woods answered, "It was great. I couldn't help much, but it was fun."

Several businesses around Oswego County donated items for the project. They include Tops of Oswego and Fulton; Kinney Drugs of Mexico, Oswego and Pulaski; Fulton Savings Bank, Hannibal branch; Hannibal IGA Village Pizzeria; Just Styling, Hannibal; Pampered Kids, Hannibal; Little Angels Day Care, Hannibal; Hannibal Community Bank; Eddie's Big M, Mexico; Wayne Crandall Drugs, Mexico; Wal-Mart Supercenter, Central Square; P and C Foods of Pulaski and Fulton; Entergy Nuclear Northeast; Little Lukey's Store, Altmar; APW High School canned food drive; Candles on Lake, Pulaski; J.C. Penney, Oswego; Great Outdoors RV and Family Auction Center, Phoenix; Burger King, Fulton; McDonald's, Fulton; Woodcock and Armani, Syracuse; and Fulton Savings Bank.

Leadership Oswego County schools and students include:

  • Altmar-Parish-Williamstown: Jericka Faulkner, Courtney Price, and Zachary Thorman;
  • Fulton: Christine Bunce;
  • Hannibal: Justin Foley, Kristen Thompson, Allison Tuttle, and Robert Wells;
  • Mexico: Kaitlyn Barber and Kylie Black;
  • Phoenix: Elizabeth Caltibiano, Andy Nolan, and Alan Rudy; and
  • Pulaski: Matthew Heenan, Emily Hudson, Jeremiah O'Neil, and Gabriella Ripka.

High school freshmen and sophomores who are interested in gaining leadership skills and making a difference in their schools and communities are encouraged to apply for next year's Leadership class. For more information, contact Farfaglia at the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, weekdays, at 349-3451 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3451.

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