Photo submitted - Ray Lenarcic (r) with his grandson, Andrew James Snyder, who won the 'Caring for Others' award.

Photo submitted – Ray Lenarcic (r) with his grandson, Andrew James Snyder, who won the ‘Caring for Others’ award.

The Gram Lorraine Children’s Christmas Program is in its final days, with hundreds of sponsors turning in gifts at seven schools for an estimated 600 children.

According to program founder and Little Falls native Ray Lenarcic, “we just finished in Little Falls (Benton Hall) and BOCES (Ilion-Migrant Worker Program) and will be completing programs at CVA (Fisher and Barringer Rd.), Frankfort, Mt. Markham, ODY and Fort Plain elementary schools shortly.”

Benton Hall was the largest program in terms of numbers (103 children). “Coordinator Kira Andrilla did her usual fantastic job, supported by a great drop-off, pick-up crew consisting of the Petkovsek brothers, Dave and Billy, and Gail Potter,” said Lenarcic.

He also praised principal Joe Long, Mike Paragi, and the faculty-staff at Benton Hall for helping to identify deserving families.

Finally, last year Lenarcic’s grandson, Andrew Snyder, rolled up coins he had saved throughout the year and purchased gift cards for the neediest families in the Ilion BOCES program.

This year the New Hartford tenth-grader used his coins to purchase 5 Christmas trees and trimmings for similar families.

Lenarcic added, “I’d like to thank personally everyone who made Gram Lorraine 2022 an unqualified success. You are a classic personification of that familiar adage – “Tis better to give than receive.”