by Ray Lenarcic

On behalf of the Herkimer County Hunger Coalition, I’d like to thank those readers who have supported our various endeavors (e.g., Gram Lorraine; Fallen Stars Memorial) over the years. And for those of you who have as yet made a New Year’s resolution, I’d like you to consider committing to some volunteer work in your area. If you’re not sure of what you’d like to do, consider the following:

  1. Join our Herkimer County Hunger Coalition. We meet monthly at 6 PM on the last Tuesday at the Herkimer Elks Lodge on Mary Street. Our activities include the Gram Lorraine Children’s Christmas Program, McCleod Children Memorial Fire Prevention Project, Operation Candy Cane, the Cpl. Michael Mayne Cookie Corps and annual benefit golf tournament, among others. A reminder-if you’re a Herkimer County veteran and haven’t done so, consider having your name etched on a memorial monument in our Veterans Memorial Park on the campus of Herkimer College (call Rich Louis for details at 315-866-7765). Vets-Thanks for your service!
  2. Volunteer at your local food pantry. For Little Falls residents, contact Sue Tucker at 315-823-1793; for Dolgeville residents-call Spike Seeley at 315-429-3310; for residents of the Kuyahoora Valley-call Ralph Dow at 315-845-8286; for Herkimer residents, contact Paul Frezza at 315-866-1240, and for Van Hornesville-Bev Guilfoyle at 315-219-3942.
  3. Give a local service organization (e.g., Elks, Lions, Kiwanis, K of C, etc.) a call, meet with a representative and discuss ways in which you might help out.
  4. Do likewise (as #3) regarding your local churches, schools and/or hospitals, Humane Society, Catholic Charities, etc.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Personally, I’ve found nothing more rewarding than doing volunteer work. How can one not feel good when realizing that a few hours of your time and effort improved the quality of life of a child or family, or veteran. As one of our Gram Lorraine volunteers recently told me, “Every Christmas morning, I can visualize the smiling face of the little girl I shopped for.” Multiply that sentiment hundreds of times among our GL sponsors. That joyous feeling I alluded to earlier was multiplied ten-fold when I was joined in a variety of activities by my wife Kay, daughters Jennifer and Carrie, grandson Andrew James, and good friends Kelly B., Devin Mac, Rudy II, and Laura H. When you make your volunteering choice, consider getting friends and family involved.

The more, the merrier.

So, a happy, healthy 2023 to you all, and keep in mind one of our mottoes-“All that’s worth doing is what we do for others.”

Photo submitted - Ray Lenarcic and Kelly Brown present a plaque to Patti Crozier representing Lexington, Inc. Volunteers sponsored 26 children in this year's Gram Lorraine Program. Patti is from Dolgeville and coordinated the effort, and the other two gentlemen in the picture helped carry things out.

Photo submitted – Ray Lenarcic and Kelly Brown present a plaque to Patti Crozier representing Lexington, Inc. Volunteers sponsored 26 children in this year’s Gram Lorraine Program. Patti is from Dolgeville and coordinated the effort, and the other two gentlemen in the picture helped carry things out.