The Herkimer County Hunger Coalition announced the kick-off to its Gram Lorraine program on Thursday after one of its annual fundraisers.
The coalition’s sixth annual benefit golf tournament took place at the Little Falls Municipal Golf Course on Sept. 29. The event raised $2,000, which will go toward the purchase of winter coats for deserving students at Benton Hall Academy through the coalition’s Gram Lorraine program.
Dave Petkovsek, tournament director, thanked Little Falls Golf Course manager Dan Pawluk and his crew on Thursday during a meeting at Benton Hall Academy for “having the course in great condition and for the feed.” Petkovsek also thanked Kira Andrilla and Devin McDonald for their assistance.
The benefit golf tournament was conducted in memory of Pvt. First Class Theodore Glende, from Rochester, who is on the Fallen Star Memorial.
“It helps a great deal with parents and children in this area,” said Pam Munger, the Little Falls program coordinator and a Benton Hall Academy teacher. “It’s a relief looking at them on the playground, knowing they are dressed warmly.”
Benton Hall Academy Principal Joe Long thanked everyone for their involvement with the golf tournament. “If all you folks didn’t do it, it would be a cold winter for a lot of kids,” he said. “We got great kids here. They’re certainly appreciative of it.”
Ray Lenarcic, coalition founder, said on Thursday during the meeting the Gram Lorraine Children’s Christmas Stimulus Program is currently under way. He said coordinators at the participating school districts are working to identify recipients and to solicit sponsors.
Over the past three years, Gram Lorraine has helped an average of 1,000 children every year, with each receiving a minimum of four items of clothing and a toy, book or game of their choice.
This year, Gram Lorraine has a slightly different name to include the word “stimulus.”
“This program is a stimulus in many ways,” said Kay Lenarcic, Mohawk coordinator. “It stimulates feelings of joy among the children on Christmas morning. It stimulates feelings of satisfaction among the sponsors as they shop, knowing they’ve guaranteed children in need a semblance of Christmas, and by pouring thousands of dollars into it, it stimulates the valley economy.”
The program is currently welcoming sponsors. Those interested can call 866-7765.
Participating schools include Benton Hall Academy in Little Falls, Harry M. Fisher Elementary School in Mohawk, Frankfort-Schuyler Elementary School, Poland Elementary School and Barringer Road and Remington elementary schools in Ilion.
Also, the coalition has joined with the American Red Cross of the Mohawk Valley and created a fire prevention and safety coloring book. It includes Roscoe The Red Cross Raccoon and Herbie the Hunger Coalition Bunny, along with their half-and-half friends, such as Bev the Birdle (half bird and half turtle). The book is being distributed to second-graders throughout Herkimer County, so they can learn about fire prevention and safety. Children are able to participate in a half-and-half contest, where they can come up with their own half-and-half animal. First, second and third place winners will receive a plaque and 10 honorable mentions will receive a certificate.
Page 2 of 2 - “We want to congratulate the area fire departments for their efforts to teach our children about fire prevention and safety,” said Ray Lenarcic. “We implore teachers to reinforce the aforementioned efforts by referring weekly to each month’s fire prevention tip (October: Check your smoke detectors).”
The book was illustrated by Ray Lenarcic, Benton Hall Academy Principal Joe Long and Tim Graf. The text is by Kelly Brown, the Red Cross chapter’s emergency services manager; Devin McDonald and Logan Crouse. The coloring book release coincides with National Fire Prevention Week, which was observed this year from Oct. 7 to 13. Ray Lenarcic said the books are donated in memory of the six McLeod children who died in a Little Falls fire in 1991.
Anyone interested in obtaining a coloring book can call 866-2890.