ONEONTA – On December 19, 1937, Sandra “Sandy” Rae Cooper arrived in Elmira, New York – full of life and purpose – as the middle child of her loving parents, Beatrice and Merle Cooper.
After giving everything she had to give, Sandy left this world 84 years later on October 13, 2022, as the spouse of one, the mother of six, the grandmother of twenty, the sister of two, and a friend to hundreds.
Like everyone, Sandy arrived in this world with nothing, and she left with nothing. What Sandy left behind on this planet, however, is immeasurable.
Sandy was a life-long New Yorker. She was born in Elmira, raised in Dannemora, and eventually settled in Oneonta where she raised a family with her husband of 62 years.
CONCERT – 6:30 p.m. Come enjoy a performance by the band ‘Lazy II’ for the Independence Day weekend. Followed by a bonfire and s’mores at 7. Under the Large Shelter, Gilbert Lake State Park, 18 CCC Rd., Laurens. 607-432-2114 or visit www.facebook.com/GilbertLakeStatePark/
Briggs Pool in Oneonta’s Wilber Park opens for the season July 1, from 1 until 6:45 p.m.
Those living within Oneonta’s city limits may enter free of charge but must have a park pass, available now at the Oneonta YMCA from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. and at the Wilber Welcoming Center beginning July 1. Residents should bring a photo ID with proof of residency, such as a utility bill, driver’s license, voter registration card, or copy of residential rental lease. The non-resident cost for admission is $1/child, $3/adult, or $8/family; a seasonal non-resident pass is also available.
The Oneonta Family YMCA will open Wilber swim lessons and SAWW registration for residents and non-residents on July 1; lesson registration will continue until all slots are full.
Contact the Oneonta Family YMCA at 607-432-0010 or visit www.oneontawmca.org for more information.
Staffing challenges notwithstanding, Oneonta’s YMCA and the City of Oneonta will partner again this year to provide summer programming and services for area youth eager for activity.
“The Y’s core mission is to find solutions to community problems,” said YMCA Executive Director Frank Russo. “This summer, like every summer before it, we will work to the best of our capabilities to provide whatever services we can.”
“We will offer our summer programs in some way, shape, or form,” he said. “I like to say it will be ‘similar but different.’ We intend to have the swimming pool operating. The community is very quick to be worried that there will be nothing to do this summer, but that’s not the case. That’s not to say that we don’t need employees and volunteers — we’re just like any business facing a shortage these days.”
“This is not a money issue for us,” he said, noting the Oneonta Y’s competitive wages and opportunities. “We’re losing some of our past collaborative partners because their own programs have suffered. Everybody is feeling the pinch.”
In his online Weekly Report for April 16, Oneonta Mayor Mark Drnek addressed the need for volunteers who can keep city programs alive.
What better time than the middle of National Volunteer Week (April 17 – 24) to take the time to salute every person who gives their time — truly our most precious commodity — to help others.
The Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta receives a few dozen press releases each week from community groups of every stripe throughout Otsego County — organizations looking out for the environment, preserving open spaces, grooming hiking trails. Groups dedicated to keeping political discourse at a civil level, encouraging citizens to vote and participate in democracy. Programs to feed the hungry, help the homeless, save and protect animals. Perform for and promote local arts and artists, help out in the schools, decorate village streets for holidays, coach Little League and soccer and basketball.
And almost as an aside, such announcements usually include some semblance of this proud statement: “[insert name] is an all-volunteer organization governed by a volunteer board of directors.”
Board of Education, town, and village governments, too, run on volunteer steam: these board members, supervisors, mayors, trustees, legislators, committee members, and appointees aren’t in it for the big paycheck. We’re humbled when imagining the amount of time and dedication these volunteers devote to a sometimes thankless task, serving a public that can be quick to judge and criticize yet take for granted the day-to-day quality of life that these volunteers make possible.
FROSTBITE 5K – 12:30 p.m. Get your ugliest Christmas sweaters and get outside to celebrate the season. This year the run is in memory of John Hayen who was a fixture of the runs for 20 years. Registration required. Starts at Oneonta YMCA, 20-26 Ford Ave., Oneonta. 607-432-0010 or visit www.facebook.com/OneontaFamilyYMCA/
SENIOR SOCIAL – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Seniors are invited for a party featuring Chair Yoga, Silver Sneaker Classic, Lunch from Panera Bread, Bingo, and a mall walk. Free, all invited. Presented by the Oneonta YMCA. Hosted at The Community Room by JC Penny’s at The Southside Mall, Oneonta. 607-432-0010 ext. 9 or visit www.facebook.com/OneontaFamilyYMCA/
FROSTBITE 5K – Last Chance to run, walk, or bike during the month of December. Post your results, then a picture of yourself in an ugly sweater with your race bib for the chance to win prizes. Benefit for the Oneonta YMCA. 607-432-0010 or visit www.facebook.com/OneontaFamilyYMCA/
SUNDAY SERIES – 3 – 4 p.m. Friends of the Village Library presents ‘From Antebellum to Anti-Racism: Redirecting Your Down South Tourism’ featuring Sydney Waller discussing sites to include on a Civil Rights themed trip through the American South. Cooperstown Village Library. 607-547-8344 or visit www.facebook.com/VillageLibraryOfCooperstown/
FROSTBITE 5K – Ongoing. Run, walk, or bike anytime during the month of December. Post your results, then a picture of yourself in an ugly sweater with your race bib for the chance to win prizes. Benefit for the Oneonta YMCA. 607-432-0010 or visit www.facebook.com/OneontaFamilyYMCA/
KITCHEN CHEMISTRY – 2 p.m. Learn about acidity and what makes the sky blue with the AJ Read Science Discovery Center, from the comfort of your own kitchen. No special equipment required (except a red cabbage). Join the fun on Facebook live. Visit www.facebook.com/AJReadSDC/ for info.
VALENTINES DANCE – 6 p.m. Throw on cowboy boots, bring that special someone for fun line dancing class. Includes admission to Valentines HIGH Fitness at 7:15. Cost, $10/non-member. Oneonta YMCA, 20-26 Ford Ave., Oneonta. 607-432-0010 or visit www.facebook.com/OneontaFamilyYMCA/
ICE HARVEST FEST – 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Participate in traditional ice harvesting as was done 100 years ago (as long as ice is at least 8”). Also includes ice carving, fishing, hot soup buffet, exhibits by local businesses, more. Cost, $9/adult/teen. Children under 12 enter free. Hanford Mills Museum, 51 Co. Hwy. 12, East Meredith. 607-278-5744 or visit www.hanfordmills.org