A project that was started almost three years ago, the Cherry Valley Playground was completed this past weekend. It is finally ready to accept kids of all ages to come play!
It all began when two young ladies who are part of the Cherry Valley Girls Scout Troop wanted to get their Bronze Award. “You have to complete a journey in order to get a bronze award,” Zola Palmer, 11, said. “We had to think about what would make our community better. We had to figure out an active community service.”
“We really wanted to do something that would draw people to our community, since we’re so small,” Bailey Thayer, 12, said. “We thought if we made a playground, more people would come and visit Cherry Valley.”
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.
Peter Deysenroth, president of Cooperstown Lions Club, held a public interest gathering at Upstate Bar and Grill on Saturday, April 2. Winter Carnival 2023 was discussed, particularly the need for volunteers and committee members. The meeting was a success; more than 20 people attended and nine agreed to be on committee’s. Winter Carnival 2023 is now a reality! If you are interested in getting involved, contact Mr. Deysenroth at email@example.com.
Helios Care is celebrating and honoring the valuable and heartfelt commitment of our wonderful volunteers during National Volunteer Appreciation Week.
Even when a person is dying, there can be a lot of living to do. Hospice makes it possible by bringing care, compassion, and hope to patients and families facing life-limiting illness. Volunteers are a vital part of this special care: 224 trained volunteers support our local communities during patients’ end-of-life journey and make the mission of Helios Care possible.
Whether a volunteer is serving at the bedside, honoring a veteran, assisting in the office, helping in the thrift shop, or assisting with events, they are the heart of our hospice. We would like to thank all of our volunteers for their unwavering support and generosity. This week and throughout the year, we honor and celebrate our outstanding volunteers.
Helios, Director of Community Outreach
TRACTOR FEST – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. See Over 60 tractors and machines they powered on NYS farms. Features classic, small engine, more. Famers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1450 or visit www.farmersmuseum.org/Tractor-Fest