News of Otsego County


YMCA teaches water safety to children
Class participants learn boat safety Thursday, Aug. 5, at Wilber Park. (Kevin Limiti/

YMCA teaches water safety to children

By Kevin Limiti • Special to

ONEONTA — The Oneonta YMCA, along with the Lyden family and the city of Oneonta’s Wilbur Pool, hosted a four-day, free workshop for kids on how to be safe around the water.

The workshops, which were held between Monday, Aug. 2, and Thursday, Aug. 4, taught children some essential lessons on how to be safe in the water, with the intent of preventing drowning. The history of the workshop has tragic roots, but is a passion that continues to this day.

The segments being offered included learning about pool rules, what to do if a boat capsizes, learning to help rescue someone in the water, how to deal with air pockets and other safety lessons on water safety.
About 80 kids have participated in the program and it also provided on the job training for being a swim instructor.

Stephanie Kozak, head lifeguard, said there was a lifeguard shortage throughout the country and, because of COVID, kids didn’t get swim lessons last year and, possibly as a result, drowning deaths are up.

The Safety Around Water workshop, sponsored by the YMCA, was started eight years ago by Stephen Lyden, who passed away at the age of 20 in January 2015, as a result of drowning. For Kristen Lyden, his mother, doing the water safety workshop is a personal way of carrying on his legacy.

Modified Frostbite 5k Gets Ugly: Successful Amid Ongoing Pandemic

Modified Frostbite 5k Gets Ugly:

Successful Amid Ongoing Pandemic

Participants make their way down Market Street in Oneonta during the 2018 YMCA Frostbite 5k event. (Ian Austin/


ONEONTA – The Oneonta Family YMCA Frostbite has traditionally been held on New Year’s Eve Day in the city of Oneonta, however, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has required that the event be modified.

This year participants were able to enjoy the event anywhere they wanted at any time during the month of December. Participants could run, walk, stroll or bike a 2.5k, 5k or 10k at their discretion.

145 Runners Finish 2019 With Frostbite 5K

Parade, Party At Foothills Tonight

145 Runners Finish 2019

With YMCA’s Frostbite 5K

Brian Horne, Mitchell Woodbeck, Gary Toombs, Keira Brown and 142 other brave – and chilly! – runners take off from the starting line of the starting line of the YMCA’s annual New Year’s Eve Frostbite 5K run earlier this afternoon on Market St. At right, Oneonta’s Michael Hamilton came in first place overall with a time of 18:06. The New Year’s Eve festivities continue this evening with the First Night parade at 5:30, followed by music, dancing, a poetry reading and talent show, as well as a chance to meet Oneonta’s own American Ninja Warrior, Anthony Eardley, at the free “20/20 – I Can See Clearly Now” celebration at Foothills. The fun continues until 10 p.m., when fireworks will be launched from Neahwa Park, then stick around for a blacklight after-party and Cosmic Karma fire dancers.  (Ian Austin/

Thursday RocksWith 38 Special


38 Special Rocks

At Y Fundraiser

A heavy downpour didn’t keep throngs of music lovers from cramming the tents to support the Oneonta YMCA at the fundraising concert featuring 38 Special at the Sixth Ward Athletic Field Thursday evening. Above, guitar and vocalist Don Barnes, left, and guitarists Jerry Riggs performing their hit, “Hold On Loosely”, after they took to the stage. Special guests Jackson Michaelson and Dylan Schneider warmed up the crowd. Rndy Mowers, Oneonta, inset right, acted as auctioneer for the evening, as guests had a chance to bid on sports memorabilia and even a tour of the ESPN studios. (Ian Austin/

Hometown People: Mar. 07 08 2019

Hometown People:  Mar. 07 – 08, 2019

OHS Junior

Mahala Johnson Selected

For ‘Students Inside

Albany’ Program

ONEONTA – Mahala Johnson, an 11th grader from Oneonta High School, has been chosen to attend this year’s Students Inside Albany program, sponsored by the League of Women Voters (LWV) of the Oneonta Area.
This 19th annual Students Inside Albany program will take place from May 19-22, and will bring 60 students from across the state to Albany to get a first-hand education about their state government.
A program of the LWV of New York State Education Foundation, Inc., it is designed to increase high school students’ awareness of their responsibility in representative government and provide information about the tools necessary for meeting that responsibility.

Fathers, Daughters Enjoy Night Out

Fathers, Daughters

Enjoy Night Out

Daughters got the royal treatment this evening as they and their fathers enjoyed the festivities at the annual YMCA Father Daughter Dance at the Hunt Union Ballroom at SUNY Oneonta. Above, Brad Amadon, right, Davenport, swings his daughter Natalie on the dance floor before the dinner rush. At right, Tim Gargash enjoys a slow dance with his daughter Skylar, who is wearing a dress he hand-made for her especially for the occasion. (Ian Austin/

Rain Doesn’t Stop Oneonta Color Run

Rain Doesn’t Stop Oneonta Color Run

Oneonta’s Mason Hannan, 9, was one of the first runners to cross the finish line in the “5 and older” race at the 2018 Kid’s Color Run, put on by the Oneonta YMCA and Noah’s World Recreational Center. Despite the cold rain and snow, dozens of kids showed up with their parents to participate in the run. (Parker Fish/
Volunteers Do $70k In Service During Into The Streets

Volunteers Do $70k In Service

During Into The Streets

Ethan Stortecky, Treyvon Johnson, Lauren Weaver and Michelle Hansen clean up cigarette butts and other garbage from in front of Cynthia Marsh’s First People mural on Chestnut Street Extension as part of the 18th annual Into The Streets event. The event is put on by SUNY Oneonta students who, together with other volunteers from JobCORPS and citizens did over $70,000 worth of service around the city. Locations included the YMCA, Friends of Recovery, CANO, The Lord’s Table, Main Street and more. (Ian Austin/

Love, Loss, And What I Wore


THEATER – 8 p.m. Presenting “Love, Loss, And What I Wore.” The Production Center, The Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. Call 607-432-5407 or visit

FILM SERIES – 7-9 p.m. Cabin Fever film festival presents “Loving Vincent.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Free, open to the public. The Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-1400 or visit

Ironically, Frostbite 5K Postponed Due Cold

Ironically, Frostbite 5K

Postponed Due To Cold

With burning lungs and ice-encrusted eyebrows, John Ellis, Oneonta, Aaron Stary, Laurens, Kye Breier, Davenport, and Mike Hamlton, Oneonta, finish their run along Ford Ave early this afternoon after completing run in temperatures below 0°. The friends had turned out for the YMCA’s annual Frostbite 5K race, only to discover it had been postponed until a later date due to the weather. Not to be deterred, the group decided to run the course anyway in a race they aptly named the “Frost Spite 5K”. A new race date will be announced soon.(Ian Austin/






‘The Little Prince’ At CCS


OPERA – 7 p.m. Enjoy a performance of family friendly opera, “The Little Prince,” this holiday season. Auditorium, Cooperstown High School. Call 607-547-2255 or visit

SENIOR SOCIAL – 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Seniors enjoy fun in the pool, hot beverages, luncheon, bingo, more. Oneonta YMCA, 20-26 Ford Ave., Oneonta. Call 607-432-0010 or visit

YMCA Sparklers Dazzle At Gymnastics Competition

YMCA Sparklers Dazzle

At Gymnastics Competition

Lily Stalter, member of the Oneonta Family YMCA Sparklers gymnastics team, preforms her routine on the beam for in front of her team, coaches and judges this morning at the New York State YMCA Gymnastics Championships at the SUNY Alumni Field House. The competition continues through the day as well at Sunday. (Ian Austin/



Honoring Our Legacy Of Inclusion


INTERFAITH COMMUNITY GATHERING – 3 p.m. Program titled “With Malice Toward Non: Honoring America’s Legacy of Religious Inclusion.” Affirming America’s principles of democracy, religious freedom, compassion, and unity for people of all faiths. Temple Beth El, 83 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Info, Ken Sider, or visit

EARTH FESTIVAL – 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. 13th annual festival featuring interactive exhibits, activities, vendors, and entertainment. Milford Central School, 42 W. Main St, Milford. Info,

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103