Cheers and jeers

CHEERS — To heroism and generosity. Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino commended civilians on Monday for their actions after Henry Ross III crashed his snowmobile on the Great Sacandaga Lake last Friday night. Not only did civilians administer CPR, but they transported deputies by private sleds to the site of the crash. Unfortunately Ross died after the accident, but he wouldn’t even have had a chance if area residents and authorities didn’t intervene.

CHEERS — To a giving spirit. Wil Sharpe, Pastor at Methodist Free Church in Gloversville, and his wife Debbie, feed hundreds of area residents each week via a food outreach program. Sharpe says there is a real need in the area, and that some families wouldn’t make it if not for the program. Not only is Sharpe feeding a need, he’s also spreading the good word through kindness. “What I love here, with what we do, is always say we’re not giving a handout, but a hand up to people,” Sharpe said.

JEERS — To leaving out Fulton and Montgomery counties. Last Thursday, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced $60 million in federal funding for 38 organizations across New York to fight homelessness. However, Fulton and Montgomery counties were left out of the equation. Organizations in 37 out of 57 upstate counties were funded. Homelessness is an issue everywhere, including here, and programs in our region should have been included.

CHEERS — To a safe New Year’s celebration. The Fulton County Traffic Safety Board will again sponsor a free taxi ride program for the holiday. Designed to give revelers a safe ride home from bars and parties, the service will run approximately midnight Saturday to 4 a.m. Sunday. People can call 773-7998 for a one-time-only free ride home. So get out and enjoy the last night of 2016!

CHEERS — To fundraising. Stewart’s Shops on Tuesday announced it had raised a record $1.85 million through its Holiday Match Program. This year’s fundraiser saw $56,000 more than the previous year, bringing the total donations to $926,000. Each individual contribution is matched by Stewart’s Shops and all the funds will benefit local, nonprofit children’s organizations. Charities can apply for funding by filling out an application at www.stewartsshops.com or by picking up a paper application at any shop.

CHEERS — To social work. No child should go hungry — that’s the mentality of Fonda-Fultonville social worker Melanie Capron. So Capron started a backpack program at the elementary school during the 2015-16 school year in partnership with the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. The program provides backpacks filled with food to help meet the needs of hungry children on weekends, when other resources are not available. For more information, call Capron at 853-3332, ext. 5009 or email mcapron@ffcsd.org.

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