Teens on mission help many in North Country
Hundreds of teenagers belonging to the YouthWorks Christian mission organization have been at work this summer in Northern Warren County sprucing up homes of local people in need.
Over the last seven weeks, crews of teens, 70 or so per week, have been painting homes, cleaning up yards and beautifying municipal properties, plus accomplishing minor home repairs, fix-up chores and weatherization.
Also, they've been running a children's program in Baker's Mills and visiting the elderly in nursing homes, plus accomplishing some community service work. They concluded their work in the region Aug. 5.
The teenagers are part of the YouthWorks organization based in Minnesota, which annually serves about 39,000 high-school-age youth from the U.S. and Canada.
Getting to learn about the local culture while building interpersonal relationships is a big part of the program's purpose, mission leaders said.
Warrensburg has hosted a group from YouthWorks for the past several summers.
This year, the youth had fix-up projects in Warrensburg, Lake George, Thurman, Pottersville, and Chestertown, plus North Creek, Bakers Mills, and Johnsburg.
Andrew Northrop, one of the site directors in Warrensburg, said the beauty of the environment in Northern Warren County served as an inspiration.
"I love the creation around here," he said, noting he is accustomed to missions in large cities like Detroit.
Teresa Whalen of Warrensburg Beautification said the YouthWorks volunteers built a rest room for the Warrensburg town park on River Street that hosts the Riverfront Farmer's Market. The rest room, which resembles a rustic outhouse, was begun by last year's YouthWorks crews and was finished this year, she said.
The teenagers also cleared a tremendous amount of brush between the Riverfront Park and the Schroon River, so patrons of the Farmer's Market could enjoy views of the river rushing by, she said.
The YouthWorks volunteers also weeded the town's many floral gardens spread around the hamlet. At the Warrensburg Senior Center, Whalen said, the workers removed old plantings and prepared the landscape for re-planting of heirloom species. They devoted a day's work each week to the town properties while they were here, she added.
"The YouthWorks volunteers were hardworking and very organized," she said, noting the teens were at work on time and cleaned up when they were done with their day's work.
"We look forward to working with them again next year," she said, adding she thought launching a local volunteer group to accomplish similar odd jobs would be a good idea.
The YouthWorks also painted Doreen Cooper's house on Elm St. in Warrensburg.
"They did a great job - and they were as quiet as mice," Cooper said.
YouthWorks counselor Kate Parwoll who had participated as a teen volunteer for two prior years, guided the group of teens this year running a day-camp program in Bakers Mills for children from age 4 to 11. The youngsters worked on arts and crafts projects, and heard bible stories and played games, all at no charge to their families.
"It has been a great experience for me," Parwoll said.
YouthWorks counselor Bob Stanchas from Rochester said his work, which included weeding and clearing brush at a Johnsburg cemetery, was particularly rewarding when his group discovered a Civil War veteran's grave.
The YouthWorks groups also worked on Norma Cooper's house in Wevertown and accomplished chores at the Lake George home of Jerrold Brandt, cleaning out his basement, mowing his lawn and insulating his porch.
Brandt has a spinal condition that prevents him from doing the chores, YouthWorks representatives said.
The volunteers also worked on John and Brenda Cleveland's home in Warrensburg. Due to critical medical issues, both the Clevelands have been unable to work recently.
Brenda Cleveland complimented the teenagers, saying they were "very good workers."
With the teens tackling these and many other projects in the region, many local people have expressed heartfelt appreciation for the work completed by YouthWorks, adding they hope to see them back in our communities next year.
Holy Cross schedules church dinner
The Church of the Holy Cross on Main Street will host a home-cooked dinner Saturday, Aug. 28, beginning at 5 p.m.
The dinner includes salad, bread, entree, coffee and dessert. Dinner choices include meat loaf, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, or baked ziti. For dessert, a choice of carrot cake, or cheesecake flan is to be offered. Requested will be a donation of $7 for adults, and $5 for children younger than 12.
E.J. Lang fundraiser this Sunday
A benefit spaghetti dinner to help raise money for cancer victim Eric "E.J." Lang and his family will be held from 3 to 7 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 15, at the Warren County Fairgrounds. The dinner is $5 per person. Raffles will be held for a 42" high-definition television and a cord of firewood, at $10 per ticket.
The event, which includes entertainment and a silent auction, promises family fun.
Eric, owner of EJ Electric, cannot work for the next few months as he will be undergoing cancer treatments. This fundraiser is to financially assist his family as they endure the process. For those who can't attend this event, donations can be made at the local TD Bank. For details or to donate an item for the auction, contact Jessica Monroe at 796-7525.
Great Sale seeking talented performers
Those who have a special talent and would like to perform at the World's Largest Garage Sale Oct. 2 and 3, are welcome to volunteer for a spot on the talent lineup. The event organizers are not paying performers, but those entertaining are encouraged to sell their CDs or set out a donation jar. Performers can only present family-oriented entertainment. Contact the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce at 623-2161for details.
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