I start my column on a very sad note this week. Two well respected and loved members of our community died in Florida as a result of a tragic automobile accident. Francis and Barb Gero had purchased a home in Florida about a year ago and planned to spend the winter there. They had taken a short vacation there to get things set before returning home to spend the holidays with their beloved daughter Becca, son-in-law Jason and much adored grandson Jackson. Barb had retired on Oct. 8 after having 28 years of service at Keeseville Hardware, and Francis had retired several years ago after many years of service with the New York State Department of Corrections. They were returning to their home following car repairs when this accident occurred. Francis was pronounced dead at the scene on Oct. 31, and Barb died from her injuries on Nov. 2. Our entire town is in mourning over this terrible loss. Please keep them in your prayers. Francis and Barb will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by so many family members and friends. Stay tuned to this column for details on arrangements as soon as I receive them. RIP Francis and Barb. I love you both very much.
The AuSable Forks Ambulance Service held its annual Awards Banquet at the American Legion Post 504 in AuSable Forks on Nov. 2. Seventy members and guests attended. Everyone enjoyed a delicious meal that featured a choice of prime rib, stuffed chicken breast or vegetable lasagna. Following dinner, Meredith Torrance was master of ceremonies, and the following awards were presented: Katie Hendrie received emergency medical technician of the year, Kelsey Benway received most improved member, Bill Minogue received the leadership award, Brian Freeborn received driver of the year, Sue Reynolds received attendant of the year and Lee, Jackie, Meredith and Kallie Torrance all received excellence in emergency medical services. John Devlin was presented with a lifetime membership award for 20 years of service. Congratulations to all the very deserving recipients. Following the program, Silver Lake Sounds featuring DJs Doug and Ronnie Seguin played great music for dancing and kept the floor filled throughout the evening. Thanks to our ambulance service for its dedication and service to our community in times of need.
Birthdays this week: Nov. 4 - Jennifer Manning was our "Birthday Girl"; Nov. 5 - Dee Seguin and Emelianah Valentin celebrated their Election Day birthday; Nov. 6 - Amy Votraw gets best wishes; Nov. 7 - Zach Hamilton and Cedar Fitzsimmons celebrate; and Nov. 8, 9 and 10: no birthdays.
Happy anniversary wishes this week to Nick and Kari Fitzsimmons on Nov. 9.
Special thoughts and prayers for dearly departed members of our community: Nov. 8 - Margaret Trumbull and Wayne Saltmarsh.
The AuSable Forks Senior Center Nutrition Site welcomes seniors 60 years of age and older to stop by daily for a delicious lunch served at noon. The lunch is free of charge, but donations are gratefully accepted for those who choose to pay. Some of the delicious meals include spaghetti and meatballs, roast pork, roast beef with all the trimmings and more. They also have fun things to do, including five-cent bingo, jigsaw puzzles, walking in the gym and more. Activities start at 10 a.m. A delicious turkey dinner with all the fixings will be served to all attending on Nov. 21. For more information, please call Site Manager Betsy Bushey at 647-8173.
A fond farewell to Lora Bushey, LPN columnist for Wilmington, who announced last week that it was her final column. She will be missed very much by her faithful readers, including me, who enjoyed her very newsy columns. Hopefully she will return some day. Thanks for all your wonderful columns, Lora.
The annual Holiday Toy Drive, sponsored by M & M Diner in AuSable Forks, is underway and accepting unwrapped toys for boys and girls (please remember the teens). Monetary donations are also gratefully accepted. You may drop any item(s) off at M & M Diner during hours of operation. Applications are available for those wishing to apply in the Town of Jay and Black Brook for toys. Deadline for submission is Dec. 15. Contact Cindi Murphy for more information at 647-8264. Holiday food baskets are also being prepared, and Kelly Murphy reports the following items are needed for the baskets: potatoes, turkey, gravy, canned vegetables, stuffing, dinner rolls and a pie for each basket. Monetary donations are also gratefully accepted. For more information, contact Kelly at 524-5806.
Congratulations to the Lady Patriots volleyball team, who won the Class C championship and then proceeded to the championship game at Clinton Community College on Saturday, where they won again with a score of 3-0. They now proceed to Potsdam on Tuesday and will participate in the sub-regional. Good luck to our Lady Pats, who have had a fantastic season.
Henry's Trail is proceeding full speed ahead, and a work bee will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 10, weather permitting, to tie up some loose ends before the winter weather sets in. The new trail is dedicated to the memory of town of Jay resident Henry Caito, who died in a tragic accident. This trail will give children in the towns of Jay and Black Brook a new safe and educational place to play. The trail will be located in the Gale/Pattno in the Grove Section of AuSable Forks. Anyone wishing to volunteer should meet at the site for the work bee.
The annual "Christmas in the Forks" celebration will be held on Dec. 7 this year. The fun begins promptly at 6 p.m. with the tree lighting ceremony. Roger and Cindy Douglas have donated the tree this year. Town of Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas will once again be master of ceremonies, and Susan Richards will assist with lots of fun leading the crowd in singing lots of Christmas carols. A very special character will be added this year. Event chairwoman Helen Wirt Kennedy promises everyone a night of great fun and lots of "rockin' around the Christmas tree." The final touches are being put on the day's events and will be announced soon. The AuSable Forks Fire Department has changed its Firehouse Big Breakfast from Dec. 1 to Dec. 8 to add to this fun event. Stay tuned for more news on this next week.
My condolences to the family of former resident Rose M. Furnia, 95, who passed away on Oct. 25 at the home of her daughter Jean Marchiano surrounded by her loving family. Rose was born on Aug. 20, 1918, daughter of John and Florence (Seguin) Rabatoy. She was famous for her meat pies and macaroni and cheese. Calling hours were held at the Thwaits-Zaumetzer Funeral Home on Oct. 30, 2013. A funeral service followed the calling hours. Burial followed in the St. Agnes Cemetery in Lake Placid. RIP Rose.
Special thoughts and prayers for ill and recovering members of our community: Luke Randy Garcia, Sarah Tromblee, Muriel LaBombard, Carolyn Dagley, Cindy Thomas, Eunice Frenyea, Frank Lovely, Jim Bombard, John Bombard, Mabel Fredenburg, Maureen Lattrelle, Helen Drake, Helen McKernian, Peggy Sue Hart, Jari Snow-Thwaits, Rick Nolan, Debbie Spooner, Pauline Dumas, Karen Baker, Lynda Denton, John Santor, Bob Rondeau, Evie Dockum, Allison Crahan, Gabby Lincoln, Michaela Bushey, Carol (Bombard) Quigley, Laura (Joyal) Razzano, Rikki Kane, Joe Dubay Jr., Walter Fournier Sr., Terry Nollette, Colleen Otis-Whisher, Marla Devito and anyone else I may have forgotten.
Till next time have a great week and happy reading.