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February 18, 2014

In Our Opinion: Cheers

The Daily Star

---- — To the annual Cooperstown Winter Carnival.

The event, which began in 1967, offered three days of cool-weather fun.

The carnival, which had a Winter Olympics theme this year, kicked off Feb. 7 with meals, contests and fireworks. It continued Feb. 8 with food, shows, sales, dances, tubing, tours, music and more contests. The carnival’s final day, Feb. 9, included sled races, a 5K/10K race, a hike, and more.

The variety of events offered something for everyone.

Caroline Geertgens said her favorite part was the “Cool Runnings” sled races on Sunday morning.

“The sledding was more of a family thing,” she said. “We all participated; my other children and her grandparents, too.”

We thank carnival organizers for continuing this wonderful tradition to add fun to the dreary days of winter.


To the Oneonta Rotary Fund for its donation to aid students with reading disabilities.

The $6,185 donation was made in memory of Wendy Brown, a Franklin women killed by her husband in a murder-suicide in 2012.

According to Rotary Fund Chairman Gary Herzig, Brown’s family was consulted on the donation. Brown’s sister Erna McReynolds said that one of her sister’s passions was for helping those affected by learning disabilities, he said, including her sons.

The money was used to purchase 15 iPads and software needed to help students with reading disabilities.

Oneonta City Schools Director of Special Education Tim Gracy advised the Rotary Fund on the best way to use the donations made in Brown’s memory.

“The problem doesn’t get the headlines, and we don’t get the funds needed to better address it,” Gracy said. The grant will allow the district to purchase more of the technology that the district has found can help students.

The Rotary Fund did a good job honoring the memory of a member by helping a cause she held dear.


To Family Resource Network for 20 years of helping local families of special-needs children.

The organization was founded by parents to meet the needs of special-needs individuals and their families. It plans special events in addition to providing a variety of regular services to the 3,000 people it serves in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, Tioga and Tompkins counties.

The organization, which offers some free services, is largely grant-funded, Executive Director Meghann Andrews-Whitaker said.

“Every single person that comes to us has their own needs,” Andrews-Whitaker said, and through the various programs it offers, “we try to help them get the services they need,” including residential family peer support, topics related to autism, and a resource center.

The Family Resource Network is a valuable asset to our community, and we congratulate it on its anniversary.