... To the Butternut Valley Alliance for hosting a summer harvest festival Aug. 13.

More than 150 people attended the event at Guy Rathbun Park in Morris.

Vendors offered local fruits, vegetables, flowers, cheeses, maple syrup, bread and home-baked pies for sale. Music and speakers were also part of the event.

Bob Eklund, a BVA co-chairman, said the festival was organized to show off Morris' growing farmers' market, which is held from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays.

Addressing the crowd, Assemblyman Peter Lopez, R-Schoharie, said: ``We've lost so much of our manufacturing to foreign competition, and now our dairy farmers are facing the threat of MPC (milk protein concentrate) being used in cheese. Are we willing to give up our own food production, too?''

The crowd said it didn't think so. We don't, either.

We strongly support our local farmers and farmers' markets. We applaud the organizers and vendors who took part in the festival and encourage everyone to buy from their local farmers' market.

... To the village of Cooperstown's first Railroad Festival on Aug. 16.

A 1950s-era vintage diesel locomotive pulled a Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad train from its station in Milford to Cooperstown, stopping just short of Railroad Avenue at state Route 80, within sight of the headquarters of the New York Susquehanna & Western Railway.

``If the crossing at Route 80 were still there, we'd come all the way,'' C&CVR President Bruce Hodges said.

The railroads are an integral part of our local history. We hope the festival becomes an annual event.

... CitiHope International for its latest effort helping those in need across the globe.

CitiHope President Paul Moore Sr. said Operation Outstretched Hand is "good news of substance for our community because it will exponentially enlarge and relaunch CitiHope."

The Andes-based organization is a Christian humanitarian relief and development agency committed to serving communities globally with access to medicines, food and education.

The effort has already included a shipment of $4 million in pharmaceuticals to Zimbabwe, with $4 million more waiting to be shipped, Moore said.

On July 22, Celebration Health announced that CitiHope International and the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation joined its Operation Outstretched Hand.

The partnership will support the Zimbabwe health delivery system by providing critical medicine to public hospitals and clinics.

We wish CitiHope's mission success.

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