By Julie Obermiller
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Well, readers, we made it through one month of winter on the calendar, with two long months to go. Frigid days like this make most of us want to stay under the covers, while others are reveling in the snowfall on the slopes or the chance of a snow day off from school.
Warm yourself from the inside-out by doing a good deed for someone else. The ailing and elderly are especially vulnerable to winter woes, so offer to fetch groceries or meds, shovel a walk, or just check in to say hello. Watch out for those kids and pets as well. Think about how great spring will feel when it gets here in March!
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Sunday’s community event at the Barker Fire Hall was great fun for all who came out. Special thanks go out to the Barker Fire Department, Junior Firefighters, American Legion Herbert W. Carr Post 425, Somerset Historical Society, Friends of Barker Free Library, Barker Music Parents Club, Lighthouse Junior Optimists and Somerset Conservation Club. They joined our three primary service clubs, the Barker Lions, Somerset Masons 675 and the Barker Lighthouse Optimist Clubs, in setting up displays to showcase their local activities. Thank you to all who donated prizes for our auction and giveaways. It was a wonderful afternoon and many groups and attendees said they would like to see it happen again. We’ll try it again in warmer weather when we can utilize the outdoor pavilion space at the fire hall as well.
There has also been discussion about a gathering of all the community youth groups — baseball, 4-H, soccer, Boy and Girl Scouts, church groups and the like — to showcase all the programs available to local young people.
On a personal note, I looked around at the dozens of volunteers and could not help but feel a tremendous pride on this little community of ours. Many people there belong to two or more organizations and whole families are involved in activities. Volunteers are the heart and soul of everything good that happens. Saying “thank you” hardly seems adequate to express our gratitude and pride. Show your thanks by getting involved in some small way.
NY District Optimist Lt. Gov. Laurie Ferris came to Sunday’s event to meet our new Junior Optimists and Pauline Leacock gifted them with some fabulous district pins. Laurie, Pauline and Sally Zastrow of the Barge Canal Optimists in Lockport came to show their support of our Barker clubs and our juniors were very impressed.
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The Somerset Conservation Club has announced its 2014 officers. They are: Jody Styres, president; Mike Flint, first vice president; Lewis Dubois, second vice president; Paul Higgins, recording secretary; Tina Roberts, treasurer; Herb Mayer, assistant treasurer; Dick Heschke, membership secretary and federation representative; Dick Wayner, fish chairman; and Gary Cottle, game chairman. Trustees are Ben Watson, Frank Flint, Ed Ehbauer, Tim Flint and Carl Austin. Our local conservation club is headquartered on Johnson Creek Road.
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Classes for the winter semester of Barker Community Education begin Monday, so get registered now to avoid cancellation of offered classes. Information was mailed to all district homes and you can also go online to www.barkercsd.net to get the information and registration forms. The winter semester runs from Jan. 27 to March 27. Classes/activities include antique auto restoration, beginner knitting, digital photography, paper class, stained glass, basketball, volleyball, water aerobics, family swim, hall walking, evening workout, stretch and tone and body sculpting. Special one-day classes include five-minute quilt block, 10-minute quilt block, an AARP Smart Driver Class and a five-hour pre-licensing driver class. Senior citizens get a 50 percent discount on class fees. For more information, contact director Jim Cantella at 795-3203, ext. 7315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Name your game! County Line United Methodist Church is sponsoring a card party starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, and it’s open to the community. Come and enjoy an evening of card playing. There will be euchre, cribbage, bid pitch or any other card game that participants want to play. Admission is free; bring a snack to share. The church is at routes 269 and 18. For more information, call Dennis Bailey at 735-7404.
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The big 2014 Relay For Life Kick-off celebration happens at 10 a.m. Feb. 1 in the cafeteria at Roy B. Kelley Elementary School, Lockport. This year’s theme is all red, white and blue with a “Star-Spangled Relay,” because the event starts on Flag Day, June 14, at the Emmet Belknap School track. Come to the kick-off for fun, awards, prizes and all the information and inspiration you need to start our Relay season. There will be coffee and juice, breakfast pizza and bagels, baked goods, fruit, water and more. Admission is free and everyone is invited to join the Relay family. The first team meeting will be held Feb. 12 at the Roy B. Kelley cafeteria.
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The next meeting of the Barker Seniors is Feb. 7 at the Barker Fire Hall. First-grade pen pal Valentine cards must be turned in at the meeting and The “Good Ol’ Boys” are the featured entertainers. Pirate Bingo is on tap for Feb. 21. The Feb. 7 meal consists of beef stroganoff over linguini, corn, a warm dinner roll, bread pudding, milk and coffee or tea. The suggested donation is $3.25. Call the Somerset Town Hall at 795-3575 to reserve a lunch. Remember that the meetings are canceled whenever Barker Central School is closed because of the weather.
If you’re already looking ahead to getting away for a vacation this year, check out the trips with the Barker Seniors. They are open to the public when space permits. There is a limited number of seats left for the April trip to Lancaster, Pa. Call Jo Ann Greenwald at 795-3787 for more information.
Barker-area residents, send your news to email@example.com (jpeg pictures, MSWord or text in emails only); or to 8691 Lake Road No. 9, Barker, NY 14012. To be in next week’s Chatterbox, information should be in Julie’s hands by 6 p.m. Monday.