Our community was saddened to learn Howard and Amy Drake lost their home and all possessions to a fire a few days ago. Howard and Amy managed to escape with only the clothes on their backs. Almost immediately Sadie Hozley of Wilmington started making plans for a fundraiser to assist the Drakes in their time of need. Soon a number of volunteers came aboard and organization plans began. There will be a spaghetti dinner and live auction benefit on Jan. 18 at the American Legion Post 504 in AuSable Forks. Dinner will be served from 4 to 6 p.m. Take-outs will be available. Adults will be $8, and seniors and children under 12 will be $5. A bake sale will be held starting at 4 p.m. and will continue until everything is sold. Mike Mussen Sr., of Music Inc. D.J. Service, will start at 4 p.m. and will feature special guest singer Tally Duell. A 50/50 raffle will be sold, and the live auction will begin at 7 p.m. with auctioneer Ed McCallister.
The following are contact persons: Sadie Hozley, event coordinator 586-1775; Jessica Douglass at 524-9818 or Jennifer Pulsifer at 524-9463 for donations for the live auction. Jessie Furnia at 647-2148 for the bake sale; Paula McGreevy at 946-2492 for monetary donations; and Cindi Murphy at 647-8264 for food donations.
Thanks to all the volunteers, and best wishes for a very successful event to the committee members. Howard and Amy, our entire community is praying for you, and we will see you at this event.
The holiday toy drive and holiday meal basket drive were both very successful this year. Cindi Murphy, event coordinator of the toy drive stated that numerous town of Jay and town of Black Brook families experiencing financial difficulties during the holiday season were given a much brighter Christmas day thanks to all the support from our community. Thanks to American Legion Post 504 and the AuSable Forks Volunteer Fire Department's Women's Auxiliary for their annual contributions and the students of the AuSable Forks Elementary School PTO, students at the school who held the fundraiser for this event. Also thanks to the AuSable Valley Middle/High School for their collection of gifts and to all residents who donated so many items. Kelly Murphy, coordinator of the holiday meal basket drive, announced she was very happy to deliver 60 meal baskets to children, their families, senior citizens and some who were experiencing financial difficulties and got to enjoy a wonderful holiday meal thanks to all the generosity she received again this year. Many business and individuals supported this drive again, and Kelly thanks them all from the bottom of her heart. Hats off to Cindi and Kelly for their dedication and hard work.
The winner of the Christmas Adirondack raffle basket held at the AuSable Forks Library was George Nolan Jr. of AuSable Forks. Our librarian thanks everyone who supported this fundraiser again this year. Birthdays this week: Jan. 6, no birthdays; Jan. 7, Sheila Lovely and Alex Walker celebrate; Jan. 8, Michael Manor, Darryl Lovely and John LaFountain are our birthday boys; Jan. 9, Bryan Walton, Bradley Deyoe and Liz Arnold get best wishes; Jan. 10, Zachary Marin and Gerald Reid celebrate; Jan. 11, Josie Miller, Cassandra Schmid, Lauren Jones and Hannah Valentin all get cake and candles; Jan. 12, Teena Snow is our birthday girl.
Happy Anniversary wishes to Jamie and Chelley Martineau on Jan. 6; and Gerald and Bea Reid and John and Jari Thwaits on Jan. 12.
Special thoughts and prayers for dearly departed members of our community: Jan. 6, T. John Ryan, Gerard Garso, Eugene Sheffield and Randy Duprey (2009); Jan. 8, Hazel Betters (1997); Jan. Jan. 9, Robert Saltmarsh, and Viola Seguin; and Jan. 11, Gordon Parrish (1996).
The New Year's Eve gala at Riverside Lanes was once again very successful. The 9-pin bowling tournament had 13 couples participating. The winners were: first place, Evelyn and Barry Ano; second place, Nancy Ano and Gary Lanzoni; and third place, Jenna Bombard and Kevin Seguin Sr. Jumping Joe LaBombard provided the musical entertainment and played great music for dancing throughout the evening. Everyone enjoyed ringing in 2014 with their friends and family.
My condolences to the family of Ruth Devins, 90, former resident of town who passed away on Dec. 31 in Gainsville, Fla. Ruth was born on April 17, 1923, in AuSable Forks, the daughter of Leo and Gladys (Elliot) Votraw. Arrangements will be announced at a later date. RIP, Ruth.
My condolences to the family of Lena Bruce, 91, former resident of town who passed away at CVPH Medical Center on Jan. 3. She was born in AuSable Forks on April 22, 1922, the daughter of John and Florence (Seguin) Rabatoy. Calling hours were held at the Thwaits-Zaumetzer Funeral Home on Jan. 6. A Mass of Christian burial was held at Holy Name Church in AuSable Forks following the calling hours. Burial will be in the spring in the parish cemetery. RIP, Lena.
Knights of Columbus Council 2301 in AuSable Forks received the Father McGivney Award and Columbian Award. Receiving the award for AuSable Forks was Grand Knight Mark Holt.
The 45th Annual Peru Wrestling Classic was held recently, and congratulations to the AuSable Valley Central School team who placed eighth in team standings with 88 points. Kenny Rivers (285 lbs.) made it to the finals. However, he was pinned in 1:06 in the championship. Dylan Baker placed third (120 lbs.) for the Patriots. Congratulations, Kenny and Dylan. Special thoughts and prayers for ill and recovering residents of our community: Luke Randy Garcia, Tim Snow (who I am happy to report has had surgery, is on the road to recovery and hoping to be home soon), Sarah Tromblee, Muriel LaBombard, Carolyn Dagley, Cindy Thomas, Eunice Frenyea, Frank Lovely, Jim Bombard, John Bombard, Helen Drake, Helen McKernian, Maureen Lattrelle, Mabel Fredenburgh, 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 I may have forgotten.
In ending this week, I am informing my many faithful readers that this will be my final column. I will miss doing this after all these years, but as they say, one door closes and another one opens. I know I will find something to do to replace the hours I spend each week on my column. I will hold many fond memories of all my years writing, and I have kept every column that I can enjoy reading for many years to come.