Nov. 26, 2008: An epidemic of community service

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To The Editor:
Yes, giving is contagious and my hopes are that it will continue to infect all of us, not only throughout this holiday season, but year round.
It all started last week when MARK staff member and Mountain Laurel Gardens Housing Manager, Christine DuBois began planning a Thanksgiving feast for the seniors at Mountain Laurel Gardens.  Before the day was out, MARK staff members Barbara Moses and Iris Mead had volunteered to bake the pies, and help with the fixin’s and Margaretville Telephone Company’s Glen Faulkner hand delivered a check to totally cover the costs of the entire meal.
The afternoon of the dinner, CWC’s Mary Jane Oppenheimer jumped on board with brownies, cookies and a festive centerpiece as residents set the table for their community gorge. This was just the beginning of a week of giving.
Later that week, I received a phone call from a member of the leadership committee of Fleischmanns First—a community organization dedicated to the revitalization of the Fleischmanns community. He generously donated four turkeys to be distributed to needy families in the community. I sent an e-mail to the entire Fleischmanns First membership asking for names of families or individuals in need. As you can imagine the recommendations of families far exceeded the four turkeys available. By the time the day was out an additional six turkeys were donated by Fleischmanns First members and will be distributed by volunteers of Fleischmanns First, prior to Thanksgiving.
In the coming weeks there are several opportunities to help while enjoying the Holiday festivities. On Saturday, Dec. 6 Roxbury is aglow with their Holidays of the Gilded Age celebration. From traditional music at a 19th century parlor social, fine crafts and food fair, horse drawn caroling coach, the community tree lighting and a host of activities all day long, children of all ages are sure to be delighted with this step back in time event. As you see the donation boxes scattered about, your generosity goes directly to the Roxbury Community Christmas Project and year round Community Aid Fund.
A full event schedule can be found at www.roxburyny.com or if you can’t make the event, you can simply send a donation to the Community Aid Fund c/o Bonnie Walker 469 Al Pekrul Rd., Roxbury 12474.
On Sunday, Dec. 7 Margaretville kicks off their fund-raising efforts with the annual Jim DiGiacomo Auction. This year’s event, to benefit the Middletown community, is being held at the Inn Between and begins at 5:30 p.m. or simply drop a donation in the mail to the Community Christmas Project, c/o Teresa Goodchild, PO Box 58, Margaretville, NY 12455.  
Finally, if you are a part of the Andes community, the Methodist church is the primary contact for this year’s project.
 Whether it’s a monetary donation or a gift of time, let’s make the giving an epidemic!
 
Peg Ellsworth,
executive director
MARK Group