Editor’s note: Every year, the Press-Republican asks local organizations and businesses to let us know about community-service work they did or donations made during the holidays. Our goal is to let everyone know about the generosity in our region.
While we know there were many others who pitched in, here is what was submitted for 2013:
The Local Mission Council of the First Presbyterian Church of Plattsburgh in conjunction with the Clinton County Department of Social Services provided Christmas gifts for seven local children. Congregation members, either as individuals, families or friends of the church, selected ornaments, each containing a special personal gift request, from the Fellowship Hall Christmas tree.
“In the spirit of caring about and sharing with our neighbors, these gifts helped make these local children’s Christmas wishes come true,” a press release said.
Northeastern Zone of the New York State Retired Teachers Association members brought Christmas gifts to their annual holiday luncheon to give to the Clinton County Christmas Bureau. More than 50 presents helped to make a brighter Christmas for some local families.
American Legion Post 1619 in West Plattsburgh put together 80 Christmas food baskets for the less fortunate, with $1,600 donated by the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association. That reduced the cost to Post 1619 to $2,000, so the gift was much appreciated. As well, two union representatives help assemble the baskets before they were delivered.
Donna Trombley of Plattsburgh made 488 afghans over the course of the year, donating 122 each to Meadowbrook Healthcare, the Samuel Vilas Home, Evergreen Valley Nursing Home and the Clinton County Nursing Home, all in Plattsburgh.
She topped her 2012 effort, which produced almost 300 — one for every resident of three nursing homes. Trombley’s goal is that not one person residing in a nursing home goes without a Christmas gift so they know they are still loved and remembered.
Trombley, in turn, expressed thanks to all who donated yarn for her afghans.
Impeerium Peer Network, a program of National Alliance on Mental Illness: Champlain Valley, brought some holiday cheer to Champlain Center mall in Plattsburgh, hosting an open community caroling event, singing Christmas carols and handing out candy canes.
The residents of Lakeview Towers held a party for their grandchildren and the children of the Plattsburgh Housing Authority on Dec. 7, with Santa and Mrs. Claus stopping in for a visit, too. The senior residents had cupcakes, cookies, doughnuts and hot chocolate for all of the guests who filled the community room. The Plattsburgh Housing Authority arranged for a photographer to attend who took pictures of the children with Santa. Each child was also given a hand-knit stocking made by Lakeview resident Ramona Soder, filled with chocolates and a candy cane. And a group of carolers from the Plattsburgh Church of the Nazarene performed several songs. Dozens of children, from infants to early teens, were in attendance. The Housing Authority expressed special thanks to Wilfred Gonyea, Elizabeth Mooney, Ramona Soder, Julie Walters, Elizabeth Irachetta, Nicole LaFrance, Clayton Morris and the residents of Russell H. Barnard Apartments and Lakeview Towers.
Santa Claus visited the Essex County Sheriff’s Department in the County Public Safety Building, handing out gifts to more than 100 kids, sharing cookies and milk with them. Special Deputy Mighty Matthew Cech of Plattsburgh, who has Mitochondrial disease, was Santa’s special helper. Sheriff Richard Cutting expressed appreciation to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys Program for supplying the toys and to the officers who gave off-duty time to make the party happen, especially Major Thomas Murphy and Devann Murphy.