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My Gift Is You All

It’s been a month since about 500 people showed up for my benefit at the Clinton United Methodist Church.

You’d think in a month’s time someone who has been a journalist for 40 years would find the right words to say thank you. But still, all I can manage is thank you and that just doesn’t sound meaningful enough.

Let me start there, though. Thank you. Thank you to the Clinton Lions Club, with special thanks to Les and Nan LaBrecque and Colleen Furmanski who organized it to perfection.

Thank you to the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, which is Jackie Walters leading the way with her great style of organization and knowledge of who to contact to do what.

Thank you to the celebrity waiters, Bob Meelan and John Crossley, and Maureen and Bob Gray, Nick Rauch and Matt St. Peter from Waterville Central School. Not only did you give up a Saturday night during your break, but came after a devastating week in the district.

Thank you to Kristi Kosmoski and Zach Lewis with the Times, who helped coordinate and answered questions about the benefit. Thanks to the Clinton Methodist Church for opening up its doors to provide a space big enough.

Thank you to all who provided one of the 100 baskets for the raffle. Thank you, John Lauchert, who gave up some tickets to his beloved Buffalo Sabres for an item in the Silent Auction.

The item in the Silent Auction that raised the most money was the wonderful framed jersey - signed by the Sabres - with tickets and a puck from Clinton’s Hockeyville celebration. The generosity of Doug and Jackie Walters, John and Mary Lou Lauchert, Mike and Anne Debraggio, Bob and Deli Rogers, Corrine Gates and Tom Neumann, that fabulous piece of Hockeyville will hang in my office.

Thank you to the students and athletes - all of you who came in the Brookfield bus with your coaches, the Waterville girls basketball team with Coach Larry Stockwell, all of you from Clinton Youth Hockey. Thank you to Coach Mike Tesak and the Clinton boys hockey team for helping set up and your card of support.

Thank you to everyone who came, opened your wallet to help us with the medical costs, opened your arms for a hug of support. It meant the world to us.

By the time you read this, I will have finished the four weeks of radiation and am now done with treatments. I am now in what my doctors call follow-up and maintenance, meaning life will resume its normal cycle and no more weekly, daily trips to the doctors. Hey, even my hair is starting to come back.

We live in a great community, full of people ready to offer help to those who need it. I’ve known that since May 2001 when this became home through buying the Times. What all of you did to organize and support the benefit reinforces that.

A Blessed and Merry Christmas to all of you. Happy New Year - I know my 2019 is already starting out great.

The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper. 

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