High Notes: Feb. 27, 2017

Celebrating good news in our communities
Cars meander through the Amsterdam Lights Show in 2014.
Cars meander through the Amsterdam Lights Show in 2014.

In Schenectady, Union College students helped spread a positive message and gave back to the local community through their sixth-annual Random Acts of Kindness Week. Students from the Kenney Community Center and the college’s fraternities and sororities were among those participating in the event, held the week of Valentine’s Day. It included such uplifting activities as inviting students to “fish” for a bag of goldfish crackers accompanied by an encouraging note, free hot chocolate, a prize wheel, the delivery of cards and flowers to a local nursing home, and distribution of candy bars featuring messages of love and encouragement to people having lunch at the Schenectady City Mission.

In Schenectady, local comic book collector Walt Mahoski is using his extensive collection to help encourage reading at Oneida Middle School, where he is an art teacher. For years, Mahoski has been soliciting comic books from sellers online and at garage sales. He encourages them to donate books they can’t or don’t want to sell to his school comic book library. So far, his library, located in his classroom, has about 6,000 books. It’s treated like a real library, with about 120 students signed up to borrow comic books and other novels. The goal is to use the colorful books to instill a love of reading, with students starting off on comic books and then graduating to novels and other materials.

In Amsterdam, the Friends of Our Lady of Martyrs Shrine will continue a local holiday tradition through their purchase of the Amsterdam Lights Show. The annual drive-through holiday lights display was for a long time a benefit for the Amsterdam marching band. But the owners of the show decided last year not to continue the event after hosting it for 18 years. Had they not been able to find a buyer for the equipment — including thousands of lights, hundreds of wooden displays, costumes and other props — the event would have ended. Instead, it will continue this holiday season at a new location, 15 minutes away in Fultonville, and under a new name, “The Light up the Night With the Knights.” Students from the Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons High School Knights will volunteer to staff the event.

High Notes is a feature of The Gazette Opinion section that appears every Monday to spotlight the many good works being done by individuals and organizations in our communities. If you have a suggestion for High Notes, please send it to Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at [email protected].

Categories: Editorial, Opinion

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