Appreciation Day a fun day for all

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:50

    FRANKLIN-With the weather fully cooperating and elected officials cooking over hot stoves, the borough enjoyed its second annual Volunteers' and Worker Appreciation Day last Friday at Memorial Park. The event, which is free of charge, is in honor of the commitment shown by many of the townspeople occupying voluntary positions, as well as regular employees who help oversee the day-to-day operations of the borough. "This is great," said councilman Jack Stoll, who was one of those on hand cooking hamburgers and hot dogs. "Everybody appreciates it, and it's the least we can do for the workers and the volunteers. It's a small part of what they do for us." Launched a year ago by former mayor Ed Allen, the event receives the help of nearby merchants, who donate food and other items. Allen, one of those also cooking, thanked WalMart, Shop Rite, Red's Deli, Dairy Queen and Weis Markets, all of Franklin, for their support, as well as Prime Time Meats of Matamoras, Pa. How exactly did Allen get the idea of holding the celebratory event? "I used to take the girls out on Secretaries' Day, and then I thought, ‘What about the volunteers?'" the former mayor responded. "A volunteer is out two or three nights a month, and their families sit home alone. Now, it's a chance for all of them to come out together." Among the more prominent volunteers cited are members of both the planning board and zoning board of adjustment, the fire department, the Franklin Historical Society, and both the first aid squad and recreation department. Although autonomous, the borough also handed a certificate of appreciation to the board of education, which was represented by Wayne Yahm and Mark Zschack, the president and vice-president, respectively, and Tom Kabatra. While most of the food and entertainment was donated, the borough contributed $1,000 to this year's affair, while FOP Lodge 57 added $250. Live music was performed by "The Good Times Band," which is in its fifteenth year, according to the group's manager, Crystal Piela. "People give of their time and it's nice to be able to thank them for that time," said Assemblywoman Alison McHose (R-24), who also grew up in Franklin. "And this is a great community with good people." Others on hand included councilman Steve Oroho, one of two Republican candidates for the Board of Chosen Freeholders running unopposed; councilman Gilbert Snyder, recreation commission chairman Bill McNeir, who helped organize the event; Mike Coppolella, a 43-year volunteer with the fire department; and local assistant scoutmaster Barbara Bross, who was joined by her daughter, Patricia, of Ogdensburg, and also Amadeus, a five-year-old Dachsund who managed to steal a few hearts along the way. Borough officials all mentioned their strong intentions of continuing the appreciation day events. "I'm sure we will," stated mayor Doug Kistle. "Without volunteers, I don't know what this town would do. They're a great bunch of people, and they're devoted to this town."