by Rachel Hunter
The second annual Fowler Family Day was held in the Town of Fowler on Saturday, July 29 on the lawns adjacent to the Fowler Town Hall to raise funds for the town playground.
The official opening ceremony was held at 11 a.m. with the singing of national anthem by vocalist Brandon Griffin and a ceremonial pigeon release, orchestrated by Luis Gutierrez of Gutierrez Pigeon Loft in Fowler and aided by dozens of volunteers.
Supervisor Michael Cappellino welcomed all to the 2017 Fowler Family Day, and invited Deputy Supervisor Rick Newvine to the podium to extend gratitude. Mr. Newvine said Fowler Family Day was possible due to the organizing efforts of the Fowler Family Day Committee: Karen Simmons, Debbie Tupper, Kelly Harmer, Lillith Griffith, Tami Gale an Michael Cappellino
“There’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into this.” Mr. Newvine said. “Every week, we met from January or February on.”
A special gratitude was extended to Link Electric, LLC for helping the Town of Fowler by drawing the electricity across the town lawn – and so enable the Fowler Family Day to grow in the amount of family fun offered.
Gratitude was extended to the following vendors and participating clubs, groups and organizations:
Fowler Family Day attendees were greeted with a classic car show in the front of the Fowler Town Hall, and were encouraged to enjoy the historical display organized by Town of Fowler Historian Karen Simmons.
The Town of Fowler had merchandise available for purchase, including Fowler Family Day T-shirts, and raffles in adjoining tents. Tickets for the major raffle have been on sale for weeks through the Town of Fowler for a chance to win 100 Gallons Fuel, donated from Tripp Fuels, a painting by local artist Wilson Bickford, 12 Yards Gravel, donated by Chad Soper, a 6500 Watt Portable Gas Generator, donated by Newvine’s NAPA Auto, and $50 cash. Drawing was held at 3 p.m.
DJ Nick Fuller ensured that all attendees were energized with the latest pop and country hits.
The Gouverneur Rescue Squad and the Gouverneur Fire Department had vehicles on display. The Gouverneur Fire Department invited all in attendance throughout the afternoon to try their hand at the extinguisher training.
Horse-drawn wagon rides were made possible by the St. Lawrence Valley Draft Horse Association’s own Bill Siebels and Dick Clement. The wagon advertised the annual plow days, this year to be held on Sept. 16 and 17.
There also were single-cylinder vintage engines on display. Mr. Newvine extended gratitude to Carl Fleming and John Smith among others for their willingness to bring them to Fowler Family Day.
NYS Trooper Jason Sheen was extended gratitude for the seatbelt demonstration. Mr. Newvine said they needed more exhibits like this one.
There was plenty for children to do as well with games, kid’s balloons, a bouncehouse, facepainting and more. The St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office Safe ID Program was also on site.
There was a craft and vendor fair, and many items of interest were available for purchase – from LulaRoe to Avon and more. Many attendees seemed to enjoy looking at all the items available and meeting the local vendors. Local business, Fun Unlimited, also brought a vast array of Polaris vehicles that caught the eye and attention of many of the attendees.
The Gouverneur Rotary Club’s own Gale Ferguson was at Fowler Family Day to sell raffle tickets in support of the Gouverneur Rotary Club and its activities. Several children in attendance enjoyed taking a spin on the children’s tractor. The winner will once again this year be drawn at the PumpkinFest in September at the Gouverneur Fairgrounds.
Stepping Stones Ministries had a booth, manned by Pastor Orville Eacker and Joan Eacker, and volunteer Dorothy Weaver. They showcased a draft of their new church sign, provided Christian resources, and handed out little toys and bottles of bubbles. They also promoted the services of the 1 John 3:18 Health and Hope Mission, the free medical clinic in Gouverneur for uninsured adults, and the upcoming Cow Plop Fundraiser to be held at the PumpkinFest in September. Tickets were offered at $10 and will be offered at community events until the September draw. Winner will take home a $500 grand prize.
Fowler Baptist Church had a booth, manned by Pastor Howard Maxson and Brenda Maxson along with volunteer Ed Dowling. They provided Christian resources to passersby, and invited all to look at the historical display in honor of their 190th anniversary this year. They also sold cookbooks to raise money for mission projects, and also worked to promote the 1 John 3:18 Health and Hope Mission’s Cow Plop Fundraiser.
A chicken barbecue was presented by the Gouverneur Elks Lodge – a favorite attraction that many said was delicious, surely tantalizing their tastebuds again this year.
The Gouverneur Rod and Gun Club offered hot dogs, hamburgers and curly fries. They also encouraged attendees to take advantage of several raffles, including a Salmon/Trout Fishing Trip on Lake Ontario. The drawing will be held on Aug. 9. All proceeds will be used for the new trap field.
Several area dignitaries were in attendance, including: St. Lawrence County Sherriff Kevin Wells, NYS Trooper Jason Sheen, Town of Edwards Supervisor Jan Lennox, Town of Edwards Clerk Pat Davis, Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ronald McDougall, among others.
The Town of Fowler plans to construct the playground later this month. All monies will go toward the project. Town officials say they want to improve upon the project every year. With two years now under their belts, town officials say this is not the end. A 2018 Fowler Family Day is already in the works.
by Rachel Hunter