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Strawberry Fest provides lots of fun in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 June 2019 at 6:27 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Julian Pawlak, 3, of Medina emerges from a giant shark’s mouth. The shark was a large inflatable with a slide at the Albion Strawberry Festival. It was part of a Family Fun Center on Main Street, just north of the First Presbyterian Church.

The 33rdannual Strawberry Festival opened on Friday and continues today.

Emma Ray, 8, of Albion throws a baseball at a target on a dunk tank. She was successful in knocking Chrisjen Winters, 10, into the water.

The dunk tank is being used as a fundraiser for the St. Mary’s youth baseball team. Chrisjen is one of the St. Mary’s players. Several kids on the team took a turn in the tank.

Chrisjen Winters emerges from the water after being knocked into the tank.

Brayden LaMartina, 8, gets loose and ready to throw the baseballs at the dunk tank target.

The Kendall Community Band, led by director Lori Cyr, played in front of the Orleans County Courthouse.

The band, All About Jane, performs under the east tent on East State Street. The band includes Gary Smith, Rhonda Smith, Jan-Mikael Erakare and Tom Smith.

Rhonda Smith and her husband Gary Smith sing “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles.

To see the schedule for the festival today, click here.

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Strawberry Fest returns with lots on the menu

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 June 2019 at 3:05 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Mackenzie Fox of Chiavetta’s cooks the chicken barbecue dinners that will be served today at the First Presbyterian Church of Albion.

The 33rd annual Albion Strawberry Festival started today with many food and craft vendors, as well as music scheduled for later in the evening.

Herman Sinemus, Scoutmaster of Troop 6017 in Elba, gets homemade onion rings ready at the Troop’s booth at the food court on East Bank Street. The Scouts have been at the festival the past five years with their onion rings and also French onion soup.

Doug Farley of the Cobblestone Museum grills hot dogs at the museum’s booth. The museum is a food vendor for the first time at the festival.

Ethan Barrett of Elma holds a bag of strawberry kettle corn. He has been a vendor at the festival for seven years.

The Peyton Express passes down East State Street on the mini train.

The festival continues Saturday with the parade at 10 a.m. Entertainment continues through the day and evening. Click here to see the schedule.

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AFD remembers more than 140 firefighters during annual memorial service

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 June 2019 at 8:04 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – David Warren of Kent plays Taps during a memorial service at Mount Albion Cemetery for the Albion Fire Department.

The AFD holds an annual service at the cemetery on the northwest side where there is a memorial pond and monument for the fire department.

Al Cheverie holds the American flag during the service. Gregg Marston, a firefighter and the AFD chaplain, is at center and Fred Piano is at right.

The memorial pond was dedicated to the Albion firefighters in 1983, when Donna Rodden was the mayor.

Steven Papponetti reads the names of firefighters who have passed away. The AFD formed in 1831 and about 140 members have died since its founding.

Fred Piano rang the bell after each name was announced. The AFD remembered firefighters from its earliest days and also more recent members including Jim Herdendorf who died in 2017, Roger Webb in 2018, and so far in 2019, Donald O’Hearn, Lawrence “Larrie” DiPalma, Andrew “Bill” Pecorella and Lynn Miller.

Gregg Marston opens the service by the monument at the cemetery along Route 31. Jan Cheverie, right, holds the Fire Department’s flag.

These firefighters attended the service on Thursday evening. They include, from left: Fire Chief Harry Papponetti, Jeremy Graham, Rob Conner, Darryl Szklany, Steven Papponetti, Dale Banker, A.J. Fisher, Jenny Johnston and Heather Johnston.

Firefighters read the name of Jason Johnston, Jenny’s son and Heather’s brother. Jason died on Dec. 26, 2009 while serving with the Army in the war in Afghanistan. He is the only soldier from Orleans County to die in combat in Afghanistan.

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Local quilt business part of WNY tour of 17 shops

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 June 2019 at 5:44 pm

Town and Country Quilt Shop opened in downtown Albion in October 2017

ALBION – The Town and Country Quilt Shop is one of 17 quilt shops in the Buffalo and Rochester area that will be part of a tour of quilt businesses the next two weeks.

Pictured form left include Irene Henion, a teacher at Town and Country; Tara Thom, owner of the business; and Brenda Radzinski, another teacher.

“It generates enthusiasm for quilting,” Thom said about the Great New York Shop Hop.

Town and Country is the only stop on the tour in Orleans County. Visitors are encouraged to see all 17 shops in the next two weeks. The more shops they visit, the better their chances for winning prizes. The grand prize is more than 50 yards of fabric. There are other prizes with baskets of “quilting goodies.”

Thom is happy the tour falls within the Strawberry Festival, which is on Friday and Saturday.

“I can’t wait to show visitors from near and far what my town has to offer, and I am overwhelmed and humbled by the tremendous support this community has given me,” she said.

Tara Thom is shown outside her quilt shop at 10 East Bank St., Albion.

Thom opened her store on East Bank Street in Albion in October 2017, after running the business for 15 years out of her home on Ridge Road.

Her shop is one of the few in WNY that is in a historic downtown business district.

She said the business has grown since coming to the downtown. She was joined today in the shop by part-time instructors, Irene Henion and Brenda Radzinski. They offer classes for beginners to advanced. There also are craft classes where no sewing is required.

Town and Country also hosts an “open sew” on the third Wednesdays each month.

“It’s the community of quilters coming together and sharing time,” said Henion, a retired Latin teacher at Albion Central School.

Radzinski is retired from the Orleans County Department of Social Services.

Other shops on the tour are located in Amherst, Williamsville, East Amherst, Niagara Falls, Lockport, Brockport, Hilton, Eden, East Aurora, Arcade, Perry Center, York, Caledonia, Fairport and East Rochester.

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Tinsel, new ice cream shop on Main Street, opens in Albion on Friday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 June 2019 at 1:49 pm

Site next year will add The Lockstone, a wedding and events venue

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Tinsel, a new ice cream shop, will open to the community at 11 a.m. on Friday. This morning village and county officials joined the owners, John Hernandez and his wife Natasha Wasuck, for a ribbon-cutting.

From left include Deputy Mayor Gary Katsanis; Ephy, John and Natasha’s daughter; Natasha Wasuck, Jobson, John and Natasha’s son; John Hernandez; Village Trustee Stan Farone; Mayor Eileen Banker; County Legislator Ken DeRoller, a member of the Orleans Economic Development Agency board of directors; and Jon Costello, a business mentor through SCORE.

Wasuck and Hernandez bought 160 North Main St. about 15 months ago. They have big plans for the site, the long-time home of Burgio Tire. The ice cream shop is the first phase. They are working to establish The Lockstone, which will be an event and wedding venue. That venue should be ready next year. Another room is nearly ready for small parties and business meetings.

“There’s a lot of potential,” Hernandez said. “A lot of families walk by. There is a lot of traffic.”

Wasuck and Hernandez noticed the “Believe” signs around Albion, which are placed by the Albion Betterment Committee. The couple is intrigued by Albion’s history as a home to a school for Santa Claus from 1937 to 1966.

They named the ice cream shop Tinsel to connect with a Christmas theme, the tinsel on a Christmas tree.

Wasuck and Hernandez have been working on 160 North Main St. for more than a year. They took out a large garage door in the front to make a new front entrance and facade for building. The white stucco has been painted black in front, with a 3-foot-high black strip around the bottom of the building.

The front also includes board and batten siding and a new concrete ramp. They will be adding an outdoor patio with picnic tables later this summer.

John Hernandez and Natasha Wasuck make craft sodas for the local officials to try today, before opening day on Friday.

“The craft sodas really separate us,” Hernandez said.

They will also have soda spritzers, sandwiches, sundaes and ice cream nachos (served on waffles). One sundae, “the Tug,” will be served in a plastic dish shaped like a boat.

Hernandez wants Tinsel to be a place Albion people bring their friends and family to help show off the community.

He has used reclaimed wood and materials for counters, signs, frames and other décor.

“We’re trying to give it an old-time feel,” he said. “The whole place is like my art shop.”

Wasuck is holding her daughter, Ephy, who is 3 ½. The Spencerport resident sells real estate and sold a few houses in Albion.

“I was in Albion and I thought the village was so cute,” she said.

She saw the building by the canal, next to the Main Street lift bridge and saw its potential, especially as the events venue.

“This piece of property is amazing,” she said.

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This year’s ‘Strawberry’ will give runners 10-minute head start in 5K

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 June 2019 at 8:06 am

Dan Heil of Medina has won the race 3 times

Photos by Tom Rivers: Dan Heil is shown in May 2018 running track as a senior at Medina. He just finished his freshman year at Brockport State College, running cross country and track.

ALBION – This year’s “Strawberry” will be fast in Saturday’s 5k/8k race at the Strawberry Festival in Albion.

Dan Heil of Medina won the race three times, each year from 2015 to 2017. He ran the course in about 18 minutes. He took last year’s race off because of the Medina prom.

Heil, 19, is ready to lace up his shoes for Saturday’s race. He will be wearing the strawberry costume for the 29thannual Strawberry Festival 5k/8k. (Click here for more information on the race.)

The race in the past decade has featured a runner dressed as a strawberry. People who finish ahead of “The Strawberry” win a prize. This year it will be ice cream from Lugia’s Ice Cream on Wheels, one of the food vendors at the festival.

Race organizers try to get “The Strawberry” to run middle of the pack, about 29-30 minutes.

Heil will probably still finish in the 29-30 minute range, but only because he is giving everyone a 10-minute head start.

He might even be well ahead of 29 minutes because Heil said he has boosted his pace in the past year at Brockport.

The race is at 8 a.m. and starts in front of the Orleans County Courthouse on East State Street and heads east. Part of the course includes the Erie Canal Towpath which was recently upgraded with a new surface in some sections.

The Strawberry Festival parade follows at 10 a.m. The festival is Friday and Saturday. Click here for more information about the festival.

Ryan Lubba dressed as “The Strawberry” for the June 2013 race. Lubba, a 2008 Albion grad, ran the 5k course in about 29:30. That race had nearly 300 runners.

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ARG has grown from 5 dumpsters to building recycling and transfer facility

Photos by Tom Rivers: Anthony Gramuglia and his fiancé Heather Skrip are shown with two of their dumpsters at ARG Disposal and Transfer, 366 Washington St., Albion.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 June 2019 at 9:43 pm

Albion business now has 200 dumpsters available for customers

ALBION – Five years ago Anthony Gramuglia started a side business, renting dumpsters and offering to take trash, construction materials and unwanted household items to a landfill.

Gramuglia began ARG Disposal with five dumpsters. The business quickly grew, so fast that Gramuglia last year opened his own disposal and transfer facility on Washington Street in Albion. He bought the former NYSEG building, put in a scale house and 80-by-100-foot building.

A big dumpster is unloaded last week at ARG’s recycling and transfer facility in Albion. The materials are then sorted for items that are recoverable and can be reused.

The new building allows ARG to sort metals and other recyclables so the entire dumpster isn’t taken to a landfill. The trash is moved to a 30-ton trailer, which ARG typically takes to a landfill two or three times a week.

Before the new facility opened last June 24, ARG was taking every dumpster to a landfill, either at Modern in Lewiston or the Monroe County landfill in Riga. That was often two or three trips a day to a landfill.

An ARG employee, Riley Youngjohn, uses an excavator to move a pile of material into a larger 30-ton trailer that will go to a landfill. Youngjohn first removed metal, wood and other items that can be recycled or reused.

It was wear and tear on the trucks. And Gramuglia said a lot of the materials were recyclable, but weren’t being saved.

“All of this stuff before was just going to a landfill,” Gramuglia said last week, watching his employees sort a pile from a house that was damaged in a fire.

His employees sorted wood, paper and cardboard, and metal. The rest was put in the big 30-ton transfer trailer.

Gramuglia, 31, runs the business with his fiancé, Heather Skrip. ARG has grown to a dozen employees – and about 200 dumpsters, which are all painted red. Gramuglia has built some of the dumpsters himself, and refurbished others that he bought used. He credits his father for teaching him to weld and to problem-solve.

The roll-off dumpsters range in size from 10 yard to 40 yard. The biggest one is 22 feet long, 8 feet wide and 6 feet tall. The small ones are often used to clear out a room, or for small construction projects. ARG gets about two of the bigger dumpsters a week from the old Holley High School, where contractors are tearing out walls and creating apartments and offices in the former school.

“This is the future,” Gramuglia said about the recycling operation.

He expects there will be a bigger push “to recover as much as possible” in the future, especially as landfills fill up.

He wanted the recycling and transfer station so he didn’t have to drive about an hour each way to take every load to a landfill. Those landfills also tend to stop accepting loads around 3 p.m.

An ARG truck arrives at the scale house. The trucks are weighed when they come in and after they dump their load.

ARG works until 5:30 p.m. at its Albion site. That gives ARG more availability to bring in dumpsters and sort the material.

ARG also accepts loads from the community. Those can come in on a pickup truck, as long as the materials are covered (usually with a tarp). The local option for smaller loads should help prevent illegal dumping, because there is an option close by to bring construction debris and unwanted household items, Skrip said.

She was working at Chase Bank when she joined Gramuglia full-time in 2014 to help with the business. Skrip is the office manager who can also drive truck. She paints all the dumpsters red.

She keeps the ARG website up to date and the website has been a good resource in connecting with customers. She also said advertisements in the Orleans Hub and Lake Country Pennysaver helped get the word out about ARG.

The red dumpsters can seem ubiquitous in the community, and they all have the ARG phone number – (585) 205-1847 – painted prominently.

Gramuglia, Skrip and the ARG workers did some of the construction with the new building and scale house. ARG hired Art Hill Construction for the site work and LeFrois Builders put up the building.

Heather Skrip and Anthony Gramuglia have built a growing business in Albion.

The project needed to pass village and county approvals, as well as the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The DEC visits four times a year for inspections.

“The county and village were all great to work with,” Skrip said. “I find it a shame more people aren’t coming to Orleans County.”

She said the local officials helped them secure needed permits, and found the project fit in well with the neighborhood. ARG is across the street from the Village of Albion Departmentof Public Works. The Albion Correctional Facility is down the street. The railroad runs next to the property, and the back side of Waters Autobody is on the other side of the railroad tracks from ARG.

The NYSEG building also was ideal for ARG. The building was set up as a truck terminal. There were two vacant lots next door for ARG to build the 8,000-square-foot recycling and transfer facility.

Gramuglia said he has no regrets in pushing forward with the new recycling and transfer facility, and expanding the inventory of dumpsters and the fleet of trucks. He said the business fills an important need in the community and also is good for the environment by reducing materials sent to landfills.

“Working as hard as I do I figured it was time to do something on my own,” he said about the business. “With this you have better control of your own destiny.”

Anthony Gramuglia sits in the driver’s seat in one of the ARG trucks. He said Albion has been a good fit for the business.

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Albion students unveil panel that lists people buried in once-forgotten cemetery

Photos by Tom Rivers: Albion seventh-graders unveiled a new interpretive panel today at the cemetery off County House Road where 250 people are buried who lived at the former Alms House. Pictured from left include Iris Capurso, Kim Weese, Jack Kinter, Gina Sidari, S’Koi Sanders-Smith and Kayla Burgio.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 June 2019 at 3:04 pm

‘In today’s world we need to treat people with dignity and respect. We’re giving names to those who were perhaps not treated with dignity and respect.’ – County Historian Matthew Ballard

ALBION – An interpretive panel was unveiled today by Albion seventh-graders and Orleans County officials that lists the names of 250 people buried in a cemetery behind the former Orleans County Alms House on County House Road.

The seventh-grade service learning class at Albion, led by teacher Tim Archer, took the lead with getting the panel erected. The Daughters of the American Revolution contributed $750 towards the panel and the Orleans County Historical Association also donated $500 for the effort. The Orleans County Highway Department installed the panel.

This is the second big effort by Albion students at the site. About a decade ago the former cemetery was overgrown with sumac and weeds. The grave markers were toppled.

S’Koi Sanders-Smith speaks at the panel unveiling today. Bill Lattin, retired Orleans County historian, is at right.

Bill Lattin was the county historian about a decade ago when Archer’s class first worked on a project at the cemetery. Lattin shared in the class about the name of County House Road, how there used to be an Alms House at the site.

The Alms House opened in 1833 and closed in 1960, when the county infirmary or nursing home opened on Route 31, just west of the Village of Albion.

“The Orleans County Almshouse was the last refuge for old men and women too weak to work and take care of themselves,” Lattin wrote in the foreword of a booklet about the site in 2011. “It became a home for the homeless, friendless, orphan, vagrant, poor, sick, and mentally ill. Dependents, paupers, and even delinquents lived at the Orleans County Home on County House Road.”

Albion students and the county put up this marker for the cemetery in 2011, and also reset grave markers and cleared out brush.

Lattin’s classroom visit about a decade ago spurned Archer and his students to research the site, and work with the county officials to get the site cleaned up, and the stones reset. A historical marker was added by the road, letting people know about the Alms House. After the Alms House building were razed in 1962, the county repurposed the main part of the site for the Civil Defense Center. A fire training tower is next door.

The cemetery is in the back, surrounded by a corn field. When the cemetery was rededicated in 2011, 74 grave markers were reset.

Matt Ballard, the current Orleans County historian, has followed in Lattin’s footsteps as a frequent visitor in Archer’s classes, discussing local history.

Ballard recently made an exciting discovery. He found a ledger from the cemetery, which lists the names and dates of death for 250 people buried at the cemetery. The superintendents of the Alms House kept the ledger, and some of those superintendents added details about the lives of those buried in the cemetery.

Matt Ballard shows a ledger listing the names and dates of death for people buried at the cemetery. Some of the entries include a biographical sketch of the people who lived at the Alms House.

Ballard said the entries with details of the lives showed compassion and care from the superintendents, who wanted to list some of the contributions of those who were buried often in unmarked graves or with a stone and only a number.

Ballard left the ledger with the class and Archer and his students made a list of all the names and the dates of death. Those details are now on the interpretive panel by the cemetery.

“These are lives worth remembering,” Archer said at a dedication today. “A big part of what I try to emphasize with the kids is that every life has value.”

Ballard praised the school district for supporting a class that does many community service projects and has students “on the front lines working with local history.”

The panel includes the names of people buried at the cemetery. The panel also includes words from Lattin in the foreword of the 2011 booklet: “The names of those who rest here are long forgotten, but their existence deserves respect and reverence. They no longer can speak for themselves. Hence we must note that buried here is someone’s ancestor, a person once loved by those who cherished them in the rocking cradle and held trembling hand in sickness and old age at death’s beckoning. These bodies now dust, are lives worth remembering because of the interdependent web of existence and the inherent worth and dignity of every person.”

The cemetery is now well cared for by the county and is visible from Route 31A near Keeler Construction. Ballard is pleased to see the names of the people are now displayed, rather than a cemetery with only unmarked graves and numbers on stones.

“In today’s world we need to treat people with dignity and respect,” Ballard said. “We’re giving names to those who were perhaps not treated with dignity and respect.”

Lynne Johnson, Orleans County Legislature chairwoman, praised the students and the historians – Lattin and Ballard – for their efforts in honoring the people at the cemetery.

“Today we are here to properly pay tribute to those that are known to be buried in this quaint little cemetery, marked only by numbers but remembered as real people, in the middle of this productive farmer’s field,” Johnson said. “It takes many people to keep history alive.”

County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson thanked the Albion students and local historians for their work at the cemetery for the former Orleans County Alms House.

Gina Sidari hands out copies of a booklet about the cemetery that was first published in 2011. It has been updated with the names of people buried at the site. She hands the copies to from left Bill Lattin; Matt Ballard; Betty Sue Miller, director of Hoag Library; Penny Nice, regent of the Orleans County chapter of DAR; Patrice Birner, member of the Orleans DAR and state historian for the DAR; Tim Archer, the service-learning class teacher; and Don Allport, county legislator.

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Middle school art teacher named Albion’s ‘Educator of the Year’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 June 2019 at 6:20 pm

Photos courtesy of Sue Starkweather Miller

ALBION – Margy Brown (left), president of Albion Board of Education, congratulates Kamie Feder on being named Albion’s 2019 Educator of the Year.

Feder was recognized on Monday during a teacher and staff recognition program. Feder started working at Albion as a middle school art teacher in November 2005. She was filling a temporary position.

Feder, who was then Kamie Kozubal, proved to be a good fit for Albion and she enjoyed working at the district, Brown said.

The art teacher also found another match in Kevin Feder, a middle school teacher who is active with set construction in the school musicals.

“Mrs. Feder continues to be a match for her middle school students as well,” Brown said. “She has the energy and temperament needed to direct middle schoolers in the art classroom. That really takes the right match.”

Feder was praised for channeling the students’ creativity. Besides teaching them in the art classes, her students paint many of the scenes in the school musicals.

She also directs student sin creating pottery that is displayed and sold during an Empty Bowls event, with the proceeds going to the food pantry at Community Action. Empty Bowls is now in its 10thyear.

“Mrs. Feder uses that middle school energy to empower students while instilling pride in their surroundings, themselves, and their ability to impact their world,” Brown said. “The recent mural project, her nominator noted, gave voice to and empowered students as they surveyed others and completed the project.”

Several teachers have attained tenure including, from left: Katharine Waite, administrator; David Kozar, middle school special education; Mark Skurzewski, fifth grade; April Patti, first grade; Kerri Griffin, sppech teacher; and Sheryl LeBaron, third grade. Missing from photo: Anna Atwater.

Anna Atwater, an elementary music teacher, is congratulated for receiving tenure by Wendy Kirby, a Board of Education member. BOE members Wayne Wadhams, left, and David Sidari also greeted Atwater after she attained tenure. (Kirby also was recognized for completing her five-year term on the BOE.)

The following retirees were recognized for their careers at Albion Central School: Shawn Liddle, Jeff Mitchell, Carlos Burroughs and Ellen Goff.

The retirees include Leslie Gates, middle school reading teacher, 31 years; Bonnie Day, teacher aide, 27 years; Maureen Bennett, typist, 25 years; Judy Azzolino, AIS, 30 years; Ellen Reichert Goff, special education, 34 years; Carlos Burroughs, PE, 31 years; Randy Knaak, athletic director, 33 years; James Wood, administrator, 28 years; Shawn Liddle, assistant superintendent for business, 22 years; and Jeff Mitchell, cleaner, 23 years.

The retirees will receive an engraved wooden bell. Additionally, a book has been purchased in each retiree’s honor and placed in the library of the building they worked in.

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At Baccalaureate, Albion grads urged to face their ‘Goliaths’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 June 2019 at 8:20 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Rev. Aleka Schmidt, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Albion, prays with students before they enter the church on Sunday evening for a baccalaureate service.

That program is voluntary for students to attend. About half of the class attended the religious program, which is organized each year by the Albion Ministerium.

Many communities have stopped doing the church service for graduates, but Albion continues to do the event, with the churches wanting to give students a blessing as they begin the next stage of their lives.

Trellis Pore, a 2001 Albion graduate, was the featured speaker. He is a pastor at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Batavia. He works as a firearms instructor for the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Pore also is an active musician who grew up performing with his family, the Cooper Family Singers.

Pore shared about David and Goliath, how David beat a much larger warrior, a shocking defeat for the giant, which is described in 1 Samuel in the Bible.

The graduates will face many Goliaths in their lives, Pore said. There will be self doubt after a failure, grief, financial stress and lots of “haters,” people who are jealous and don’t want the grads to reach their dreams.

“You will face multiple Goliaths in life,” Pore said. “You will get through one and then there will be another.”

Pore urged them to not run from their Goliaths.

They won’t be alone in facing a challenge.

“Jesus Christ will never leave you or forsake you,” Pore said. “Remember who you are.”

He shared the verse, Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Matthew Kovaleski sings, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

The senior class officers lead in reciting The Lord’s Prayer. The officers include, from left: McKenna Boyer, Harrison Brown, Kate Krieger and Kirk Ellison.

Myles Brewer lights a candle with some assistance from the Rev. Aleka Schmidt. After the service, the graduates took their candles with them and were urged to keep them nearby as a reminder of the love and support from their families, friends and God.

Brylie Hapeman sets her candle on a table with the candles of her classmates.

Two classmates who passed away while in elementary school were remembered. Evan Ferchen and Brandon Parker both would have graduated with the Class of 2019. Gwen Ferchen is Evan’s mother. She lit a candle in his memory. The parents of Brandon also lit a candle in his honor.

There was a collection for the memorial scholarships in honor of Evan and Brandon and $1,835 was raised with $835 collected during the service on Sunday and another $1,000 from the proceeds of the Ghost Walk by students last September at Mount Albion Cemetery.

Brennan Moody, left, and Enoch Martin sing, “Found/Tonight.” Other students performed solos, including Arella Ives with “Holy City” on the flute, and Nathaniel Gramatico with “Amazing Grace” on the saxophone.

The senior chorus sings, Go In the Grace of the Lord.”

Flowers in the foyer are pictured while the chorus sings in the church sanctuary.

The Rev. Richard Csizmar, pastor of Holy Family Parish, shared the benediction and asked God to bless the graduates.

The Class of 2019 who attended Baccalaureate are pictured outside the First Baptist Church before the service on Sunday evening.

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