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Turtle Race is a proven fund-raiser for Strawberry Festival

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 June 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Turtle (Nikolas Greean, 15, of Albion) and Michael Bonnewell, Albion Central School superintendent, watch the Turtle Race on Saturday from their vantage point on the Main Street lift bridge.

Volunteers sold more than 900 turtles for the Turtle Race. The tickets were $5 each or $20 for 5 turtles. Proceeds from the race are used to help pay for the two-day festival.

Becky Dillenbeck, branch manager for Five Star Bank in Albion, and Becky Karls were co-leaders of the race. They are both members of the Albion Rotary Club, the main sponsor of the Strawberry Festival.

The turtles are about to be dumped into the canal with the five fastest turtles earning cash prizes for their owners. Pictured from left include: County Legislators John DeFillipps and Lynne Johnson, Jarred Saj (the top turtle ticket seller with 206), Village Trustee Stan Farone is next to Saj but obscured in this photo, The Turtle, Michael Bonnewell, Sheriff Scott Hess and Strawberry Festival King Chase Froman.

The turtles begin their slow trek down the canal.

Spectators line the canal bank to see which turtles finish in the top five.

Don Bishop, left, joins local Scouts in helping to collect the turtles.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley calls the action in the Turtle Race.

Tom Drennan, a candidate for Orleans County sheriff, and some of his supporters watch the race.

Justin Kirby, one of the Scout leaders in Albion, pulls one of the winning turtles.

The following were in the top five: Brylie Hapeman, fifth, $50; Tiffany Grabowski, fourth, $50; Brady Christiaansen, third, $100; Julie Sanford, second, $300; and Jim Hancock, first, $500.