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In the photo, from left, Moose's Mission organizers Vic Eydt, Josh Kilmer and Ashley Olds. (Photo by Terry Duffy)
In the photo, from left, Moose's Mission organizers Vic Eydt, Josh Kilmer and Ashley Olds. (Photo by Terry Duffy)

'Moose's Mission' to benefit all-inclusive playground

Sat, Jul 27th 2019 07:00 am

By Terry Duffy


Looking to partake in a truly fun event and help out your community at the same time?

Pay a visit to Academy Park next weekend.

Come Saturday, Aug. 3, Lower Niagara Moose Lodge No. 584 is proud to present “Moose’s Mission,” a benefit for Lewiston’s all-inclusive playground project at Marilyn Toohey Park.

“It’s a Moose function, like any other function that we do, except in this case it’s for the Marilyn Toohey inclusive park,” said Vic Eydt, who serves as junior governor for Lower Niagara Moose Lodge No. 584. “It will be a great event, and we want to promote the fundraising aspect for this park.”

Eydt, who is deputy mayor in the Village of Lewiston, has been actively involved with Mayor Anne Welch and trustees in working toward making this roughly $700,000 all-inclusive playground a reality for the River Region and its residents. The concept was first unveiled earlier last fall. Funding for the playground continues to build from various government and public sources, including New York state, the Niagara River Greenway Commission (through the Town of Lewiston) and various private contributors.

Next Saturday, the community has the opportunity to lend its support for this special playground, which, when complete, will be well-suited to accommodate special needs children.

Eydt, together with Lower Niagara Moose 584 staffer/event organizer Ashley Olds of Lewiston, and a growing list of volunteers, has been hard at work over past months in developing and planning for this unique community event.

Taking place from 2-11 p.m. in Academy Park on Center Street, “Moose’s Mission” promises all-day fun, for all ages. Fun as in:

•Plenty of kid’s activities, including three bounce houses, a petting zoo, pony rides, face-painting, clowns and crafts.

•A car show, skydiver Jason Berger of Skydive the Falls, a dunk tank with local celebrities, and numerous vendors, including Lewiston’s Artisan’s Market.

•A Monte Carlo tent featuring games of chance, plus a beer/wine tent.

•Entertainment, featuring six bands live on stage, plus a visit by Rodney Dangerfield impersonator Marc Melzer.

•Plenty of food and drink choices on site, served by some of the River Region’s finest restaurants.

•Raffles, bottle tosses and multiple 50/50s.

“It’ll be like the old-fashioned Field Days,” Eydt said. “And it’s all pay as you go.

 “We’re going to have an artisan market. There will be a number of them staying on throughout the day.”

Olds said visitors can check out the offerings of nine merchants – with sale items ranging from seasonings to mixes; hand-painted magnets and glass and hand-crafted jewelry to home bath items such as country sense suds; candles, tarts, artwork and paintings; photos, metal art, plus wall hangers and more.

“We’ll have a little bit of everything,” Eydt said.

For car fans, there will be a car show open to the community to enjoy and be a part of.

“Classics, hot-rods, collectibles, that special car – they’re all welcome,” Eydt said.

Visitors are welcome to bring their vehicle to show. Look for local contractor Scott Macvie at the organizing location found on the west side of the park near Cayuga Street.

What of those restaurants? Some of Center Street’s finest, including the Brickyard Pub & B.B.Q., Casa Antica, the all-new Como Deli, Cask & Cow, The Griffin House, Gallo Coal Fire Kitchen and John Penzotti’s Festival Catering.

Olds noted there’s also a new face coming: Sugar Bee Sweets, with fried dough and cotton candy.

And talk about the eats. Park visitors can look forward to servings of pulled pork from Brickyard; rice balls and stuffed peppers by Casa Antica; sliders and tacos from Cask & Cow; sausage pepper-onion sandwiches, stuffed clams and pizza bread from the Como; chicken waffles on a stick in a see-thru bag from the Griffin; pizza and meatball sliders from Gallo; and poutine specialties from Festival Catering.

Sounds like a mini Taste of Lewiston!

But wait – there’s more! How about entertainment? On stage will be Wasted Whiskey from 2-4 p.m.; Dave Thurman, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Rick Zachary, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; instrumental band Sways, from 7:30-8:30 p.m.; and, rounding out the day, the always-popular Summer of ’69 All-Star Band from 8:30-11 p.m.

“We are doing live music from start to finish,” Olds said. “As soon as one band is done, the next is coming right on. There will not be much down time.”

Filling the void will be Buffalo Bills WGR 550-AM beat reporter Sal Capaccio, and Andrea Zacarella from the rock/blues band The Tower.

Still more to check out will be that dunk tank of local celebrities. Park visitors will be able to take a swipe at their favorites – all for a good cause. Expected to participate: Welch, Town of Lewiston Supervisor Steve Broderick, Town of Porter Supervisor John “Duffy” Johnston, New York State Sen. Robert Ortt, Assemblyman Angelo Morinello, Niagara County Undersheriff Mike Filicetti, former Trustee Bruce Sutherland, Pat Stack from Somewhere, local mariner Josh Stack, former Lewiston and Youngstown Police Chief Chris Salada and Melzer.

Still more to partake in will be penny raffles and others, with some neat prizes. Included will be a 55-inch flat-screen TV, 10-inch Android tablets, Garmin fitness watches, a digital camera, plus other high-end raffle items donated by area businesses.

“The penny raffle will be a gazebo set with winner takes all ... the gazebo with everything underneath it,” Olds said. “You can pay as little as one cent, maximum $10. You can buy as many tickets as you want; winner takes all.”

“You grab a ticket, and whatever is on that ticket is what you pay,” Eydt said. “You put your name on it, it can’t be used again.”

“Once they’re all sold, we draw one winner and they take it,” Olds said.

Also visiting will be recruiters from the U.S. Army with a neat Humvee to check out; and LPD officer Scott Stafford and K-9 Shadow, who will be doing a training demonstration.

Eydt and Olds welcome all to come out to Academy Park next Saturday for a day of good times, great foods, music and more -- all for a good cause.

They noted this undertaking has, indeed, been a community effort from the Moose Lodge membership, its Women of the Moose Chapter 1940, and scores of others from all circles.

“We’ve had a fantastic group of volunteers who met with us every week, helping get this off the ground,” Olds said. “The local community has been awesome, donating things we’ve been able to use – whether it’s tents, tables, to raffle items. It really just great to see the community come together to put this 14,000-square-foot playground in for every child to enjoy.”

“Now nobody can be excluded from this; that’s the best part of the while thing. No child is left out,” she said.

“Look, the Moose is here to support children that are in need,” Eydt said. “That is what we are all about – what our whole goal is. By doing this locally, we are serving the community. This is what this lodge stands for.”

Proceeds will benefit Lewiston’s all-inclusive playground. For more, stop by the Moose at 112 S. Water St., or visit its Facebook page.

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