By Terry Duffy
Early last Saturday morning, a group of youth volunteers visited Porter on the Lake Park for some heavy-duty cleanup work in preparation for this week’s Town of Porter Summerfest at the park.
Colleen Gunther, who assists in running the youth club for the Fin, Feather and Fur Conservation Club (3F) in Lewiston, said the event was part of 3F’s ongoing activities in helping steer its young leaders of tomorrow.
“We started getting the kids involved in community service, so that we can give back to the community that so generously gives to us when we have our basket auctions and raffles that we run,” she said.
Ten members of the 3F youth club spent a brisk morning on the windy Lake Ontario beach shore at Porter on the Lake. The kids, ages 12-17 years old, all are from northern Niagara County and attend local schools. They spent a busy morning busy cleaning up everything from bottles and litter to a host of beach junk that had drifted onto the shore over the past winter.
Gunther said the exercise was part of the 3F’s work with the kids on the merits of responsibility and character building. She explained both traits are viewed as a legacy of the late Dale Lynn Shank, who served as a mentor and coordinated 3F’s youth club activities covering firearms instruction, safety and responsible use areas for a number of years. Shank, who served in Vietnam from 1968-72, recently lost his battle with cancer.
Gunther said the morning cleanup and others 3F organizes with the kids are meant to continue Shank’s legacy and impressions with the youth club members – many of whom have fond memories of their associations with him.
“You’ll notice that a couple of us have black ribbons on shirts, because he passed away from melanoma,” she said. “Tim Gunther stepped up; he heads up the youth program right now with Ron (Holle) and myself.
“Today we did the beach cleanup for our community service. The kids did a good job.”
Gunther said Destino’s Catering, which operates the restaurant at the 3F, as well as Lockport Moose Lodge 617, provided food and assistance for the project.
“They were looking to help out; they donated food and services for this. We appreciate their help,” she said.
Gunther said the 3F is always looking for areas where its youth club members can help out in the community.
“Right now we’re looking into the Peach Festival and other events,” she said.
For more information, contact the 3F Club at 716-754-2293.