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Many Help Support GG Community Action Group

From The Mountain Eagle
By Erika Eklund
Published: Thursday, January 12, 2012

GRAND GORGE - The Grand Gorge Community Action Group may work on behalf of a small community, but the big hearts of group members and supporting businesses help bring big things to the tiny hamlet which have a big impact on the lives of the people who live there.

The hard work and dedication of the Grand Gorge Community Action Group (GGCAG) helps bring beautification to the hamlet as well as offering parties and activities to give back to the community and the individuals who call Grand Gorge home.

Each spring and summer the streets in Grand Gorge are lined with wooden planters overflowing with flowers which are purchased, prepared and cared for by the GGCAG. Last year, they helped bring new benches to the hamlet and made possible the purchase of signs at the four entrances to Grand Gorge welcoming visitors to the community.

The group has a table every year at the Annual Grand Gorge Methodist Church Fair and the Health Fair Day. Members sell raffle tickets for gift baskets filled with local products and goods and gift certificates to area businesses. Money raised through raffle ticket sales help fund the annual parties thrown by the group, which are anticipated all year long by children and families in the community.

Party season kicks off in Grand Gorge with the annual Halloween Party at the Civic Center. It’s a hugely popular event, featuring games, crafts, face painting, candy and enough homemade goodies to keep all the ghosts and goblins happy. The party also features a costume contest which never fails to provide impressive costumes and a good laugh. Last Halloween brought more than 100 local kids to the annual party.

The annual Christmas Party is also a treasured community event. Each year, children and their families from the community, and beyond, attend the party at the Civic Center which features holiday music, crafts, homemade goodies and culminates with a visit from Mrs. and Santa Claus. Santa is able to give each child a present with the help of Toys for Tots and two bikes, one for a girl and one for a boy, are raffled off. This Christmas brought nearly 100 children out for the party.

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, members of the GGCAG make sure to remember and recognize the senior citizens who live in the Grand Gorge Senior Apartments and help support their parties and events throughout the year. Each January for the last five years, the group throws a dinner party for the seniors as a way to thank them and let them know they are an important part of the community.

Group members invited senior citizens who live in the Grand Gorge Apartments to the annual dinner last Saturday and served up an Italian feast of lasagna, tossed salad and bread with cheesecake for dessert. An elegant table, made up with centerpieces and candlelight, was set out for the guests, who each walked away with a box of chocolates at the end of the evening.

“It’s so fancy,” said Grand Gorge Apartments resident Marian Petrishen. “Everything is just delicious.”

“We really enjoy doing this,” said Dave Martin, GGCAG vice-president as he re-filled a glass with sparkling cider. “These folks support us all year and its a way we can give back to them.”

Members of the GGCAG love what they do, but said they wouldn’t be able to accomplish any of it without donations and support from individuals and local businesses throughout the year.

“These donors faithfully support our efforts year after year,” stated GGCAG President Ron Thomson. “We would not exist without theme.”

Those the group would like to especially thank include Ably Insurance, Beauty Kreations, Becker’s Tires, Brett and Lynn Braband, Lee Buchar, John Colliton, The Colonial Motel, The County Store, Creekside Cafe, Rich Davis, The Grand Gorge Methodist Church, W.S. Hinkley and Sons, Tom and Mary Hynes, The Hitching Post, M.C. Auto, Jim’s Great American, Luce Change, Stanley Kaminski, Margaretville Telephone Company, The M-ARK Project, David Martin and Sons, NBT Bank, The O’Connor Foundation, Pizza Palace , Ed Raeder, Gus Polli, Stewarts, Dan Tait Inc. and Van’s Variety

GGCAG Treasurer Nancy Haney said the group’s latest community project is being conducted through a partnership with the M-ARK Project with assistance from the O’Connor Foundation. The project, she said, will see to the installation of a welcome sign along the Catskill Scenic Trail, or “Rails to Trails”, entrance to the hamlet near Becker’s Tire on Route 30. She said the sign will include a short history of Grand Gorge and will be another way to introduce guests to the community.

The GGCAC meets every three weeks at the Grand Gorge Civic Center throughout most of the year. Members are taking February off in preparation for another busy year and will hold their next meeting on Wednesday, March 21 at 6 p.m.




On Sat. Jan. 8, 2011, at the Grand Gorge Senior Center, a New Year’s Party took place. With great food, balloons, music and 24 residents, it was a great evening. Local business helped with their support: Grand Gorge Animal Hospital, The Hitching Post, Ably Insurance, MC Auto, Pizza Palace, Tait, Inc., W.S. Hinkley & Sons, Creekside, Collition’s, Grand Gorge NBT Bank, and Vans Variety Store. Thank you, we couldn’t do it without your help!

We also thank four lovely girls from the Roxbury Girl Scout #406, NY Penn Pathways. They helped serve, clean up and just added to the fun! Gabrielle Martin, Cassidy Fane, Trinity Sorber, Katrina Davis. Thank you so much girls!