LOWVILLE — New college students from around the Northeast were among the many volunteers at the Lowville Food Pantry’s annual rummage sale held at the Lewis County Fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday.

New students at Hamilton College in Clinton staying at the Oswegatchie Education Center, Long Pond Road, Croghan for their “first-year orientation,” volunteered with the pantry both at its Forrest Avenue location helping with the Food Sense nutrition program and at the garage sale fundraiser at the Leroy Nichols Youth Building at the fairgrounds.

The students said they are enjoying the area and Oswegatchie Camp, especially the space for sports, a “gaga ball” pit and a place to make a bonfire every night.

“It’s pretty nice here,” said Khady Gueye of The Bronx. “I feel like everyone knows everybody.”

Like her peers, Ms. Gueye won’t declare her major until her sophomore year, but at this point she hopes to major in a science on her way to becoming a surgeon.

Other Hamilton volunteers at the sale included David Galvao of Westchester County, Dale Dunning of Massachusetts and senior Zac Ball from New Jersey.

Every first-year student at the college is sent on a multi-day orientation trip with various themes like service, adventure, history and exploration in areas within a certain radius of the school.

There are a total of 10 students at Oswegatchie participating in the program, including the two Hamilton seniors acting as guides for the trip.

Rummage sale chairperson Betty Woods said that she values the Hamilton students along with the dozens of volunteers that made the event possible, including those that helped during the two long set-up days.

With hundreds of shoppers passing through each day, Ms. Woods said over $3,000 was raised during the two-day event, which was “much, much better than last year.”

Among the best sellers were home decor, especially seasonal pieces, clothes and shoes as well as wall art consisting of small-piece puzzles that had been put together and mounted.

“This community is very generous, especially the businesses,” Ms. Woods said, “They’re always coming through with donations and to help with events.”

Any unsold items will be donated to other organizations, according to Ms. Woods, and nothing will be wasted.

Upcoming fundraisers for the food pantry include an auction next month and a bus trip to the Turning Stone Casino and a pork dinner hosted by the VFW in October.

For more information about the Lowville Food Pantry and its programs, to sign up for services or to make a donation, go to their website at www.lowvillefoodpantry.org.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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