If you attended Saturday’s memorial dedication for Charles W. Kelly at Kelly Park you were treated to some great stories — some serious, others pretty humorous — concerning Chuck and his family.

The dedication was supposed to take only a half an hour at the most. It lasted more than an hour and I could have listened to it for hours and I think the crowd of approximately 150 would have too.

Thomas and Debora Hannan spearheaded a committee to plan, fundraise and ultimately host the memorial dedication to Chuck and the final product was fantastic. Other committee members that should be mentioned were James Reagen, Dave Shea, Tom Luckie Jr., Joe Basta, Bill Seymour and Julie Hackett Cliff.

It was a great day for the Kelly family. Chuck was such a prominent voice in the community that there will never be another like him.

It was a delight to listen to James Reagen and Jim Kennedy, former managing editors of The Journal and Advance News, speak about Chuck and what he meant to them.

Having worked for Chuck for almost a decade, I have to admit that he was tough to work for. He wanted the best out of you, he wanted the best for the paper and he expected you to work just as hard as him which was, for the most part, impossible.

However, I learned many valuable lessons over the years spent with Chuck and Jim Reagen, lessons that I will not forget and will use on a daily basis with The Journal.

One of my biggest regrets was that I never got to thank him for taking a chance on a rookie reporter fresh out of college. Chuck gave me an opportunity when others didn’t and it changed my life.

I moved to Ogdensburg, a place that I call home for the past 20-plus years. I met, and then married the love of my life, Angela, who was working in The Journal’s business office at the time. Our family has been blessed to live and grow up in Ogdensburg.

And it was all due to Chuck Kelly, who took a chance on a guy with a last name he couldn’t pronounce. Thank you Chuck.

ENJOY THIS WEEKEND’S CAR-B-CUE

It seems like forever since there has been an event held in Ogdensburg due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce will be kicking it off Saturday with its annual Car-B-Cue event in the Greenbelt.

A mixture of a barbecue and a cruise-in, the Car-B-Cue has been a staple of the chamber for 17 years.

There will be entertainment for the whole family with music, games, vendors, door prizes and raffles, good food and classic and unique cars for everyone to see. If you are looking to get out of the house, grab a mask and come down to the Greenbelt. Admission is free.

WEAR MASKS AT CHMC

It’s been a little frustrating to hear that people are having issues wearing a mask when they enter Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center. Even though the number of COVID-19 vaccinated individuals continues to grow and restrictions have lifted in New York State, we are not out of the woods yet.

CHMC is still requiring masks to be worn at all of their facilities as it should. In a press release, CHMC Medical Director Dr. Michael Seidman explains why.

“Places like hospitals, nursing homes, and correctional facilities have a higher risk of transmission with people coming in from the outside. If infection were brought in from the outside, it could have rapid and severe consequences. We want to protect our patients and our visitors, and masks can help us do that.”

Someone may have cancer or an autoimmune disease and are highly susceptible.

People may have children at home who are not vaccinated or not be vaccinated themselves.

Perhaps they have high-risk loved ones they are protecting.

It’s not asking too much, especially at our hospitals. Wear a mask!

FLAG DAY MONDAY

Monday is the annual celebration of Flag Day. On that day in 1777, John Adams introduced a resolution before Congress mandating a United States flag, stating, “...that the flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

WORKING HARD FOR LIBRARY

The Friends of the Ogdensburg Public Library are committed to working hard to assist the library in offering services to the community. They have developed a unique fundraiser by creating a bookstore Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. and Thursdays and Fridays from 2-4 p.m. in the library’s basement. The mission of the Library Friends Bookstore is to share the love of reading while supporting the library and I cannot support this enough.

All proceeds will be used to support the Ogdensburg Public Library. Please bring cash or checks for your purchases – they cannot accept debit/credit cards at this time.

The Friends of the Ogdensburg Public Library are also looking for new members. If interested, please visit their Facebook page for membership info or stop in the library.

A WORTHY MISSION

Ogdensburg natives Chris Burrows and Brandon Mitchell are on a mission.

Burrows, who served in the U.S. Air Force and Army National Guard, and Mitchell, a U.S. Navy veteran, are looking to update the Persian Gulf War, and the War on Terror markers at Groulx Park, the city’s veterans park on Ford Street Extension.

Burrows and Mitchell say that they have received permission from the City of Ogdensburg to move forward with the changes and they are looking to the public to help them add names or fix any existing errors on the markers.

A DD214 form, received when you leave the service, is necessary in order to be added to the monuments. It is also only for Ogdensburg natives.

If you know of anyone that served during these wars, contact Burrows at 352-339-8434 or email him at cjburrows789@hotmail.com or Mitchell at 315-323-5342.

Thank you Burrows and Mitchell for helping honor our veterans and those serving our country today.

This column is dedicated to the late Charles W. Kelly.

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