Paper route for Laurel

From Gowanda to the busy streets of Dunkirk, Fredonia, Irving and Silver Creek, morning commuters saw volunteers in several locations working for a cause.

That cause entailed selling the OBSERVER special edition to raise funds in support of adults with disabilities and in support of The Resource Center. Each year, the OBSERVER publishes a special edition for a $1, which features Laurel and the Hotelling family along with the Laurel Run and events leading up to the race.

Wednesday’s newspaper sale raised $2,024 in funds as well as awareness of the Laurel Run, which is slated for next weekend.

“The Resource Center plays an important role in Chautauqua County,” said John D’Agostino, OBSERVER publisher.

“Not only is the agency an advocate for those needing assistance, it is also a major source of jobs for our communities. We appreciate their efforts and this annual partnership.”

Laurel’s father and organizer of the Laurel Run, Wayne Hotelling, picked up the papers at 4:30 a.m. and prepared them for the volunteers to sell. Hotelling went to Tim Hortons in Gowanda, where Peter Palmer was out selling newspapers, and returned to downtown Silver Creek where he sold the remaining copies.

Hotelling commended all the volunteers throughout northern Chautauqua County who worked throughout the morning to help those with disabilities, including Mayor Nick Piccolo and his wife Connie, who were at Tim Hortons in Irving and David Coia, who was stationed on Route 5 in Silver Creek.

“They’re dependable, reliable and caring,” Hotelling said. “They have a passion for people with disabilities. To have an operation such as this is great. Everything functioned well and it’s great to have a volunteer base to rely upon.”

In Fredonia, motorists traveling up and down Main and Water streets saw young men from the Fredonia High School basketball team selling papers. The group positioned themselves on the busy streets, as far as Eagle Street, engaging with people who made their way downtown. Many people stopped – even though the light was green – to pick up the special edition of the newspaper. Greg Krauza of Fredonia stood near the intersection monitoring the action, and selling a couple of papers himself.

Krauza, who is in his eighth year volunteering, mentioned that the guys who have sold papers in past years aged out and since Fredonia students have to do community service, he talked to Head Coach Greg Lauer about the idea of getting the basketball players to come down for a few hours to sell papers for a good cause.

“He (Lauer) thought it was a great idea,” Krauza said. “The kids are out here and they’re very enthusiastic. They’re having a lot of fun with it.”

After raising around $500, Krauza thanked the group for their work, explaining to them that the proceeds would go to support people with disabilities, giving them employment and work training opportunities.

Sandra and David Rice were located on Main Street and Central Avenue in Silver Creek, catching motorists. The Rices are good friends with Laurel and attend the same church as the Hotelling family. They have been selling papers for the Laurel Run since the event began.

“It helps to know people; we’ve been here for 40 some years,” Rice said. “I know a lot of people and they just stop and say hello and pick up a paper.”

Co-director of the Laurel Run, Steve Waterson stood at Tim Hortons drive-thru line by the Tops Plaza in Dunkirk handing out papers before patrons received their coffee and pastries. He has been involved with the Laurel Run and related events from the very beginning with the Hotelling family. Waterson mentioned that with no rain in the forecast and warm weather, the turnout should be exceptional.

“Every year more and more people come in and already know that we’re selling the papers,” Waterson said. “People are there with their dollar bills, or sometimes a five, 10, or 20 because people are generous. They’re there to give us some money to help a great cause.”

The 30-mile ‘Laurel-thon’ is set to take place July 18 at 6 a.m. as three individuals are set to complete the journey. Saturday, July 19 will begin the Laurel Run with check-in and late registration at 7 a.m.

Comments on this article can be made to editorial@observertoday.com