Mother Nature was not kind to many of the scheduled activities over the weekend. Opening Day for Penfield Little League was canceled and will be scheduled at a later date. The electric car show at the community center continued as planned in the middle of a snow storm, all the participants were dressed for winter weather and the coffee/hot chocolate was plentiful to help keep their spirits warm. The children’s bike safety program was also pushed into the gym to make the experience a bit more fun for those participating.
In a sure sign of spring despite recent weather, DPW crews are out repairing lawn damage from winter plows. And now that the asphalt plants are open for the season, crews are also beginning to permanently patch potholes throughout the town. Each year we oil and stone approximately 18 miles of town roads. Streets receiving this treatment in 2019 will receive a letter from DPW explaining the process, scheduling, and a phone number to contact the department with any questions or concerns.
I recently attended the Penfield Fire Commission’s Annual inspection of the Penfield Fire Company. I had the opportunity to say a few words to the membership and to thank them for their service to our community. This volunteer group of men and women train for hundreds of hours during the course of the year to be prepared to respond to any emergency in Penfield. Their dedication to the profession is second to none. I would also like to recognize and thank the spouses, significant others, and family members of these volunteers who support them and share them with all of us on a daily basis. To the Fire Company membership, be well and be safe on every call you respond to in Penfield or while providing mutual aid support to adjacent communities. Again, thank you for your service.
The next scenic trek hosted by the Penfield Trails Committee will be held on Saturday, May 11 at Harris Whalen Park. Hike through the woods to discover spring flowers, and also learn about the park history and geology. Meet at the upper pavilion and look for the hike signs. The program begins at 9:00 AM sharp and runs until 11:00 AM. No pets please, and wear appropriate footwear for occasional steep terrain and slippery conditions. While the hike is FREE, please pre-register by calling 340-8655 ext 0.
As the Bri-Pen Senior Rides continues to gain in popularity, so does the need for “hero drivers.” If you are interested in supporting this wonderful program, please call the Penfield Recreation Department at 340-8674. Drivers are trained by Lifespan’s Give a Lift program and are given FREE supplemental car insurance. This program supports Brighton and Penfield Seniors to get to appointments, religious services, or town recreation centers. Also, if you want to help but do not feel like driving, you can volunteer to dispatch for the program one day a week from your home by retrieving messages and making phone calls.
The fifth annual Terry Rothfuss “Good Neighbor Day” will be held on Saturday, May 11 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Terry was a farmer in East Penfield and a friend to everyone. He was always ready and willing to help anyone at any time. Terrry’s passing left a huge hole, not only for his family but also the Penfield Community. We are looking for volunteers to do light yard work and spring cleanup for seniors, veterans, and those who are disabled. We need volunteers of all ages, so bring the whole family. The event will take place rain or shine. If you are able to help out for even a short time, please contact Sabrina Renner at 340-8651. Volunteers are asked to meet at the Rothfuss Farm, 1865 Salt Road. All you need to bring are simple gardening tools like rakes, shovels, hand pruners, and gardening gloves. Garbage bags and refreshments will be provided.
I close my column this week on a sad note. Late in January, Anne Freitas passed away. Anne was involved with our Recreation program for decades teaching fitness and wellness to our residents. She was ahead of her time in the wellness movement and helped set the tone for many of our current programs. Last week, Anne’s husband Richard F. “Dick” Freitas passed away. Dick was also involved in the town in many ways including the Recreation Department, Trails Committee, Master Plans, open space preservation, and much more. I enjoyed our regular meetings when Dick would bring in a hand drawn sketch, notes listing his thoughts and ideas, or an assignment for me to work on. He was always looking for ways to improve the parks and open space experience in Penfield.
This husband and wife team of more than 59 years had a common goal…to make Penfield the best community in the county. They have made a lasting mark in our town’s history and I thank their family for sharing their time, energy, and talent with all of us. To their children Marie, Rick, Dan—and their families—our thoughts are with you at this very difficult time. Anne and Dick, rest in peace!
Until next week…be well and be safe!