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Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. To Celebrate 45th Year With Birthday Party on April 2nd at Lakeview Lanes

Dan Oostdyk, owner of G&G Reptiles in Oswego, shows off one of his many snakes and crocodiles. The collection will be on display at the Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. Birthday Party event on April 2nd at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton. Dan is a licensed wildlife rescuer, who for the last four years has been building a reptile collection as part of a hands-on animal zookeeper program he has developed for young people in Oswego.

Oswego, NY - Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. (OCO) is celebrating their 45th anniversary this year, and will commemorate the milestone with a birthday party on April 2 at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton, according to OCO Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier.

The birthday party, which will coincide with the annual Bowl-A-Fun event and Golden Opportunities cash prize raffle drawing, will begin at 1 pm and run until 5:30 pm. Birthday activities will take place in the banquet room and include: face painting; program displays; hula hoop exercises, presented by the Oswego YMCA; children’s craft activities, presented by Discovery Day Care; a bounce house; a Zumba class; karate, presented by the Fulton YMCA; and a performance by magician, Shane Michael.

“We are very excited about the lineup of activities that we have to offer for the birthday celebration,” said Cooper-Currier. “This is a fantastic way to engage our community within a family-oriented environment.”

In addition to the many activities being provided, there will be a reptile show presented by G&G Reptiles, a non-profit organization, from Oswego.  Dan Oostdyk, a licensed wildlife rescuer, and owner of G&G Reptiles, will be on hand to display his reptile collection and hands-on animal zookeeper program that includes an American Alligator, six-foot Red Tail Boa, Malaysian Water Monitor, and 20 other types of reptiles.

The Hellfish, a classic and original rock band, will be performing from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the event.  Composed of Allen Wert, Korey LaRue and Preston Martin, The Hellfish, liken themselves to musicians including: The Who, Weezer and Blink 182.

“We welcome everyone throughout Oswego County to attend the birthday party,” said Cooper-Currier. “Please stop by for some great music, fun and activities throughout the day.”

OCO, Oswego County’s sixth largest employer, is rooted back to the Late 1960s, when President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a domestic war – a war on poverty.

In light of this initiative, on March 15, 1966, OCO was incorporated as the county’s Community Action Agency, whose mission was to reduce the impact of poverty in Oswego County. OCO hired its first Executive Director, E. Peter Geitner and received a $60,000 grant to be appropriated to Family Planning.

With only 20 employees in 1974, the exceptional vision and leadership of Geitner and his employees, laid the framework and foundation that would shape the success of OCO today, which now includes 670 employees, $30 million dollars in annual funding, and services reaching nearly 28,000 people annually.

According Cooper-Currier, the present leadership at OCO shares a common vision of Mr. Geitner and those individuals who formed the organization back in 1966, and want to ensure that the exceptional progress that has been made in the past, continues for years to come.

“It is our goal and vision that OCO continue for another 45 years and beyond – achieving the same positive results regardless of the resource challenges,” said Cooper-Currier. “As a result, OCO has initiated a strategy to lessen its reliance on traditional funding sources and build an unrestricted fund that will sustain services to people in need.”

Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. is a private, nonprofit human service agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966.  Over a year’s time, OCO touches the lives of nearly 28,000 people in Oswego County. Their ongoing efforts provide educational services to the young, support for our youth, assistance for the homeless, meals for the elderly, health care for the whole family, guidance for those diagnosed with a mental illness, housing for the disabled, safety for the abused, as well as transportation.

For additional information on Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. please visit www.oco.org or call (315) 598-4717.

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