Throughout time, women have played a major role in our nation’s history. First celebrated in 1987, Women’s History Month, observed every March, is when America comes together to pay homage to those women who have blazed trails and made our world a better place. New York State has an exceptionally strong connection with women’s history.
Our region is home to nearly 30,000 selfless men and women who proudly wore the uniform and fought for our nation’s freedom. Every time I think about the adversity our military veterans faced during their service, and the sacrifices they and their families have made, I am inspired. I also know I am not alone. This region, our home, is one that takes tremendous pride in our veterans and their families.
Each winter, fishing enthusiasts wait for the moment our local lakes and rivers freeze over and allow them to get out on the ice for some world-class ice fishing. As state senator, and an outdoor enthusiast, I know this time of year is exciting for so sportsmen, from our region and beyond. However, before you venture out on the ice it is important to make sure you have double-checked your safety list.
February is American Heart Month, which is the perfect time to start making small lifestyle changes that strengthen hearts and saves lives. Chances are you or someone you know is battling heart disease. It is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. An estimated 103 million U.S. adults are fighting one of the biggest contributors to heart disease and stroke, and that’s high blood pressure.
As chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I take great pride in the work the committee does each year to support and strengthen New York’s family farms. In 2017, my colleagues and I continued to made great strides towards these goals, securing record state funding for key programs, increasing our efforts to make locally-grown foods more readily available for consumers, helping promote New York’s booming, farm-based craft beverage industry and continuing to encourage young people to pursue careers in farming.
In the face of so much terror, heartbreak and despair during World War II were stories of hope and bravery. Many of those stories involve nearly 1,000 European Jewish refugees who fled Nazi persecution and were brought to the only Holocaust refugee shelter on American soil – Fort Ontario in Oswego. During the last years of World War II, in an effort to help some of those being persecuted by the Nazi regime, the United States government brought 982 European refugees to Oswego, New York.
For most communities across the county, the fourth Sunday of April is recognized as Arbor Day. It is a day when family, friends and neighbors come together to plant trees and more importantly, raise awareness of the role trees play in our environment. Locally, Arbor Day means even more.
January marks National Blood Donor Month. It is a time to recognize the lifesaving contributions of blood donors, and renew the call for more donations. The American Red Cross, which supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply, says the winter months are the most difficult time to collect blood.
As we welcome in a new year, 2018 brings a new opportunity for New York State to highlight what makes it so special. Agriculture – our farms, growers, producers and related agribusinesses – leads the way. As New York State’s leading industry and a major driver of the state’s economy, this is the time to make sure it remains as such.
Generosity is powerful. All throughout the year, I have seen so many people go out of their way to help their community, their family, friends and neighbors. It simply amazes me every time someone in our community does something that brings a smile to the face of another – even if it’s someone they’ve never met and perhaps never will.