OSWEGO, NY – Bowling balls will roll and chicken will sizzle Saturday (Nov. 26) at Oswego’s Lighthouse Lanes in memory of Nonie Culeton, a life-long Oswego-area resident who was 72 when she died almost a year ago.
Her family is planning the fundraiser to honor Culeton’s memory and to raise awareness of macular degeneration, which took Culeton’s vision toward the end of her life.
Macular degeneration causes central vision loss and is a major cause of blindness in people 60 and older.
After a heart attack took Culeton on Jan. 30, her family sought ways to pay tribute to her.
“We decided to raise money for macular degeneration because a lot of publicity is given to diabetes, kidney disease and breast cancer. She had those too, but not as much attention is given to eye diseases,” said granddaughter Kathy Healy.
“When she lost her sight, she lost her independence,” said Nonie’s husband, Bob. “She couldn’t read the paper, she couldn’t drive, she couldn’t watch TV or even do her crossword puzzles.”
She regained some independence through services from Aurora of CNY, a local non-profit that serves people with vision and hearing loss.
“Aurora got her a talking watch and a large-print remote control, arranged for her to get talking books, and helped in many other ways,” Bob said.
“It’s very good that Nonie had her family close by,” added Laura Smith, president of Oswego County Visually Impaired, a social and support group for people with vision loss that was founded in 1997.
Her family describes Nonie as a woman who was devoted to her family and community and loved traveling.
She and Bob visited many places during their 53 years of marriage, including the French Riviera, Ireland, Italy, Hawaii and England.
“She liked going to the casinos, too,” Healy said with a smile.
Nonie and Bob got to know many people in the community through their business, Culeton’s Quality Plumbing in Oswego and their large family, which now includes three great-grandchildren and one on the way.
“We’re very close,” said granddaughter Katie Jung.
“Nonie had a tremendous love for life, and for her family. This is our first holiday without her,” added Healy.
All profits from the event will go to Aurora and OCVI.
“We’re really looking forward to being part of this fundraiser, and we’re grateful to the Culeton family and everyone else who is working so hard to make it happen,” said Anne Costa, Aurora’s assistant director.
Bowling will start at 2 p.m. and the chicken barbecue will begin at 3:30. Tickets can be purchased for bowling only, barbecue only, or bowling and barbecue.
The event will also feature music and raffles. Raffle prizes include a flat-screen TV, hotel vouchers, gift baskets, gift cards, restaurant certificates, spa certificates, a Vera Bradley bag, car detailing and oil changes, a Bluetooth and a signed Buffalo Sabers jersey.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at Lighthouse Lanes or Oswego Mechanical or by calling 342-1841.
Orders for chicken delivery will be taken through Friday at 343-8031.