OCO Raises $20,000 While Celebrating Being ‘Fifty and Fabulous’

OCO provided food, drink and cake for guests of their 50th Anniversary party.

FULTON, NY – The theme for this year’s annual Bowl-A-Fun OCO Fundraiser: “Fifty and Fabulous.”

With George Hoffman from 103.9 The Dinosaur as emcee for the day, the event kicked off at Lakeview Lanes and provided food, drinks, cake, live entertainment, raffles and lots of fun with large part to major corporate sponsors G&C Foods, Pathfinder Bank, National Grid, OneGroup, Ultimate Software, NRG Energy, Fidelis and Barclay Damon.

Different from previous years, the bowlers only competed in one flight of bowling and while the second flight usually competes, OCO instead hosted a 50th anniversary celebration open to the public who picked up a free ticket ahead of time.

For 50 years, Oswego County Opportunities has served the Oswego County community as a private, non-profit human service agency providing service to more than 22,000 people a year.

The party brought out an Elvis impersonator and The Camillus Connection to provide live entertainment for the hundreds of people who showed up throughout the day.

“We gave away 300 tickets ahead of time,” said Betsy Copps, senior director of operations for OCO.

And with twenty teams competing in the bowling flight provided through corporate sponsors, the alley steadily packed full of employees, volunteers, business supporters and supporters from the public ready to celebrate OCO and its service to the community.

Working with OCO for six years, Copps was pleased with the turnout of support for the company’s anniversary party.

“It’s really gratifying to see all the community support, from other businesses to our employees and board members to all the folks who just want to come be a part of the celebration. We are really glad we could do this. Fifty and Fabulous!” said Copps.

More than 40 volunteers, mostly in the form of OCO employees helped the event run smoothly by helping to serve food and cake, selling 50/50 raffles, face painting and much more.

The largest business team competing in the corporate bowling challenge all wore blue shirts that sported G&C Foods logo on the front.

With six teams of five bowlers, 30 G&C employees and family members showed up to compete against the other business sponsored teams in the corporate bowling challenge.

What was different about all G&C Foods teams? They had matching blue T-shirts that were made to be worn in remembrance of a fellow employee and friend that recently lost his life.

Mark Wallace, a 20-year employee of G&C Foods passed away from a brain tumor just two weeks before the OCO fundraiser was held.

“He was an avid bowler and he has bowled in the OCO fundraiser for the past five years,” said Donna Craig, purchasing assistant at G&C Foods.

All team members of G&C Foods wore their shirt and bowled in honor of their late coworker and friend.

The team won the Honorary Team Spirit award for its memorial tribute.

“It’s really fun to get everyone involved. We’ve always enjoyed this event, it’s always well organized and a lot of fun,” said Craig.

Winning the team spirit award for the second year in a row, the Fulton Sunrise Rotary was very happy to receive the award for their “Rockin’ Rotarians” team.

Winning the best “Fifty and Fabulous” team theme award this year was Fulton Savings Bank, with its team “The FSB Strollers.”

Other prize winners include turkey winners (three strikes in a row): John Fiume of National Grid team, Scott Samson of Fulton Savings Bank team, and Jack Masters of G&C Foods team.

The highest team score belonged to “Team Hashtag#” of G&C Foods with a combined score of 1,431.

The highest score for all men competing belonged to Kevin Smith of Oswego Health with a score of 475 whereas the highest score for all women competing belonged to Christine Harriger of Oswego County Federal Credit Union with a score of 239.

On the contrary, the lowest score belonged to Amy Rowley of G&C Foods with a score of 127.

All of the scores are combined between two games of bowling.

The winner of the Fulton Savings Bank Lottery Board went to Doug Stevens of Fulton Sunrise Rotary Club.

After the bowling was completed, the event switched to focus on the party to celebrate OCO’s 50th anniversary.

Competing for Fulton Savings Bank, Jennifer Merritt watched on as her mother, Julie Merritt, vice president/loan operations at FSB, hit the dance floor fellow friends and party-goers to celebrate as Elvis impersonator, Tim Gilbo, performed.

“It’s a really great event and it’s fun to see everyone having fun, the people from OCO and the other businesses and guests are all really enjoying themselves,” said Jennifer.

The Bowl-A-Fun continues to be one of OCO’s biggest fundraisers of the year, but the company also relies solely on federal and state money, fee for service revenue and other local support and donations.

This year, the Bowl-A-Thon raised roughly $20,000 for OCO to benefit it’s more than 60 community support programs.

To uphold its mission, 90 cents of every dollar received goes directly to program services to help the community through OCO programs aimed at improving the lives of all Oswego County residents.

For more information on OCO and the services provided, please visit OCO.org.