PENNELLVILLE, NY ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ A marketing opportunity for Oswego County tourism businesses this spring became a memorable gesture of appreciation to a military family for service in Iraq.
A few months ago, Steve and Anne Hutchins, innkeepers at the River Edge Mansion, an 18th century bed and breakfast on County Route 10, donated a gift certificate to the Officers Spouses Club at Fort Drum as part of a project coordinated by the Oswego County Tourism Office.
The Hutchins graciously donated a free nightÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s stay at their stately Greek revival mansion overlooking the Oneida River in Pennellville.
The timing was perfect for Julie Thornton and her husband, Major Douglas Thornton.
They won the prize and used it last month when Major Thornton had a short leave from his 15-month deployment in Iraq.
A member of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Light Infantry, he has since returned to Iraq.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI was lucky enough to be the soldier chosenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â for the weekend at the River Edge, said Major Thornton.
He was very enthusiastic about the HutchinsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ gracious hospitality, the breakfast cuisine, and the innÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s peaceful setting on the river, and said he will enthusiastically recommend the River Edge to his military and civilian friends.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIt was a great place to feel like you are going away, without having to travel too far,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he said.
The home, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, features three rooms with private baths, whirlpool tubs, fireplaces, a private balcony overlooking the Oneida River, and private docking on the river.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe were very happy to do this,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Steve Hutchins. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t think we can do enough to thank our military for their service to our country.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
OtherÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â Oswego County businesses that offer discounts to those serving in the military include River Run Troutfitters guide service; Oswego Speedway; Chrome Zone guide service; Salmon River Alpacas; Douglaston Salmon Run; Ponderosa Steakhouse, Oswego; J.W. Anglers; High Adventure Sportfishing; Streamside Campground and Country Club; Midway Charters; Yogi BearÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Jellystone Park Campgrounds; The Comic Shop; MikeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Custom Cabinets; K and G Lodge and Fishing Charters; Groman Shores Waterfront RV Park; and Safe Haven Museum and Education Center.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe are very grateful to our tourism partners for their support in this effort,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said David Turner, director of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe welcome soldiers and their families to Oswego County, and hope they enjoy our great resources for outdoor recreation and family activities.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Oswego County businesses who would like to be added to the military discount list may contact the Tourism Office at 349-8322 or 1-800-596-3200, or e-mail [email protected]
For information on current fishing conditions, historic sites, campgrounds, and other attractions in Oswego County, visit http://visitoswegocounty.com