OSWEGO, NY – Montcalm Park is green again, thanks to the brothers of Sigma Tau Chi fraternity.
Last week, a large number of fraternity brothers armed with rakes, brooms and shovels went out to spif up Montcalm Park.
The results are obvious, according to Connie Cosemento, First Ward councilor.
Just as the job was finished, bags and rakes collected, a number of school children arrived to enjoy the weather, some exercise and a picnic, she added.
The brothers of independently contacted the DPW to ask for rakes and leaf bags.
They had contacted their (First Ward) alderman to ask what they could do to help out members of their community, especially those in the ward.
The councilor and two alumni were invited to the fraternity house on Montcalm Street for one of the brothers’ recent Sunday meetings to brainstorm some ideas.
After an hour of entertaining a variety of suggestions, it was decided that the brothers should think about what would work best for them and how they would carry out their project, Cosemento said.
“Apparently, the creative juices were flowing for they went into fast forward,” she said noting their cleanup project in the park.
“We are starting a new initiative to help out in the community,” said Christopher Marin, fraternity spokesperson.
“We have meetings every Sunday. Recently, we decided to try and help out the community by going out and asking the neighbors what they needed help with,” he continued. “It would also allow our neighbors to get to know us by face.”
Neighbors were contacted directly and asked if there was anyway the brothers could assist.
They began the Monday following their meeting, and walked around their immediate neighborhood.
The brothers asked the residents if they needed any help.
“We also left our phone number (917-697-7688) at each house,” said Marin. “Our neighbors were ecstatic and we received a phone call the next day from a lady who is the neighbor behind us. She requested that we help her move two air conditioning units into storage and we assisted promptly.”
The brothers are considering “Task Force Sigma Tau Chi” as a way of coordinating efforts to help their neighborhood and beyond.
“We realize the potential of how much help we can provide as a fraternity,” Marin said, “And, want to give back to the community. We are trying to help those in our community who require extra assistance. We completed the cleanup of Montcalm Park just in time for the school children to enjoy the evening.”
The fraternity plans to rake leaves in the yard of another neighbor who has trouble walking.
When the snow falls, they will be out in force helping their elderly neighbors keep their sidewalks and driveways cleared, he added.
If anyone requires assistance, Marin said they can contact him (917-697-7688).
“They can leave a voicemail with their name and number as well as their address and the services needed. We will return their call promptly,” Marin said.
The brothers hope to continue working closely with Cosemento “to achieve both of our goals of supporting our community,” Marin said.
Later this month, the fraternity will be doing a benefit at the YMCA, their annual haunted house exhibit.
“The idea of ‘Task Force Sigma Tau Chi’ is a maybe right now,” Cosemento said. “However, the idea of helping citizens of the First Ward is a definite, especially seniors or citizens that are in need.”
“Fraternities are not just about partying,” Marin said. “Sigma Tau Chi is about giving back to the community ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ one neighbor at a time.”