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‘Love Massena’ features day of activities at Alcoa Field area


MASSENA - Everything from music to food, face painting to balloon creations, and basketball to tennis takes place Saturday during the first ever “Love Massena” event in the area around Alcoa Park.

The event is being coordinated by Compassion North in cooperation with the Greater Massena Ministerial Association.

Compassion North CEO Donald C. Curry said the event, which runs from noon to 3 p.m., is meant “to do something very positive” in an area that has seen crime ranging from an attempted abduction to drug trafficking.

“We want to take back our streets and remind people living in the neighborhoods surrounding Alcoa Park that Massena is a great place to live,” he said.

He said they emailed Police Chief Timmy J. Currier with their idea, knowing the work that the village police had done in the area to combat crime.

“We explained this to him. We met the next day and he said, ‘We’re behind you,’” Mr. Curry said.

Love Massena is being promoted through a number of venues, including news articles, a website and on electronic billboards with the assistance of Real “Frenchie” Coupal and Paul Morrow. Mr. Curry said it’s been a community effort, with about 150 individuals assisting in the planning.

“The DPW (Department of Public Works) is closing up Cedar Street for us. Rich Boprey (recreation superintendent) has been very helpful. Really, the whole community has been very helpful,” he said.

The event is free for everyone, with activities taking place in the area around Alcoa Park. Among the planned activities is music from several bands, including one from Canada, and professional DJ music by Chase the Light Productions.

Also on tap are tennis and basketball clinics and games, children’s games, face painting, balloon creation, clowns, kickball games, and hot dogs, popcorn and snow cones provided by The Salvation Army.

The Greater Massena Ministerial Association will also have a booth to hand out information about their upcoming Vacation Bible School at Emmanuel Congregational Church.

There will also be a “Lots for Tots,” which Mr. Curry said will offer lightly used children’s clothing for sale for $1. He said if someone can’t afford an item, it will be given to them.

Near “Lots for Tots” will be a backpack giveaway. He said they provided principals at Jefferson, Madison and Nightengale elementary schools in Massena, as well as St. Lawrence Central and Madrid-Waddington, with coupons for 10 free backpacks - filled with school supplies - to be given away.

Artist Marion Bradish will also have a 24-foot mural that kids can draw on.

“She did one for Canton and Canton was so pleased with it,” Mr. Curry said.”She stencils on images and kids paint it. She’ll oversee the painting. It’s a huge art collage creation that people can add to. It’s symbolic of your community.”

He said that, although the event is scheduled to end at 3 p.m., it may go on longer depending on the level of activity taking place.

Compassion North, also known as the Northern New York Compassion Coalition, was formed for charitable and educational purposes to resource and improve the quality of life for the many disadvantaged and under-resourced families in St. Lawrence County.

They work with other agencies to help relieve ongoing as well as emergency situations involving food shortages, clothing needs, suffering due to insufficient home weatherization, short-term housing needs, crisis counseling and other related issues.

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