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Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club 38th Expo is this weekend

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From fishhooks to fast cars, almost anything can be found at the annual Boys and Girls Club Expo this weekend.

More than 100 vendors, businesses and crafters fill the floor and the two upper balconies of the Edgar A. Newell Golden Dome at Ogdensburg Free Academy Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the annual event.

“We are just about completely full,” Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Thomas P. Luckie Jr. said Wednesday.

The Expo serves as a one-stop-shop for those looking for goods and services in the north country, Mr. Luckie said.

“Between businesses, vendors and services, you can find just about everything you are looking for, or at least get information on it,” Mr. Luckie said. “There’s a wide variety of goods and services, including hearing aids, cell phones, credit unions, and National Guard recruiters.”

“If you are looking for a boat or parts, we have Clayton Marina, Hutchison Boat Works, and Schermerhorn Harbor, are all participating,” Mr. Luckie said.

Claxton-Hepburn will be doing free cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index screenings Saturday.

New this year is an obstacle course in the gym presented by Seaway Valley Jumpers, as well as a number of entertainment acts performing on stage throughout the weekend.

“Lots of vendors will have giveaways each day this year,” Mr. Luckie said.

Expo runs from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

As part of its opening ceremony, Blevins Auto Group will be honored for its dedication to the Boys and Girls Club.

On the last day, the club will recognize the Ogdensburg Free Academy Varsity Boys Basketball Team for their tremendous season.

“A lot of those kids are members here,” Mr. Luckie said.

The event will finish off with the grand prize raffle drawing held at 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $4.

This is the club’s 38th annual Expo.

“Initially, people involved were looking for a fundraiser to help keep the club going,” Mr. Luckie. “At the time, there wasn’t anything like Expo in northern New York or the state for that matter. And it worked and continued to grow. Now it has become part of the north country tradition and it’s a great way to support the club. But we couldn’t do it without the 500 volunteers and the school district’s cooperation. I have talked to a lot of boys and girls directors across the state they are amazed we can pull this off in a small place like Ogdensburg.”

The club charges a $6 membership fee for each child. No child is ever turned away because of the inability to pay.

“It’s not a revenue raising fee,” Mr. Luckie said. “The philosophy of the board has always been that we don’t want to make it expensive for the kids to come here, so the board really steps up to help generate funds. Our alumni and donors have been very generous. They know it is so important for the kids and the community - not just Ogdensburg but also the surrounding areas.”

The Expo’s raffle generates about $130,000 a year, but much of that is used towards expenses.

“We have a lot of expenses,” Mr. Luckie said. “The Expo allows us to provide programs and services to 130 kids a day in our peak months at a very cost-efficient way.”

This year’s Expo has special significance as the Boy’s and Girl’s Club as the organization celebrates its 50th year serving the community.

“We will celebrate our 50th birthday in October,” Mr. Luckie said. “We’ll have a float in the Seaway Festival Parade, and there are some other things in the works, as well.”

Tickets for the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club Expo Raffle can be picked up at Phillips Diner, Kimro’s Medicine Place, Kinney Drugs, Mort Backus and Sons, Ruby’s Roadside Diner and The Place. Tickets can be picked up with a recommended donation of $10.

The Journal is also giving away free raffle tickets to the first 50 people through the doors at Expo who say “I love Ogdensburg.”

First place prize is for $5,000, donated by the Blevins Auto Group. Second and third place prizes are for $1,500 gift certificates from Gardner’s Flooring and Furniture.

The prize for fourth place is a family membership at Northern Physical Therapy. Fifth place is a $1,000 gift certificate from Carbino’s Jewelers.

The price for sixth place is a technical/entertainment package from NBT Bank. The seventh place prize is a $1,000 gift certificate to SAVE-A-LOT sponsored by the St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union.

Winners do not need to be present at the drawing.

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