Letters

Well, it’s almost the end of June and I’m finally getting the rest of the end-of-school pictures done. There are so many activities at the end of the school year, it’s just so hard to get everything done and to find space for everything as well. It usually takes the four June issues of the paper to get caught up and this year has been no exception.

People often ask if things will now slow down for me. The answer is always, “No.” I know people don’t believe it but there is so much to do in this town that if people took advantage of the opportunities presented to them, they would not feel as though there is nothing to do here.

There are all kinds of service groups: Women’s Club, Lions Club, Rotary. For those who like sports, there are community leagues for baseball, softball and soccer. Swim team is for the youth, but adult help is always needed.

There are horseshoe, pool and dart leagues for the adults. If you’re involved in a church, most churches have a ton of activities for children and adults as well.

The Concerts on the Town Square have begun; that’s always a nice way to spend a Thursday evening. There are a ton of activities that happen at the library for kids and adults all summer long. There are places like the Canoe Fish and Game Club, I see lots of pictures of people fishing, kayaking, canoeing, the list of things to do “around here” is endless.

The best thing about a small town like this is if there is something you would like to do that is not already happening, all you need is to put a notice in the newspaper, a post on Facebook or an announcement on the radio station to find others who are also interested and start a group of whatever you want to do. I’ve seen book clubs, scrapbooking/craft clubs, artists gatherings, music groups, even swing and square dancing.

The Booster groups always need help. Anyone interested in helping would be welcome. You need not have a child participating to become involved.

I know I worked with the Music Boosters and the Elementary PTO long after I had children involved with either school. I helped with various sports groups over the years, even when I had no children involved. It’s fun, it gives you something to do and it benefits others.

Laura Fillhart is starting a Community Center. I’m sure there will be opportunities to help out there. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are always looking for volunteers.

There is a Vacation Bible School at the Turtlepoint Church and followed by a community-wide VBS sponsored by the Ministerium. It’s more fun for the kids and more opportunities to get involved in something that will make a difference in the lives of others.

If you like little kids and want to help out a neighbor or a single parent, offer to take the kids to the park, the pool, out for lunch or an ice cream cone.

Some of my favorite times as a teenager and young adult were stopping by to pick up kids to go to the Tastee Freeze, the creek, the park and give the parents a little break. I did so without looking for money or something in return — although some I did babysit for and was paid for babysitting — but I genuinely liked them and enjoyed the time spent with them and also felt good about giving their parents a break free of charge.

You can shop for an elderly neighbor or simply take them for a drive. Meaningful ways to spend your time can be found here as well as in a big city or bigger town than Port Allegany.

Many, many people use Community Park, but the only people who actually support it are those who buy pool passes. There are picnic areas, basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball fields and the pool.

I really get tired of people complaining how much it costs to get a pool pass. If you figure out the cost per child, per day, then a pool pass isn’t that much and swimming lessons are included. People who pay for baseball registration, soccer camp, wrestling camp, going to the movies, bowling, etc. think a family pool pass is too expensive.

I had a woman tell me one day that her two kids take dance lessons and how much it costs per month. For the price paid for two people to dance a couple times a week for a month, the whole family can swim for a summer. Dance lessons, wrestling camps, etc. are worth the money; so is swimming on a daily basis. Consider purchasing a pool pass to support not only the pool, but the park.

My mom doesn’t swim, but she purchases a family and guest pass so her grandkids here and any who come visiting from out of town can use the pool. We also bought a pass for a family who could not afford one. Many people do the same.

If you’d like to support the pool as well as offer a family a pass to use this summer, let Kari Stake or Beth Naylor know and they can work it out for you.

There are many opportunities to keep busy in Port A. I really think that the people who are bored here with “nothing to do” would also be bored in a bigger town or city. We have to drive a few miles to bowl, see movies or for a bigger variety of shopping or restaurants, but it doesn’t take much longer than trying to get from here to there in a big city.

I debate this with people who live in bigger areas. I’ll ask them to tell me what they or their family did during the past week or two or even a month. Rarely is there anything on their regular schedule of events that is different than what we do here.

They do dance lessons, karate, go to the library, play on the computer, go to church, see a movie and go out to eat. They rarely attend a concert, a musical, visit a museum or things we can’t do here. Occasionally they do and so do we, occasionally. It’s another of those things that we will never agree on. I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

When I agree to disagree, I will be kind; please kind to one another.

Pam Fischer is a lifetime resident of Port Allegany and a writer and photographer for the Reporter Argus.