Youngsters from two Western New York communities were honored last week at Rich Stadium and shared $15,000 in prizes after capturing first- and second-place awards in the Fleet All-Stars competition for upstate New York, a program designed to encourage youngsters to participate in community service activities.
The first-place award of $10,000 went to members of the Hinsdale Youth Commission in Hinsdale. More than 100 youngsters there converted an unused, 12-acre field into the town's first recreation area. The group cleared, plowed and raked five acres of land, spread seed on the softball field, cleared overgrowth from the picnic area and created 10 benches and six picnic tables.
They said they plan to use their winnings to develop a pavilion, volleyball and bocce courts and create a nature trail along Olean Creek.
Second-place $5,000 winners were 16 youngsters from the Seneca-Babcock Junior Block Club, who created a quiet, private area for senior citizens to relax and gather. The group removed 10 bags of trash, assembled two picnic benches, painted a mural using 14 gallons of paint and created a flower bed with 500 pounds of potting soil. They plan to use their award to purchase computers for their club and give members access to and knowledge of the Internet.