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COMMUNITY
Majorpalooza volunteers help 220 Cayuga, Seneca county families with Thanksgiving meals

AUBURN — For the seventh year in a row, dozens of teachers, students and police officers joined forces to feed families in need in Cayuga and Seneca counties. 

Although school was closed Wednesday, several students spent the morning at Auburn Junior High School and Mynderse Academy in Seneca Falls to pack Thanksgiving meals with Majorpalooza Inc. And while the event is largely about helping families for the holidays, Chris Major — a school resource officer in Auburn and chairman of Majorpalooza — said it is also a teaching tool for students. 

"I think a lot of kids take for granted where they come from and what they get, and I think it's nice for them to see there are families out there who need a little bit of help," Major said. "It helps the students understand that some of their classmates don't always have it as good as they might have it." 

Lucas Lukowski, a junior at Auburn High School, said this was his second year helping at the event. A football player, Lukowski did a lot of the heavy lifting, carrying the turkeys and trimmings to people's cars for delivery. 

"It really helps people out that are in need ... and it brings the community together to help others," the 17-year-old said. "I think it's really good for the community." 

This year, Major said the organization was able to feed 220 families; half of those families live in the Auburn Enlarged City School District while the rest live in Seneca Falls.

Each family received a turkey, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, vegetables and dinner rolls, as well as a pumpkin pie for dessert. Major said they also donated a few extra items this year, including some crackers, pasta, sauce, and macaroni and cheese. 

"We were going to do more of the trimmings for Thanksgiving, but instead we decided to create another meal," he said. "So this year, the families are getting lunch and dinner." 

Altogether, Major said it cost Majorpalooza around $3,000, most of which was donated by the teachers' unions and police unions in both counties. 

In addition to the school resource officers, Auburn Police Chief Shawn Butler and Deputy Chief Roger Anthony were at the junior high school Wednesday. Both said the police department was happy to lend a hand. 

"This is what our goal has been — to get more involved in the community," Butler said. "It's not about us, but it does help people see us in a different light and that's important to us." 

"It's growing and it's really a nice way to give back to the community," Anthony added. "We're really proud of these guys ... and we're just happy to help." 

Gallery: Majorpalooza Thankgiving helps families in need in Cayuga and Seneca counties

Local
BUSINESS
When you can shop: Auburn-area stores plan special hours for Thanksgiving, Black Friday

Many local retailers in the Auburn area are changing their hours this week for holiday shoppers looking to take advantage of Black Friday deals.

Some stores will be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, while others will have limited hours for the holiday. The list below shows who will be open and when from Nov. 23 to Nov. 25:

Fingerlakes Mall

• WHEN: Closed Thursday*; Friday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• WHERE: 1579 Clark Street Road, Aurelius

• INFO: (315) 255-1188

* Bass Pro Shops: Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (315) 258-2700

* J.C. Penney: Thursday, 2 p.m. to midnight; Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (315) 253-2762

Waterloo Premium Outlets

• WHEN: Thursday, 6 p.m. to midnight; Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• WHERE: 655 Route 318, Junius

• INFO: (315) 539-1100

Walmart Supercenter

• WHEN: Open 24 hours Thursday through Saturday

• WHERE: 297 Grant Ave., Auburn

• INFO: (315) 255-0532

Ollie's Bargain Outlet 

• WHEN: Closed Thursday; Friday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• WHERE: Fingerlakes Crossing, 1614 Clark Street Road, Aurelius 

• INFO: (315) 252-5072

Big Lots

• WHEN: Thursday, 7 a.m. to midnight; Friday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

• WHERE: Grant Avenue Plaza, 360 Grant Ave., Sennett

• INFO: (315) 255-8070

Wegmans

• WHEN: Open Thursday until 4 p.m. (Pharmacy: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.); reopen Friday at 7 a.m. with regular pharmacy hours

• WHERE: 1 Loop Road, Auburn

• INFO: (315) 255-2231

Tops Friendly Markets

• WHEN: Open Thursday until 5 p.m.; reopen Friday at 6 a.m. 

• WHERE: 352 W Genesee St., Auburn 

• INFO: (315) 252-7995

Dick's Sporting Goods

• WHEN: Thursday, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• WHERE: Fingerlakes Crossing, 1620 Clark Street Road, Aurelius

• INFO: (315) 258-3750

Bed Bath & Beyond

• WHEN: Closed Thursday; Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• WHERE: Auburn Plaza, 217 Grant Ave., Auburn

• INFO: (315) 252-8091

Marshalls

• WHEN: Closed Thursday; Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• WHERE: Auburn Plaza, 217 Grant Ave., Auburn

• INFO: (315) 258-0988

Kohl's

• WHEN: Open from 5 p.m. Thursday until midnight Friday; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

• WHERE: Fingerlakes Crossing, 1628 Clark Street Road, Aurelius

• INFO: (315) 252-1264

rue21

• WHEN: Thursday, 1 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

• WHERE: Auburn Plaza, 217 Grant Ave., Auburn

• INFO: (315) 252-1453

Lowe's Home Improvement

• WHEN: Closed Thursday; Friday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• WHERE: 299 Grant Ave., Sennett

• INFO: (315) 253-3410

Home Depot

• WHEN: Closed Thursday; Friday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• WHERE: Fingerlakes Crossing, 1634 Clark Street Road, Aurelius

• INFO: (315) 252-4540


Local
OWASCO LAKE
Finger Lakes Land Trust hopes to buy Owasco Lake site, open public conservation area

The Finger Lakes Land Trust is working on purchasing property on the eastern side of Owasco Lake, which would make it the third publicly accessible site on the 10 1/2-mile long water body. 

Executive Director Andy Zepp said the land trust is proposing to acquire 74 acres including 1,100 feet of shoreline near Indian Cove. The property will not have direct lake access as the land ends at a steep drop off similar to a bluff, Zepp said, but the public will be able to walk and view the lake from above.

Zepp also hopes to partner with conservation agencies to install some wetland features and nutrient management strategies to help protect the lake's water quality.

"Emerson Park is mowed lawn," Zepp said. "The (Owasco) Flats is a wetland, canoeing spot. This will be a place where people will take a walk and have these great views, and at the same time, this wetland restoration opportunity that will filter runoff, not just from this property, but from adjacent, privately owned land as well."

The land trust is in the fundraising stages now, but it hopes to have the property purchased by early next year.

Provided 

A map of Owasco Lake showing the land the Finger Lakes Land Trust hopes to acquire.

While the land trust, which is based in Ithaca, has worked in the Owasco Lake watershed before, namely at the southern end at the Owasco Flats, Zepp said this project is an exciting opportunity to work more in Cayuga County. The land trust is working closely with the Owasco Watershed Lake Association, too, on the proposal.

A year ago in October, the land trust issued a report, "Lakes, Farms & Forests Forever" that called for an investment of $100 million into land and water resources. The report specifically highlighted toxic harmful algal blooms and the threat to drinking water. 

An information meeting on the land acquisition will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29 at the Phoenix Building, 2 South St., Auburn. For more information visit fllt.org/owascoproject