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Gus Macker tournament a success

— By all accounts, the Gus Macker event held Aug. 8 and 9 at Drivers Village was a huge success. It was the fifth year of what has become an annual event. It was well-organized and events proceeded like clockwork. There were 178 basketball teams that participated, many travelling from distant communities like Buffalo, the Southern Tier and the North Country.

This Gus Macker event is sponsored by the Friends of The CanTeen, an independent non-profit group that raises money for the operation of the CanTeen. While much of the funding for the CanTeen comes from New York state, Onondaga County and the towns of Salina and Clay, along with the town of Cicero, it is the Friends of the CanTeen group that organizes fund-raising events to keep the teen center a quality program. The Friends group is charged with the responsibility of raising $40,000 annually for the CanTeen.

The town of Cicero is, of course, very proud to partner with the Friends and other supporters. There were almost 150 volunteers this year, including the entire staff from the Cicero Parks and Recreation Department, as well as from the police department and VIPs, and others. Much appreciation goes to Jody Rogers, director of parks and rec, Julie Raddell, recreation supervisor, and Toni Brauchle, director of the CanTeen, for countless hours of organizing time and support to make this event such a success. These efforts could not have been realized, however, without the assistance of Roger Burdick and his Drivers Village organization who so generously donates space and resources to hold the event.

You will also read reports of individuals and businesses who lent financial assistance, resources and volunteer time to the event. Their contributions should also be acknowledged. We should also remain cognizant of the fact that the Gus Macker event brings dollars into our local economy, as I am sure neighboring businesses like Price Chopper, Panera Bread and the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant can attest.

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