The power of reaching out

WEVERTOWN - After two years of community effort, the North Country Outreach Center will come online this week with a new automatic emergency backup generator.

The system will ensure that the services provided by the Outreach Center, particularly its food pantry program and family housing units, will continue to operate in the event of an electrical disruption.

The need for the generator was identified by an Outreach Center committee following two consecutive years of extended power outage. The outage resulted in several thousand dollars in building damage, the spoiling of supplies in the food pantry, and a significant interruption in their basic services.

The committee initially contacted John McAlonen, owner of Gore Electric Services in North Creek, to request a price on a generator system. Not ready to act at that time, and without funding, the project stalled for well over a year.

Fearful of another round of extended power outage, Brother James Posluszny, executive director of North Country Ministries, contacted McAlonen to discuss the need on behalf of the Outreach Center.

McAlonen performed an extensive review of the property's electrical requirements. Following the submittal of a detailed system design and quotation, he then contacted the North Creek Rotary Club in the hope that they could lend assistance to the organization as they sought funding.

As part of his personal commitment to the project, McAlonen offered to provide all of the necessary electrical equipment at his cost, including the 60-kw propane-fired generator.

Members of the North Creek Rotary seized on the opportunity to help and were soon working to raise half of the $25,000 required to complete the project. The remaining half was provided through a matching government grant request coordinated by Senator Betty Little.

While the government funding for the system was guaranteed, it could only be awarded upon completion of the project. Always eager to lend a hand where needed, local residents, Woody and Elise Widlund, offered to provide a "bridge loan" so the project could move forward.

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