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How a vehicle breaking down after a benefit gave thought to the way our communities come together

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Throughout the last almost 30 years I have lived in this area.

However, during that time, I always felt my heart wanted me to be somewhere else as I am someone who loves the water. The cold up here isn’t my favorite.

But as each year goes by, I have embraced living here and wanted to do things throughout the community. To make an impact, sometimes you have to think outside the box.

Eight years ago, I decided that the people I work with at the Arc of Allegany and Steuben counties needed a prom. Our budget didn’t allow it, but was told I could continue on trying to make this dream come true.

I decided to do a fundraiser and there was a huge outpouring of people who donated spare dresses and decorations. I was able to get enough for the food the first year. The second year we had enough to hold a Hawaiian luau.

Once the Arc gave me the green light to be my own director for these events, I talked to a person I work with about planning events and his interest in it. He said, “I’ll do whatever you want boss, I really like helping people.” I said “stick with me and we will spread your wings.”

And boy did we ever!

Through the next five years, we decided to help many of the organizations in our area and do as many events as we could to help others. I mention something we can do, and he asks what I want him to do. We have held a family extravaganza, helped the SPCA Serving Allegany County, the Hart Comfort House and Allegany County Cancer Services.

When one of our own at the Arc got sick, I asked if we could help with their benefit. It was approved and it didn’t stop there. Our group of volunteers decided to keep helping with other benefits.

For these events, we were very successful going store-to-store in various towns to collect donations, year after year. Despite going into the same businesses time and time again, our local businesses were eager to help. Even during their tough years with Covid, the businesses continued to do what they could do to help.

I would like to do a shoutout to all the amazing people and businesses in our area, how eager they are to help. The small town heroes who help to bring the community together one item at a time. Thank you all. If it weren’t for you all, I wouldn’t be able to do things I enjoy with a job I love. Please support these businesses as when it comes down to it, and you are in a time of need, they are willing to help where they can to ensure your event is a success.

Thank you all for your continued support and please know you are noticed for what you do.

I didn’t realize the magnitiude of an act of kindness to help others until I was a recipient.

Recently, my vehicle broke down after Brandy Ford’s benefit in Greenwood. Leitzell’s Repair came to the rescue repairing my van for me.

Now came the tough part. I had to pay them. The bill was not in writing, it was verbal. They said, “All you owe is to continue doing good things for others … people notice.”

I cried.

A lot.

What an asset to this town! Not only are they honest and helpful but they lift this town helping “the little people” every year, all year. By repairing my lemon, I got to ensure I can continue to help this community, when and where I can. They made my Christmas. I don’t have much, but I do have support and a smile on my face. How grateful I am to all those that have helped me, not only this time but many times in the past as bad luck follows me at times, it seems.

This act of kindness made me want to point out with a special noted thank you all of those who have helped all of you in some way. And they have helped me along the way …. D&J Auto and Body, David Truax and Better Days, Beef Haus of Wellsville, Harts Jewelry, Texas Hot, Uptown Jam, Gamers Portal, Community Bank, Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce, Maple City Dodge, Keith Scheible Auto Repair, Wild and Wet Pets, Napa, Whitwood Motors, Tractor Supply, Beautiful Hair by Kathy, Solo Salon, Sherwin Williams, Rent-A-Center, Pizza King, Computer Solutions, Chelsea’s Catering, The Shop on Main, Gildner Associates, ID booth, Allegany Eye Associates, LC Whitford, Salon Visage, Tammy’s Floral, Tannah’s Tanning, La Gra Salon, the Hairdressers, Music Alley, From the Hart, Book Cellars, Tops, Bokman’s, Otis Eastern, Hess Repair and Hilltop Restaurant, Shorts Convenient Store, Rockburgers, Mama’s Smoking BBQ, One Last Stop, Inspire Sports and Hobbies, The Village Pub, Steve’s Grub Hub, Andover Hardware, Andover Historical Society, Walker Metalsmith, Affordable Auto, Hair It Is, The Collegiate, Dukes Pizza, Little Italy, SOS Liquor, the Bicycle Man, Honey Pot Chocolates, Hot Silk Screening E&C Pet Parlor, Mike’s on the Corner, Belmont Hardware, Dawny Jeans, Carpets Unlimited, Off Duty, L’italia, Modern Diner, Collins Automotive, Stephen Lasnick Media, Circle S Woodcarving, Gaylord’s Ammo, Pat’s Pizzeria, Paddy’s Pub, Stearns Chicken and Miller and Brandes.

There are also so many other individuals and businesses to thank. Thank you to the Wellsville Sun and Hornell Sun for allowing me the opportunity to thank these merchants and I hope to write again soon with more success stories thanks to all of you.

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Judy M.(Felt) Fuller, 77, Hornell, NY / Athens, PA

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