Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to the late Lars J. Spinner, formerly of Woodmancy Road, Randolph, who gifted a $1.1 million scholarship endowment that will make its first $30,000 available to Randolph students graduating in June. Spinner grew up on a farm in Malone, N.Y., near the Canadian border, and worked to put himself through college before serving in the U.S. Army from 1956-58. Following his service, he accepted a position as a senior consulting engineer at Xerox Inc. in Rochester and worked there until his retirement in 1998. Durnig that time, he maintained a hunting cabin in Randolph that he renovated into a year-round home after retirement. Gary Sickles Sr., Spinner’s close friend, neighbor and executor of his estate, said Spinner was a private man who kept to himself, but understood the importance of an education. Spinner’s gift will benefit Randolph youth for decades — and what better gift to give than the gift of education.

Thumbs up to Connie Gauronski, a volunteer at the Chautauqua County Humane Society for the past 11 years who has also adopted several pets from the organization. Gauronski was previously a teacher for 33 years, and has since transitioned into volunteering. In addition to bringing animals into her own home, Gauronski’s work at the Humane Society focuses on helping people find the right pet from among those at the Humane Society. Each of the animals Mrs. Gauronski has helped find a new home — either her own or someone else’s — should give Mrs. Gauronski two paws up.

Thumbs up to all those who have already donated to the United Way’s 2016 campaign and the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Drive, two important late-year fundraisers for many in our community. There is still time to donate, and in the case of the Salvation Army the need is especially great after the Red Kettle drive fell about $16,000 short of its goal. The kettles are put away for the year, but donations to the drive can be sent to the Salvation Army, 83 South Main Street, Jamestown.