Niagara Gazette

Opinion

November 19, 2012

HIGGS: LaSalle Pride ready to reinvent itself

Niagara Gazette — Cheers this week to LaSalle Pride which according to its website was “formed to promote, protect and preserve the cultural, historic and environmental well being of the LaSalle neighborhood of the city of Niagara Falls by the resource utilization of volunteers, private and public sectors.”

Incorporated back in 2005, this organization has been active throughout the LaSalle neighborhood with many accomplishments. The organization’s first president, Patsy MacKenna, a former educator with a quiet manner, was a driving force, giving the group the motivation and momentum to continue their goals even after her untimely death in 2009. They continued their efforts to improve their neighborhood quality of life and presented a bench in her memory to the LaSalle Library which had become their meeting place and their home base.

The organization with its many volunteers has worked with the Beautify Niagara citywide clean up campaign since the group’s inception. They partnered with employees of Life Technologies from Grand Island and worked in vacant lots in the Girard Avenue area in 2010 which is just one example. They held weekly “on the spot cleanups” every other week inviting “anyone who could” to show up at a selected area. They assisted families in the Evershed area who encountered flooding when a water main broke on 56th Street near Buffalo Avenue in March of 2009.

BOOM Days became an event on everyone’s calendar each April when LaSalle Pride hosted an open house to “celebrate the end of winter.” The date coincided with the removal of the ice boom in Lake Erie and it was the beginning of the group’s venture into the historical significance of their area. Held at the LaSalle Yacht Club they welcomed spring with reenactors from Old Fort Niagara and a group of representing historical figures dating to the very earliest discovery and settlement of the Village of LaSalle. How can we forget Ken Sherman in what resembled his bathrobe as Cavalier de laSalle and Walt Kendzia’s annual portrayal of Father Hennepin landing by canoe at the Yacht Club. How about the year Cal Babcock missed the dock and had to be pulled from the water? That’s dedication!

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