QUEENS COUNTY – What Brian Godfrey will miss most about being part of the Queens County Crime Prevention Association are the Saturday morning breakfasts.
“Meeting everybody (and) having a little bit of fun,” said Godfrey, who was the association’s treasurer.
The association, which formed in 1991, is folding. There are just not enough younger volunteers to help with what needs to be done, said Godfrey. Three of the volunteers are in their 80s, a few are in their 70s and the younger ones are in their 60s, he added.
“Nobody wants to take over,” he said.
Const. Rob James, community policing officer for the Queens District RCMP detachment, says what has happened to the Queens County Crime Prevention Association is similar to what is happening to many volunteer groups.
“All our volunteer groups are aging, and soliciting volunteers is pretty much fighting an uphill battle,” he said.
Part of the problem is that many younger people are moving away or are just not as interested in joining, added James.
“It’s a fantastic organization, but there are just no young people joining them despite their best efforts,” he said.
Strong community supporter
The long-time association formed when the community officer wanted to create a group that could help promote safety for children, youth and seniors in the area.
Godfrey and Margo Zwicker were the original members.
“Margo’s been president now for the last 20 years or more,” said Godfrey.
Recently, the association gave $2,500 to the Queens County Skate Park. It’s given money to lots of other organizations as well.
The reasoning is simple, says Godfrey.
“To keep the youth off the streets – to give them something to do,” he explained.
The association’s biggest fundraiser was the monthly breakfasts. Those breakfasts, which have been taking place for about 25 years, were held on the third Saturday of the month at the Liverpool Lions Club.
Godrey says without the association, some initiatives and organizations in Queens County won’t have the same financial support. The association has supported Privateer Days by sponsoring a tent that brought Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo. For the last few years, there have also been crafts in a children’s tent.
“That’s not going to be around anymore. Our breakfast is not going to be around anymore,” he said
Godfrey says the association appreciates all the helps it received from Liverpool Regional High School’s key club. The club has always helped out with the breakfasts.
Handing out final funds
The Queens County Crime Prevention Association had $9,000 left in its account. The high school’s scholarship program received $1,500; $1,250 went to Dr. John C. Wickwire Academy’s breakfast program; $1,250 went to South Queens Middle School for its meal program; the Queens County Blades Skating Club got $1,250; the Queens County Minor Hockey Association got $1,250; the Senior Safety Program received $1,250; and $1,250 went to the Queens Care Society for its transportation project.
Godfrey says the association is thankful to all those people who’ve gone to the breakfasts and hired the association for catering jobs.