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Tue., Oct. 6
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Tessier plants trees to help the hungry


MASSENA — Since he was 9 years old, Marc A. Tessier has been giving his time to the Massena Neighborhood Center, where he volunteers with his parents.

But his latest gift to the center is something much more than time, and one that will keep on giving for many decades to come.

In conjunction with the St. Lawrence County Community Development Program’s Community Action Angels, Marc planted 10 fruit trees, five apple trees and five pear trees, at the center.

“We had been talking for several years about planting fruit trees,” center Director Elaine H. Eggleston said.

Marc, 13, and his family “looked into it and because of Marc, his dad, his mom, Community Action Angels and the other volunteers, it’s coming to fruition,” Ms. Eggleston said.

Marc said he heard about the Community Action Angels when he attended the Community Development Program’s annual dinner with his parents last year.

The plantings were supported by the Community Action Angels’s Kids Are Key initiative, which provided youths in the community with $100 as “seed money” to help get their projects started.

But from the very beginning, Marc said, it was his goal to complete his project without cashing the check he was given — something he was able to accomplish.

CDP Volunteer Coordinator Alicia M. Murphy said the money now will be donated to the Neighborhood Center.

“We are very, very excited about this project,” Ms. Eggleston said. “It’s going to be a wonderful boost to our food pantry to be able to offer fresh fruit to the families who come in.”

The best part of it, and the main reason Marc said he chose to plant trees instead of something else, is the longevity of the gift.

“That’s actually why I wanted to do a prolonged project like this,” he said. “It will last for a long period of time.”

Ms. Eggleston agreed. “These trees will be here long after I’m retired,” she said.

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