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Psychiatric Center float gets a warm response

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The St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center got a warm show of support in Saturday’s Seaway Festival Parade by volunteers, union members and a local business who lent a helping hand.

The float was trailed by members of the Civil Service Employees Association and Public Employees Federation unions. It was put together by Ron Greene, CSEA president, Dennis Mehaffy, CSEA treasurer, Gary Ashley, CSEA vice president, and a group of 20 other volunteers.

Among those who helped get the float rolling was Basta’s Flower Shop, which donated between 500 and 1,000 flowers to decorate it. Owner Joseph M. Basta said the shop donated 30 large flower arrangements, more than 400 roses, including an arrangement of 75 roses to crown the float’s Twin Towers tribute, more than 100 hydrangeas, and 40 bunches of chrysanthemums.

“As soon as we saw in the paper that there would be a float, we felt honored to be a part of it,” Mr. Basta said. “We wanted to do whatever we could to help the psych center.”

The state Office of Mental Health has proposed moving the center’s inpatient mental health services for adults and children and youth to centers in Syracuse and Utica, respectively.

A local task force has been formed to try to convince the state to reject the proposal.

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