Friend of Extension presented to JCEO's Bruce Garcia & Jackie Skiff by Chris Watkins and Rick LeVitre.

Friend of Extension presented to JCEO's Bruce Garcia & Jackie Skiff by Chris Watkins and Rick LeVitre.

Friend of 4-H award presented to Phil and Cindy Clark by  Steve McDonald and Diane DuMont, CCE Educators .

Friend of 4-H award presented to Phil and Cindy Clark by Steve McDonald and Diane DuMont, CCE Educators .

2014 Annual Dinner

CCE Franklin celebrated its programs and successes at its annual dinner meeting on Wednesday evening, October 22nd. The event, held at the Malone Golf Club, combines networking, showcasing CCE activities in 4-H and Youth, Agriculture, Family and Economic Development, and election of board of directors and advisory committees.

Highlighting this year’s dinner is Dr. Chris Watkins, State CCE Director and Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University.

As director, Watkins runs the diverse portfolio of programs of CCE, which maintains a presence in every county in New York as well as in New York City. It reaches citizens through outreach in food systems, natural resources, sustainable energy, 4-H youth development, nutrition, economic development and related subjects.

“As the primary provider of outreach for the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Human Ecology to the citizens of New York, Cornell Cooperative Extension is a major component of realizing Cornell’s land-grant mission,” said Watkins. “As we confront familiar and new challenges to human health, agricultural production, youth development, community sustainability and economic growth, I look forward to working with the local and regional programs throughout the state, and my colleagues in CALS and Human Ecology, on the front lines of helping CCE associations to meet these needs.”

The evening’s festivities began with social hour from 6-7pm. Dinner, featuring the Malone Golf Club’s buffet  served at 7pm. Presentations, reports and keynote will follow. The 2014 recipients of the Friend of 4-H and the Friend of Extension were also honored.

Rick LeVitre, Executive Director of Franklin County’s CCE, will recognize local staff and volunteers for the tremendous effort put into programs serving the county citizens every day. “CCE programs have grown throughout the county involving schools, youth organizations, research and information for farmers, and economic development support,” stated LeVitre. “Through all our work, we focus on job creation, job training and tying all efforts of “Kids” and “Foods” together with “Jobs”.

2014 Friend of Extension

The Joint Council for Economic Opportunity or, as we all know it, JCEO, was awarded the 2014 Friend of Extension by Rick LeVitre, Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Franklin County. LeVitre stated, “This is an organization dedicated to providing resources and services that enhance people’s dignity and self-reliance and a great partner to CCE.” Bruce Garcia, the Chief Executive Officer, received the award from Steve McDonald, 4-H Educator of CCE Franklin County.

For 45 years JCEO has been providing comprehensive services to the low income communities of Clinton County and more recently, Franklin County. As one of 58 Community Action Agencies in the state of New York, JCEO continues to promote and implement an environment in which consumers take an active role in their pursuit of self-sufficiency.

At JCEO, 96% of the consumers who utilize the Community Action Agency’s services are temporarily in need and are not on any form of public assistance. They are the working poor, the elderly, and the severely sick. They are widows, orphans and sometimes simply the unlucky that have landed suddenly in crisis. At times like these, it is a relief to know there is help available. JCEO is ready to assist.

As Chief Executive Officer, Bruce is responsible for much of what makes this non-profit organization run successfully. He oversees and monitors all programs provided by JCEO related to fiduciary responsibilities and service provisions and keeps involved within his community. Bruce’s personal quote, “If it is to be, it is up to me,” gives us a sense of his determination and hard work.

From an Extension perspective, JCEO and CCE of Franklin County began in 2012 as the paths of our 2 organiztions continued to cross. Our missions to educate and better serve the people of our county are comparable.

Our collaborations include:

  • JCEO, as a partner in the successful CCE/YMCA Summer Day Camp, provided $7,225 in scholarship funds to income eligible families. Most of these youth would not have the opportunity to experience a day camp like setting without JCEO's support.
  • They provide snacks to the CCE Tupper Lake afterschool program. 55 youth in need of academic and social support receive a daily nutritious snack through JCEO's food services program
  • Provide breakfast and lunch daily to 40 Summer Day campers during 8 weeks of programming.
  • Provide food to assist with specialty programs including; Pancake Breakfast, Horse Camp, Dairy Camp, Fall Fun Show, and Mentoring Program Retreat.
  • We collaboration on staff training
  • CCE has been included in the discussion and planning of JCEO's "state of the art" methane green house project.

Cornell Cooperative Extension looks forward to the many opportunities of joint efforts between our organizations in the future and are pleased to present the Friend of Extension Award for 2014 to JCEO.


Rick LeVitre
Executive Director
(518) 483-7403

Last updated November 7, 2014