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Brockport village rally to save tower clock

by Lou Venditti - NEWS EDITOR
Tue, Oct 10th 2017 08:00 pm

The Brockport United Methodist Church’s clock is getting it’s tick-tock back on lock. The Brockport Lions Club teamed up with the community to fix the clock, which has been broken since June. The clock, which had run until 2014 before needing major repairs, was projected to cost $21,500 to fix. 

The clock is a community fixture in the Village. It was donated in 1914 by the Daughters of Liberty to honor Revolutionary War veterans who are buried in the Village. It ran uninterrupted from 1914 until 2004 when it was shut off for minor repairs. It came to another halt in 2014 for major repairs before breaking down last June.

The community rallied, sending donations to the Lions Club to repair the clock. The group raised a sign in front of the church to mark their progress, but they found themselves about $10,000 short. 

However, the Lions Club had another trick up their sleeves. The group applied for an $11,000 grant to repair the clock through the Rochester Area Community Foundation which was approved earlier in the month. The grant pushed the Lion’s Club over their initial goal to repair the clock, but there’s still work to be done.

Enter Aimee Gonzalez and the community. Gonzalez, a member of the Lions Club and a handful of Brockport groups for mothers, organized a Back to the Future themed fundraiser, complete with basket raffles, community donations and t-shirts. 

“I was in the Mom’s Club of Brockport, and in that club there are quite a few moms who are Back to the Future fans,” Gonzalez said. “The Lion’s Club took on the clock tower repairs as a legacy project, and I joined the Lions Club and heard about this, put the two together, and thought, ‘What a great opportunity.’ Instead of donating $100, why not try to get the community together and make it a full day event?”

The event, which doubled as a costume party, saw handfuls of local businesses get involved. Brockport Rocks brought along rocks for kids to paint, while Gonzalez herself provided baked goods. The event even got a visit from a real life Delorean-- the same vehicle Marty McFly and Doc Brown used in Back to the Future. The 80s film features a teenager and failed scientist travelling back in time. The town clock in the film is destroyed.

After the fundraiser itself, the group hosted a bar crawl in the village, visiting the five bars, including the Red Jug, to raise money to help maintain the clock. While the grant and additional donations covered the cost to fix the clock, maintenence on the clock also cost a couple thousand dollars. 

“Everything we raise today will go to that, it has it’s own account,” Gonzalez said. “That money will go to service the tower itself and the clock mechanisms to keep it from dying again.”

The repairs started this week, but it’s going to take a couple more weeks for the clock to get going again. Even so, the community rallied together all summer long, and the clock will finally be ticking once again. 

“We’ll keep it in ‘tick-tock shape,’” Gonzalez said with a smile and a laugh.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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