King & Queen to Reign at Auburn Mardi Gras Celebration

There’s a new King and Queen to reign over Mardi Gras Celebration 2005. The Mardi Gras planning committee has selected Unity House Board member Fred Atkins and Auburn City Planner Jennifer Haines, both of Auburn. Their coronation is set for Friday, March 4, 2005 at the Auburn Holiday Inn. Tickets are $20 each and include two hours of free hor d’oeuvers. All proceeds from the event go to fuel the worthy and vital programs at Unity House and the Cayuga Seneca Community Action Agency.The 91-year-old Atkins, a member of the Unity House Board since its inception in 1977, is thrilled with his newest title.“I plan to be the first one in the door and the last one out,” Atkins joked. “It’s a very nice honor. I’ve been called many things in my lifetime but never ‘King’!”Atkins retired from Columbian Rope in 1978. His retirement is filled with community service work for agencies including the Cayuga County Chapter of the Red Cross, Fatz Crofut Home for the Elderly, The First Presbyterian Church in Auburn, and the D.E. French Foundation.“Both agencies (Unity House and the CSCAA) serve a real purpose in the community,” said Atkins. “I don’t know where people would be if we didn’t have these programs.”It is also Jennifer Haines first ‘royal’ commission.“I’m honored to be a part of it,” said Haines. “The work of Unity House and the CSCAA in the community touches so many in the area. People’s lives are changed and improved. They help them get a leg up so they can work to be self sufficient.”Haines has served in Auburn’s City Planning office for 11 years. She lives in Auburn with her husband, Howard, and their two sons.Unity House of Cayuga County, Inc. provides services, support, and housing to individuals with a mental health diagnosis, the developmentally disabled, those seeking a new beginning while coping with chemical dependency, and those at risk of becoming homeless. Their services include transitional housing, permanent housing, employment services, and rehabilitative services. Unity House provides services in eight Central New York counties: Monroe, Wayne, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Ontario, Yates, and Tompkins. The Cayuga/Seneca Community Action Agency, Inc. is an anti-poverty agency serving the City of Auburn and Cayuga and Seneca counties. Their mission is to assist people to achieve and sustain self-sufficiency and self-dignity. The Cayuga/Seneca Community Action Agency, Inc. operates Head Start, Weatherization, Food Pantry, Domestic Violence Intervention Program, TASA, Male Mentoring, and Community Services.For information about this news release: Mary Gelling Merritt, MGM Word Studio, Inc., 315-673-9194.


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