Le Roy, NY

"Surrounding yourself with good"

Another fun night in Le Roy. (Credit: Lauren Whiting)

Le Roy is a quaint town with a population of just under 8,000. I am originally from Michigan, but met my husband at graduate school. My husband grew up in Le Roy. I moved to Le Roy (the birth place of JELLO and the stringless green bean!) about seven years ago, not knowing anyone but him and his family. I began to meet his family friends, colleagues, and people in the neighborhood. Little did I know how much I would love this community. Everyone you walk by says “hello,” strangers greet each other in the street, neighbors end up being friends. The people are just plain nice! People want to genuinely help one another. When one family is down, other families come up with some sort of fundraiser, benefit, party, gathering, or other event to help the family in need.

A little Le Roy resident hits the streets. (Credit: Lauren Whiting)

Stories About Le Roy

Last March, there was a crazy wind storm. People were out of power everywhere and the temperature dropped to 30 degrees. The neighbors who had generators started cooking food for everyone and posted on the local Le Roy Facebook page that they had food if people needed it or needed to come warm up. The local deli, Woody’s Deli, also lost power but decided to make sandwiches using their remaining supplies. The entire town pulled together to help a neighbor who did not have power. It was amazing to see the amount of teamwork, dedication, sacrifice, and willingness to open one’s home to help a neighbor warm up during the storm. I have never seen such a thing in a community.

It is so refreshing to see how the community pulls together after an unfortunate event happens. When someone is diagnosed with an illness, you bet there will be a Walk/5K, a Chicken BBQ, a T-Shirt Fundraiser, a Go Fund Me, or something to assist that family. When someone passes away, the entire town pours their love and support to the surviving family members.

There is an annual festival, the Oatka Festival, in July. It is guaranteed if you walk through the festival, browsing the craft and food vendors, you will see someone you know, and they will certainly engage you in conversation. My husband and I often go out for a drink on a Friday night, just the two of us, and end up seeing friends (or even family) out that you did not realize would be there. It is unbelievable the amount of people who want to get to know you better and genuinely wish the best for you.

It is such a wonderful feeling to feel “at home” even though it is not my own hometown. If you mention to someone that your house is in need of a cleaning, or you need to trim your bushes, or you have an issue with plumbing, it is amazing the amount of times people will offer their tools, time, energy, or advice to you. One time, we called the local plumber to fix an issue we were having with our sink. He would not even charge us! He said it was nothing and it only took him 10 minutes.

Just this past Friday evening, we had an event at a local mansion called “Mercy Grove.” The eventwas raffles, silent auctions, 50/50, and a live auction. All proceeds went to a scholarship for students at Le Roy High School. People were bidding on a small picnic gathering for upwards of $750. Everyone kept saying “it’s for the kids, our next generation.”

Recently, the local LeRoy Rotary Interact group, consisting of high school students, proposed a project called Hometown Heroes. They raised over $3,000 to pay for the initiative. The project is now completed, and there are banners featuring pictures of active service members on the 21 usable light poles on Main Street in the village. The high schoolers wanted to recognize and support the local troops and their active service.

My husband and I just bought our first house, and when people found out, we suddenly were receiving cards, plants, bottles of wine, etc. from friends, family and neighbors we hardly knew! When we tell people we just bought a house, they are so excited, hopeful, and enthusiastic about the village and its future. Anytime a new business opens, the entire town is behind the business, whether they are competition or not. For example, a younger girl just started her own art studio. She has events there daily, and recently had an open house. She could not even fit everyone in her studio due to the amount of people that showed up. Local businesses are collaborating with her to do dual events and promote both products. It’s heartwarming to see the amount of people who want businesses to strive in a small town.

Ellen’s Story

36 years ago I made the decision to move back home from Boston to raise my son. I live in the home I grew up in, my father grew up in, his father grew up in, and so on. It has been one of the very best decisions I have ever made.

Holly’s Story

I grew up in Hornell, and a year or so after we moved here I was walking near the golf course and heard a ton of sirens coming down Route 5 towards town. I couldn’t imagine what was going on especially because they weren’t coming fast. Lo and behold, it was the sectional parade, just like the ones I grew up with in Hornell! I knew at that moment we had made the perfect choice of where to start and raise our family. Close enough to all the benefits of Rochester and Buffalo, but not a suburb without a sense of community. It’s a quaint and caring village where everyone looks out for one another and truly pulls together for the benefits of all who live here.

The setting sun casts a spell over downtown Le Roy. (Credit: Lauren Whiting)