September 1, 2014

Generous councilman feeds families

By Tim Barnum
Staff writer
Posted

STANDISH — Selfless acts often take center stage over gifts, lights and trees this time of year and Standish Councilman Lester Cousineau’s acts are no exception, as he is using a portion of his City Council pay to provide full meals for five needy families or elderly couples this Christmas.

“I just wanted to give back to the community,” Cousineau said. “I’ve always donated to different charities out of my Council pay.”

According to Cousineau, since being elected to City Council three years ago he has donated approximately $1,200 – $1,500 to several groups, including the Standish Veterans of Foreign War Post, Standish American Legion, the Mary Johnston Memorial Library and local firefighters, amongst others.

But this will be Cousineau’s first time donating to individual families or couples.

“I was originally just going to give out 10 turkeys,” Cousineau said, adding, though, that Standish City Clerk Becky Lakin informed him about people in the city who were struggling. “She knew some families that were in need.”

So rather than just buying the turkeys, Cousineau said he decided to provide turkeys, potatoes, vegetables, stuffing and pies to ensure a hearty Christmas meal for the needy individuals.

“I’m not even sure what this is going to cost me for five families,” he said. “I’m just going to throw it in a box and I’ll either deliver it or have them pick it up at City Hall. I’ll probably deliver it.”

And according to the Councilman who says he has lived in Arenac County most of his life and the City of Standish for approximately four years, the groups are always grateful.

“Different organizations that I’ve donated to have been just ecstatic. … They appreciate every dime that you give them,” Cous-ineau said. “I get a lot of compliments.

“It’s not about the publicity. It’s about doing the right thing.”

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