MOUNT, VERNON, N.Y. Orphaned as a child with three older siblings, Larry Fair knew the struggles of life at an early age. Now an adult, Fair is providing youngsters in Mount Vernon a chance to experience activities they may not have been exposed to otherwise.
Fair founded the Future Society Inc. in Mount Vernon in 2008 to encourage children and their parents to think outside the box and try new activities and experience new places. The group has taken kids kayaking, hiking, fishing and horseback riding in various locations in lower Westchester County, including Mount Vernon.
"I want kids to see the positive things that are going on in their community," Fair said. "We are showing them that there is an alternative to joining a gang and gun violence. We had one young man who we took kayaking a few years ago and now he works for a kayak company in Pennsylvania."
Fair, a maintenance worker at City Hall, helps find kids in need through the city's youth bureau. Fair said kids with dire needs are targeted for the program, which involves kids of all different nationalities.
"We are getting them to be physically active while developing their social skills," Fair said. "A lot of the kids have had a difficult upbringing, but we want to show them that they do have a future." He said the program focuses on developing the kids as leaders.
Having grown up in the Wartburg Orphan Home (now a senior citizens care facility), Fair said life for him and his brothers and sisters wasn't always easy, but by remaining positive they were able to persevere.
"We want to show kids that they can get off of their block and interact with different people," Fair said. "All the negative stuff in Mount Vernon always makes the news, but we are creating some positive news here.
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