While they're out there risking it in the streets, they're doing it for one reason - to raise money for a good cause. Okay, maybe they have fun, too.
The roughly 40 volunteer newspaper sellers were working their magic in the streets for the sixth year in an attempt to raise money by selling the OBSERVER's Laurel Run special edition of the paper.
This year, it wasn't just an attempt. According to the salespeople in the streets, it was a success.
OBSERVER Photo by Mark Belcher
Greg Krauza (Left) and his team have sold papers for the past six years. Despite the team members graduating various schools and having jobs, they still return to help the cause.
The groups - put in five locations in Fredonia, six in Dunkirk, one in Brocton, one in Silver Creek, one in Irving and one in Gowanda - raised more money than ever before, grossing $1,927 in sales.
According to John D'Agostino, OBSERVER publisher, the number is a lot higher than last year, which only totaled $1,790. He said the OBSERVER has been running fundraisers like this for the past 11 years, raising over $24,000.
Even though this is the sixth year of this fundraiser, some are still joining in. Yvonne Stein said it was her first year to volunteer, but also her first at The Resource Center (TRC), an operation with the goal of supporting and giving independence to individuals with disabilities and other challenges.
""I just started out at TRC," she said. "It's such a great place. Anything I can do to help it, I'll do."
She is already excited about the future of her team's location at Brocton's historical arches.
"Oh I'm definitely going to be doing this again," she said. "We're already planning some costumes for next year!"
But it wasn't just a year for newbies; some staples of years past returned. Greg Krauza and his 10-person-team have been working the downtown Fredonia square each year, and for as long as he can remember, they've topped the sales records.
"We come out here with the mission to do some good," he said. "But our goal is also to be the top."
He said the team's goal is to hit between 25 and 30 percent of the fundraiser's overall sales. They haven't disappointed yet.
"This year we coined the term 'philanthropic thunder,'" he joked. "We are working hard, and we're working loud."
With more than 30 minutes left in their sale time before breaking at 9 a.m., the team had hit 480 paper sales - only 20 papers shy of their 500 paper total for the entire event last year.
Of all the sales this year, D'Agostino said most of every dollar goes to the charity, after covering the costs of printing.
Wayne and Elaine Hotelling, Laurel Run founders, said that of that money, all of it will stay in Chautauqua County to benefit the disabled through places like TRC.
Nancy Battaglia, leader of TRC's Team of Hope, said she has been involved with the team for 10 years.
Virginia Lehman, one of her TRC participant teammates, said of the major community service they do like the relay for life, work with United Way and out of the darkness, this is the easiest and most fun.
Battaglia agreed, saying she loved it all, and it is worth it.
"It's just a lot of fun," she said. "We do good work, and then we feel good about it."