Labor Day 2023

On behalf of the alumni board, the 9th annual alumni work weekend was a huge success!!!

We had 16 Alumni and 9 actives present from Sept. 1-4 at 14 Leroy.

Thanks to below who attended:


Josh Pike (25)
Joe Kerekes(26)
Mark Lajessure (24)
Austin Field (24)
Andrew Gadziala (26)
Caleb Gardener (24)
Matt Trifaro (24)
Matt Arnoldo (24)
Walter Sutton (24)


Jim Dwards Edwards (79)
Jerry Rushak (78)
Chris Duroe (84)
Mike Adams (84)
Tom Sexton (84)
JR Augustine (79)
Kevin Moriarity (79)
PJ O’Connor (88)
Wayne Chase (92)
Tim Dammann (15)
Jerry Child (66)
Bill Forward (66)
Bob “TM” Dolan (88)
Scott Akins (84)
Scott “Frenchy” Lalumier (91)
Terry ” TZ” Moran (81)

Projects done

  • Cleaned flower beds
  • Planted new bushes
  • Mulched all around the house (360 degrees)
  • Trimmed trees using a lift
  • Burned brush
  • Re-cemented stairs on front porch
  • Installed gutters on back porch
  • Cleaned up inside of house
  • Threw out much junk
  • Fixed bathroom by kitchen
  • Worked on sun porch (completely re-modeling it)
  • 5 brand new bed mattresses installed
  • “Alumni Guest Room” on 3rd floor completed: Free furnished room for any alumni visitor

7th Annual Alumni Labor Day Work Weekend 2020

For the past 7 years, each Labor Day a small group of Alumni volunteers make the trek to Potsdam, to show the active members what work looked like “back in their day”.  Labor Day 2020 was another record-breaking year. We absolutely crushed our goal of $18,000.  Over 120 alumni donated $22,000.  Over the past 7 years, we have raised $120,000. With roughly $50Kgoing toward the roof.
Thank You Alumni!

We thank Tim Dammann (15) for heading up the work crew in 2020.  The Actives accomplished a fair amount of work over Labor Day 2020. Due to Covid, only actives worked on the house.  Our main goal in 2020 was to re-paint the eaves.  We also cleaned up the yard and did some trimming, which made our neighbors happy.   

Work Weekend 2019 

Greetings Brothers,

Our main goal this year was to clean up the pantry and give it a refreshed look by adding a fresh coat of paint, new counter tops, cabinets, flooring, and 2 new refrigerators. 

The following is a play-by-play of how work weekend unfolded by alumni Tim Dammaan:

When I arrived around 8 am Saturday morning we began by removing the two original refrigerators and anything else that was left in the pantry. The actives had removed most of the stuff during their work week. An alumni ran out to the Bagelry to get 3 dozen bagels, cream cheese and eggs for breakfast. While eating breakfast the actives expressed concern about the rotten steps off the coffee porch and we decided to replace them. We then ran out to Lowes to get supplies and when we returned more alumni had shown up. 

We then split up into 4 groups containing both actives and alumni and got to work. Group 1 worked on demolishing and rebuilding the stairs. Group 2 worked on cleaning up the old furniture that needed to be thrown away and loaded up a truck with 5 old refrigerators that were taken to the scrap yard. Group 3 was in the basement cutting and digging a hole in the floor for the sump pump. Group 4 Worked on the pantry. The plumber then arrived around noon to begin installing the urinal in the first-floor bathroom.

We then broke for lunch at 1 pm when three sheet pizza’s were delivered from Sergi’s. After lunch we got back to work on our projects. By the end of Saturday Group 1 had dug and poured new footings. 4 posts for the railing were installed, and the rest of the lumber was cut for installation on Sunday. Group 2 had taken 5 refrigerators to the scrap yard and filled the dumpster with trash. Group 3 The new sump pump was installed. Group 4 Patched holes in sheetrock, replaced light bulbs, new ceiling tiles, flooring and cabinets were installed. The urinal had been installed as well. 

On Sunday we focused on finishing up the remaining projects. The stairs were finished being built. The pantry was sanded, 3 coats of new paint, new molding installed, and appliances were moved in. Two new toilets were installed in the first-floor bathroom. With the new sump pump installed the actives were able to power wash the basement walls and floor. Two new dehumidifiers with pumps were installed and the garden beds around the house were weeded. 

Labor Day Work Weekend

What: First Annual OTTO Alumni Labor Day Work Weekend
When: August 29- Sept. 1, 2014
Where: 14 Leroy St., Potsdam, NY
Purpose: Paint Front Porch and Pillars and possible other projects and to share good times and renew friendships.

As a result of a great 110th OTTO birthday bash on July 12, 2014 in Potsdam, Chris Welsh (’04) (OTTO Alumni Chair), Dan Rissacher (’00), Ted Ross (’81),  JR Augustine (’80) and Terry TZ Moran (’81) are promoting the Labor Day work weekend. We are arriving on Friday August 29 and working for two days August 30 and August 31.

Head over to the Labor Day Work Weekend page for more information!

110th Anniversary Follow-up


110 group pic3Click the thumbnail for a larger version of the group photo from Saturdays BBQ!

The Alumni Board would like to thank everyone who was able to join us in celebrating 110 years of OTTO this past weekend.

We connected with some great alumni and raised some money for the house as well as the OTTO Foundation. (Our charitable organization responsible for education related expenses and scholarships).

There were many a story swapped, many a beverage drank, and the old timers won the wiffleball game. (regardless of what the younger guys have to say on the matter)

A special thanks to Mickey Booth and Brian Callaghan for helping put this event together.  As well as Mickey’s fiancé Keri, Canaan Nelson, and Andrew Dion for helping setup before the event.

Our thanks also to everyone who signed up for recurring donations. This small monthly donation of $10-$15 (really whatever you can afford) a month is crucial to the ongoing success of OTTO.  Whether it be at 14 Leroy St or on the Hill, there are upcoming expenses that the active chapter simply cannot shoulder on their own.

We have ~600 living alumni, we are working every day to get back in touch with more of them.  If we could get just a fraction of those signed up for a $10 recurring monthly donation, the difference made would be immeasurable.

On to the specifics.


The winning foursome:

  • Bob Findley (’81)
  • Greg Elsner (’79)
  • Kent McManus (’79)
  • Annie McManus

Homebrew Competition Results:

1st Place (Tie)

  • David Meldrum (’64)
    • Honey Ale (made with honey from his own bees) – 14 votes
  • Wayne Chase (’92)
    • Juniper Ale – 14 votes

2nd Place

  • Dave Zeleznock (’05)
    • Kraut Pale Ale – 11 votes

3rd Place (Tie)

  • James Welsh (Chris Welsh’s father, he went to RPI, but we won’t hold that against him… too much)
    • Smoked Porter – 10 votes
    • IPL – 10 votes

Thank you to everyone who participated. The event was a great time, and everyone’s beer was delicious.  Additional thanks to all of the winners for donating the prize money back to the house.

110 Preparations Continue!

The last few weeks have proven to be quite production for the gentleman inhabiting the house for the summer. Thanks to some serious efforts from Tim, Alex, Canaan the Garage and Circus Porch have been re-sided, and the entire Sun Porch exterior (windows included) have been torn down, replaced, and rebuilt before being sided. We look forward to the cost savings we’ll see next winter with new energy efficient windows in a large exterior room that previously had old makeshift windows.

Great Upstate Wiffle Beer Challenge

This past weekend, around 30 folks from across the northeast corridor assembled for an event whose magnitude cannot be overstated.  BT, Phi K, and TEP all represented in what was the first Great Upstate Wiffle Beer Challenge!

2013-09-28 13.50.59-2

Coach Sheldon assembled a group of top prospects, and despite falling to BT in game 1,  freshened by a few Beer Die / Pitch breaks, regrouped our defense and managed to topple the gentlemen from BT to bring home the first ever Great Upstate Wiffle Beer Championship.

Defensive MVP candidates Eric Duma and right handed closer Nick HP Bernal propelled the group to victory in game 3.


Thanks to everyone who came, participated, brought food/beer/ice and helped set up!

14 Leroy Recognized in National Register of Historic Places

The culmination of a mult-year effort was finally recognized today as the National Parks Service has included our beloved 14 Leroy in its National Register of Historic Places. Thanks to hours of time donated by esteemed alumni Cordell Pearce, Bill Sheldon, and Jason Morganson, our house is now recognized as a historically significant structure in Potsdam.

Additional thanks to all of the folks who were kind enough to donate to various causes over the last few years. Your generosity allowed us to make the repairs necessary to be considered for this list.

Among other key features, the house is noted for both its architectural and industrial significance, having been linked to both Henry A. Watkins and George W. Sisson.

Here’s a link to the official listing for further reading:

2011 Newsletter

Many of you may have already received the 2011 Newsletter. If you haven’t — here’s a digital copy for your consumption.

Newsletter 2011

If you didn’t receive a newsletter, that means we don’t have an up-to-date address for you. Please shoot us an email using the Contact Us! link in the right-hand column and we’ll get you updated.

A big thanks to all of the contributors, and to Greg Moore and Will Cole for putting this together, printing, and getting it mailed out.

Look for another newsletter towards the middle of next year!