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The Cool Crew Honors Their Neighbor and Friend


Whitesville cool kids honor the late Kerry West with gift to IHS

From the Independence Historical Society,

Who and what is the “Cool Crew” you ask?  This is a group of young people ranging from ages 7 to 18.  They earned the name based on their friendship with their neighbors, Kerry and Mark West.  After retiring, Kerry and Mark moved to the former home of Kerry’s grandparents Skip and Naomi Kear.  The West home is located on the corner of Maple Avenue and Park Street in Whitesville, New York. 

This was where the Cool Crew could be found either running a lemonade stand or where on a warm summer Friday evening a whiffle ball game was being played on the side lawn.  Kerry would tell the Crew that she had fond memories of playing whiffle ball in that same side yard when visiting her grandparents.  After the games were done Kerry would have ice cream sundaes ready for all who were present.

This past February Kerry passed away unexpectedly.  The community of Whitesville including, the Cool Crew were saddened by the great loss.  As summer of 2023 arrived, the Cool Crew returned to the spot of their lemonade stand and set up an ice cream stand, collecting donations for what was thought to be profit for the Crew.  On two separate occasions the people in the neighborhood dropped money in their collection container and enjoyed ice cream treats.  Over the summer a total of $345.00 was collected.  Instead of dividing their profits amongst the group, the Cool Crew decided to donate their profits to the Town of Independence Historical Society in memory of Kerry West.  The Crew knew Kerry had a big heart, one focused on her community with a particularly strong passion in preserving the history of the Town of Independence.

On August 15th, Graham Clark and sisters *Stella* and Harper Bledsoe presented an envelope containing $345.00 in cash to the members of the local historical society.  This money was given to the Town of Independence Historical Society in memory of their friend, Kerry West.  The community spirit, which Kerry shared with these young people, was evident again on that warm summer day in August 2023.

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