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February 15, 2010 - 2:43pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in Announcements.

An Ash Wednesday service will be held at Batavia's First Presbyterian Church at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Ashes will be placed on attendees' foreheads as a symbol of penitence and as a sign of Christians' healing mission in the world.

Ash Wednesday marks the start of the 40 season of Lent, which is a time when many Christians dedicate themselves to fasting and prayer in preparation for Easter.

Rev. Roula Alkhouri, the pastor of First Presbyterian, says that Ash Wednesday and Lent are also about "a journey of turning back toward God."

"Lent is also a season of healing," she adds. "We open up our lives so that we may see into the depths of our souls."

The church is located at 330 E. Main St. Please contact pastor Alkhouri by phone at (585) 343-0505 or e-mail [email protected] with any questions.

February 13, 2010 - 2:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, GCC.

Genesee Community College now offers 12 completely online SUNY-accredited associate degree programs.

That means GCC students no longer have to live in proximity to the college's seven locations in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties (GLOW region). In fact, they don't even have to live in the United States to earn an associate's degree from Genesee Community College.

They do, of course, need a computer, Internet access, English language skills and the ability to benefit from college-level work. The tuition is affordable; the faculty is top-notch; schedules are flexible and study times are convenient.

Earning an online degree is ideal for working adults and people with family or employment responsibilities, who may be prevented from attending traditional classroom-based college courses. Students enrolled in online courses and degrees have the flexibility of rich resources, active online discussions, taking tests, studying and submitting assignments at different times of the day or night. When flexibility, convenience and affordability are critical for student success, regardless of the student's location, Genesee has solutions.

Genesee now offers four online Associate in Science degrees, three online Associate in Applied Science degrees, one online Associate in Arts degree, and four online certificate programs. These online degrees are:

  • Criminal Justice, AS
  • General Studies, AS
  • Business Administration, AS
  • Teacher Education Transfer, AS
  • Criminal Justice, AAS
  • Business Administration, AAS
  • Entrepreneurship, AAS
  • Liberal Arts-Humanities and Social Science, AA

Plus, Certificates in Criminal Justice, Teaching Assistant, Sales and Customer Service and General Education.

Furthering Genesee's online degree opportunities is the recently implemented Pathways program with Empire State College. Under the program, Genesee students earn up to 83 Genesee credits toward an Empire State Bachelor's Degree -- the equivalent of five semesters of GCC study. Students then enter Empire State's program of individualized study for the balance of their baccalaureate education. Students can complete their studies at Empire through independent study, group study, supervised tutorials, and/or online studies-all guided by qualified professional mentors.

"Enrolling in a Genesee online degree program is one of the most cost-effective options available for earning a SUNY degree," Robert Knipe, Dean of Learning Technologies at Genesee said. "An associate degree is the first step in earning a bachelor's or higher degree. GCC has the resources and technologies to make those educational dreams a reality, when the student is learning-ready."

Online degrees and courses are ideal for mature, self-motivated students who work well autonomously, can effectively budget their time, and set priorities independently. Genesee Community College carefully helps students appreciate this facet of online learning through careful advisement. An informal self-assessment, or quiz is available on its website at:

"Earning a degree online is a life-changing opportunity, but each student needs to have the correct tools and temperament for the work required," Knipe added. "We carefully guide students through the first steps to help ensure their success."

To find out more about all the online degree opportunities through Genesee Community College visit < >  or call (585) 345-6969.

For information on the Pathways Program with Empire State College visit  <>

February 13, 2010 - 1:20pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in Announcements.

Pastor Roula Alkhouri of Batavia's First Presbyterian Church invites Batavia residents to participate in the labyrinth, a spiritual exercise that was practiced by ancient and medieval Christians. Labyrinths come in many shapes and sizes -- this one is a portable labyrinth from the Colgate Rochester Divinity School, and it will be available for one week at First Presbyterian.

Unlike the convoluted maze of legend, this type of labyrinth is made of straight paths leading to the center. People walk to and back from the center, where they take time to clear their minds, breathe, pray, and reflect. The goal of this exercise is to "take time to think about what it means for you to be at home with God," says Pastor Alkhouri.

Dates and times for walking the labyrinth are as follows:

9:30 to 11:30 a.m., 1 to 3 p.m., 8 to 9 p.m.Wednesday, Feb. 17
9:30 to 11:30 a.m., 1 to 3 Thursday, Feb. 18
9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20
2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21
9:30 to 11:30 a.m., 1 to 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22
9:30 to 11:30 a.m., 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23
9:30 to 11:30 a.m., 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24

Please contact Pastor Alkhouri by phone at (585) 343-0505 or e-mail <[email protected]> with any questions.

February 11, 2010 - 1:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, Lions Club.

Here's a letter of thanks to the community from the Batavia Lions Club.

The Batavia Lions Club, with the help of many community members, was very busy during the past Christmas holidays with several annual projects directed at serving the residents of Batavia and the Genesee County area.

During the Thanksgiving holidays, several Lions helped decorate downtown for Christmas. On Main Street alone, 43 light poles were decorated with individual lighted snowflakes along with lighted garland that was wrapped around each pole. Additionally, the Lions placed 24-inch red bows at the base of each snowflake. Lighted garland wrap was also placed on about 30 poles up and down two of our side streets.

The Lions Club’s investment in these decorations is in the neighborhood of $15,000 of which 100 percent of the money was raised from our community, local businesses and through funding we received through the office Assemblyman Steve Hawley. It takes approximately 60 man-hours to install and to disassemble all of these decorations. This year, with nice weather, the Lions were rather fortunate (usually these 60 hours are spent outdoors in the freezing Western New York weather).

Again this year, several Batavia Lions helped serve the annual Christmas dinner provided by T.F. Brown's restaurant. Working with Ben and Rick Mancuso and their crew, we served turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and all the fixings to many local families. In addition, the Lions provided toys for each and every child who attended. We would like to thank Ben and Rick for their wonderful generosity at a time of year when the need is most apparent.

This year’s Lions Club Boys Basketball Tournament was a resounding success. This tournament has become one of the premier high school tournaments in New York State.  This year, Batavia High School defeated Notre Dame High School for the title in an extremely hard fought game. The games were played at the newly renovated Genesee Community College gymnasium. The attendance was excellent in spite of the snowy conditions we experienced on the first night. We thank the college and its staff for their cooperation in providing this beautiful venue to showcase our local high school talent.

Finally, working with area schools and churches, the Lions Club provided certificates for food baskets from Tops Markets and new blankets for local families in need. Nineteen $50 gift cards for food and 17 new blankets were distributed through local schools. In addition, 18 $20 food cards and 18 blankets were given to needy families in our area through Father Ivan Trujillo.

We would like to express our appreciation to all who assisted in these worthy community projects. Our work would not be possible without the cooperation and help of so many.  Batavia is a city that truly cares and the members of the Batavia Lions Club feel very fortunate to be able to serve such a community.

February 11, 2010 - 12:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Genesee Community College Forum Players will weave a web of folklore and fun with the children's play "Anansi the Spider and the Middle Passage." Daytime school performances are scheduled for Wednesday, March 10 through Friday, March 12, with one final show for the public at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 13. All performances take place in the Stuart Steiner Theatre in the Genesee Center for the Arts.

Written by Frank Higgins and produced by special arrangements with Pioneer Drama Services Inc. (  <> ), "Anansi the Spider and the Middle Passage," is an African folklore about the trade route called the Middle Passage bringing stories as well as slaves from Africa to America.

Kidnapped from her village, young Shontay is frightened and helpless. Shontay's mother comforts her by telling her legends of Anansi, the trickster spider, and how he won an amazing box of stories from Nyame the Sky God. In each tale, Anansi springs to life along with the story characters for action-packed, light-hearted adventures. Shontay and her mother have brought Anansi with them to America, where his stories of outwitting the greedy and powerful inspire them.

General admission ticket prices for the public performance are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors (55+), area students and Genesee faculty, and $3 for Genesee students with a valid ID. For more information on the daytime school performances, contact the Genesee Center for the Arts at 585-343-0055 x6814.

For ticket information or reservations, contact the Box Office at 585-343-0055 x6814 or by email to [email protected] <http:[email protected]>. The Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office accepts cash and checks only. Credit cards are not accepted. Genesee Community College is located in Batavia, just two minutes from NYS Thruway Exit 48. Visit <>  for door-to-door driving directions sent via email.

Genesee's Forum Players cast members include: Amelia Favata (Canandaigua) as the Lion, Hippo and a Villager, Joanne Taheri (Newfane) as the Turtle, Kidnapper 2 and a Villager, Alexander Farley (Pembroke) as the Python, and a Villager, Jasmine Coley (Rochester) as Shontay, Richard Torres (Bronx) as Anansi, Jamie Hicks (Red Creek) as the Hare, Ships Captain and a Villager, Heather Hilderbrandt (Lockport) as Vulture 1, Crewman 2, and a Villager, Tyler Eldred (Dansville) as the Wise Elder, Bush Deer and a Villager, Johnny Dow (Rochester) as the Elephant, Anjelica Sistrunk (Syracuse) as the Mother, Jessica Francis (Perry) as Nyame the Sky God and a Villager, Alex Falu (New York, NY) as Vulture 2 and Crewman 1, Brianna Kruppenbacher (Oakfield) as Kidnapper 1 and a Villager. In addition two students from local middle schools round out the talented cast, Spencer Hubbard (Batavia High) as the Crocodile, Giraffe, Fish and a Village Child and Michael McQuillen (LeRoy High) as the Crocodile, Giraffe, Fish, Chimpanzee and a Village Child.

"Anansi the Spider and the Middle Passage" is being directed by Norm Gayford, professor in the Humanities department, with this being his fourth year involved with the Theater program. Technical direction is by Ed Hallborg, technical director and instructor in the Fine and Performing Arts department and second-year student, Robert Reiss (Elba), as stage manager.

February 10, 2010 - 9:05pm

Batavia area senior citizens and youth got together last week to celebrate their outstanding service to the community. It was a mutual admiration society with a broad age range.

The "Minnie Tea Celebration" was held by the Retired Senior Volunteer Program in conjunction with the Genesee County Youth Bureau. It took place at the Senior Center on Bank Street in honor of RSVP volunteers who helped the Genesee County Health Department at the end of 2009 as well as teens who planted and cared for an indoor garden for the Minnie Garden Project. 

RSVP volunteers served the health department by distributing flu vaccines -- both seasonal and H1N1 -- and by performing other tasks such as nursing, paperwork and triage. Thanks to the diligent work of these hearty seniors, the GCHD managed to issue over 6,000 doses of the vaccine by the end of 2009.


Meanwhile, area high-schoolers got to try their hands at gardening with the help of Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener David Russell. He was beaming with pride at the tea party and couldn't say enough about the students' dedication to the Minnie Garden Project.

"I'm so proud of the job these kids did," Russell said. "These are kids with different backgrounds who came together and did an excellent job. I'm really proud of them."

In addition to being awarded certificates, the youths were given the honor of having their produce served as hors d'oeuvres at the tea party.

The party was funded by a grant written by 22-year-old former Youth Bureau member Vicki Ripper. Since she finished working at the bureau in November, AmeriCorps Vista volunteer Lauren Paluta and Youth Bureau employee Angela Barbeau have taken control of the program.

Paluta put together last week's event with RSVP Coordinator Dorian Ely. Paluta was the hostess in Ely's absence and, together with Barbeau, she presented certificates of appreciation to the senior and youth volunteers.



In the last two photos, Hannah and Leah Rosenbeck hand out decorated terra cotta flowerpots to the seniors as they return to their seats after receiving certificates. See the article on RSVP's intergenerational project for more information on this.

February 10, 2010 - 4:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Genesee Community College's annual daffodil sale to benefit the American Cancer Society is now under way and runs until March 12. Daffodil orders will be taken through March 11 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in the Forum at the Batavia Campus.

There are three different bouquets to choose from: a potted daffodil plant for $10; fresh cut daffodils (10 per bunch) for $10; and a Bear and a Bunch (10 per bunch with a 2010 limited edition Boyd's Bear) for $25. Orders will be delivered the week of March 22.

This year's helpers for Daffodil Days includes an alumnus and cancer patient, Suzanne Smith, who graduated in May with a Travel and Tourism degree and was diagnosed with cancer this past fall.

"On the day I graduated, I was healthy. In November 2009, I was diagnosed with myeloma," Smith said. "That is how quickly cancer can change one's life."

At Smith's graduation, when she walked across the stage to receive her diploma, she had a slight back pain. Later she enrolled in Empire State College to complete a bachelor's degree. But during the summer her back pain increased to the point where she couldn't even walk. Doctors could not find anything until around Thanksgiving when she was diagnosed with myeloma, a rare form of cancer. She began radiation treatments and now hopes to be the "voice" that encourages people to support the American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days.

The campaign is one of the cancer society's oldest and most beloved fundraising programs. As the first flower of spring, the daffodil represents hope and renewal. Each spring, the society offers daffodils to donors in appreciation for a contribution. By ordering bunches of daffodils for friends, family members and people touched by cancer, donors share a message of hope as they raise funds and awareness to defeat cancer.

All daffodil orders and payments are due by March 12. Cash, check and credit cards are accepted. For further information or to place an order please contact Valerie Hale at 343-0055 x6200 or [email protected] <http:[email protected]> , Berneda Scoins at 343-0055 x6270 or [email protected]  <http:[email protected]> and Jackie DiBella at 343-0055 x6255 or [email protected] <http:[email protected]>

February 9, 2010 - 3:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, h1n1, flu, Genesee County Health Department.

Here's important information for parents and guardians from the Genesee County Health Department:

In response to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, the local health department has coordinated H1N1 vaccine distribution to numerous physician offices throughout the county. In addition, we have conducted several Points of Dispensing (POD’s) in order to assist the medical professionals in protecting our community against this virus. A large number of these clinics were established directly at schools within Genesee County prior to the holiday recess in December.

On Jan. 23, a clinic was held at the Batavia City Centre to target the child population requiring a second dose. Children less than 10 years of age need to receive two .25 ml doses of the vaccine at least 28 days apart, to provide the proper immune protection against the H1N1 Virus.

If your child has not received their second dose, we ask you contact the Genesee County Health Department or your primary care physician to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. The vaccine is FREE. Some physicians may require an administrative fee.

For more information on the H1N1 virus and for a schedule of H1N1 clinics in Genesee County, please visit: HYPERLINK "" or call the Genesee County Health Department for an appointment at: 585-344-2580 ext. 5000.

February 9, 2010 - 2:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, events, UMMC.
Event Date and Time: 
February 11, 2010 -
6:00pm to 7:00pm

United Memorial Medical Center will hold a community forum to discuss its surgical expansion project. It will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday (Feb. 11) in the hospital boardroom, located at 127 North St., Batavia.

This event is open to the public and will provide an opportunity to share information and answer questions regarding the surgical expansion project.

It will create five new operating suites, 19 private recovery areas and a handicap accessible main entrance and lobby. It's expected to be completed next January.

February 9, 2010 - 2:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, volunteers for animals.

Volunteers For Animals is collecting returnable pop/beer/water cans and bottles to help raise money for the animals.

Bring in your empties to:

  • Genesee County Animal Shelter, located at 3841 W. Main St. Road in the Town of Batavia
  • Rob’s Bottle and Can at 214 Ellicott St. in the City of Batavia. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Easttown Beverages on East Main Street in Batavia. Just tell them that they are for Volunteers For Animals and they will do the rest!

All of the money collected from the deposits will go directly toward helping the animals at the Shelter. NYS recently started to include water bottles as returnables - so don't forget the water!

Volunteers For Animals
PO Box 1621
Batavia, NY   14021 <>

Working in partnership with:
Genesee County Animal Shelter
3841 W. Main Street Road
Batavia, NY   14020

Adoption Hours:
Sunday - Friday 1 - 3 pm (closed on Thursdays)
Wednesday 7 - 9 pm
Saturday 11 - 1 pm

Adopt a New Friend at the Genesee County Animal Shelter

February 8, 2010 - 8:30am
posted by lisa franclemont in Announcements, health, UMMC.

UMMC provides Free health care screenings for men and women in our community without health insurance. For women age 40-64 we will pay for a free annual mammogram, pelvic exams and pap smears and breast exams. You can go to your own Doctor and your choice of places for a mammo. For men and women 50-64 we will pay for a colon screening kit used in the privacy of your own home. Other exams may be covered also. And if you are diagnosed with cancer we can help you apply for a Medicaid program that will pay for all of your health care needs. Call (585)344-5497 for more information.We want you to stay in the best health possible!

February 7, 2010 - 3:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Volunteers for Animals in Genesee County is once again vying for a $20,000 grant and other prizes.

The Animal Rescue Site is awarding $100,000 in grants to eligible member rescue organizations with the most votes to help animals. The grand prize is a $20,000 grant and there are many other prizes.

You don't have to register and voting is free. You can vote once a day and the contest goes until April 18. <>
Click on the tab “Shelter Challenge” on the RIGHT EDGE
Shelter Name: Volunteers For Animals
State: NY
City: Batavia
Then hit Search to vote.

Once you've cast your first vote, the Batavia shelter's name will be listed and ready for you to cast your vote each day subsequently.

Volunteers for Animals will NOT be sending out daily reminders but you can sign up for a daily reminder with The Animal Rescue Site. Follow the link below, top left hand side is a link for "Daily Click Reminders." Or simply add the website page to your toolbar. <

February 7, 2010 - 3:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Volunteers for Animals has just received a new batch of sweatshirts and hoodies in lots of sizes and great new colors.

Sweatshirts are $15 each, hoodies $20. Stop in during regular adoption hours to check them out. Proceeds benefit our nonprofit organization helping animals in Genesee County.

Some of the colors include Carolina blue, forest green, red, pink, winter white, gray, brown, golden yellow, royal blue, purple and khaki. There is also a nice selection of T-shirts for those of looking forward to warmer weather.

Volunteers For Animals
P.O. Box 1621
Batavia, NY   14021

Working in partnership with:
Genesee County Animal Shelter
3841 W. Main St. Road
Batavia, NY   14020
(585) 343-6410

Adoption Hours:
Sunday - Friday 1 - 3 pm (closed on Thursdays)
Wednesday 7 - 9 pm
Saturday 11 - 1 pm

Adopt a New Friend at the Genesee County Animal Shelter

February 7, 2010 - 3:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

The New York Farm Bureau has honored Sen. Michael H. Ranzenhofer with the "Circle of Friends" Legislative Award for the 2009 Legislative Session.

“It is an honor to be recognized in the farm bureau’s ‘Circle of Friends’ and it is a pleasure to represent many farms and agri-businesses in our community," Ranzenhofer said in a press release. "As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I will continue to work with my colleagues in Albany and with the members of my Agricultural Advisory Committee to protect the future generations of our local farms."

New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton announced the recognition recently in a letter to the senator.

“On behalf of the New York Farm Bureau, I would like to thank you for your positive voting record in support of the farm community and welcome you as a member of our ‘Circle of Friends’ for the 2009 Legislative Session," Norton said.

The farm bureau bases the award on the legislator’s voting record on important issues to the agriculture community and other evidence of support. The farm bureau will present Ranzenhofer with the award at the 2010 State Agriculture Day in Albany.

Ranzenhofer created an Agricultural Advisory Committee to discuss State issues important to preserving the financial and economic stability of the local agriculture industry last June.

This is the first time that Senator Ranzenhofer has received the award since he started serving in the Senate in 2009.  He represents the 61st  District, which includes all of Genesee County (and part of the City of Tonawanda, the towns of Amherst, Clarence, Newstead and Tonawanda in Erie County).

February 7, 2010 - 3:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, events.
Event Date and Time: 
February 27, 2010 -
9:00am to 11:00am

Fall Registration and Open House for the 3- and 4-year-old programs at Alexander United Methodist Church Nursery School will be held on from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27 in the the church fellowship hall. Children must be 3 or 4 years old before Dec. 1 and toilet trained to be eligible. A non-refundable registration fee of $35 is required at the time of registration to secure your child's place in the program. Classes are filled on a first-come-first-serve basis. For more information call the church office at 591-1765 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

February 7, 2010 - 1:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, h1n1, flu.

Free public influenza clinics will be held by appointment only from 2 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays until further notice.

The Genesee County Health Department offers both the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines. To schedule an appointment, please contact the health department at (585) 344-2580, ext. 5000.

Parents of children ages 9 and under who received their first vaccination more than 28 days ago, are encouraged to bring those children to receive the second (booster) vaccination.  All children under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Additional information and a listing of the many volunteers who devoted their service to the residents of Genesee County throughout this endeavor, are available at and

February 5, 2010 - 12:30pm
posted by Paul Teresi in Announcements, community, Oakfield, oakfield-alabama, cancer.

The Leadership-In-Action Class at Oakfield-Alabama will be hosting a Going Bald for Bucks event for the Roswell Cancer Institute. You will have to collect donations from sponsors, and in return for these donations you will have the choice to have your head shaved to a clipper setting of one inch or you can have ten inches of non-chemically damaged hair which will be donated to Locks of Love. The shaving of the head is to honor cancer patients who lose their hair due to radiation or chemotherapy.

If you are interested, the application/pledge form can be found at the Oakfield-Alabama High School location and on the Hornets website;  There will be a link called Bald for Bucks which will take you to the forms.

The forms and money are due to the Oakfield-Alabama High School office by March 12, 2010. Make sure the pledge form is signed, and has sponsors listed for you.

The date of the event will be March 26th, 2010 from 1:15pm-2:30pm.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Tracy Schlagenhauf or Cindy Kowalik at 948-5211.

Oakfield-Alabama School Address:

7001Lewiston Road

Oakfield, NY 14125

February 5, 2010 - 7:20am
posted by Robin Walters in Announcements.
Event Date and Time: 
February 6, 2010 -
10:30am to 12:00pm

Care-A-Van Ministries will be at Batavia Gardens for our grocery distribution. Groceries, clothing and prayer will be available. All are welcome. No proof of income required.

If you or someone you know is in need of groceries, please stop by.

February 3, 2010 - 9:34am
posted by Tara Pariso in Announcements, events, business, home repair, trade shwo.
                            Batavia Area Jaycees 57th Annual Home, Garden, & Trade Show
The Jaycees are excited about having their 57th annual show this year on February 27th & 28th at Batavia Downs Casino.  We are still looking for vendors and would love to bring more variety to our attendees.  If you own a business, or work for one that deals with any aspect of the home/rental unit, please consider being a part of this year's show.  What better way to showcase your business than a 2 day show right here in our community.  Not only are homeowners looking for renovations and repairs, but renters are also looking for ways to spruce up their living spaces.  Come show the community what your business can do for them.  Booth price this year is only $325!!


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