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May 19, 2016 - 12:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in charity, benefit, quinten betances, River Fanara, news.

(Submitted photos.)

A Spaghetti Dinner Benefit for Quinten Betances and Rivers Fanara will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, at the Salvation Army headquarters at 529 E. Main St. in the City of Batavia.

The boys' mother, Melissa Eichelberger Betances (daughter of Doug and Sherry Mellenthine) passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 16.

Come out and show your suppport for these little ones. Tickets are $10, at the door or prepaid by contacting Tammy Griffin at 356-7631.

There will be basket raffles, 50/50, baked goods for sale, and much more.

May 14, 2016 - 4:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in ferrellgas, batavia, business, charity.

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Ferrellgas hosted a $5 fill up today along with a chance auction on several items, including a BBQ grill, with proceeds benefiting the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation.

May 10, 2016 - 2:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in josh harloff, Announcements, charity.

Here's a thank-you note sent in recently from the mother of Josh Harloff, who was the subject of a charity benefit on April 30.

Thank you to everyone who came out for our son, Josh Harloff's benefit, on Saturday, April 30, and also for all who donated baskets, gift cards and money!

A big thank you to my brother, Jeff Fluker, and my sister-in-law, Sandy, and my two nephews, Bradley and Jamie, and everyone who helped them cook, set up, sell tickets and clean up!

It was much appreciated.

The Harloff Family

April 29, 2016 - 2:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Joe Gerace, charity, Genesee Cancer Assistance.

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There was a record turnout last night for Joe Gerace's annual Spaghetti Dinner.

The dinner, which was held at Stafford Fire Hall, was a fundraiser for Genesee Cancer Assistance.

For the first time, Gerace wasn't able to make the sauce himself, since he's in cancer treatment himself.

Previously: 'I'm not the only guy who has cancer,' says Joe Gerace as he plans to attend his annual dinner to support others

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April 26, 2016 - 6:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Joe Gerace, Genesee Cancer Assistance, batavia, news, charity.

Throughout his life, Joe Gerace has helped so many people in our community, and now it's our turn to help him, but he doesn't look at it that way.

"I'm a little humble," Gerace said. "I'm humble because I'm not looking for somebody to pay me back. I've done everything from my heart, and, yeah, now it is payback time, but I'm not looking for it that way. I'm not that way."

Gerace was diagnosed earlier this month with lung cancer and bone cancer, at the same time, he also suffered a broken femur. He's currently staying at the State Veterans Home but plans on attending his annual spaghetti dinner Thursday in Stafford, which is a fundraiser for Genesee Cancer Assistance, a local organization he's worked tirelessly for since 1995.

"I'm looking forward to going to my spaghetti dinner Thursday," Gerace said. "I'm not going to get to put my hands in the sauce. I'd like to, but they all know what to do. I gave them all instructions."

He thinks just being there is important, not for him, but for others who need the support.

"I did it for 20 years and I want to be there to root other people on," said Gerace, who is 80. "I'm not the only guy who has cancer. There's a lot of people out there. I don't want no one to feel sorry for me because I'm going to fight this. I'm going to fight it."

Gerace has been deeply involved in our community for decades. He was the first person selected for the Italian-American of the Year Award at Batavia Downs in 2008. That year he was also Humanitarian of the Year for United Memorial Medical Center and the Jerome Foundation. In 2006, he was named City of Batavia Volunteer of the Year and Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Genessean of the Year in 1993 and was honored for his community service by the Paolo Busti Foundation Scholarship Committee.

He has long been active in Rotary and Knights of Columbus. He's a former president of the Batavia Youth Bureau, co-chair of the Genesee County Cancer Society's Festival of Hope and a director of the Genesee County Baseball Club (co-owners of the Batavia Muckdogs).

"I've got the urge to help," said Gerace, who served in the Army from 1957-59. "I call myself a public servant for Christ. I'm not a very religious guy, but I believe in God."

For two decades he's devoted a lot of time and effort helping people afflicted with cancer, but he never had it himself until now.

"It's so easy to tell somebody, you're going to be OK," Gerace said. "Well, you know, you experience it and then you'll know what they're going through. It's not only the cancer. It's the treatments. It knocks the heck out of you. It makes you tired. I want to go faster, but they slow me down, my wife slows me down all the time."

Gerace has received hundreds of get-well cards and countless bouquets of flowers over the past couple of weeks. He knows hundreds of people are praying for him and he says his own prayer every time he goes into treatment. 

"I say, 'dear God, those people prayed for me. Please answer their prayers.' "

He vows to beat cancer.

He said the other day he was doing a little religious reading and came across the story of a woman who got cancer and asked, "why me?"

She told people, "I have the Big C."

"Another gentleman wrote a letter," Gerace said, "and wrote her back and said, 'It's OK to have the Big C. The Big C is Christ and Christ is bigger than cancer.'

"That's what keeps me going," Gerace added. "I'm going to have a fight and I'm going to win. I will win. I've got a lot of spirit."

The dinner Thursday is from 4 to 7 p.m. Gerace vows he'll be there for at least some of the time. It's at the Stafford Fire Hall. Adults $10 (includes a 50/50 raffle ticket), children $5. Takeouts available.

April 22, 2016 - 9:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Michael Tenebruso, charity, batavia, news.

This past weekend, more than 400 people turned out for a fundraiser to benefit Michael Tenebruso, who is up against Stage IV lung cancer.  This video was made by Cosmic Video to document the event.

Those who wish to make a donation can send a check in Michael Tenebruso's name to Big Pauly's Pizza, 314 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY 14020.

April 2, 2016 - 12:33am
posted by Billie Owens in st. joseph's school, batavia, charity, super sale, news.

The third annual Super Sale starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 2, at St. Joseph's School on Main Street in Downtown Batavia.

Organizers say it will feature "housewares & toys, basket raffles, refreshments and SO MUCH MORE! This is the not-to-be-missed sale of the year!"

March 25, 2016 - 10:09am

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Pictured above from left are Norm Hubbard, Golf Tournament Committee chair, Chapter 166 Commander Paul Gaylord, and Doug Titus, hospital service coordinator.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 166 of Batavia is the charitable organization chosen by Chapin International, Inc., host of the upcoming ninth annual Chapin Charity Golf Tournament on Saturday Aug. 13th, at Terry Hills Golf Course, 5122 Clinton Street Road in Batavia.

This particular group was chosen because they have no outside sources for funding, said Norm Hubbard, golf tournament chair. They only get contributions from the local American Legion, and VFW, to name a couple.

"If we let other people know about this organization and the services they provide, maybe this can provide a foundation for them for the future and get more people to contribute to them," Hubbard said. "Last year we raised $8,500 for the Girl Scouts of Western New York. This year our goal is $10,000. My personal goal is $12,000.

The organization of the Disabled American Veterans DAV organization is raising funds for this tournament specifically for the Van Fund to order to transport all the vets to their appointments.

"We have six vans -- two of which have over 100,000 miles that are in need of replacing," Hubbard said. 

"Currently 13 drivers carry 183 veterans and 79 others not on their roster to appointments daily, which is quite the juggle," said coordinator Doug Titus. "We are trying to raise more awareness for the need in Genesee County at our local chapter needs assistance to provide help for our veterans."

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Commander Paul Gaylord said "We get the donations to the chapter, in turn Doug buys the van, gets registered and the government takes over to make repairs, (pay) costs for fuel, but vehicles need to be purchased and to do this we need help from outside sources.

"Some vans have to be modified to make it handicapped accessible for carrying veterans. The modification costs can be as much as $18,000 or more to do this, which brings the total up to $35,000 to $40,000."

Right now only the wheelchair-bound veterans have a van that does this.

The local chapter has no Web site or funding for one online.

The office location is at: VA Western NY Healthcare System, 222 Richmond Ave., Batavia NY 14020. The contact there is Doug Titus, hospital service coordinator, 585-297-1170.

The tournament starts at 1 p.m. shotgun start at Terry Hills Golf Course. Cost is $70 per person, which includes dinner, lunch starting at 11 a.m., with registration starting at that time also. Everyone will walk away with prizes in this tournament, Hubbard said. When you register online, you get a year subscription to "Golf Digest" magazine for free, too.

For last year's golf tournament benefitting Girl Scouts of Western New York, there were 168 participants.

"This year we anticipate a 90-percent return ration and getting 200-plus participants," Hubbard said.

This year’s special events are:

  • Hole-in-One, Win a car! Each set of nine holes have a par three at #7, #12, #25 hole, where you have a chance to win, courtesy of our three hole-in-one sponsors: Castilone Chrysler Dodge and Jeep, Ken Barrett Chevrolet Cadillac and Toyota of Batavia.
  • Closest to the Pin
  • Longest Drive
  • Closest to the Line

(A male and female winner will be named for each designated hole.)

  • Putting Contest starting after registering anyone who sinks a put will have a chance to win a chair from Max Pies Furniture store.
  • Mulligans and Skins -- $20 per team

Questions regarding the registration contact Norm Hubbard at [email protected] or 585-343-3140, ext. 3018, by cell phone 585-409-7575

To register your team, sponsor or donate go to: www.chapincharitygolf.com

March 16, 2016 - 9:15am

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The Monsignor Kirby Council #325 Knights of Columbus will be holding their semiannual pancake breakfast this Sunday at Resurrection Parish (St. Mary's Worship Site) at 18 Ellicott St. in Batavia from 8-11 a.m.

This is open to the public and costs $5 adults, $3 for children age 4 to 12; kids under 3 eat free. All-you-can-eat pancakes, breakfast includes sausage, eggs, juice, coffee, tea, milk.  

There will be basket raffles from many local businesses and also a 50/50 drawing. Tickets can be purchased at the door and all proceeds will support local Catholic schools education.

Pictured above from left are co-chairman Joe Gerace, Grand Knight Brad Rogers and co-chairman Steve Ognibene.

February 2, 2016 - 2:30pm

Press release:

Members of the City of Batavia Fire Department IAFF Local 896 pair up with the Muscular Dystrophy Association every June to participate in the annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign to benefit children and adults with muscle disease throughout the Greater Rochester and Buffalo areas. Members volunteer their time to fan out on city streets with boots in hand to raise money from local traffic.

To help the MDA throughout the year, members have created several “traveling boot” displays. With approval from local businesses, these displays have been placed in various business locations throughout the city. The “traveling boot” will stay in one location for a short period of time, before moving to a new location.  Customers and patrons can place loose change and dollars in the boot and help raise money for the MDA. The first boots have been placed in Dunkin’ Donuts and Southside Deli.

Batavia’s Fill the Boot drive is organized by firefighters Chris Morasco and Mark Sacheli.

“The communities’ generosity as well as great participation from our members has continued to make this program a success. The 'traveling boots' are a way that we can give back to the MDA more than just one day a year. It is a great cause, and we look forward to a successful fundraising campaign for the 2016 year.”

December 24, 2015 - 11:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Kiwanis Club, batavia, charity, Christmas.

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The Kiwanis Club of Batavia, with the support of the Salvation Army, along with supporting volunteers handed out nearly 100 gift baskets to local families at the YWCA on Wednesday evening.

This is the first year local Kiwanians organized the holiday gift program for families identified through schools and social service agencies.

The holiday totes contained food, candy, toys, games and vouchers for a free turkey along with all the other fixings that go with a traditional Christmas Day dinner. The families also received a ready-made piecrust and the fillings for baking a pie. Children received winter gloves and a book donated by the Richmond Memorial Library. 

Santa visited and children could share their wishes for Christmas and the family will receive a free 8x10 print of the children with Santa.

Financial support game from numerous local businesses.

Pictured are some of the people who helped with the project. From left, front row, Jeanne Walton, Jacob Lewis, Pete Guppenberger, Patti Pacino, Mark Lewis; Middle row, Patricia Kurtz, Katie Landers, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Kristi Tretter, Jim Pacino, Mike Rimmer; Back row: Matt Landers, Cindy Baldwin, Jonathan Tretter.

December 15, 2015 - 12:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in Park Ave Bike Shop, Genesee ARC, charity.

Submitted photo: Park Avenue Bike Shop owner, Andy August (left), and Inventory manager Alex Oliveri (right), delivered 20 bicycles to the Genesee ARC Community Center.

Press release:

For a second year in a row, the Park Ave Bike Shop of Rochester made a Christmastime visit to Genesee ARC -- last year, with 20 bicycles, this year with 20 more!

Bike Shop owner Andy August said he enjoys playing “Santa’s helper” and that these types of deliveries are the best!

“The kids are going to love these bikes,” August said.

The bicycles are courtesy of two Rochester area donors who have befriended Genesee ARC and support its mission of serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

As a friend of the donors, August said, a donation of such magnitude matches their giving spirit.

“They are generous, unassuming individuals with big hearts, that just want to give back to the community,” he said.

“We are thankful the donors believe in Genesee ARC and are helping to make some Christmas wishes come true,” said Genesee ARC Director of Development Shelley Falitico. "Thanks to Andy August and Park Ave for working with us to match bicycles to recipients and for delivering this amazing donation in time for Christmas."

Three of the bicycles have been earmarked for Rainbow Preschool operated by Genesee ARC’s sister Chapter, The Arc of Orleans County. The two chapters share Donna Saskowski as executive director and are undergoing steps to eventually unify. 

”This is such a special gift to our agency and the children and adults we serve,” Falitico said. “Our donors, who prefer to be unnamed, have helped us in so many ways already, supporting agency events and funding equipment and program items from our wish list. It will be a very special Christmas for so many children, thanks to their generosity!”

December 3, 2015 - 4:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in Salvation Army, charity, holiday assistance.

Press release:

 The Salvation Army has extended the application deadline for receiving holiday assistance. Families and individuals who are in need of assistance with food and toys this Christmas are welcome to apply until Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Applicants must bring picture ID, proof of residence in Genesee County, documentation for all the household income and expenses. Families with children should also come with a list of toys for children 12 years old and younger.

Families and individuals in need are encouraged to come in at their earliest convenience to ensure an appointment to pick up their food and toys. Applications are taken Monday-Friday 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-4:15 p.m.

For more information please contact Major Patty at 585-343-6284 or [email protected],salvationarmy.org

November 18, 2015 - 1:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in charity, santini, east pembroke.

Press release:

Lori Ann Santini from East Pembroke lost her entire house and all the contents in a fire on Wednesday, Oct. 28th. Lori Ann was not at home, and her three children were all at school when the fire started.

Lori Ann has been an East Pembroke firefighter for 15+ years and is also a member of the County Emergency Support Unit (ESU, Haz-Mat and Rope Rescue team). Her ex-husband Jose, also an East Pembroke firefighter for 15+ years, responded to the call and initiated a rescue of the dogs still in the house. Near the conclusion of the call, Jose was transported by ambulance with an undisclosed medical complaint. He was later transferred to Rochester and underwent cardiac surgery.

Lori Ann is a paramedic with Le Roy Ambulance Service. Jose is a dispatcher for Mercy Flight/Mercy EMS.

There will be a Spaghetti Dinner and Chinese Auction to benefit the Santini Family from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28, (basket drawings at 6:30) at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church Hall, 8656 Church Street, E. Pembroke. Cost is $10. For tickets, call Don Newton at 585-813-4033 or Pam McCarthy at 716-560-1659.

Any donations are accepted and appreciated. They may be dropped off at Ron & Newt’s on Main Road in East Pembroke from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday, or at the East Pembroke Fire Dept. on Monday nights from 6 to 9 p.m., or call Don or Pam to have a donation picked up.

November 6, 2015 - 11:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in Salvation Army, charity, Red Kettle Campaign.

Press release:

The Salvation Army in Genesee County will begin its annual Red Kettle Campaign on Friday, Nov. 13.

“This year our goal is $70,000,” said Major Robert Kurtz. "The money raised not only supports our holiday assistance programs but also enables us to provide emergency services.

"Last winter we provided 12 men a warm place to sleep, helped 15 families avoid homelessness, and gave away over six tons of food.”

All funds raised during the Red Kettle Campaign are used to provide food, toys and other services to Genesee County residents throughout the year.

Again this year individuals have the option of creating their own virtual Red Kettle online. Money raised through this online tool will be added to the Red Kettle Campaign and be used for Genesee County residents.

If you are interested in “ringing the bell” online go to our secure Web site www.empiresalvationarmy.org to create your “kettle."

Volunteer bell ringer slots are still available. If you, your family, or group is interested in participating in the Genesee County Red Kettle Campaign please contact Major Robert Kurtz at 585-861-0676 or [email protected].

Use your smartphone to check out our bell ringing app @ red kettle bell.

November 6, 2015 - 2:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in Salvation Army, Holidays, charity.

Press release:

The Salvation Army of Genesee County has begun receiving applications for the Holiday Assistance Program. This year an estimated 1,200 families will receive toys, food and gifts as part of the Emergency Holiday Assistance Program.

To meet this need The Salvation Army is need of turkeys, traditional holiday menu items, and toys.

“Soon the Angel Trees will be in place; this gift-giving program is a great success and provides numerous toys directly to local children," said Major Patty. "The WBTA/Ken Barrett Chevrolet Toy Drive, on Friday, December 11th is another venue for individuals to donate toys.”

Donations of turkeys can be dropped off during normal business hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m to 4 p.m. at The Salvation Army on East Main Street. Monetary donations can be mailed to: The Salvation Army, 529 E. Main St., Batavia NY 14020 and in the memo write: Banquet in a Box.

For more information contact: Major Patty at 343-6284 or e-mail at [email protected].

September 29, 2015 - 3:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in charity, mark fanara.

The owner of High Voltage Tattoo is really sick and no longer able to work. He and his team of tattoo artists have held several charity events over the years to benefit worthy causes in our community. Now the table has turned, and Mark Fanara is the one in need.

The single father of two little boys has a rare lymphoma -- lymphomatoid granulomatosis (LYG). He is receiving chemotherapy and other medical care at the Wilmot Cancer Institute at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He has a wonderful team of doctors there and a great support system in and around Batavia.

Mark needs help from his friends and community to help with his increasing medical bills and daily living expenses.

You can make a donation to him online at gofundme. Search for Benefit for Mark Fanara.

Or you can make a personal check payable to Mark Fanara and put Benefit in the memo field.  

Checks can be mailed to:
High Voltage Tattoo
Benefit Mark Fanara
110 W. Main St.
Batavia, NY 14020

September 29, 2015 - 1:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in charity, City Church, crossroads house, batavia, music.

(Kenny Petterson)

Press release:

Kenny Petterson, pictured above, is one of several musicians to entertain at this year’s Musical Memories, the sixth annual event to benefit Crossroads House. It will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3, at City Church, 210 E. Main St., Batavia. Rochester's The Hit Men Brass Band, shown below, just came off winning their DCA World Ensemble championship and are going to be there to show us just what it took to win their fifth world title.

When it comes to tooting his own horn, Kenny Petterson is still at it. He picked up the trumpet in fifth grade and, at 83, regularly practices and performs with musical groups. A resident of Penn Yan visiting family in Florida, he plans to travel north this week to join St. Joseph’s Reunion Brass Ensemble. The Ensemble is part of Saturday's lineup.

“I have been in the drum corps all my life. Music to me is everything. I don’t know what I’d do without it,” Petterson said in a recent interview by phone from Florida. “When you have something like this, it’s important to do. Crossroads is something the people all volunteer to do, and that’s just fantastic.”

Petterson is actually not about tooting his own horn, at least figuratively speaking, organizer Frank Panepento said. Yet he has always been an admired professional as a teacher, performer and mentor.

“This is the guy we were listening to,” Panepento said. “(Kenny) is very unselfish, never condescending, he was always very positive. He’s a teacher you always wanted to have.”

Other featured musicians will be Dave Martin of Rochester’s The Hit Men Brass Band, Steve Cooley of The Hit Men, Jeff Gibbens and Prime Time Brass, the Wendall Brothers with Parkside Avenue Brass. Brad Dewaal, Tommy Cecere, Harold McJury are playing with the Reunion Brass Ensemble. Performers are coming from Pennsylvania, Rochester and Florida for the show.

(Rochester's The Hit Men Brass Band)

St. Joseph’s Ensemble has been rehearsing and is excited to show off some new tunes. “Moon Dance” is a new one for the show. It was arranged by Donny Allen. Listeners will also get his rendition of the “God Bless America” and “Auld Lang Syne,” “Army Medley,” "Never Walk Alone," "Send in the Clowns" among others during the two-hour show.

“It’s very special to have all these guys come from all over to do this,” Panepento said. “This is to raise money to keep Crossroads House operational.”

It costs more than $200,000 a year to run Crossroads House, a home for terminally ill people. The Liberty Street site depends on donations and volunteers to keep the doors open. Musical Memories is an event where the all the proceeds go toward keeping the house open.

Tickets are $5 general admission, $10 preferred seating, and include merchant coupons and a free drink at Center Street Smoke House during the post-event party. They may be purchased at Crossroads House, Roxy’s Music Store on West Main Street, and Valle Jewelers on Jackson Avenue.

September 28, 2015 - 4:58pm

Local residents and businesses may help those less fortunate in the community by bringing in items to the Edward Jones branch office during regular business hours from Thursday, Oct. 1st to Thursday, Nov. 19th.

The items needed for the food drive include: canned and boxed items such as cereal, pasta sauce, peanut butter -- of which they are currently low in stock. Canned fruits, vegetables, gravy, soups, pasta and canned meats are always needed. potatoes, pasta, desserts, and gravy.

The branch address is 7 Jackson St. Batavia, NY 14020.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada.

September 18, 2015 - 1:30pm

From Laurie Napoleone:

On Saturday, Sept. 19th, the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is hosting “Run for the Gold” to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer.

The 5K Run/Walk will be held in Le Roy starting at the Summit Street Tennis Courts beginning at 9 a.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. The cost is $25 pre-race and $35 on the day of the race. T-shirts will be given to the first 100 runners.

New this year – a balloon launch. Buy a balloon in memory and honor of a loved one or just send a special note on one.

Gather friends and family and take a walk on a beautiful fall morning while making a difference in the lives of those affected by a pediatric cancer diagnosis. If you can’t walk, just join the foundation for a fun day in the lovely Village of Le Roy.

Register today at http://www.active.com/leroy-ny/running/distance-running-races/run-for-the-gold-2015?int or for more information go to michaelshope.org.

Hope to see you there!

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