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October 26, 2016 - 12:17pm

Press release:

Community Action of Orleans & Genesee is accepting winter coats, hats, mittens and scarves for the upcoming winter season! Please donate only items that are clean and in good (gently used), or new condition.  

We are accepting ALL SIZES for men, women and children!

A tax deductible receipt is available upon request.

Please drop off donations at: 5073 Clinton Street Road, Batavia.

Community Action of Orleans & Genesee Inc. is a nonprofit human service agency committed to serving the needs of the financially disadvantaged. Our mission is to serve others with dignity and respect, that help people become self-sufficient. 

All donations are given away free of charge to those in need.

October 14, 2016 - 5:06pm

WANTED: Your gently used coats, sweaters, parkas and such for women, men, boys, girls and babies, too. All humanity!

Bahama Bay Salon and Spa in Downtown Batavia is having a winter coat drive through the month of October to benefit the Genesee County YWCA.

"We are doing it to support victims of domestic violence as October has been designated Domestic Violence Awareness Month," says Shirley Puleo.

The business is located at 2 School St.

Hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., closed Sunday.

For salon services, call for appointment. Phone is 345-9644.

October 14, 2016 - 3:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, Alabama, news, charity, Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club.

Press release:

Members of the Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club will be at Denny’s Restaurant on Main Street in Batavia on Wednesday, Oct. 19, to raise funds as part of Denny’s Benefit Night. From 4 to 9 p.m., Denny’s will donate 20 percent of all pre-tax sales directly to the club. Funds will be used to support the Oakfield-Alabama Lions program for vision screening.

According to Bill Barbur, president of Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club, “Money raised on October 19 will allow Lions to meet pressing needs in our community including screening school children for visions problems and aid for furnishing eyeglasses and hearing aids to the needy.

"Lions members thank everyone who contributes to this important work. This year were able to purchase our own SPOT eye screener and to date have screened 265 students with 23 having been referred for further testing. You are truly helping Lions make a difference in our community.”

The Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club has 29 members and meets on the third Thursday of each month at 6:45 p.m. at the Oakfield Hotel on South Pearl Street in Oakfield.

Lions clubs are a group of men and women who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs. For more information or to get involved with the Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club, please contact Bill Barbur at 585-948-9882 or Bonnie Woodward at 585-739-2928.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.3 million members in approximately 45,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit the website at www.lionsclubs.org.

October 3, 2016 - 2:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, charity, Announcements, Bulldawgs, CheerDawgs, football, PANDAS.

Press release:

Join the Batavia Bulldawgs for their last home game this season on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m. at Van Detta Stadium in Batavia. They will play against Akron.

This will also be an opportunity to assist one of their own, whose family is challenged by serious illness.

Savannah Heick, a Mini CheerDawg, has been going through a tough time. She is fighting PANDAS -- pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal -- which she was diagnosed with last season.

Since then, she and her family have been traveling to medical specialists in New York, New Jersey and Ohio. Currently, she is said to be seeing "an amazing specialist" in Cleveland and it has helped "tremendously." With all the battles she faces, she continues to work hard and has been doing an incredible job cheering on the Dawgs.

As you can imagine, this fight has caused some financial burdens for the family.

All Bulldawgs and CheerDawgs, families and supporters, community members, friends -- please come out and help one of our own!

Along with the contents of a donation jar that will be located at the concession stand, the Bulldawgs will donate ALL 50/50 raffle prizes to Savannah's family.

Go Bulldawgs!

September 28, 2016 - 1:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in charity, news, united way of genesee county, Announcements.

Submitted photo and press release:

To help in the fight against hunger this Hunger Action Month, National Grid announced $12,500 in donations to 10 food banks and hunger relief organizations throughout the eight counties of Western New York.

Recipient organizations included: Food Bank of Western New York, Friends of the Night People (Buffalo), Buffalo City Mission, St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy (Buffalo), Heart Love and Soul Food Pantry (Niagara Falls), North Tonawanda Inter-Church Food Pantry, Rural Ministries “Friendly Kitchen” (Dunkirk), Community Action (Salamanca), United Way of Orleans/Albion Christ Community Kitchen (Albion) and United Way of Genesee County.

“There are too many in our local community who worry where their next meal will come from,” said Kenneth Kujawa, regional manager for National Grid. “While the fight against hunger is year round, September’s Hunger Action Month provides an opportunity to bring the issue top of mind and encourage donations and assistance to help food banks and pantries prior to the holiday season. Every little bit helps and National Grid is proud to play a role in local hunger relief efforts.”

Last year, National Grid launched a companywide campaign to support Hunger Action Month. Regionally, a total of 343 pounds of food, enough to feed 285 families, was collected and donated to the Food Bank of Western New York.

September 28, 2016 - 1:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, Alabama, elba, volleyball, news, sports, charity, breast cancer.

Mark your calendars for the Dig Pink Game on Oct. 6 when Oakfield-Alabama and Elba high school volleyball players compete again Wheatland-Chili to benefit The Side-Out Foundation.

The JV matchup starts at 5 p.m. and the varsity game begins at 6:30. They will take place inside the Oakfield-Alabama Elementary School Gymnasium, located at 7001 Lewiston Road in Oakfield.

There will be 50/50 raffles, refreshments, raffles items and a serving contest.

This is the sixth year of the Dig Pink Game and to date more than $7,000 has been raised locally for the nonprofit foundation, whose mission is to enhance breast cancer research and awareness.

September 27, 2016 - 10:17am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, charity, alexander, news, volleyball.

Submitted photo: Several Alexander JV and varsity volleyball players and parents attended the recent Great Strides Walk at Letchworth State Park in Wyoming County to show their support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and promote the Alexander Volleyball Booster Club’s upcoming fundraiser.

Press release:

The Alexander Volleyball Booster Club will be hosting its 5th annual fundraiser volleyball game Oct. 6 in a match against the Pembroke Dragons. This year’s event at Alexander Central School, located at 3314 Buffalo St. in Alexander, benefits the local chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

According to event co-chairs Laura Marzolf and Colette Yax, choosing to support CFF hits close to home.

“One of the varsity volleyball players and her family recently lost a loved one to this disorder,” Yax said.

“There is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis – yet,” Marzolf said. “We hope our fundraiser helps make a difference and creates a greater awareness surrounding Cystic Fibrosis and the lifelong struggles that people with CF and their families endure."

The fundraiser includes a basket auction, 50/50 drawing, bake sale and a serving contest with a chance to win prizes from local merchants. The fun begins at 5 p.m. with the JV game, followed by the varsity game at 6:30.

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys and intestine. Long-term issues include difficulty breathing and frequent lung infections.CF affects about one out of every 3,000 newborns.

The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to cure Cystic Fibrosis and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care.

Community members wishing to donate to the Alexander Volleyball Booster Club event may contact Laura Marzolf at 585-322-3748 or Colette Yax at 716-400-3628.

September 23, 2016 - 1:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, charity, Pavilion, Le Roy.
From the friends of Le Roy's Mike Walker:
 
There is a benefit being held at the Pavilion Clover Leaf tomorrow, Sept. 24th, for Mike Walker, of Le Roy, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
 
The community has really rallied behind him. The charity event is being put together by Lynn Gugino (and many others) who bartends at the Clover Leaf, which is located at 7021 Telephone Road (Route 20).
 
There will be hamburgers, hot dogs, music, and raffles starting at 2 p.m. (Chicken BBQ is already sold out.)
September 22, 2016 - 4:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in darien center, charity, crossroads house, news.

Press release:

The taps at the Chestnut Hill Country Club will be taken over by the Hamburg Brewing Company from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26th. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Crossroads House in Batavia. In addition to the various craft beers created by the Hamburg Brewing Company, there will be putting, long drive and closest-to-the-pin contests.

“We thought this was a great way to end our golf season and to thank our customers throughout the year for all of their support, plus we are partnering with a great brewery for a great cause,” said Michael Protos, owner of Chestnut Hill.

Among the craft beers that the Hamburg Brewing Company will serve on tap at the takeover event include:

  • IPA – The breweries' four IPA style varieties includes -- ahtanum, palisade, chinook and magnum. This British-American hybrid also plays host to four different types of malted barley creating a unique orange hue. Additional hops added throughout the brewing process contribute to the floral and piney aromas that mingle well with the distinct malty character.
  • Small Town -- British-American hybrid also plays host to four different types of malted barley creating a unique orange hue. Additional hops added throughout the brewing process contribute to the floral and piney aromas that mingle well with the distinct malty character.
  • Hoppenstance -- an American Double India Pale Ale featuring cascade, centennial, simcoe and magnum hops. Honey malt and North American pilsner malts round out this well-balanced brew to make it so approachable and full flavored.
  • Oktoberfest -- Nothing pairs better with the great fall season than a traditional German-style Marzen lager. With its roots stemming from traditional Bavarian culture, this Oktoberfest is brewed with tons of Vienna-style malts that bring about BIG malty flavor. That big malty flavor then fades away to a clean hop bitterness provided by the Perle hops for a full-flavored and balanced experience.

“The rolling hills of Genesee County and the Chestnut Hill Country Club is a perfect setting to enjoy these great beers,” said John Russo, Jr. the president of Hamburg Brewing Company. “We also are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Chestnut Hill and their efforts to support Crossroads House.”

Crossroads House is a comfort care home located on Liberty Street in the City of Batavia. It is a home to provide care for those who have a terminal illness and is an alternative to a hospital or nursing home when care can no longer be provided in the patient’s home. Crossroads House serves residents in Genesee, Wyoming and surrounding counties at no cost. For more information about Crossroads House please visit http://crossroadshouse.com/.

Chestnut Hill Country Club is an 18-hole championship golf course based in Darien Center. The Club is known for hosting a number of tournaments throughout the golf season because of its many amenities, including large covered patios overlooking the 9th and 18th holes and a dining capacity for up to 275 people. For more information please visit http://www.chestnuthillgolf.com/.

September 1, 2016 - 1:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee Cancer Assistance, news, charity, batavia.

Press release:

Genesee Cancer Assistance, based in Batavia, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded $15,000 as a part of The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation Funds at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo 2016 grant disbursement.

Genesee Cancer Assistance is one of 19 organizations from across Western New York that received grants from endowment funds created to carry on Ralph C. Wilson Jr.’s legacy of giving and visionary leadership.

Effective immediately, the organization has plans to increase the amount of financial assistance available to new patients.

“We are both honored and excited that the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation Funds at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has chosen Genesee Cancer Assistance as a recipient. This money supports our mission of helping cancer patients in Genesee County and will also allow us to increase public awareness of our services and programs,” said Sue Underwood, GCA executive director. 

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, a 501(C) (3) organization, was established in 1919 to enhance and encourage long-term philanthropy in the Western New York Community. The Foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. For over 95 years, the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to its care.

The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation established endowments at the Community Foundation in November 2015 to provide support to three areas that were important to Wilson during his lifetime: cancer care, community assets, and youth sports. Endowment funds, like these created to honor Wilson, are designed to grow over time and provide funding for charitable causes according to a client’s wishes. www.cfgb.org.

Genesee Cancer Assistance is a registered 501(c) (3) not-for-profit. It was cofounded in November of 1995 by Dorothy Schlaggel and Russ Romano, both of whom had a desire to create an organization that would help residents in Genesee County facing a cancer diagnosis, by providing financial support and services to lessen the burden that this disease causes. Since opening, GCA has had the opportunity to help more than 1,900 individuals giving out $500,000 of assistance. 

"The organization relies on contributions and memorials as well as local support and board sponsored fundraising events to finance patient reimbursements. Receiving the grant from The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation Funds at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo will help meet these needs and have a positive impact on the community" said GCA Board President Kevin J. Mudd, MD. 

For more information about Genesee Cancer Assistance, including the specific ways the organization helps cancer patients, please visit the website www.geneseecancerassistance.com, call (585) 345-0417, or stop by, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Please note that our new office is now located on the ground floor of United Memorial Medical Center, 127 North St., directly across the hall from the switchboard near the radiology waiting room.

August 22, 2016 - 4:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in charity, Stafford, Madisonation, sports, golf.

Submitted photo of Ella Suhr; she and her family are the designated recipients of this year's "Madisonation" Golf Tournament proceeds.

Kevin Muckle, of Stafford, is continuing the fight against childhood cancer and has organized the sixth annual "Madisonation" Golf Tournament, which will be held at Hickory Ridge Golf Tournament this Sunday (Aug. 28).

Hickory Ridge Golf Resort and Country Club is located at 15816 Lynch Road in Holley.

The tournament's motto is "Never Give Up."

His family never did. Madison Marie Muckle was diagnosed just after her third birthday. She endured two and a half years of treatment and received her final round of chemo in April of 2013.

Today Kevin's 8-year-old daughter is cancer free. This thankful dad has spearheaded the tournament each year on her behalf and for other children battling acute lymphocytic leukemia and other children cancers.

Since the tournament began, recipients of the annual proceeds have included Golisano Children's Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and a local family with a 4-year-old daughter who is fighting the disease. More than $6,800 was raised for that family.

This year, proceeds will be donated to the family of Ella Suhr, who is about 8 months old and was diagnosed in March with primitive neuroectodermal tumor, a cancerous neural crest tumor that is extremely rare.

The funds raised on Sunday will help her parents with medical expenses, travel costs (to Tampa, Fla., and Rochester) and bills that continue to mount while they strive to save their baby girl's life. The parents, Joe and Maegan Suhr, are both local school teachers, and have been out of work since the diagnosis and will continue to be for the next several months.

"Please help us in our efforts to help Ella and her family beat this disease," Muckle said.

Sunday's event is a semi-competitive best ball tournament, with prizes awarded to the lowest men's, ladies, and mixed team scores.

The registration fee is $380 per foursome. Individual golfers seeking a team are $95 each. Those who wish to skip golf and just enjoy the banquet and fundraiser are just $30 each.

The tournament schedule is:

  • 8 a.m. -- Registration/check in begins
  • 9 a.m. -- Shotgun start
  • 2 p.m.-ish -- "The Cool Down"
  • 3 p.m. -- Presentations
  • 3:15 p.m. -- Dinner is served
  • 4 p.m. -- Guest Speaker: Ernie DiGregorio
  • 4:15 p.m. -- Raffles for prizes
  • 4:30 p.m. -- Check presentation to Suhr Family

Contact Kevin Muckle at (585) 300-7499 with any questions or to contribute or donate to the tournament and this cause. Any donations can be mailed to: Madisonation, 9206 Transit Road, Stafford, NY 14143.

Visit the Madisonation website by clicking here.

August 18, 2016 - 8:01am

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The 9th Annual Chapin Charity Golf Tournament was played on Aug. 13th at Terry Hills Golf Course in support of this year's charity: The Disabled American Veterans-Transportation Network. All the proceeds raised were donated to the charity.

Although for the first time in the history of the event the weather conditions were less than perfect, the tournament was very enjoyable.

The tournament started off with a military honor guard accompanying bugler, Frankie Panepinto, playing the “National Anthem" in honor of our veterans. 

A record number of 204 golfers participated in the outing, which is quite an increase from the first event with 44 golfers! Each golfer received a gift bag full of snacks and items to start off the tournament, donated by Chapin. The Disabled American Veterans-Transportation Network donated a pound of coffee to each participant and mugs, while helping pass out all the goodies. 

Everyone, including volunteers, received lunch tickets before the tournament. Players were encouraged to enter the putting contest at the practice green. For the last three years, Max Pies Furniture has donated a lounge chair for the winner of this contest. Local resident Derek Ellis won the chair.

Everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner at the awards banquet catered by Terry Hills following the tournament. Assemblyman Steve Hawley began the awards banquet with a presentation on the 9th annual Patriots Trip to Washington, D.C. Chapin followed up with a contribution to assist the veterans' fund for the trip.

The event recognized four categories this year as winners: The Chapin Division, the Business Division, Mixed Division and Female Division. Each player received a nice prize package. The Chapin Division winners’ names will be placed on a “Stanley Cup” style trophy and all other winners received commemorative plaques. Every player received a prize with a $25 value. Along with the prizes Chapin presented each player with a Made in USA, 3X5 American flag. No one walks away unhappy or empty handed.

Unfortunately there were no winners for the HOLE-IN-ONES offered on hole #7 by Toyota of Batavia (Corolla), hole #12 by Ken Barrett Chevrolet/Cadillac (Cruze), and hole #25 by Castilone Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep (Jeep Renegade). A very special thanks goes out to the dealerships for their continued support for the tournament.

The big winner was the Disabled American Veterans-Transportation Network and this year’s funds raised reached a new record. More than $10,300 was raised to benefit the DAV. The Disabled American Veterans-Transportation Network still needs support. 

Please contact Doug Titus, coordinator at the DAV. [email protected]. Phone: (585) 297-1170.

Chapin International is very proud to host this event each year. Next year it will be held on Aug. 12. Mark the calendar! Due to the continued growth, space will be limited.  Contact Norm Hubbard, Golf Tournament director, to become a sponsor or answer any questions, [email protected] or 585-343-3140, ext. 3018.

Check out the pictures of this year’s event. Go to www.chapincharitygolf.com. Special thanks to the volunteers and photographers Mike Freeman, Scott Gimbrone and Lori Kramer.

Submission by Norm Hubbard -- Tournament chair, and photos by Michael Freeman.

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August 10, 2016 - 3:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in east pembroke, news, lucas climb, charity, love for lucas.

(Submitted photo of Lucas Clemm.)

The premiere of the "Love for Lucas Garage Sale" will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 19-20, at St. Maximillian Kolbe RC Church.

It is located at 8656 Church St. in East Pembroke.

This is a fundraiser to help offset the financial burden that has beset the family of Lucas Clemm, due to all his medical conditions and surgeries.

Lucas turned 1 on June 27 and had undergone his third major brain surgery by Aug. 5. The family is consulting with a doctor in NYC soon for a second opinion.

The past eight months have been very difficult for his family. Their child's health is all their friends and family want them to have to worry about. 

You are asked to donate garage-sale-type items for the sale later this month.

The people who are holding the sale will add your items to the things they have already received.

Each year, they intend to help a family with a child who suffers from Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia, just as they are striving to help Lucas Clemm and his family this year.

NOTHING WILL BE PRICED. Whatever you give is considered a donation, so you make the price based on what you feel is acceptable for the item(s) and this worthy cause.

Any questions or to donate items for the garage sale, contact Melanie at 409-1802, or Lindsay at 297-7140, or Sherry at 297-7139.

August 9, 2016 - 6:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, charity, CASA for Children.

Press release:

Genesee County CASA for Children will host a Royal Tea Party on Saturday Aug. 20th from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Genesee County Senior Center, 2 Bank St. in Batavia.

Guests will have the opportunity to meet, take pictures and receive autographs from Queen Elsa, Princess Belle and Princess Ariel. Tea and light refreshments will be served and guests will be able to decorate their very own crowns! A performance by Queen Elsa herself will take place at 2 o'clock.

Tickets cost $10 per person and can be purchased at the door or in advance by contacting Genesee County CASA for Children at 585-815-7809.

All proceeds benefit Genesee County CASA for Children, a nonprofit agency that works to advocate for the abused and neglected children in our community.

July 21, 2016 - 2:37pm

A letter from Pastor Jim Morasco, in submitted photo above, of the Morganville United Church of Christ:

I would like to thank all who contributed to my bike ride from Pittsburg to Washington, D.C., raising money for Crossroads House. Your prayers and thoughts of encouragement were warmly felt and supported me as I peddled in the heat and humidity. Together, so far, we raised over $600, and donations are still coming in.

Blessings to you all.

July 13, 2016 - 1:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in charity, crossroads house, summer recreation program.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Summer Recreation Program is well underway and is entering the third week of the six-week program. Each year the program sponsors a Community Service Day for all of the children to volunteer and give something back to their community. This year’s Community Service Project is scheduled for July 19th with all of the parks participating.

The 2016 project is a community-wide can/bottle drive to raise money for Crossroads House.

If anyone would like to contribute to this worthy cause, please feel free to deliver your cans or bottles to any of the parks (Farrall, John Kennedy, Lambert, Williams, Lions) on or before Tuesday, July 19, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. or take them to the Batavia Youth Bureau, located at 12 MacArthur Drive. Program sponsors will make sure the donations are delivered to the parks.

The kids and the Rec Leaders from each park will also visit homes in their park’s neighborhoods on July 19 to solicit donations of cans and bottles.

If you have any questions or would like to help in any way, please call the Youth Bureau at 345-6420. Thank you for your anticipated assistance and support!

June 22, 2016 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Announcements, charity.

There will be a spaghetti dinner cancer benefit Lisa Anne (Bostwick) Manes on Saturday, June 25, at Elba Fire Hall.

It is from 1 to 9 p.m. and costs $10 with dinner, or $5 admission without dinner. Dinner will be served from 1 to 4 p.m.

From 6 to 9 p.m. there will be live music by Audibull.

Beer on tap.

There will be a Chinese auction and 50/50 drawing. MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN.

Pre-sale tickets available/donations accepted by calling Lori at 813-1938 or Peggy at 300-9114.

The fire hall is located 7143 Oak Orchard Road, Route 98.

June 8, 2016 - 7:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in charity, byron, news.

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That last community fundraiser you went to with a chance auction (often called a Chinese auction) and a 50-50 raffle, it probably violated state law.

These common fundraising tactics used frequently by groups coming together for a sudden and unexpected hardship or tragedy that hits a member of our community are not allowed by state law, according to Rich Kaczynski, from the New York State Gaming Commission, who spoke Tuesday night at the South Byron Fire Hall.

The event, hosted by the South Byron Volunteer Fire Department, was prompted by the recent discovery by several local volunteer departments that their longtime fundraising events may have, at best, skirted the edge of state law.

This year, Stafford fire canceled its Corvette raffle and Town of Batavia fire canceled its annual Harley raffle. In both cases, the departments are looking to better understand the law.

Kaczynski's department regulates four types of games of chance -- bingos, raffles, bell jar tickets and casino night type of games.

The state allows certain types of nonprofit groups to use these games as fundraisers, including volunteer fire departments, service organizations, fraternal groups, veterans groups and religious organizations.

For bingos, the group need only have existed one year before applying for a license, but for all other games of chance allowed by the state, the organization must have existed for at least three years.

It's that last provision that may most frequently put community fundraisers for victims of hardship into legally questionable territory. Often these efforts are created by ad hoc groups of people who are friends of the family and are not legally established groups in existence for at least three years. 

Sometimes, these raffles are organized by established nonprofits, but if the fundraising isn't for the legally defined purpose of the group, then it also runs afoul of state regulation, according to Kaczynski. For example, a volunteer fire department can't hold a raffle to raise money for a member stricken by cancer.

To assist that cancer victim, there would need to be a three-year-old organization with the express mission of raising money for cancer victims, or similar hardships.

For the sake of extending the example, then, Genesee Cancer Assistance could host such a raffle, but only members of Genesee Cancer Assistance could conduct the raffle, and to be a member eligible to conduct the raffle, you must be a member for a least a year prior to the raffle.

The good news, perhaps, is that for small organizations, the bureaucracy of fundraising through games of chance isn't quite as cumbersome as it is for groups raising larger sums of money.

Groups that will hold raffles that generate a profit of more than $5,000 on a single raffle, or whose total profit for the year on raffles exceeds $20,000 in profit fall into Category 2 of New York gaming law and have more paperwork to deal with. Groups that reach Category 1 have more paperwork and pay a 2-percent tax on profits over $30,000 in a calendar year.

If your raffle efforts fall in Category 3 (below $5,000 in profit on a single auction, less than $20,000 profit in a year), you can self-define your group as meeting state requirements for existing for three years (or a year for bingo), not meeting the profit thresholds, falling within the proper categories for games of chance, and managing your funds within state guidelines.

Groups in categories 2 and 3 must register with the state and once they receive a state ID number, apply for a license from the town, village or city clerk where the group is organized.

In all three categories, if they want to sell raffle tickets outside of their home jurisdictions, they can sell only within jurisdictions within their same county and in the municipalities in counties contiguous with their home county. They cannot venture outside of that group of contiguous boundaries to sell tickets. For example, no selling tickets to your cousin in California. If your cousin from California wants a raffle ticket for your gun raffle in South Byron, he must fly to Buffalo, drive to South Bryon, enter your fire hall and buy a ticket with cash, and only cash.

In order for a group in any of the three categories to sell in a contiguous jurisdiction, they must request a letter of authorization the municipality's clerk. For example, if you're a volunteer with the South Byron Fire Department and you work at Graham Manufacturing, your department needs authorization from the City Clerk of Batavia in order for you to sell raffle tickets to your coworkers.

That applies to every single possible contiguous jurisdiction. If there are 20 contiguous municipalities, the organization needs 20 different letters of authorization.

If you're a business owner and a volunteer with South Byron and your business is located in the Town of Byron, you can sell raffle tickets at your business, but your employees can't sell raffle tickets unless they're related to you by blood or marriage.

A volunteer fire department can get a license to fund raise through a game of chance, but in order for the Ladie's Auxillary to help with that fundraiser, it must get its own state ID, and the same applies for the "Sons of" organizations. With all three groups properly licensed, and duly noted on the proper paperwork, they can assist each other in games-of-chance fundraisers, but otherwise, only members with at least a year of membership can participate.

If you want to hold a casino night, the gaming implements must be owned by the organization or rented from a licensed company, or, if approved, borrowed from an organization that owns the tables and wheels and cards and dice. Only members of the organization can deal cards or spin roulette wheels.  

Even if your casino night doesn't have a buy in, if it's based on chance and has prizes, it's regulated by the state.

If you're running a game that isn't authorized by the gaming commission regulation -- such as a Texas hold 'em tournament -- you're likely violating state antigambling laws.

Your blackjack tournament? It's allowed, but it must be run precisely according to state regulations.

Repeatedly during the presentation, Kaczynski had to remind audience members he was just repeating state law. He doesn't make state law or control state law. That's up to the Legislature, or up to the gaming commission's attorneys to interpret. 

There is legislation pending, supported by Assemblyman Steve Hawley, to help take away some of the difficulties being faced by local groups that have long relied on raffles as primary fund-raising tools.

June 3, 2016 - 11:50am
posted by Billie Owens in MDA, Fill the Boot, charity, IAFF Local 896.

You have until 1:30 p.m. today to make a difference in the annual Fill the Boot drive to raise funds to fight muscular dystrophy.

Batavia City firefighters from IAFF Local 896 are ready to take your money at Main Street and Court Street and at Ellicott Street and Court Street.

In 2015, they raised $7,523 for the MDA. This year, they hope to top the $10,000 mark.

May 28, 2016 - 8:29pm

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The Swanson family was honored today by the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation at the foundation's annual Memorial Day Weekend tournament at MacArthur Park in Batavia.

In 2007, Anders Swanson -- in the blue shirt above with mother Amy, father Garth and brothers Beckett and Cooper -- was diagnosed with cancer deep in his brain when he was 18 months old.

"(The doctors were) brutally honest," Amy said. "This kind of cancer is rare, it’s aggressive and it doesn’t have a good outcome. Kids with this kind of cancer don’t survive."

He immediately underwent surgery, and then a long ordeal of treatment that included four rounds of chemo, 31 days of radiation, two high-dosage chemo treatments, two stem-cell transplants, and countless blood transfusions, spinal taps and CAT scans. He underwent a second major brain surgery in which 90 percent of the cancer was removed. Now considered cancer free, Amy said he still undergoes numerous regular tests and the fight isn't over, yet Anders remains positive and a team player.

"He has to work much harder, but he greets everything with a can-do attitude," Amy said.

The tournament, she said, was a great way to honor Micheal's memory, because his love of baseball is evident by every smile on the field.

"We know how important baseball is," Amy said. "It’s about accountability, character, courage, confidence, commitment, determination, ethics, honor, humility and humor, integrity, loyalty, leadership, obedience, self-discipline, sportsmanship and teamwork. These truly are the key components of baseball. Baseball is unique in that it can often mirror life itself. The great length of a baseball season, and the fact that failure is an innate part of the game, offers players, coaches and parents the opportunities to teach many more of life’s truths and skills."

The foundation regularly provides financial support to families with children battling cancer, and Laurie Napoleone presented the Swanson's with a $1,000 check, but the Swanson's asked that the money be donated to other charities.

Since Micheal's death, the foundation has provided more than $230,000 to 300 families in the region, donated more than $56,000 to pediatric cancer research, and assisted youth sports with $38,000 in donations, and provided another $50,000 to the Golisano Children's Hospital in Rochester.

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The Spirit of Michael Napoleone Award went to Ryan Carroll and Jacob Smith.

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