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August 27, 2015 - 11:08am

The second annual Taste of Independence to benefit Independent Living of the Genesee Region will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at St. Joseph's School. The address is 2 Summit St. Cost is $25 per ticket or $40 per couple.

There will be a 50/50 auction and raffle items. Only a limited number of tickets are available so get yours now.

To RSVP and/or sponsor, call Donna Becker at 815-8501, ext. 411, or e-mail her at [email protected]

Funds raised will be used to help people with disabilities in emergency situations with employment or moving forward with life goals when there is no other financial resource available.

August 8, 2015 - 12:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in HomeCare & Hospice, charity.

Press release:

The HomeCare & Hospice Foundation has launched its 2015 Annual Appeal to increase support and awareness for its hospice care services in Genesee and Wyoming counties.

“Thanks to generous donations we receive every year, we are able to provide compassionate and quality care to patients in a way that enables them to make the most of their final days with friends and family close by,” said Kathleen Neeson, HomeCare & Hospice development manager.

As the need for hospice services continues to grow throughout rural Western New York, community support becomes increasingly important to HomeCare & Hospice.

To make a donation to HomeCare & Hospice, visit or call Neeson at 1-800-719-7129.

Contributions made to the agency help provide patients with necessary medications and medical equipment, the expertise of physicians, skilled nurses and aides, and the emotional support of social workers and spiritual care professionals.

“We at HomeCare & Hospice often proudly voice our mission of ‘Today, make a difference,’” said Carol L. Mahoney, HomeCare & Hospice CEO. “We are able to make meaningful differences in many lives because of the wonderful generosity of our community members.”

Gifts to the HomeCare & Hospice Foundation are tax deductible.

August 7, 2015 - 5:25pm


Genesee Cancer Assistance held its annual golf outing today at the Batavia Country Club.

Above, Andy Squire, of Spencerport, hits a shot off the first tee.

Below, Debbie and Dan Fischer, of WBTA, flank Mary Blevins and Andrea Mazukiewicz, ESL Credit Union, while playing bocce ball.


August 4, 2015 - 12:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in Pavilion, charity.

***EDITOR'S NOTE (8/6/15): The phone number originally provided and published for Hope Speechley was incorrect. We have corrected the error and her true number is found below.

Submitted by Marianne Witkowski, Phys. Education Dept., Pavilion Central School:

The “Pavilion Clothing Closet” has been around for several years now at the high school. It's a place where any Pavilion Central School student and their family can go to acquire gently used and sometimes “new” clothing, shoes and outerwear for FREE.

Very generous community members have donated, and continue to donate, to the Closet and it is very much appreciated. 

However, due to lack of space and renovations we have had to relocate. We've found a new home and we would like to tell you all about it. The Pavilion Clothing Closet has moved from the Pavilion High School to the Pavilion First Baptist Church, 10956 Lake Road (Route 19), Pavilion. 

The Clothing Closet will be open Saturday Aug. 29 and Saturday Sept. 5 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and also by appointment. For an appointment call Hope Speechley at 585-483-1858.

To donate clothes, you can drop them off at the Pavilion High School in care of Charity Gayhart, or call Hope Speechley (585-483-1858) to drop them off at the church.

Additionally, we will continue to coordinate opening the Clothing Closet with the High School's Thanksgiving and Christmas Food Basket programs. And we will try to advertise any other information regarding the Closet through newsletters and the media.

If you have any questions, please call Hope Speechley at 585-483-1858. If she is not available call Marianne Witkowski at 409-5819, or Stacey Tallon at the High School Guidance Office, 584-3115.

August 1, 2015 - 8:35pm


Mike Gringer, of Spencerport, hits his tee shot on hole #1 at Terry Hills this afternoon during the Ricky Palermo's Spinal Injury Research Golf & Dinner Extravaganza.


Ricky Palermo


Gavin Prout, Richard Furlong and Gee Nash with Palermo.

June 5, 2015 - 2:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in charity, Girls on the Run, Event.
Event Date and Time: 
June 14, 2015 -
9:00am to 12:00pm

Batavia Middle School's Girls on the Run are having a car wash and bake sale from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, June 14th, at Batavia's Original pizzeria, located at 500 E. Main St. in the City of Batavia. For this community service project, the girls' after-school activity and charity group is donating all the money to a local family who was devastated by a house fire.


June 4, 2015 - 5:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in Hogs for Heroes, charity.

The premiere Pig Roast Motorcycle Ride of the Hogs and Heroes Foundation is Saturday, June 6, at the Alabama American Legion, 6554 Alleghany Road, Alabama.

Cost is $10 per person and includes food, fun and a great ride.

Proceeds will be divided, with half going to hospice care at Crossroads House, and half to the PTSD Clinic at the NY State Veterans Home.

Registration is from 10 a.m. to noon. Kick-stands up and ride begins at noon. Route is Alabama to Stan’s Harley-Davidson in Town of Batavia to Attic American Legion, back to Alabama.

There will be a basket raffle, 50/50 and a Prize Wheel.

Rain or shine. Come join the fun and bring a friend or two!

May 29, 2015 - 4:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in charity, community action angels.

By the deadline of June 15, a statewide reading project hopes to collect at least 10,000 new or gently used storybooks for children in need.

"Smarty Pants" is a state Community Action Angels Project for Kids. "Read Me Ready" is the goal -- to make sure all children have a book of their very own. It takes so little from us, but means so much to them, say organizers.

Books or cash donations welcome!

Drop off books or cash at Community Action of Orleans & Genesee, located at 5073 Clinton Street Road, Batavia. (In Albion, the location is 409 E. State St.) Call Lisa at 343-7798 or Anni at 589-5605 for more information.

May 14, 2015 - 3:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in michael pfendler, charity.

The Elba Fire Department is hosting a Pasta Dinner to benefit Elba Central School senior Michael Pfendler in his fight against testicular cancer. It will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, at the Elba Firemen's Rec Hall, located at 7143 Route 98 in Elba.

Cost is $8 for adults, $5 for kids.

Dinner includes pasta with meatballs & sauce, coleslaw, bread, drink and dessert.

Also available will be raffles, Chinese auction baskets, 50/50, and more.

Tickets available at the Elba Town Clerk's Office, Chap's Elba Diner, M&T Bank in Elba, or purchased at the door!

For more information or to donate, please call 585-704-0510.

April 8, 2015 - 6:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in charity, fundraiser, CASA for Children.

The third annual Casino Night Fundraiser to benefit abused and neglected children served by Genesee County Casa for Children will be held at Terry Hills Banquet Facility on Friday, April 24.

It starts at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $50 per person, and that includes $500 in Casino chips, food, beer, wine and $10 in free play at Batavia Downs Casino. Cash in "winnings" for tickets to Chinese auctions and a chance to win valuable prizes.

To purchase tickets or to sponsor this event visit:

In addition to Terry Hills and Batavia Downs Casino, sponsors include Ameriprise Financial Woodward & Associates, and National Fuel.

March 10, 2015 - 3:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, charity.

Baby Jonah was diagnosed with a brain tumor in January. The 13-week-old started chemotherapy last month to shrink his tumor, but so far the treatment has been unsuccessful. He needs a shunt to relieve intercranial pressure and doctors need to do a brain biopsy to assess his condition and insure his medications are appropriate.

To help offset expenses, his family and friends are going to hold a benefit at the Falleti Ice Arena in Batavia starting at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 15.

At "Skate for Jonah" there will be activities for everyone; bring the whole family. Cost is a $10 donation for ice time and skate rental. Pizza and refreshments will be available for purchase.

The Buffalo Sabres Hockey Team donated goods autographed to be raffled: a Gionta jersey, Foligno mask, and helmet.

The plan is for Jonah to continue receiving chemo every week for a year. The tumor is located behind his eyes and has caused nystagmus or involuntary eye movement. Despite everything this little man has gone through, he continues to smile, coo, laugh and snuggle with those who dote on him.

The ice arena is located at 22 Evans St.

If you'd like to help out and aren't able to attend the skating event, you can donate online at:

February 3, 2015 - 7:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, charity, Jackson School.

A preschooler at Jackson Elementary School was diagnosed with leukemia on Jan. 17 and a cheer-a-thon is planned in March to help her and her family.

Four-year-old Emma Harris is very passionate about cheerleading and has been involved with the Batavia Bulldawgs. So a fundraiser focused on cheerleading is a great way to help "Team Emma." Its motto is "We Got This!"

Participants will get a T-shirt and will perform a cheer, short dance routine, stunts, jumps and other fun activities.

There is no charge for attendees to watch the performances. Donations are welcome but not required.

The cheer-a-thon will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday March 14 at Batavia High School gym for anyone ages 4 to 12. It will be followed by a performance at 7 p.m. by local high school cheerleaders, dancers from local dance studios and cheer-a-thon participants. In between time, there will be pizza for the participants.

There will also be a 50/50 drawing and Chinese auction at the performance to help the family with medical and travel expenses.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three cheerleaders who bring in the most donations. Cheerleaders may bring sponsor forms -- or a list or donors and their contributions -- to the door.

Cheerleader entrance fee / donation is $25. Make checks payable to  EMMA HARRIS. Please register and pay by Feb. 28 to guarantee pizza and T-shirt.

Registration information must include:

  • Participant name and age
  • Parent name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • T-shirt size
  • Donation  and/or  payment of registration fee ($25 minimum)

Mail with entrance fee to:

Sherri Wahr

17 Elmwood Ave., Batavia NY 14020

For questions / information call or text Sherri at (585) 356-0639.

****Business sponsors are sought to donate items for the Chinese auction. T-shirt sponsorships are sought for a donation of $50.

Another avenue to help is this direct link to donate to Emma:

February 3, 2015 - 5:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, charity, Ascension Parish.

Ascension Parish will hold its annual St. Joseph Table at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 15.

This year the event is open to the general public and the funds raised will be used to feed and care for the poor residing within the City of Batavia. During these difficult winter months this need is visible on our streets and in our warming shelters. As a parish we seek to give back to the community for the goodness the Lord has shown to us by caring for the poor in our midst.

WHO:  Ascension Parish
WHAT:  Saint Joseph Day Table
WHEN:  Sunday, March 15th at 3 p.m.
WHERE:  Slomba Hall, 17 Sumner St., Batavia
WHY:  Raising Awareness and Funds for the Poor in the City of Batavia
EVENT DESCRIPTION:  A traditional Italian feast catered by Bing’s Restaurant of Amherst. A seven-course meal will be served family style to include: antipasto, artichokes, frittata, lentil soup, Caesar salad, lemon sorbet, pasta con sardi, pasta & peas, baked fish, greens, bread & butter, coffee/tea and homemade Italian desserts.

Cash Bar and wine available for your table.

Music and Entertainment by Steve Balestreri.

Theme Baskets and 50/50 split club will be provided for your enjoyment.

COST: $25 DONATION/Per Person (Cash/Check) Seating limited to 300!

HOW TO OBTAIN TICKETS: Call the Parish Office at 585-343-1796 to reserve your table; families and businesses welcome. You may also pre-pay and buy your tickets online at:

Please note: There is a $1.75 service fee for the online payment option.

Ticket cost $26.75 per person. Tickets are Pre-Sale only. There will be NO SALES the day of the event or AT THE DOOR!  Cash or Check ONLY.

Make Checks Payable to:  Ascension Parish/St. Vincent de Paul Society Ascension Parish
19 Sumner St.
Batavia, NY 14020

Phone:  585-343-1796
Fax:  585-343-0919

December 26, 2014 - 2:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in charity, Red Cross.

Press release:

The Salvation Army’s 2014 Red Kettle Campaign came to an end on December 24th $3,500 short of its $69,000 goal. Major Robert Kurtz, Corps Commanding Officer, stated, “The people in Genesee County have been very generous with their time and money; individuals, groups, and organizations have donated over 5,000 volunteer hours this season. The campaign was impacted by a short fund-raising season plus the snowstorm in November. The snowstorm affected many families in a variety of ways.”

Red Kettle donations will be accepted until Dec. 30 at 4 p.m., at which time the campaign will close for the year. Monetary donations can be mailed to: The Salvation Army ATTN: KETTLE CAMPAIGN 529 E. Main St., Batavia, New York 14020. Please note in the check memo “Red Kettle Campaign."

Money raised during this campaign is used to support the year-round mission of The Salvation Army in meeting basic needs of food and shelter, crisis financial assistance, programs serving youth and seniors, and life-skill programs.

November 21, 2014 - 3:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in charity, Holidays.

Press release:

The Salvation Army of Genesee County is still seeking donations of 10-12 pound turkeys for their Holiday Food Baskets. Turkeys will be given to Genesee County residents as part of a food basket, which contains items to prepare a traditional holiday meal.

Donations of turkeys can be dropped off during normal business hours: Monday through 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].

August 16, 2014 - 1:09pm

Fourty-eight golfers turned out today at the Le Roy Country Club for the 2nd Annual Andrea Lynn Mangefrida Memorial Fund Golf Tournament to benefit Stepping Stones Learning Center. 

Stepping Stones is a center for children with autism.

Andrea Lynn Mangefrida was 3 years old when she drowned in a swimming pool mishap in 2011.

Following the tournament, there will be a basket raffle and dinner with as many as 150 people attending.

Above, Jason Saile, James Sheflin, Darryl Streeter and Mike Sheflin, who are looking to defend their title from last year.

July 11, 2014 - 8:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, charity, crossroads house.


Crossroads House received a $1,445 donation today, the result of the 4th Annual Jerry "Rat" Cone Memorial Run, held July 5 in Genesee County.

Fifty-two riders participated in the charity trek over local roads.

The donation was delivered this evening.

Pictured are, from left, Scott Bliss, Jim Andrews, Kelli Bliss, Vanessa Andrews, Paul Ohlson, Anthony "Smokey" LoCastro, Stephen Worthington, Pastor Timothy Young, and on the porch are Charlotte Puccio, Mary Ann Shuler and Kathleen Pentepento.

April 17, 2014 - 9:26am
posted by Daniel Crofts in charity, Pavilion, firefighters.

Bill Kegler, left, spent 22 years in the military and has been fighting fires since he was 18. Now he is fighting a different enemy, and hoping his winning hand gets dealt next week.

Kegler is a Pavilion resident and six-year member of the Community Fire Company; he is pictured above with Vice President Nick Wright. He is battling myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a disease that causes poorly formed or dysfunctional blood cells.

"I found out that there was something going on with my blood through the (Batavia) VA back in 2011," Kegler said. "They told me to see a hematologist (blood doctor), who diagnosed what I had through a bone marrow biopsy."

He has since been receiving treatment -- first from the Batavia hematologist who diagnosed him, and now at the Wilmot Cancer Center at Rochester's Strong Memorial Hospital. In addition to chemotherapy, his treatment includes experimental drugs that are part of a national clinical test.

"I get chemo treatments every month," Kegler said. "It lasts for seven days straight, and then I'm off for 21 days. Then it starts all over, and that will go on forever until they find a bone marrow match."

To that end, at the instigation of Secretary Kathy Wright, the Community Fire Company is hosting a bone marrow drive for Kegler from 5 until 9 p.m. on Tuesday. It will be at the Pavilion Fire Department Hall at 11302 Lake St. in Pavilion.

Anyone age 18 to 44 and in good health is encouraged to participate. There is no cost, and it only requires a few moments of people's time and a mouth swab.

"I would be very grateful to anyone who comes out," Kegler said.

Until then, he stays in high spirits.

"I think the biggest thing is all the support and prayers I'm getting from everybody I know," he said.  "And people I haven't even met are coming up to me and saying they have me on their prayer lists. My own spirituality is also going a long way in keeping me on an even keel."

Originally from Alden, Kegler has resided in Genesee County for more than 40 years. He and his wife raised their six children in Batavia, sending their two oldest to Notre Dame High School and the younger children to the Batavia City School District. Kegler has also lived in Oakfield and served as a member of the Oakfield Fire Department.

For more information, call Nick Wright at 813-1288.

March 15, 2014 - 5:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, charity, sports, collin crane, Collin Crane Memorial Fund.

Falleti Ice Arena today hosted a fundraiser for the Collin Crane Memorial Fund.

The fund provides scholarships to deserving local hockey players. This was the second year for the fundraiser, which honors the memory of Collin Crane, a Batavia teen killed in an auto accident in December 2012.

The event featured a full day of hockey, including a match involving a team comprised of Crane's teammates, as well as a chance auction.

After their game, members of Crane's team held a pray for their teammate.

March 10, 2014 - 6:10pm

Press release:

The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation donated its first installment of $10,000 to the new Golisano Children's Hospital which is currently under construction in Rochester, NY, with opening date slotted for 2015.

This is the first installment as the foundation has pledged a total of $50,000 to the project. The monies will be earmarked for the Child Life Office in the new facility. Child Life provides the hospitalized children with therapeutic programs, play and other activities to help children and families cope with the challenges of illness or hospitalization.

This is another way the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation continues to fulfill its mission and Lend a Hand for Hope. For more information on fundraising events, or to see how you can help, go to




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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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