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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

October 11, 2013 - 9:38am
posted by Bonnie Marrocco in charity, agriculture, bergen.

Fifteen years ago longtime Le Roy resident Stu Freeman noticed that leftover potatoes were sitting in fields rotting after harvest season, so he got farmers in the community to allow him to glean the vegetable to donate to local food pantries. That year he brought about 300 pounds of potatoes in and he's been doing it every year since.

Since then the "Potato Man" as he is affectionately known, has also gotten farmers to donate cabbage, carrots, onion and butternut squash. So much so that he couldn't keep up with the demand.

Two years ago he recruited members of his congregation, Bergen First Presbyterian Church, to assist. They regularly gather, sort, wash, pack and deliver fresh produce to food pantries every two weeks throughout the fall and winter. Last year they delivered more than 15,000 pounds to The Salvation Army and Community Action in Batavia, as well as Go Christian Church in Churchville.

Congregation member Kelsey Hill got involved and she is grateful for the opportunity to live out her faith in a practical way.

"I rounded up high school kids from the Sunday school class that I was co-teaching and we volunteered together," Hill said. "I was excited for the opportunity to show the students that faith isn't just something to talk about on Sunday mornings, but something to live out every day."

There are about 10 area farmers who participate. Although the farmers are committed to helping, they prefer to remain anonymous. The Batavian agreed not to print their names or the names of their farms.

Besides food, Freeman also collects coats and shoes for The Salvation Army in Batavia, Open Door Mission in Rochester and Teen Challenge in Buffalo. In the past three years, he has brought them hundreds of both, with help from his church and community.

He is an extremely humble man who is hesitant to talk about himself or his accomplishments, but having come from a family of 10 children, he knows how hard it is to make ends meet.

"I've done what the good Lord has put in my heart to do," Freeman said. "I don't want praise or publicity, I just want other people to get involved by donating food to the hungry. One church can't do it all."

Hill also encourages individuals, families and churches to give food or money to charities for families in need.

"We could also use more hands to wash and dry vegetables this Saturday and it's open to whomever would like to help," Hill said

Among those extra hands will be the Byron-Bergen Soccer team.

The next "Potato Wash" will be held 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church of Bergen, 38 S. Lake Ave., Bergen.

August 22, 2013 - 8:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, charity, first presbyterian church.

The First Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Main St., Batavia, is hosting a community clothing and household item giveaway Sunday and Monday.

Donations are still be accepted today. Organizers are looking for clean, gently used clothing and household items such as towels, bedding, curtains, tablecloths and throw rugs.

There's always a need for donations of clothing for infants, boys and girls, and for men and women, shoes, sneakers, purses and hats, plus winter clothing for children and adults.

Donations can be brought to the church today from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m.

Items that cannot be left include large items, furniture, appliances and similar items.

For those who need to receive such donations, the giveaway is from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday and from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday.

December 10, 2012 - 9:17am

It all started with a little girl with a big heart.

Angelique Heick, the 8-year-old from Bergen who competed as a finalist in the "American Miss" pageant in August, spent a large part of the last year taking money from her monthly allowances and using it to purchase toys for underprivileged children in Genesee County.

She donated 12 toys for each month of the year to Community Action Angels of Genesee County, which is the volunteer arm of Community Action of Orleans & Genesee. It's made up of volunteers dedicated to gathering donations for toys, food, clothing, extra money and other necessities for Genesee County residents in need.

But this wasn't enough. When Angelique learned about all that the "Angels" do to support needy kids and families, she was bothered that there was no such volunteer program for kids her age.

"I wanted to know why there was no Community Action Junior Angels," she said, "so I decided to start my own."

Now, with the help of 100 Girl Scouts -- officially dubbed "Jr. Angels" -- their families, Community Action and others, Angelique has achieved this dream.

Angelique -- a third-grader at Byron-Bergen Elementary School, a Girl Scout since age 4 and a member of Troop 42174 -- inspired her Girl Scout Troop with her idea and efforts to collect funding promises from local businesses along with three friends -- Pat, Lisa and Annet.

Troop 42174 Leader Rene Vurraro gathered Girl Scout Troops from Byron-Bergen, Pavilion and Le Roy to help with a community service event in response to Angelique's vision.

When Community Action, in turn, heard about what the Scouts were doing, they decided to partner with them to make this a much bigger, annual event called "Circle of Giving" and to develop a Community Action Jr. Angels program.

The first "Circle of Giving" was held on Saturday at Byron-Bergen High School.  The Jr. Angels were there to collect donations of food, clothing and toys, and to make cards for the recipients.

The goal is to eventually turn this into an opportunity for area Girl Scouts to earn a badge.

Beyond that, Community Action has included this project in a book of statewide initiatives so that people in other areas of New York State can read about it and get similar projects started.

"One 8-year-old's dream could turn into thousands of Girl Scouts doing the same thing," said Pat Standish, founder of Community Action Angels of Genesee County.

Standish gave the Scouts an inspirational talk about her experience with the "Angels" and told them how much people will appreciate what they are doing.

"When I first started (with Community Action Angels)," she said, "I thought kids would want things like bicycles and iPods. But what's important to them is not what you give, but that you show that you care."

She also stressed the importance of team effort when it comes to the "Angels" and similar volunteer initiatives.

"I may have had the idea (as founder)," Standish said, "but I needed the help of volunteers to make it happen. And Angelique had an idea, but she couldn't have done it without help from all of you and your families."

Organizations that sponsored this endeavor include Stahlka Agency, Complete Payroll Processing, the Sallie Mae Fund and First Niagara Bank.

"They gave money so the kids wouldn't have to wait (to get started)," Standish said.

Dee Dee Hintz, Angelique's grandmother and legal guardian, expressed gratitude to Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School Principal Aaron Johnson and Elementary School Principal Brian Meister for handing out fliers for this event.

"I think this is the beginning of something big," Hintz said, noting the number of volunteers involved in the overall project.

"Next year will be even bigger," she said. "(Angelique) already knows what she wants to do next year. She'll carry this on for at least two or three more years."

A final note

"Circle of Giving" is the philosophy of Community Action Angels, which encourages its beneficiaries to "pay it forward."

According to Standish, many of the people helped by the "Angels" over the years have become volunteers.

Special thanks to Angelique's mom, Jennifer Cejka, for sharing background information prior to the event and for providing the inspiration for the article's title.

December 6, 2012 - 10:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, charity, business, High Voltage Tattoo.

There was a long line of people waiting for tattoos this morning at 10 when High Voltage Tattoo and Piercing opened its doors for its second annual fundraising event.

The event continues on Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with patrons being able to choose from a set of predetermined designs for $30 per tattoo and piercings for $20 (includes jewelry).

All proceeds benefit Don Carroll's Toys for Kids and Golisano Children's Hospital.

High voltage is located at 110 W. Main St., Batavia.

Above, Kenny McCarthy inks John Veitch with a four-leaf clover.

November 27, 2012 - 4:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in charity, liberty pumps, bergen.

Press release:

Several employees of Liberty Pumps contributed to the purchase of items to be shipped to help with Super Storm Sandy relief efforts. Items sent by Liberty employees included cleaning supplies, first-aid supplies, toiletries, food items, paper products, baby items, batteries, winter clothing, pet items and much more.

Also contributing to this shipment was C&M Forwarding, a local trucking company that shipped this huge pallet at no charge!




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

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