Skip to main content

Pembroke finishes perfect regular season with 43-14 win

By Howard B. Owens
pembroke dragons football

The Pembroke Dragons finished the regular season on Friday with a 43-14 win over Holley/Lyndonville moving their record to 8-0 and making them the only team in Section V 8-Man Football with a spotless record.

They'll head into the postseason as the #1 seed. The postseason schedule has not been posted yet.

The Dragons racked up 400 yards on offense on just 20 plays. Coach Brandon Ricci credited the line of Ben Steinberg, Jayden Mast, Jayden Bridge, Madden Perry, JJ Gabbey, Octavius Martin and Hayden Williams for the dominant offensive game. 

Tyson Totten ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns on three carries to eclipse 2,000 yards rushing on the season.  

Fullback Caleb Felski had 160 yards rushing and two TDs on just a pair of carries. He also added a 55-yard receiving touchdown from Quarterback Vijay Dhanda. 

Sean Pustulka finished the scoring for the Dragons with a 42-yard rushing touchdown and a 24-yard field goal.

Defensively the Dragons were led by Jayden Bridge with seven tackles. Dom Boldt, Aidan Balduf and Hayden Williams each chipped in five tackles, while Vijay Dhanda had the game's lone fumble recovery. 

The Dragons will host a home playoff game against an opponent yet to be determined next week.

Submitted photos and information.

pembroke dragons football
pembroke dragons football

Making a difference at Batavia Community Garden

By Joanne Beck
BHS at community garden
A Batavia High School senior turns over the soil at the Batavia Community Garden this week during Make a Difference Day activities. Photo submitted by Irene Hickey.

Batavia Community Garden committee members welcomed nine Batavia High School seniors Friday to help with various landscaping tasks as part of this year's 24th annual Make a Difference Day.

Tracy Grover of the high school College Career Center led the group of students for their community service project, garden helper and photographer Irene Hickey said.

BHS at community garden 2

Students were on hand to help garden members with end of the season work. A laundry list of tasks was led and coordinated by RaeAnn Engler, Garden Committee chairperson, at the garden on MacArthur Drive alongside the high school. 

Those chores included turning over the soil in the beds, putting the art panels into storage for the winter, relocating the compost within the garden, caging apple trees cutting back milkweed and thorny black raspberries (ouch!), and general weeding.

BHS student digging at garden
BHS taking a break at garden

This enthusiastic crew worked from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., breaking at noon for a quick lunch under the tent. 

"The morning was cool and damp with on and off drizzle. Luckily the rain held off until the bulk of the work was done," Hickey said. "Many, Many thanks to our work crew from the High School. The garden community
appreciates your willingness to lend a hand and your spirit of service. We couldn’t have done it without you!"

Photos by Irene Hickey

BHS girls at garden
BHS students at garden 3
Student at garden
Adult at garden

November events announced at HLOM

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to announce the next edition of its Guest Speaker Series on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. The museum welcomes back Civil War historian and author Chris Mackowski, as he presents “Grant’s Last Battle.” The presentation details the difficulties that Ulysses S. Grant had as he wrote his memoirs near the end of his life, as he battled throat cancer. Admission is $5 or $3 for museum members. Please contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or hollandlandoffice@gmail.com if you would like to attend.

The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to announce the next presenter for our Guest Speaker Series on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. Steven Huff will be presenting his newest work "Resting Among Us: Authors' Gravesites in Upstate New York." Steven Huff will make a PowerPoint presentation, and lead a discussion on the region’s literary gravesites, who the authors were, what they wrote, and why they are important. Copies of the book will be available for sale. Admission is $5/$3 for museum members. Please contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or hollandlandoffice@gmail.com if you plan to attend.

Join the Holland Land Office Museum for the next edition of our Trivia Night @ the Museum on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. This month's topic is the Cuban Missile Crisis. Trivia will take place again at GO ART! located at 201 E. Main St. in Batavia. Their Tavern 2.0 will also be open if you would like a beverage. Admission is $5 or $3 for museum members. Please contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or hollandlandoffice@gmail.com if you would like to attend.

Byron-Bergen library board seeks to establish municipal status, separate tax rate with Nov. 7 vote

By Joanne Beck
Mural on B-B library wall
Part of the iconic mural painted on the exterior wall next to the parking lot of Byron-Bergen Public Library.
2017 File Photo by Maria Pericozzi

As president of the Byron-Bergen Public Library, Sally Capurso has a tough job, not only in making ends meet but more recently in pitching an idea to raise revenue through the creation of a 414 municipal library. Other options have been researched, and this seemed to be the most viable choice for ensuring a sustainable public library, she said.

The upside is that it would establish a regular operating budget through an ongoing, no-surprises tax to property owners — one that Capurso and trustees believe is well worth the cost to have solid library programs, staff, hours, and materials without the concern that the library might one day be in danger of existing or losing services due to lack of funding. 

“And this way, taxpayers will earmark a specific amount of their tax dollars for the library. So this funding will make it sustainable for us, and dependable so that we will always know the amount of money that we will be having in our budget,” Capurso said during an interview with The Batavian. 

“Prior to that, we’d have to ask the town boards in both Byron and Bergen for money. And we will simply ask for a certain amount of money, and then the towns will decide how much they want to contribute, and that’s for each town. So it's a little bit of a problem, sometimes, because we figure out our budget, taking what we need, and then we don't barely get what we need.”

The 2023 budget they had to meet was $133,738. And the towns of Byron and Bergen kicked in $6,500 and $74,499, respectively.  That left a gap of more than $52,700 that the library had to come up with in other ways, and it’s a struggle each year, Capurso said. 

It receives a yearly average of $3,500 from Genesee County and $1,500 from New York State. The remaining funding is done through fundraisers and grants that are never guaranteed or known upfront, Capurso said.

And some of those funds cannot be used for library operations and salaries, but instead must go for miscellaneous programs, Barclay said.

Of course, there’s the challenge of pitching a new way of doing things, and it comes with a 55-cent per $1,000 assessed value price tag. However, how much is your library worth to you, your children, and your family, Capurso and trustee Anna Marie Barclay want to know. 

According to 38 studies on other libraries’ returns on investment, “the return value for public libraries is four to five times the amount invested,” their presentation material states.

And simply using the library card to check out books versus buying them can save a patron $624 a year, the material states.

Both towns have the library cost rolled into their budgets, as that’s the way it has worked up to now. So, residents have been paying for the library, it just hasn’t been a separate line item as it would be now, Capurso said. 

“Most people aren’t aware where each dollar goes,” she said. “The Library annually asks each Town Board for funding. Each Town Board then decides how much money to contribute. The Town of Bergen also provides the Library with its physical space, utilities, and general upkeep/maintenance according to the existing rental agreement. 

“Our current level of services and programs, reflecting the needs of the community, requires more funding than the Town Boards have provided,” she said.  “We are recommending that voters earmark their tax dollars for the Library so that the basic operating costs are covered, and we can reliably maintain, or increase, the current level of service to the community. A vote in favor of the proposition (Municipal 414) will allow the Town Boards to collect the taxes on behalf of the Library and turn these funds over to the Library directly.”

The women have been making the rounds, presenting this information to both towns to raise awareness of the proposed change and the related upcoming vote on the Nov. 7 ballot. They received enough initial support through signatures to get the issue on the ballot — requiring 96 and obtaining approximately 145 in Byron, and needing 137 and obtaining more than 200 in Bergen. Now they are trying to see it through to approval.

How has the feedback been so far?

“It’s mixed; people are very concerned about the cost at this point in time,” Barclay said. “We’re very hopeful.”

The tax of 55 cents per $1,000 would mean a yearly bill of $55 on a home assessed at $100,000. How is that money spent? 

“Most of our budget goes towards basic operating expenses: personnel costs, rent, and other expenditures necessary to meet our patrons’ growing requests for current circulation materials,” Capurso said. 

Other expenses are for mandatory wage increases, employee benefits, including retirement, bookkeeping and payroll/accounting and auditing costs, and lawyer fees.

A portion of the money raised will also go toward computer software and upgrades, other community services and outreach, hosting more programs and special events, plus the new position of a children’s library clerk will be added with a focus on children’s book clubs, summer reading programs, and preschool story hours.

The library provides a popular summer reading program, a book club, craft workshops, yoga, scavenger hunts, tax preparation help, babysitting classes, computer usage, Wi-Fi hot spots on loan, home repair classes, low-cost copier and fax use, and books, movies and other materials for use and check-outs. 

If the measure is defeated, there is the potential for library hours to be reduced, and staff and/or programs to get cut. That isn’t meant to be a threat, but there may come that point when tough decisions have to be made, Capurso and Barclay said. They remembered when the Gillam Grant Library closed several years ago as a disappointing but necessary reality for the community.

“The Library will work hard to meet the needs of the community, but we may have to make adjustments. The Library may need to reduce programming, hours, and purchases,” Capurso said. “If the Byron-Bergen Public Library would no longer exist, current patrons would need to seek alternative libraries.”

Research was done about converting Byron-Bergen’s library to a school library, however, it was discovered that due to county crossovers into Monroe, that wasn’t possible, Capurso said. 

The Batavian reached out to both town supervisors for a response to how this initiative will affect their town budgets. Theoretically, if residents approve the library tax, that amount of money would come out of the portion that the town would have paid. No reply had been received by the time of this article’s publication. 

The proposition states: 

“Shall the Town of Bergen (Byron) establish an annual tax in the amount of $0.55/1,000 (fifty-five cents per one thousand dollars) of assessed real property value in order to support the operation of the Byron-Bergen Public Library, commencing in the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2024.”

Early voting begins Oct. 28 and runs through Nov. 5 at ARC Community Center, 38 Woodrow Road, Batavia before the general election vote on Nov. 7 at each each town hall’s polling site. 

Capurso will be making another presentation about the proposition to create a municipal 414 library at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Hidden Meadows Clubhouse, Route 19, Bergen. 

For more information, email byrbgn@nioga.org or call (585) 494-1120.

No tasks were too big or small for BHS seniors to 'make a difference' Friday

By Joanne Beck
Cassie Ernst
Cassie Ernst, a senior at Batavia High School, works on a ceiling tile as part of Make A Difference Day Friday at GO Art! in Batavia.
Photo by Joanne Beck

Painting ceiling tiles wouldn’t typically seem like a fun thing to do, but for a group of Batavia High School seniors, they didn’t mind it doing it all morning Friday, they said.

Full disclosure: these weren’t just any ceiling tiles; they were going to replace some that had gotten damaged in the GO Art! kitchen, and since they didn’t match the other ones already in there, it was decided that they could look different. 

And that’s when the fun began.

“We’re painting ceiling tiles for the kitchen in a monster theme,”  student Prudence Favaloro said, showing the piece that she and fellow senior Joshua Budzinack had created. “I really like doing art; it’s one of my biggest passions. I want to minor in art in college.”

The 17-year-old and 13 of her peers chose GO ART! as the place they wanted to go to for Make A Difference Day. In its 24th year, this is a day when the Batavia seniors spend time earning community service hours while also helping out a local nonprofit organization with tasks, such as gardening, cleaning, office work, and various other types of odd jobs.

Kids visited All Babies Cherished, ARC, Batavia Cemeteries, Batavia Community Garden, Batavia Peace Garden, Crossroads House, First United Methodist Church, Genesee Cancer Assistance, Genesee County Park, Genesee County Youth Bureau, Habitat for Humanity, Holland Land Office Museum, Mercy Flight, The Manor House and YMCA.

Given the nature of GO Art!, jobs have been a bit more creative, but helpful all the same, Executive Director Gregory Hallock said.

“They have been coming every year since I've been here. And for us, it’s a godsend. Because we get, what is it? This is Make a Difference Day, and then we have the United Way's Day of Caring. And so those are two times a year where we really try to do some major projects, because all the workers, all my staff have 24/7 jobs … and this gives us a chance to catch up on a lot of stuff, and the kids like painting,” Hallock said while standing in the kitchen at the Bank and East Main Street site. 

“They had been doing this room now since 2021, I think, so they've been painting this room and adding, they were doing the ceiling tiles for today. Some kids come here because they like to do art, and we're an art center. But that's not usually the projects we have, we do more of the arts administration. So that's where we decided one year to let them have at this kitchen. So they've been doing monsters for years.”

There were other chores, including more utilitarian painting of walls to be able to mount paintings on later and building tabletops, volunteer Ed Griffin said.  He led a group of four kids with those tasks up in the attic. 

Everyone arrived at 9 a.m. ready for the day, and time seemed to go very quickly, Favaloro said. 

“It seems we were just getting started, and the next thing you knew, it was 11, and then it was 12:30, where did that time go?” she said. “I enjoyed it.”

There were ceiling tiles drying on the gallery room stage, filled with cartoon monster images and bright colors, while the students and art teachers Nikki Greenbaum and Mandi Antonucci took a lunch break. 

Meanwhile, Hallock pointed around the kitchen to prior handiwork kids had done, demonstrating how each year’s contribution has incrementally carved out a culinary art gallery.

“It's incredible,” he said. “We depend on this. We look forward to this every year to get stuff done.” 

Each site had one or more chaperones to supervise, and work with the students, said Lisa Robinson, who accompanied another group of 14 to the state School for the Blind.

Student Madison Hughes chose the school to visit because she “just wanted to see some different people” and admittedly, wasn’t in the mood for any yard work. Students there were placed in classrooms and offices to either be directly with the school’s students or staff in need of office assistance.

It’s the second year for Robinson to go to the Richmond Avenue site, she said.

“I think from the kids’ perspective, it's great for them to see other opportunities and things that are going on within Batavia that they might not have had the opportunity to do before,” she said. “And then as far as coming here, I think it's great for the students that are here as well as our students. They have some interaction and they get to see how the school operates and just a different aspect of what that looks like.”

Prudence and Joshua
Prudence Favaloro and Joshua Budzinack with their monster "claws."
Photo by Joanne Beck
paintings on tiles
Submitted Photo
Kids with green painting
Submitted Photo

 

Amy and Madison at School for Blind
Special Education Assistant Amy Gromlovits works with BHS student Madison Hughes at the state School for the Blind.
Photo by Joanne Beck 
Michael at School for Blind
BHS senior Michael Nardone takes a break after cutting paper for flip charts that he and another student put together for Make A Difference Day at the state School for the Blind. 
Photo by Joanne Beck
BHS group at school for blind
BHS students at the state School for the Blind.
Submitted Photo

 

Nightmare on Bank Street gives the green light to a Halloween scare

By Howard B. Owens
Homeowner David Raines poses in front of residence 209 bank St. - Nightmare on Bank St. Haunted house is in backyard  Photo Steve Ognibene
Creator David Raines poses in front of his residence at 209 Bank St., Batavia, where where he has a "Nightmare on Bank Street" haunted house in his back yard.
Photo by Steve Ognibene

The haunted house experience David Raines has designed at his Bank Street residence can be so scary, he said, that he's developed a red light, yellow light, and green light system so that actors in the attraction know when to tone down the level of fright.

This is the sixth year Raines has opened the haunted house to the public and it's his most elaborate yet, he told The Batavian.

"I've actually lived here for 17 years and I love Halloween," Raines said. "There's nothing like this in Batavia. I've had people say this is the best thing in town. So it just keeps me going."

The haunted house, dubbed "Nightmare on Bank Street," is free, but Raines is asking for donations in order to help cover his cost, and also to help expand the attraction, perhaps in a larger venue in Batavia.

It will be open from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and from 5 to 11 p.m. on Halloween. The address is 209 Bank St., Batavia.

This year, the attraction has spilled out into his front yard. It also takes up all the space in his back yard.

"This is just something fun that I love to do," Raines said. "I like to see kids have a good time, and adults have a good time and enjoy it. And I like to scare people, too."

Gaines hasn't done all this work by himself. His daughter and her friends as well as his girlfriend, he said, helped with the setup. Work started on the project on Sept. 1.

He explained the red light, yellow light, and green light system, which aren't actually colored lights but him yelling out to actors what light category they're in.

  • Red light: The haunted house is fully lit.  Guests can see all the details of the exhibits and the actors don't try to scare anybody.
  • Yellow light: The lighting is off and the actors tone down the scare factor.
  • Green light: All bets are off. No lighting, full-on scare from the actors. There's also fog, strobe lights, and laser lights.

"Then Greenlight is, you know, you're entering at your own risk," Gaines said. "If you don't come back out, I don't know what to tell you."

And if full scare is too much for you, there are emergency exits.

"I want to say I think I had a couple of people last year ask me where the bathroom was because they were so scared," Gaines said. "I had people running down the driveway screaming because they were scared. So to be honest with you, the more fun that I see the public have the more fun I have."

The Maze inside Nightmare on Bank St.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
The maze inside Nightmare on Bank Street. 
Photo by Steve Ognibene
The Spider Room, Nightmare on Bank St.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
The Spider Room, Nightmare on Bank Street.
 Photo by Steve Ognibene
The cemetery, Nightmare on Bank St.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Photo by Steve Ognibene

 

David Raines starts building his haunted house early September to have ready two weeks before halloween, Nightmare on Bank St.   Photo by Steve Ognibene
David Raines starts building his haunted house in early September to have it ready two weeks before Halloween, Nightmare on Bank Street.   
Photo by Steve Ognibene

Borrello calls for Hochul to meet Seneca Nation on gaming compact

By Press Release
Sen. George Borrello

Press Release:

Sen. George Borrello renewed his call for Gov. Kathy Hochul to meet with Seneca Nation of Indians President Rickey Armstrong Sr. as soon as possible to negotiate a new gaming compact before the current agreement expires on Dec. 9. 

Borrello noted that he sent a letter to the Governor on Sept. 20, urging her to start negotiations before time ran out. Since then, another month has passed with no action.  

“The clock is ticking on the expiration of the current compact with just 52 days left. As the only New York State official who can approve a gaming compact between the state and the Seneca Nation, it’s imperative that Hochul agree to a meeting with President Armstrong,” Borrello said. “President Armstrong has repeatedly asked the governor to sit down with him and negotiate an agreement in good faith that is fair and addresses the needs of all parties, yet she continues to avoid the bargaining table.”   

Borrello noted that any agreement would need to be approved by the state Legislature and the people of the Seneca Nation before it can be sent to the Federal Department of Interior for review and final approval.   

“This agreement is essential for the economic well-being of Western New York. The Seneca Nation’s casinos have a $1 billion annual impact on our economy. The livelihoods of tens of thousands of individuals, businesses, and families across Western New York depend upon a new compact. The future of those New Yorkers is hanging in the balance,” Borrello said.  

Hochul had recused herself from the negotiations, arguing her husband’s business ties with Delaware North could lead to a conflict of interest. William Hochul left Delaware North on Aug.15, and Hochul issued a statement saying she was no longer barred from the gaming compact negotiations.  

“Now that the governor is no longer recused, there is no reason for her to delay meeting with President Armstrong,” Borrello said. “Time is running out. We need to get this done.” 

Borrello’s district encompasses both the Allegany and Cattaraugus territories of the Seneca Nation of Indians.

“The Seneca Nation territories and its residents are within the 57th Senate District, so this issue is a priority for me. Seneca Nation members and businesses are a significant part of our lives and culture, and I am proud to represent them in the State Senate,” Borrello said. “Their world-class gaming facilities and resorts are an important part of the hospitality and tourism economy of Western New York.  The people of the Seneca Nation deserve a fair and equitable compact.” 

The original Seneca Nation Compact was authorized in 2002. The agreement cleared the way for the development of three Seneca casinos in Western New York.   

Terms of the compact included the Seneca Nation paying 25 percent, approximately $100 million per year, of the slot and video lottery machine revenue from the casinos to the state, with a portion of that money directed to each casino’s host city. In return, the compact granted the Seneca Nation exclusive rights to operate Class III casinos in Western New York.  

Call for nominations for Chamber's annual awards ceremony

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Chamber’s Annual Awards Committee has announced the 2023 Annual Award Ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 2 at Batavia Downs Gaming, Park Road, Batavia. This is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service, and volunteerism. 

Please note that a brief write-up will qualify your nominee for consideration. Nominations are now being accepted for Business of the Year, Entrepreneurial Business of the Year, Agricultural Business of the Year, Innovative Enterprise of the Year, Special Service Recognition & Geneseeans of the Year. Business Nominees must be a Chamber Member (If unsure of your nominee, call the Chamber to verify).

Nomination forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Road, Batavia, and can also be downloaded from the Chamber Website at www.geneseeny.com.

Nominations MUST BE RECEIVED BY Dec. 29 to be eligible for consideration. If you would like more information, feel free to call or email Kelly J. Bermingham, Director of Member Relations & Special Events at the Chamber office, 343-7440, ext. 1026, kbermingham@geneseeny.com.

Perry Road in Pavilion closure and upgrade schedule

By Press Release

Press Release:

Perry Road, an essential roadway in Genesee County, is undergoing major improvements as part of a broader infrastructure enhancement initiative. Over the next few weeks, some road closures will occur as the project kicks off.

The project's main focus is replacing outdated cross culverts. These new smooth-bore plastic pipes are designed to handle more water and have a longer lifespan than the old corrugated steel pipes. 

Currently, work is happening near BW's Restaurant in Pavilion, where three culverts are being replaced. The project will then move north to a location approximately half a mile south of Route 20, between Rodgers Road and Route 20. Additional phases will address two pipes about a quarter-mile north of Route 20 and the central area of a new campground being developed on Perry Road. 

Please drive with caution as asphalt binder patches have been applied to pavement cuts. While not perfect, they will be in place through the winter. "ROUGH ROAD" signs are posted to alert drivers. 

The project is divided into several phases: 

  1. Cross Culvert Replacement: Ongoing work to upgrade failing culverts. 
  2. Ditch Maintenance: Scheduled for this fall or the upcoming spring, involving opening and cleaning ditches on the roadsides.
  3. Road Widening: In spring 2024, the road will undergo milling and filling to widen the shoulders. 
  4. Final Road Topping: Late summer/fall 2024 will see the road topped Hot Mix Asphalt. 

The goal of this project is to transform Perry Road into a fully rebuilt road, improving its functionality and durability. 

For more information, please contact Tim Hens at 585-344-8508.

Genesee Amateur Hockey Association announces try hockey for free day

By Press Release
try hockey for free
File photo by Howard Owens

Press Release:

Genesee Amateur Hockey Association invites children to the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena on Evans Street on Saturday, Nov. 4 for a Try Hockey For Free clinic as part of Hockey Week Across America. 

Starting at 10:40 a.m. to Noon local youth, ages 4 to 9, are encouraged to experience ice hockey for the first time and learn the basic skills in a fun, safe environment.

“We look forward to welcoming families to David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena to try our great sport of ice hockey,” said Sharon Gray, Coordinator of the Event. “Our goal is for these families to enjoy watching their kids learn new skills with big smiles on their faces.”

USA Hockey’s Try Hockey program, with the support of the National Hockey League and NHL member clubs, among others, is designed to provide youth hockey associations with a national platform for introducing children to the sport, free of charge.

All your youngster needs is a helmet (bike or sports) and winter gloves. Skates are available at the Rink free of charge (due to the generous offering of the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena). The GAHA organization does have some used hockey helmets available for the event as well as a few hockey sticks. 

Players in attendance will be given a free hockey jersey to take home. To register for this Try Hockey For Free event, please visit www.TryHockeyForFree.com (Use zip code 14020)

For more information, please contact Sharon at svgray@rochester.rr.com or 585-344-2248 (Coordinator for Try Hockey For Free).

Two-vehicle mishap at intersection of North and Vine

By Mike Pettinella
mva north and vine

City police and firefighters responded to a two-car accident around 7:15 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of North Street and Vine Street. Police reported that a dark blue Chevrolet sedan was heading east on North Street and was almost through the intersection when it collided with a light blue Bronco SUV, which had been traveling north on Vine Street. The driver of the Bronco reportedly suffered a minor arm injury and was transported from the scene by ambulance. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

Hope Center of Le Roy ready for fall raffles on Saturday

By Press Release
raffle-1.jpg
Submitted photo of basket raffles.

Press Release:

The fundraising committee of the Hope Center has been putting the final touches on their more than 50 donated baskets in preparation for Saturday’s fundraiser, and donations are still rolling in. It will be a back-to-back event, starting with a basket raffle at the Masonic Community Center at 12 Bank Street in LeRoy from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Winners will be drawn starting at 3 p.m. The Masons will be cooking lunch as well. 

The second part of the day will be a gift card raffle which will take place right across the street at the Le Roy Moose Family Center, 21 Bank St.. During their Fall Harvest Dinner from 4 to 7 p.m., Hope Center volunteers will have a table set up with over a dozen gift cards to be raffled. Winners will be drawn starting at 6:30 p.m. For both events, tickets will be $5 for a sheet of 26, and winners need not be present to win. 

“We’ll be calling the lucky winners on Monday and pickups will be scheduled at the Hope Center,” said their Director, Diane Sia. “We are so excited to be partnering with two of Le Roy’s fine organizations and so grateful for the support of our community for this event! That support has come in the form of donated baskets, gift cards, or funds to purchase items for baskets.”

“We have a small army of volunteers who are very dedicated to the programs we offer such as our Fresh Start Tutoring for children in grades K-6, and our Senior Moments Lunch Club Alzheimer’s respite. Although these programs are free, there is always a cost, so fundraising is helping us continue to serve. Our volunteers have really stepped up to make our event a success; we’re praying for a big turnout this Saturday!” 

The Hope Center invites everyone to check them out on their new website: hopecenterofleroy.org, or to follow their Facebook page where there’s always something to share about the wonderful work they do.

raffle-2.jpg
Submitted photo of basket raffles.
raffle-3.jpg
Submitted photo of basket raffles.
raffle-4.jpg
Submitted photo of basket raffle.

Local DAR member represents NYS in the National DAR Heritage Contest

By Press Release
Robin Laney Ettinger
Submitted photo of Robin Laney Ettinger and her crocheted pony named "Delivery".

Press Release:

Robin Laney Ettinger, member of the Anna Ingalsbe Lovell Chapter, NSDAR, received First Place in the DAR New York State Fiber Arts: crochet category. 

Robin approached the contest with the concept of teaching the "Pony Express" to preschool-aged children.  The crocheted pony named "Delivery" has arms that can be manipulated to hug or carry around while the rider and pony deliver letters.  

Delivery has a little cowboy tie and a nice satchel to carry the mail over the rugged trail from stop to stop. The satchel contains a map of the route, the Pony Express Oath, and laminated letters with Pony Express era stamp.  The letters can be written or drawn on with crayons or dry erase markers.  

Delivery can be used with mail delivery play and also as a prop when reading age-appropriate books such as "Ride Cody Ride" or "Dora the Explorer's - Pony Express".

Robin’s Delivery was then selected to represent New York State 121 chapters in the National Society (NSDAR) Heritage Committee Contest. The 2023 theme was "Educating the Next Generation on Our Historic American Trails."

Robin, who learned how to crochet from her mother, started creating animals 6 years ago. As a multimedia artist, she is planning her project for the 2024 contest, "Stars and Stripes forever in Our Hearts through the Arts."

If you would like more information on the NSDAR please visit the website www.dar.org.

Grand View Cemetery begins annual wreath sale

By Press Release

Press Release:

Grand View Cemetery, located on Route 33 in Batavia, will be holding its annual Holiday Wreath Sale. Wreaths are approximately 24 inches in diameter. Each wreath includes a red bow, berries, and pine cones. These wreaths are perfect for your front door or for the grave of a loved one.

To order wreaths please contact Joyce at 343-0877 or the office at 993-1317. Wreaths are $25 each and all orders must be received by Wednesday, Nov. 1.

Order pick up will be on Sunday, Nov. 26 at the Cemetery maintenance garage from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. All proceeds will go towards cemetery maintenance. 

Vital community food pantry in search of new home

By Press Release

Press Release:

The North Bergen Food Pantry, on North Bergen Road in the town of Bergen, was established by Pastor David Fish as a mission activity of the North Bergen Presbyterian Church in August 2019, but is soon losing its space!

Fish, seeing the great need in his rural community, set up the pantry with the help of volunteers, Foodlink, and donations from local churches, farmers, some individuals, and area businesses. His goal is to try to combat the food insecurity in his much-loved rural community.

On Dec. 31 sadly the North Bergen Presbyterian Church which has stood for nearly 200 years will be permanently closing its doors because of dwindling patronage. Without the church building, the pantry must be vacated. The pantry simply cannot afford the maintenance and upkeep of the church building and is looking for another space where they can move their operations. “I’m so hoping that someone will come forward and offer us a place. We have what we need; refrigerators, freezers, shelving units, and most importantly volunteers who are willing to continue this mission, we need at least 2,000 square feet of space. A space that offers a handicapped entrance, parking, and a restroom would be perfect,” says Fish.

In the 4 years the pantry has been in operation, the households served have steadily increased; the elderly population and others on fixed income have especially benefitted from the food provided. “There is a great need in our community,” says Fish, “in 2022 we helped over 1157 individuals from 394 households.” Fish continued, “Not only do we help families with food insecurity, but we also offer a warm environment and often foster relationships that may lead those in need to other services.”

FeedingAmerica.org reports that 87% of counties with the highest food insecurity rate are rural. In 2022 osc.state.ny.us reports that 11.7% of Genesee and Orleans County residents live in poverty. According to Fish, the pantry attendance grew 269% between March and December 2022. “As a result of the pandemic, food costs have risen and there have been supply-chain issues causing many families to make difficult decisions with regard to feeding their families,” says Fish.

Fish is very much devoted to keeping this much-needed food pantry alive and thriving into 2024 and beyond, but he is reaching out to the communities of Genesee, Orleans, and Western Monroe to help him find a place to continue his mission. 

If you know of or have a potential vacant space that will be available by the end of the year, please contact Pastor David Fish at 585-290-5487. Also, if you would like to contribute to the North Bergen Food Pantry, please give him a call.

GC Office for the Aging warns of elder financial fraud

By Press Release

Press Release:

In an effort to protect our community's vulnerable citizens from financial scams, the Genesee County Office for the Aging is proud to announce a collaborative event that equips residents with the knowledge and tools to guard against elder financial fraud. 

Event Details: 

  • Date: Oct. 23
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Location: Genesee County Office for the Aging, 2 Bank St, Batavia

Join us for this crucial presentation, supported by law enforcement agencies, M&T Bank Financial Crimes Unit, and AARP, where you will gain insights into the latest scams employed by criminal organizations to target elderly individuals. This event will educate you about the evolving tactics of scammers and provide essential guidance on how to protect yourself and, if necessary, what steps to take if you have fallen victim to a scam.

We urge all interested participants to pre-register by calling 585-343-1611 to ensure your spot at this informative event. The presentation will be conducted by professionals from Homeland Security Investigations, the US Secret Service, M&T Bank, and AARP. 

In a world where financial scams are rising, knowledge is your best defense. We encourage all Genesee County residents, especially seniors, to attend this event and arm themselves with valuable information that can help protect their financial well-being. 

For more information, please contact: Jill Yasses at 585-344-2550 ext. 5931

Top Items on Batavia's List

Crossroads House is a comfort care home for the dying. We are a non-for-profit organization that provides its services free of charge. We run on a supportive community and selfless volunteers. With out both of those we would not be able to serve our community. If you have a caregiver's heart and 2 to 4 hours a week, we would love for you to become a part of our Crossroads House family! No experience required, we will train you and provide mentors and experienced volunteers to guide you. Please go to Crossroadshouse.com to apply, click on volunteer tab to complete application or email Ashleymanuel@crossroadshouse.com
Tags: Jobs offered

Authentically Local