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Batavia Lions Club thanks one and all

By Billie Owens

Here's a letter of thanks to the community from the Batavia Lions Club.

The Batavia Lions Club, with the help of many community members, was very busy during the past Christmas holidays with several annual projects directed at serving the residents of Batavia and the Genesee County area.

During the Thanksgiving holidays, several Lions helped decorate downtown for Christmas. On Main Street alone, 43 light poles were decorated with individual lighted snowflakes along with lighted garland that was wrapped around each pole. Additionally, the Lions placed 24-inch red bows at the base of each snowflake. Lighted garland wrap was also placed on about 30 poles up and down two of our side streets.

The Lions Club’s investment in these decorations is in the neighborhood of $15,000 of which 100 percent of the money was raised from our community, local businesses and through funding we received through the office Assemblyman Steve Hawley. It takes approximately 60 man-hours to install and to disassemble all of these decorations. This year, with nice weather, the Lions were rather fortunate (usually these 60 hours are spent outdoors in the freezing Western New York weather).

Again this year, several Batavia Lions helped serve the annual Christmas dinner provided by T.F. Brown's restaurant. Working with Ben and Rick Mancuso and their crew, we served turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and all the fixings to many local families. In addition, the Lions provided toys for each and every child who attended. We would like to thank Ben and Rick for their wonderful generosity at a time of year when the need is most apparent.

This year’s Lions Club Boys Basketball Tournament was a resounding success. This tournament has become one of the premier high school tournaments in New York State.  This year, Batavia High School defeated Notre Dame High School for the title in an extremely hard fought game. The games were played at the newly renovated Genesee Community College gymnasium. The attendance was excellent in spite of the snowy conditions we experienced on the first night. We thank the college and its staff for their cooperation in providing this beautiful venue to showcase our local high school talent.

Finally, working with area schools and churches, the Lions Club provided certificates for food baskets from Tops Markets and new blankets for local families in need. Nineteen $50 gift cards for food and 17 new blankets were distributed through local schools. In addition, 18 $20 food cards and 18 blankets were given to needy families in our area through Father Ivan Trujillo.

We would like to express our appreciation to all who assisted in these worthy community projects. Our work would not be possible without the cooperation and help of so many.  Batavia is a city that truly cares and the members of the Batavia Lions Club feel very fortunate to be able to serve such a community.

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