Local Matters

Community Sponsors

March 28, 2019 - 3:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, grants.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is excited to announce the recipients of the 2018-2019 winter cycle of Community Youth Grant Awards.

Grants have been awarded to the following organizations for their commitment to facilitating community youth activities for children under age 18 in the Western New York region:

  • Warsaw Junior Tigers Youth Football Program: $1,600
  • Batavia Middle School -- “B Squad” Running Program: $1,100
  • St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. John the Baptist Church “Kids to Camp” Program: $1,000
  • Batavia Girls Fastpitch Softball/Batavia Stingers: $1,500
  • Genesee County Business/Education Alliance Summer Career Exploration Camps: $1,000

The summer round of the annual grant cycle will begin soon.

Summer 2019 Funding Cycle:

●  Application form available (online only) on May 1;

●  Applications are due July 1;

●  Award notices will be sent to applicants by Aug. 1.

The online application will be available here. There are no geographic limitations for recipients, but preference may be given to the Western New York region. Organizations may receive one grant annually. Requests for program advertising will be directed to the appropriate grant cycle.

Upcoming Foundation Fundraising events:

The eighth annual Derby Day Gala 2019 will be held on Saturday, May 4, at Terry Hills Restaurant & Banquet Facility from 4 to 9 p.m. For ticket information go to www.michaelshope.org

About the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation Inc.

It was established in 2007, is in memory of Michael C. Napoleone, the 8-year-old son of Mark and Laurie Napoleone from Batavia, who died from Burkitts Lymphoma/Leukemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer. During Michael's illness, the community rallied around the family to assist with food, gas, medical bills and other necessities.

The not-for-profit foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, was created to give back to those who cared, to give forward to those in need, and to support research efforts in finding a cure for childhood cancer.

February 18, 2019 - 1:18pm


The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation and Gilda's Club of Rochester hosted a new fundraiser Sunday evening at Eli Fish called "Hops for Hope."

Proceeds from the event benefited both organizations, both of which assist children with cancer.



Danielle Rotondo, Donna Kabel, members of the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation board of directors, Laurie Napoleone, cofounder, and Mark Parsons, with Gilda's Club of Rochester.









April 5, 2018 - 1:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, derby day, batavia, news.


Press release:

It’s Off to the Races as the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, prepares for its Derby Day Gala 2018, a fundraising event held in conjunction with the running of the 144th Kentucky Derby.

The event raises monies to support the mission of the Foundation, namely to assist families struggling with the diagnosis of pediatric cancers, support research efforts in the area of childhood cancers, and provide assistance to youth activities and programs.

Win, Place and Show your support for the Foundation’s annual fundraising event to be held at Terry Hills Golf Course & Banquet Facility in Batavia from 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 5th.

The Foundation, a 501(C) 3, was founded by Mark Napoleone and Laurie (Pero) in 2007 after the loss of their 8-year-old son to Burkitt’s Lymphoma, an aggressive form of blood cancer.

To date, the foundation has assisted 355 families with $332,000 worth of support during their child’s illness, contributed $73,000 to support research, gave $49,000 to assist youth organizations and donated $50,000 to building the new Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester.

The evening features “Kentucky Derby” theme, food, drinks, live music, silent and live auctions, and a professional photo in your best Derby attire. There will be prizes for the best woman’s hat, Dapper Derby Award for the men, and a best dressed couple’s award. Tickets are $75/each and Win, Place and Show Sponsorships are available.

There are many ways for you to support this event -- auction donations (gift certificates, electronics, sports memorabilia, spa packages, and weekend getaways). Monetary donations are also accepted. All donations are tax deductible. Your assistance will make our Derby Day Gala 2018 a winning success.

For those who are interested in attending the gala, tickets can be purchased by contacting Ann Marie at 721-0151.

Through the generosity of individuals and businesses, and the work of our volunteers, we have been able to “Lend a Hand for Hope” to those in need for over 10 years.

For more information, gallop onto our website: www.michaelshope.org or call 861-0550.

Photos: File photos by Howard Owens.



August 16, 2017 - 1:21pm

Press release:

Tompkins Insurance Agencies and The Selective Insurance Group Foundation joined forces to support the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation.

The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation was established in 2007 in memory of Michael C. Napoleone, the 8-year-old son of Mark and Laurie Napoleone from Batavia, who died from Burkitts Lymphoma/Leukemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer.

During Michael's illness, the community rallied around the family to assist with food, gas, medical bills and other necessities. The not-for-profit foundation was created to give back to those who cared, to give forward to those in need, and to support research efforts in finding a cure for childhood cancer.

“The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is a special organization, and its commitment to supporting those in need in our community is inspiring,” said David S. Boyce, president and CEO, Tompkins Insurance Agencies. “We are privileged to show our support through this donation.” 

The $300 donation from Tompkins Insurance Agencies was matched by a $300 grant from The Selective Insurance Group Foundation. The Selective Insurance Group Foundation is a philanthropic affiliate of Selective Insurance Group, Inc.

“At Selective, Response is everything®… and this includes responding to the communities where we live and work to give back and help those in need. Together with Tompkins Insurance Agencies, we are proud to support the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation and its efforts to make a difference in the community,” said Chuck Musilli, senior vice president, Distribution Strategies, Selective.

May 6, 2017 - 8:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, derby day, batavia, news.


The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation celebrated the running of the Kentucky Derby again today with its Sixth Annual Derby Day at Terry Hills. The even also marked the 10th anniversary of the creation of the foundation, which honors the son of Mark and Laurie Napoleone, who died of Burkitts Lymphoma/Leukemia at age 8. The foundation raises money to fund pediatric cancer research, treatment and to help families with children in cancer treatment.








To purchase prints, click here.

May 28, 2016 - 8:29pm


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.


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






September 18, 2015 - 1:30pm

From Laurie Napoleone:

On Saturday, Sept. 19th, the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is hosting “Run for the Gold” to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer.

The 5K Run/Walk will be held in Le Roy starting at the Summit Street Tennis Courts beginning at 9 a.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. The cost is $25 pre-race and $35 on the day of the race. T-shirts will be given to the first 100 runners.

New this year – a balloon launch. Buy a balloon in memory and honor of a loved one or just send a special note on one.

Gather friends and family and take a walk on a beautiful fall morning while making a difference in the lives of those affected by a pediatric cancer diagnosis. If you can’t walk, just join the foundation for a fun day in the lovely Village of Le Roy.

Register today at http://www.active.com/leroy-ny/running/distance-running-races/run-for-the-gold-2015?int or for more information go to michaelshope.org.

Hope to see you there!

May 23, 2015 - 10:27pm


Laurie Napoleone speaks during the Awareness Ceremony on the second day of the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation Baseball Tournment.  The tournament has grown to a three-day event spread out over every available baseball field in Batavia.

The foundation has provided more than $170,000 in assistance to families with children dealing with medical issues. The foundation has also purchased a new scoreboard for the ball field at Williams Park, has donated more than $48,000 to pediatric cancer research and has pledged $50,000 to the Golisano Children's Hospital.

Michael Napoleone succumbed to Burkitts Lymphoma/Leukemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer, in 2006. Mark and Laurie Napoleone formed the foundation in response to the outpouring of support their family received from the community after Michael was diagnosed.


Genesee Pride AAU boys and girls basketball donated $350 players raised for the foundation.


The family of Kenny Hazlett. Hazlett was a longtime umpire and dedicated volunteer for the tournment who passed away. A sign on the backstop of the Little League field honoring his memory was unveiled during the ceremony.


David Pero speaking about Hazlett.


Unveiling the sign.


Chase Bordonaro received a Spirit of Michael Napoleone Award, along with Tony Piazza and Griffin Dellapenna (pictured below).



Veterans in attendance were invited to stand along the first base line during the playing of the National Anthem


September 24, 2014 - 8:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation.

Press release: 

September is Pediatric cancer Awareness Month and the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is hosting  2 events to raise funds and awareness for this devastating disease. Pediatric Cancer is the number one cause of  disease-related death in children.  Forty-six children a day are diagnosed with cancer and 40,000 children undergo cancer treatment each year. There is so much to be done and so many families in need of assistance.

The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is hosting a 5k Run /Walk for the Gold on September 27th @ 9am in Leroy, NY , registration begins at 8am.  The race begins at the Tennis Courts on Wolcott St.  $25/per participant. Go to active.com to register or to www.michaelshope.org for  mail-in registration. First 100 runners get a free T-shirt.

The Foundation is also raffling a  “DINNER FOR TEN”, which is a 5 course gourmet dinner for 10 people served in a private setting with limo service (50 mile travel radius). This is a one-of-a-kind raffle  and  is an amazing prize to win!! Winner can select a mutually agreed upon date for the dinner.  Tickets are $20/each or 3/$50. Call 585-409-3276 or 585-409-3275 for more information or if you need tickets dropped off. Go to www.michaelshope.org to see previous   winners.

Support Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month by supporting the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation.  Your assistance helps us “Lend a Hand of Hope” to families, to research efforts, and to youth in our community.

May 3, 2014 - 7:55pm

Today at Terry Hills the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation hosted its annual Derby Day Gala fundraiser.

As expected, there were lots of fancy hats.

Above, Dave Pero.

Emily Branche.

Barb Pierce.

Kevin Carlson created formal portraits of guests.

Anthony Nemi.

Donna Kabel.

The hat of Linda Klips.

Ann Marie Suttell and Nancy Chapman.

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 www.michaelshope.org.

August 26, 2013 - 4:10pm

Enter to win the grand prize of a five course gourmet dinner for 10 people with wine pairings. DESIGN YOUR OWN DINNER PARTY -- hosted by: Michael Napoleone Foundation Board of Directors. Prepared by “Chef” Mark Napoleone and Sous Chefs. Limo Service Provided (some distance restrictions).

  • WHO:  You and Nine of Your Friends!
  • WHEN:  September 21, 2013, beginning at 5:00 p.m.
  • WHERE:  An Intimate Home Setting in Batavia.
  • TICKET COST:  One Chance for $30 or three for $50.

Drawing will be held at T.F. Brown’s on August 30, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. Winners need not be present at time of drawing. All proceeds support the mission of The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, to assist families facing the challenges of a pediatric cancer diagnosis, support research efforts, and assist youth activities in our community. All contributions are tax deductible.

For ticket information, call 585-861-0550 or 585-409-3276. Credit card or Paypal orders accepted on the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation. Visit us online at: www.michaelshope.org

May 5, 2013 - 12:27am

Once again, hundreds of Genesee County residents came out to Terry Hills today for Derby Day, one of the annual major fundraisers for the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation.


May 27, 2012 - 9:14am

This weekend, young ball players from throughout the region are in Batavia for the annual Michael Napoleone baseball tournament.

The tournament acts as a fundraiser for the Michael Napoleone Foundation, which provides donations to cancer research, and as a memorial to Michael, who loved baseball.

Michael died in 2006 from Burkitt's lymphoma/leukemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer.

These pictures are from Saturday. The tournament runs through tomorrow.

If you're unable to view the slide show below, click here.

To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

May 5, 2012 - 11:07pm

The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation held its annual Kentucky Derby Party at Terry Hills on Saturday afternoon.

The party is a major fundraiser and supports research for curing childhood cancer and provides assistance to victms' families.

A big tradition with the Kentucky Derby is women wearing fancy hats, and that's also part of the tradition of the foundation's party.

Above, Christen Napoleone, Andrea Suttell and Ashley Napoleone.

Jennifer Houseknecht and Lori Reinhardt

Jody McCulley

Peggy Sacheli

Trish Pero and Peg Pietzykowski-Gorecki (Peg created both hats)

December 14, 2011 - 9:29am

What the Dickens are the Batavia Players up to now?

According to Patrick Burk, the popular local theater group's president, they "wanted to do a wonderful Christmas gift to the community for the support of our new Harvester 56 Theater" this holiday season.

So they're putting on their own rendition of Charles Dickens' classic, "A Christmas Carol," the story of Ebenezer Scrooge -- a greedy, bitter, lonely old miser whose whole way of looking at the world gets turned upside down by a series of ghostly visitations on Christmas Eve.

Burk described the show as "bright and colorful as well as technically magical."

"It has a classic storyline and has always been one of my favorites," he said. "I could never find where an original version had been done (in Batavia, at least). A couple of contemporary versions with modern day spins were done in the '70s and early '80s."

The Players, on the other hand, will be giving folks pure Dickens, without any modern spin. All costumes and sets are going to be traditional. The music will be "contemporary for the time (the early 1840s, to be precise)," but with a few newer carols, according to Burk.

Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, in addition to a matinée performance at 2 o'clock on Sunday. All performances will be at the Harvester 56 Theatre, at 56 Harvester Ave. in Batavia.

Sunday's performance will be held for the benefit of the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation.

"Many of (the foundation's) members have been very supportive of us," Burk said, "I am so happy to be able to do this for them."

For those who are not familiar with Dickens' story, one of its most well-known and endearing characters is a sick child named Tiny Tim. Burk felt the Napoleone Foundation would be a "good fit" for this story.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for children and seniors. They can be purchased through www.showtix4u.com.



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