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April 16, 2022 - 4:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia kiwanis, batavia, Centennial Park, Easter, news.


After a two-year hiatus, the annual Batavia Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt returned this morning to Centennial Park in Batavia. Despite damp and cold conditions a couple of hundred children turned out to hunt for hundreds of eggs, including golden eggs that contained a slip that awarded the finder a giant chocolate bunny from Oliver's Candies.














May 17, 2019 - 7:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia kiwanis, schools, education, news.


On Thursday, the Kiwanis Club of Batavia held its annual luncheon recognizing the Top 10 academic students of Batavia High School.

Top Photo: Ryann Stefaniak (first row, left), Madison Dedman, Pierce Corbelli, Kristen Gloskowski, Emily Caccamise (back row, left), Lyndsay Debo, Brianna Bromley, Karissa Kesler, Tracy Lin, Julia Spiotta. Spiotta is top in her class.


The annual music awards went to Eryn Dunn for Outstanding Service in Chorus, Zak Jantzi for Outstanding Service in Orchestra, and Elise Hoerbelt for Outstanding Service in Band.


Karissa Kesler and Emily Boldt received Citizenship Awards. Besides the plaques, Kesler and Boldt received $1,000 each.

Below, a submitted photo from last week of the Top 10 students from Notre Dame High School.


Mary Vandenbosch (first row, left), Hannah Gualtieri, Faith Falkowski, Meghan Stella, Elizabeth Fuentes, Gemma Bochicchio (back row, left), Daniel Bergman, Samuel Bowman, Bella March, and Mary Warner.

February 22, 2018 - 4:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia kiwanis, batavia, news.


Submitted photo: Matt Landers, president of Batavia Kiwanis, with a dessert tray commemorating the club's 95 anniversary.

Press release:

Today, the Kiwanis Club of Batavia celebrated its 95th Anniversary. The club’s rich history of performing community service projects for the children of the Batavia community has left its mark in a variety of ways.

The club received its charter from Kiwanis International on Feb. 22, 1923, with 56 original members, including the former Batavia Mayor, Ashton W. Caney, and many other community businessmen and professionals.

The mission of Kiwanis is to serve the children of the world, and as one of their first projects, the Kiwanis Club of Batavia started a fresh air program where they sponsored bringing children from the cities into the country for a week. The club began recognizing the top 10 students from Batavia and Notre Dame High Schools in 1944 and continues to do so today.

The club’s largest project during their first half-century included raising over $42,000 to assist in building the city pool at MacArthur Park, which was dedicated in 1962. Following the pool project, the club sponsored the development of Kiwanis Park in the Town of Batavia. The park was dedicated in 1977, and most recently the club helped to convert the park to one that offers specialized equipment for children with developmental disabilities.

During the second half-century of the club’s existence, a most significant impact was realized through the Bidding on a Brighter Future Gala event that raised a combined total of nearly $200,000 over five years to assist the Justice for Children Advocacy Center in securing a permanent home. These funds are presently being utilized to renovate a building that will meet the service needs related to assisting children who have been physically or sexually abused.

Other projects started by the Kiwanis Club include a Soap Box Derby, an ice carnival, Farm City Days, a ski tow in Attica, and the Golden Olympics for seniors.

The club continues to work tirelessly for the community in a variety of ways. Monies raised through their Pancake Day, Spaghetti Dinner and 5K for Autism Awareness are distributed to local children-centric organizations. Money from those projects also funds several annual community events: Easter Egg Hunt, Thanksgiving Morning Skate, Holiday Tote Project and AMBA Blood Analysis. The club supports Meals on Wheels by delivering meals on a weekly basis, as it has done for nearly 20 years.

Most recently in partnership with Genesee County, club members volunteered to maintain the outdoor ice rink at DeWitt Recreation Area on Friday nights so the community would have the opportunity to skate under the lights on a weekly basis. The club also partners with the Genesee County Bar Association to recognize outstanding law enforcement professionals from the Batavia Police Department, Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, State Police Troop A and the Le Roy Police Department at their Annual Law Day Dinner.

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia currently has 43 members and is proud of the long-term membership of Kiwanis Past Lieutenant Governor Richard Rung since 1973, as well as that of local Past President Donald Lewis since 1965.

February 3, 2018 - 10:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, news, batavia kiwanis.


About a dozen kids showed up over the course of the evening for skating under the lights at DeWitt Recreation Area last night. The Batavia Kiwanis Club served free hot cocoa.




December 21, 2017 - 9:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia kiwanis, batavia, news.


Members of the Kiwanis Club of Batavia have prepared gift bags filled with all the ingredients of a holiday meal to help feed 85 local families for Christmas and those selected families will receive their bags, gifts and a visit with Santa tonight.

The families were selected by the Salvation Army, through the United Way Backpack Program, and through the city's elementary schools, including St. Joe's.




May 19, 2016 - 9:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, batavia kiwanis, news.


Batavia High School's top academic seniors were honored today by the Batavia Kiwanis Club, and they were also congratulated by an unexpected guest at the meeting, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who was in town for an event at Genesee Community College and stopped by the Kiwanis meeting after that event.

Hochul told the students that they've been fortunate to grow up in a community that has nurtured them and, unlike the era of her youth in WNY, provides more career opportunities at home. She encouraged them to get their college educations and then return home where they can not only better themselves and their families but their communities as well.

The top 10 students are Alexis Vasciannie, Ross Chua, Louis Leone, Sarah Wezel, Skylar Laesser, Noah Dobbertin, Andrea Gilebarto, Dharina Rathod, Samantha Cecere and Quinn Schrader.

Awards were also given out for vocal and instrumental achievement and citizenship.



April 29, 2016 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in criminal justice awards, batavia kiwanis, batavia, news.

Press release:

Kiwanis Club President Jeanne Walton and Genesee County Bar Association Benjamin Bonarigo, Sr. announced the awards during an annual dinner held at Batavia Country Club on Thursday, April 28, 2016.  The speaker at the dinner was Hon. Thomas A. Belein, Chairman of the New York State Commission of Correction.


Kiwanis Criminal Justice Award

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia Criminal Justice Award is presented to a member or members of the community, law enforcement, or a criminal justice agency serving the citizens of Genesee County whose exceptional career achievements and conscientiousness to citizenship have demonstrated a spirit of selfless public service or demonstrated an act of exceptional valor or heroism.


Sheriff Gary T. Maha, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Gary T. Maha has been a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office for over 49 years.  He started his law enforcement career as a dispatcher for the New York State Police in 1966 and became a Deputy Sheriff in 1967.  He was promoted to a Senior Investigator on July 16, 1969, and then promoted to Chief Deputy on June 4, 1977.  In 1988, he became Sheriff of Genesee County and has been ever since.  Sheriff Maha is very disciplined, beyond reproach, has served well as the commander in chief of a quasi-military organization, has adapted well to five decades of technological and other advancements in law enforcement and has been actively involved in his community as a member of the Kiwanis Club, serving as the Club President, a member of the Board of Directors and a pancake maker at the annual Pancake Days, along with many other projects.  He has earned the respect of his employees, the other professionals he works with in the Criminal justice System, his colleagues throughout NYS and the citizens of Genesee County.  Sheriff Maha was nominated for this award by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.


Police Officer James M. DeFreze, City of Batavia Police Department
Police Officer James M. DeFreze has been a member of the City of Batavia Police Department since 2010.  He serves as a Field Training Officer and Crisis negotiator while remaining very active with all of the department’s community events.  This past December, Officer DeFreze spearheaded and helped organize the department’s first ever Shop-with-a-Cop Event in conjunction with Wal-Mart of Batavia.  The event was a huge success and reached every school district in the county.  Officer DeFreze has gone above and beyond routine assistance to
not only respond to victims of domestic violence but to make them comfortable and secure with the way in which he treats them.  Officer DeFreze has demonstrated a depth of knowledge and understanding of the very dynamics of domestic violence.  This has enabled him to appropriately respond to each victim’s fragile emotions with amazing sensitivity, tact and patience.  His concern for domestic violence victims is unsurpassed.  Police Officer DeFreze was nominated for this award by Justina Garner, YWCA Program Manager for Domestic Violence, and Holly Baxter, YWCA Program Manager – Care & Crisis Helpline. 


Investigators Ronald W. Wilson and Michael D. Sims, New York State Police

In August of 2015, the State Police BCI (Bureau of Criminal Investigations) adopted a burglary investigation in the Town of Darien.  Throughout the following weeks, additional burglaries were reported to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office as well as the New York State Police.  Investigators Wilson and Sims worked diligently on all of the complaints in an effort to connect them and identify the perpetrators through evidence, interviews, and the sharing of intelligence with their counterparts at the Sheriff’s Office.  Similar daytime residential burglaries were occurring in Erie and Niagara Counties.  Wilson and Sims met with representatives of the agencies involved and together they formulated a plan to monitor and eventually arrest the suspects.  In October, four suspects were arrested and charged with more than 30 residential burglaries spanning four counties in Western New York.  Two of the defendants were additionally charged for their confession to an armed robbery that occurred earlier in the year.  Investigators Ronald W. Wilson and Michael D. Sims were nominated for this award by Major Steven A. Nigrelli, Troop Commander, Troop A.

Chaplain Allen A. Werk, Genesee County Sheriff’s Offic

Charles L. Mancuso Mock Trial Award

The “Charles L. Mancuso Award” was presented to the members of the Pembroke High School Mock Trial Team as winners of the 2016 GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties) District Competition in the New York State Bar Association High School Mock Trial Tournament.  The award reads “Dedicated to the Memory of an Outstanding Attorney-Citizen”, Mr. Mancuso, a Batavia lawyer, served as coordinator of the local competition until his untimely death nine years ago.  The Pembroke High School team members honored at the dinner include:  Alison Reiner, Kilian Lewis, Matthew Reeb, Sophia Zwolinski, Samuel Lang, Kassandra Sanner, Seth Librock, Tyler Wood, Johnathon Doud, Bethany Zwolinski, Eli Fox and Coach Paul L. Schuler, Jr.  Coordinator of the local Mock Trial Program, Kristie DeFreze, and Genesee County Bar Association President Benjamin Bonarigo, Sr. presented the award.


Genesee County Bar Association SPECIAL PRESENTATION

David Saleh

Attorney Mary Ann Wiater made a special presentation to David Saleh on behalf of the Genesee County Bar Association.  Mr. Saleh has been a mock trial coach at Pembroke since the high school first started to compete.  The success of a high school team many times is determined by attorney coaches who dedicate valuable time, spending innumerable evening hours and countless weekends to assist the team of students.  The students of Pembroke high school are very fortunate to have had the dedication from David who is one of the finest advocates in the legal profession.  He coached his children when they attended high school, and even though his children have long since graduated, David continues to coach.  David believes in the Mock Trial program and in the value it provides to the students of Pembroke.  Because of David, Pembroke has never been without an attorney coach, and under his tutelage, Pembroke has made it to the regional competition twice. 

Genesee/Orleans Council on Substance Abuse (GCASA) Award

Exceptional Service Award – Sarah Palermo

Sheila Harding, Prevention Educator/VIP Coordinator for GCASA, presented the Exceptional Service Award to Sarah Palermo.  Sarah attends almost every monthly DWI/Victim Impact Panel as a member where she shares her experiences and personal story of her daughter being a victim of a drunk driving crash.  Sarah not only speaks on the Genesee County Panel but on other surrounding county panels.  She demonstrates respect and genuine kindness towards GCASA staff and the offenders who attend the panel.  Sarah is always willing to volunteer her time to speak for the panel, and speakers like her are the true reason why our DWI/Victim Impact Panel makes an impact in our community.  

June 29, 2015 - 9:20am
posted by Lisa Ace in Independence Day 5K, batavia kiwanis, batavia, ny.
Event Date and Time: 
July 4, 2015 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Batavia Kiwanis Independence Day 5K to be held on July 4th at Centennial Park at 9:00am. To register go to: Score-this.com

September 22, 2013 - 8:39pm

The third annual "Bidding on a Brighter Future" gala and auction was hosted by the Kiwanis club of Batavia on Saturday night at Genesee Community College's forum. Big turn out, lots of auction items -- all signs of a hugely successful event.

Proceeds will go to the Child Advocacy Center/Justice for Children Foundation to provide the CAC with a permenant building for its operations.

No word yet on how much money was raised or the final total of attendees, but it was a full house.

August 5, 2013 - 4:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in children's advocacy center, batavia kiwanis.

Press release:

BATAVIA — Kiwanis Club of Batavia is gearing up for its third annual Gala fundraiser, "Bidding on a Brighter Future." With a different venue, live entertainment, a great menu and specialty raffles, this event will offer something for everyone as it raises money to help the Children's Advocacy Center right here in Batavia.

It's set to begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 at The Forum at Genesee Community College, 1 College Road.

Over the last two years, the gala has brought in more than $70,000 to support a new location for the Center. In the meantime, the Center has been in progress with moving to a temporary location next to First Presbyterian Church. That will allow Center staff to save money on rent and instead use it for crucial services for child victims of sexual abuse.

Hundreds of children and families use this center throughout the course of a year for medical, legal, emotional and law enforcement assistance. The Center serves families in Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming and Livingston counties.

The Gala Committee welcomes and encourages local businesses, organizations and individuals to support this event. You may do so by becoming a sponsor, making a donation for one of the many auctions or by purchasing a program ad.

Tickets are $50 a person or $400 for a table of 10. Special sponsorship levels are also available, such as a $500 table for 10 that includes promotional perks.

WHAT: Third annual Bidding on a Brighter Future Gala & Auction
WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21
WHERE: The Forum, Genesee Community College, 1 College Road, Batavia

CONTACT: Phone -- 815-5234 or e-mail [email protected], or visit

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