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Batavia Kiwanis Club

July 29, 2022 - 4:23pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Kiwanis Club, batavia, news.

Press release:

Kiwanis Club of Batavia will be hosting a Chicken BBQ on Saturday, July 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Town of Batavia Fire Department on Lewiston Road.  Tickets are $14 and can be purchased from any Kiwanian.  This is a Drive-thru only event.

Proceeds from the event will support Books for Babies at the Richmond Memorial Library.  Books for Babies provides every child born at United Memorial Medical Center (or anywhere in Genesee County, by request at the library) with a tote bag containing a new, age-appropriate board book; a nursing bib with the Read to Me graphic, so that any caregiver might see the bib and begin reading books to babies earlier; and a handout giving simple early literacy guidelines and milestones and pointers for new parents to other early literacy resources, and free registration instructions for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

June 27, 2022 - 8:05am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Batavia Kiwanis Club, 5K, notify, batavia, July 4.

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So there’s some good news and some bad news about Fourth of July festivities this year. While there don’t seem to be too many local events taking place on the actual day, including the long-standing Picnic in the Park, (the bad news), there are plenty of activities during the long weekend leading up to the patriotic holiday.

That should be good news for anyone interested in baseball, fireworks, live music, cultural and artisan entertainment, a road race and the camaraderie that naturally accompanies family and friends gatherings.

Friday, July 1
First up is the Old Hippies from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday in Jackson Square (between Jackson and Center streets, Batavia. You should know the drill by now: bring a lawn chair, relax and enjoy. Across town will be a Muckdogs game at 7:05 p.m. at Dwyer Stadium. In addition to swing-batter-swing, there will be fireworks following the game.

Or how about “Get(ting) the Led Out” at Batavia Downs Gaming, where a Led Zeppelin tribute band takes the stage at 5 p.m. trackside. Click here for tickets

Josh Groban will be taking the stage at 7 p.m. at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, 9993 Alleghany Road (Route 77). For tickets, go here 

Restaurants are also planning to provide some live music for patrons, including the Red Osier on Route 5 in Stafford, and Center Street Smokehouse on Center Street in Batavia.

Saturday, July 2
From 6:30 to 10 p.m., the Sinner Band will be at Jam at the Ridge, 8101 Conlon Road, Le Roy.  Click here for tickets

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Saturday will also bring the family fun all day and night long with the Batavia Ramble Explore Arts & Music Fest downtown in Jackson Square. Live bands, cultural dances, hands-on artist crafts, and more will run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more details, see prior coverage here 

Big Time Rush Forever Tour is set for 8 p.m. at Darien Lake Amphitheater at Six Flags Darien Lake Theme Park. For tickets, go here

Public Water Supply will have the music flowing from 8:30 to 11 p.m. at Cherry Hill Campground, 1516 Sumner Rd Darien Center. For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/CherryHillCamp/

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Sunday, July 3
Sunday will feature another Muckdogs home game at 7:05 p.m. at Dwyer Stadium, complemented by a nightcap of fireworks. For more information or tickets, go to Muckdogs

Backstreet Boys: DNA World Tour is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Darien Lake Amphitheater. Click here for tickets 

Monday, July 4
Holiday? What holiday? Lace-up your sneakers for a little early morning exercise before firing up the grill and enjoying picnic treats. You’ve got a week to prepare for the annual Kiwanis Club Independence Day 5K, set for 9 a.m. July 4 at Centennial Park.

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The annual fundraiser is back on the road this year, after a temporary pandemic virtual option, says club member Dave Chua. For those runners not willing or able to take on the morning 3-mile jaunt, there will be a virtual option again this year, Chua said.

Runners will be helping Kiwanis Club raise money for the Autism Nature Trail and Batavia City School District Foundation.

As for no Picnic in the Park, Chua didn’t think that would impact the number of participants in the 5K, especially since the event has always wrapped up before the picnic festivities began anyway. It will mean, however, the rental and expense of port-a-potties. Participants have previously been able to use the ones already put in place for the picnic, he said.

This year’s race is going with a new timing company, Spirit Timing, which seems to be well-organized, he said. As part of that change will be fewer paper registrations versus online. There will also be a phone app to register that way ahead of time or while standing in line that morning as a day-of registrant.

Those that do register ahead of time are pretty much guaranteed a T-shirt with the official race logo, and all runners will get a bib with the timing chip on race day. Fees are $25 for each of the July 4 and virtual races.

Packet pick-up (and pre-registration) will be at 5 p.m. Sunday, July 3 at Batavia’s Original, 500 East Main St., Batavia. For more information, go to Batavia Kiwanis 5K

With all of the construction and a one-way Park Road along Batavia Downs Gaming, there won’t be any fireworks at the site this year, marketing director Ryan Hasenauer said. He recommends checking out the Friday concert as part of the Rockin' the Downs series, above.

Godfrey’s Pond is hosting a fun, members-only parade on July 4, complete with decorated bikes and golf carts. A step out of the county will find Genesee Country Village & Museum with a good old-fashioned Independence Day celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Mumford. For more information, go here.

June 7, 2022 - 4:27pm
posted by Press Release in news, Batavia Kiwanis Club, batavia, Independence Day 5K.

Press Release:

Kiwanis Club of Batavia will be hosting its annual Independence Day 5K on Monday, July 4 at 9 AM at Centennial Park. The club is so excited to bring this event back in person after hosting a virtual event last year.

You can register here

Proceeds from the race will be distributed to the Autism Nature Trail at Letchworth State Park, Batavia City School Foundation for the Community Schools Program, and lastly the Kiwanis activity fund which supports community events such as our Easter Egg Hunt, Thanksgiving Morning Skate and others.

We can’t wait to see you there!

June 1, 2022 - 4:34pm
posted by Press Release in criminal justice awards, batavia, Batavia Kiwanis Club, news.

Press release:

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.

The 2022 Award Recipients are:

Rosanne DeMare, Community Victim/Services Counselor, Genesee Justice
Rosanne started her career with Genesee Justice in 2006 and has worked with countless victims by supporting and guiding them through their role in the justice process.  She is compassionate when speaking to, or on behalf of victims and is determined to ensure that victim’s rights are met with the utmost respect and dignity at all stages of the criminal justice process.  The victims Rosanne has assisted wholeheartedly share their appreciation for all she did to help them get through some very trying times.

Rosanne always has the interests of the victims first and foremost and is ready, willing, and able to assist in whatever way necessary.  She will calculate large and complex restitution claims or simply be there to comfort a victim in distress.  She will supervise and entertain children while their parent or guardian is testifying in court and she will provide assistance to allow victims to travel to court to remain safe from a threat.  She will make phone calls, emails, whatever is necessary, to keep a victim apprised of the progress of their case or relieve their anxiety.  

Rosanne has a superior work ethic and is often the last one to leave on any given day.  Her dedication and professionalism to the mission of the Genesee Justice Victim Advocacy program is a true asset to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and Genesee County.  Community Victim/Services Counselor Rosanne DeMare was nominated for this award by Genesee Justice Program Coordinator Diana Prinzi.

Thomas Graham, Justice, Town of Oakfield
Justice Thomas Graham began his law enforcement career on February 17, 1976, with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and retired after 29 ½ years of service.  During his tenure, he held the positions of Deputy Sheriff – Jail, Deputy Sheriff – Road Patrol, Dispatcher, and Sergeant.  Additionally, he was a Field Training Officer, was the lead for the Buckle Up New York Program and earned a Meritorious Service Award for his exceptional performance over an extended period of time.  He played an instrumental role in the operations of the Emergency Services Dispatch Center and was a K-9 handler for several years.

Honorable Graham is currently the Secretary and Treasurer of the Genesee County Magistrates’ and Court Clerks’ Association and is a board member on the Criminal Justice Advisory Council and Genesee County Traffic Safety Board.  He is also an instructor for the Rural Police Training Academy at Genesee Community College. 

Judge Graham has spent the past 48 years as a volunteer fireman and was the Assistant Chief of the Oakfield Volunteer Fire Department.

It is evident that Judge Thomas Graham is dedicated to the profession of law enforcement and has contributed extensively to the several organizations and boards he has served and currently serves.  Genesee County is very fortunate to have such an experienced, dedicated professional serving its citizens.  Justice Graham was nominated for this award by the Town of Oakfield Court Clerk Sandy Almeter.

Kevin Forsyth, Investigator, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office
Investigator Forsyth‘s career in law enforcement began in June of 2007, as a Probation Officer with the Genesee County Probation Department, and on July 11, 2015, he was hired as a Deputy Sheriff with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. 

Investigator Forsyth proved himself a valuable member of the road patrol division and was selected as a Field Training Officer.  He was awarded a Meritorious Service Award in 2017, reflecting his consistent high standard of work.  Investigator Forsyth’s excellent performance led to his promotion on November 30, 2019, to Investigator with the Criminal Investigation Division.  He demonstrates a consistent work ethic, is knowledgeable of the law, and is a valued, reliable member of the Investigation Division.  Investigator Forsyth presently serves the community spending countless hours investigating crimes, which through his effort and commitment, often lead to an arrest and the perpetrator brought to justice.  Along with his investigative responsibilities, Investigator Forsyth is also an instructor of Defensive Tactics, Taser, Aerosol Subject Restraint, Stinger Spike System and is trained as a Crisis Intervention Officer.  Investigator Forsyth is also a veteran of the United States Army.  

Investigator Kevin Forsyth was nominated for this award by the Chief of Criminal Investigations Joseph Graff.

Eric Hill, Youth Detective, City of Batavia Police Department
Youth Detective Hill was hired by the City of Batavia Police Department in 2005, and has served many roles within the department during his 17 years of service to the community.  He has served as a road patrol officer, Field Training Officer, one of the Department's Public Information Officers (PIO), has been a member of the Department's Emergency Response Team, and is active in community events such as Shop with a Cop.  

Youth Detective Hill was promoted to the position of Youth Detective in 2015, and has since worked alongside multiple partner agencies to ensure that the City's youth are served with professionalism and empathy, always emphasizing a restorative justice model.  Youth Detective Hill has worked with countless parents, teachers, and officers to assist them in dealing with difficult situations, all while ensuring that the best interest of the youth is met.  Eric has also worn the unofficial "hat" of being the Department's IT support.  He has worked alongside County IT, City officials, IT vendors and department members to ensure that the technology used to assist officers and citizens is kept operational.  Eric's technical background and skills have proven to be an indispensable resource to the staff.

Throughout his career, Youth Detective Hill handles all of his duties with professionalism and pride for the uniform he wears and the department he represents.  Youth Detective Hill was nominated for this award by City of Batavia Police Detective Sergeant Matt Lutey.

May 26, 2022 - 3:57pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Kiwanis Club, batavia, news, law day.

Press release:

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia is pleased to once again to honor several members of our local law enforcement community.  The Club has a long history of recognizing outstanding contributions by members of the police and criminal justice system in keeping our community safe.  

This year the Kiwanis Club of Batavia will recognize members of the Batavia Police Department, Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, Genesee Justice, and the Oakfield Town Court during a noontime luncheon held Wednesday, June 1 at Go Art.

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

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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.

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April 1, 2022 - 4:39pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Kiwanis Club, Easter, batavia, news.

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Press release:

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia is very excited to bring back our annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 16th.  After a two-year hiatus, we are happy to bring the community together again. With COVID restrictions lifted, the Easter Egg Hunt can now be safely run.  There are three age categories for the event: birth-3, 4-7 and 8-10.  The event will begin at 9 AM sharp at Centennial Park in Batavia.

In addition, we will continue last year’s new tradition, the Golden Prize Egg. Starting on Saturday, April 9th, there will be a Golden Prize Egg hidden daily at Centennial Park. The egg will be hidden at different times each day to allow for families with different schedules to search and have an equal chance of finding the egg. The Golden Prize Eggs are restricted to kids age 12 and under, although older siblings and family members can help search!  The winning Golden Prize Eggs must be turned in at the Easter Egg Hunt on April 16th to receive an Oliver's Chocolate Bunny prize. With both events going on, there are now 16 Golden Prize Eggs up for grabs!

We are asking those who find Golden Eggs prior to the Easter Egg Hunt, please send pictures to the Kiwanis Club of Batavia Facebook page.

The Kiwanis Club is very happy to provide these fun and healthy activities for families to participate in.

Photo: File photo from 2018 by Howard Owens

November 25, 2021 - 12:27pm

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Photos by Philip Casper.

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November 18, 2021 - 5:39pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Kiwanis Club, batavia, thanksgiving, free skate.

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Press release: 

Kiwanis Club of Batavia is hosting its annual Thanksgiving Day Skate on Thursday, November 25th, 2021 from 9 am to 11 am at Falleti Ice Arena, 22 Evans Street, Batavia.  The event includes FREE admission, skate rentals, and hot chocolate (while supplies last).

Photo: File photo from 2014

September 10, 2021 - 2:59pm
posted by Press Release in news, Batavia Kiwanis Club.

Revised by Kiwanis Club and updated on Sept. 13:

Press release:

Kiwanis Club of Batavia is excited to offer a Chicken BBQ at Dewitt Recreational Park on Saturday, September 25.  The fundraiser will support the Richmond Memorial Library Project, "Books for Babies," promoting earlier reading to newborns and infants.

Dinners are available by pre-sale only and tickets need to be purchased by Sept. 19.  Dinners will be available for pick up from 11 AM to 1 PM. 

"Books for Babies" provides every child born in Genesee County with a tote bag containing: a new board book, a nursing bib with "Read to Me" graphic, and information about early literacy guidelines and milestones, and free registration to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.

Purchase tickets here: https://givebutter.com/ubOhoI

Kiwanis Club of Batavia has been serving the children of our community since 1923. 

May 20, 2021 - 7:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Lawrence Friedman, law day, Batavia Kiwanis Club, news.
Video Sponsor

While the Kiwanis Club of Batavia announced several award winners for its annual Law Day event in advance, there was one person kept in the dark about all of the planned awards.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

Friedman is finishing out his final term as district attorney, ending a 24-year run as the county's longest-serving DA, and to recognize him for his service to the community, the Kiwanis Club presented him with a Special Service Award.

Speakers honoring Friedman included retired Sheriff Gary Maha (the longest-serving sheriff in the county and currently a county legislator), Theresa Asmus-Roth, director of the Child Advocacy Center, County Manager Matt Landers, First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell, retired Family Court Judge Eric Adams, retired County Court Judge Robert C. Noonan (also Friedman's predessor as DA), and former U.S. Attorney for Western New York, William Hochul.

Hochul said Friedman is the best prosecutor he's ever known.

"He stands as the absolute epitome of what a prosecutor should be," Hochul said.

Friedman began his career in the DA's office in 1981 and became DA 16 years later. Hochul noted that with Friedman's considerable legal knowledge and talent, the attorney could have become rich in private practice but instead he took on the tough role as a public servant in law enforcement.

Additional awards (from a previously published press release):

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.

The 2021 Award Recipients are:

Genesee County Sheriff’s Office -- Sgt. Andrew B. Hale; Deputies David D. Moore, Kyle D. Krzemien, Howard O. Wilson, V., Andrew Z. Mullen, Joshua A. Brabon; Brock D. Cummins; and Investigator Christopher A. Parker.

Le Roy Police Department -- Sgt. Gregory Kellogg and Officers Jordan Wolcott and Austin Steinbrenner

On May 27, 2020, at about 2037 hours (8:37 p.m.), what began as a typical traffic stop in Le Roy, turned into a multiagency pursuit of a tractor-trailer through multiple counties at speeds up to 70+ mph. The tractor-trailer recklessly swerved into oncoming traffic, putting innocent drivers at risk; made multiple U-turns; attempted to strike patrol vehicles, and shot at officers several times. Four different patrol vehicles were struck by bullets, one vehicle with at least eight rounds. One of the bullets went through the windshield and struck the rear partition over a Deputy’s headrest. Fortunately, the Deputy had been leaning to his right at the time. The pursuit came to an end when the tractor-trailer, heading toward the Village of Geneseo, was fired upon by officers and it exited the roadway. The driver was pronounced deceased at the scene and the reign of terror ended. 

The ensuing investigation revealed that the driver was on the FBI watch list. Searches at his residence and rental property revealed bomb-making instructions, improvised explosive devices, multiple weapons, and large amounts of ammunition. These findings, along with his social media posts, revealed that he was an anti-police extremist and was planning violence on a larger scale.

The pursuit that night lasted approximately an hour and 15 minutes. The amount of lives that were endangered is countless. Patrols from multiple jurisdictions placed themselves in danger to protect the public for the entire duration of the incident. They cleared roadways and intersections while their patrol cars were in danger of being rammed by the tractor-trailer and in the line of fire while the driver was shooting at them. They coordinated over jurisdictional lines to remove a threat to the public, not only for that night but certainly for a future time. 

These officers were nominated for this award by Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. and Le Roy Police Chief Gregory Kellogg (formerly Sergeant Kellogg).

City of Batavia Retired Police Officer Jason Davis 

Police Officer Jason Davis has served many roles within the department during his nearly 22 years of service to the community. He has served as an Officer-in-Charge, Instructor, Field Training Officer and Emergency Response Team member, to name a few. Officer Davis served as the department's de-escalation instructor and, most recently, he was assigned as the School Resource Officer to the Batavia City School District where he immediately made an impact in the lives of students and staff in the District. He was able to successfully de-escalate incidents with students, act as a role model and mentor to many, and served as an invaluable resource to the staff. Throughout his career, Officer Davis handled all of his duties with professionalism and pride for the uniform he wears and the department he represents.

Officer Davis was nominated for this award by City of Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch.

Village of Le Roy Retired Chief of Police Christopher Hayward 

Retired Chief of Police Christopher Hayward has served the Village of Le Roy since his teenage years. He began his career as an Officer and rose to the position of Chief of Police through years of dedication, commitment, and compassion to all of the members of the community. Hayward was instrumental in the consolidation of the local village and town courts, seeking to provide an efficient and effective court operation. He is a man of high integrity and fostered many relationships with community members of all ages. He supported and worked hard to partner in the County’s shared E-9-1-1 Emergency Services Dispatch Center.

Chief Hayward was nominated for this award by Genesee County Legislator (District #5, Le Roy) Rochelle Stein. 

Charles L. Mancuso Mock Trial Award

The “Charles L. Mancuso Award” was presented to the members of the Alexander High School Mock Trial Team as winners of the 2021 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.” Mancuso, a Batavia lawyer, served as coordinator of the local competition until his untimely death 14 years ago.

The Alexander High School team members honored include: Erin Hess, Annie Slenker, Shawn Calmes, Katarina Luker, Imogene Plitt, Dana Morelli, Olivia Burkhardt, Holly Bykowski, Maia Saile, and teacher coach Johnny Lucas. Coordinator of the local Mock Trial Program, Kristie DeFreze, presented the award.

Genesee County Bar Association Special Honors

The Genesee County Bar Association is honoring the lives of two longstanding attorneys who passed away in 2020.

Theron “Ted” Howard passed away on June 11 after practicing law in Genesee County since 1978. Howard spent most of his legal career in his own private practice but fulfilled several public roles as well. He worked as an Assistant District Attorney, served the Town of Pavilion as Town Justice and Town Supervisor, and prosecuted traffic matters in the towns of Pavilion and Batavia. Howard also volunteered generously in the community – on the Pavilion School Board, the Le Roy Historical Society Board, and the Genesee Community College Foundation Board.

David Saleh passed away on Oct. 29. Dave spent many years in private practice before becoming in-house counsel at Enlighten. Saleh is a past president of the Genesee County Bar Association and acted as a delegate to the State Judicial Nominating Committee for more than 35 years. During the year leading up to his death, he served as a part-time City Court Judge in Batavia. Beyond his professional endeavors, he donated his time and energy to his community – at his church, as a volunteer firefighter, as a member of the Lions Club, and as a board member of the Corfu Free Library and St. Jerome Hospital Foundation.

Video via the Kiwanis Club of Batavia.

May 18, 2021 - 8:55am

Press release:

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia and Genesee County Bar Association's 2021 Law Day Observance and Criminal Justice Award ceremony is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Old County Courthouse.

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions in place, the typical annual awards dinner was unable to be held this year, however, Kiwanis Club President Bob Conrad and Genesee County Bar Association President Jake Whiting will be announcing the awards at a Zoom presentation. Everyone is welcome to join the Zoom meeting.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88912737332?pwd=K3d5NjNXd1Y5YjBISkdqYlRNZmdSZz09

Meeting ID: 889 1273 7332

Passcode: 640375

The following awards will be presented:

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.

The 2021 Award Recipients are:

Genesee County Sheriff’s Office -- Sgt. Andrew B. Hale; Deputies David D. Moore, Kyle D. Krzemien, Howard O. Wilson, V., Andrew Z. Mullen, Joshua A. Brabon; Brock D. Cummins; and Investigator Christopher A. Parker.

Le Roy Police Department Sgt. Gregory Kellogg and Officers Jordan Wolcott and Austin Steinbrenner.

On May 27, 2020, at about 2037 hours (8:37 p.m.), what began as a typical traffic stop in Le Roy, turned into a multiagency pursuit of a tractor trailer through multiple counties at speeds up to 70+ mph. The tractor trailer recklessly swerved into oncoming traffic, putting innocent drivers at risk; made multiple U-turns; attempted to strike patrol vehicles, and shot at officers several times. Four different patrol vehicles were struck by bullets, one vehicle with at least eight rounds. One of the bullets went through the windshield and struck the rear partition over a Deputy’s head rest. Fortunately, the Deputy had been leaning to his right at the time. The pursuit came to an end when the tractor trailer, heading toward the Village of Geneseo, was fired upon by officers and it exited the roadway. The driver was pronounced deceased at the scene and the reign of terror ended. 

The ensuing investigation revealed that the driver was on the FBI watch list. Searches at his residence and rental property revealed bomb-making instructions, improvised explosive devices, multiple weapons and large amounts of ammunition. These findings, along with his social media posts, revealed that he was an anti-police extremist and was planning violence on a larger scale.

The pursuit that night lasted approximately an hour and 15 minutes. The amount of lives that were endangered is countless. Patrols from multiple jurisdictions placed themselves in danger to protect the public for the entire duration of the incident. They cleared roadways and intersections while their patrol cars were in danger of being rammed by the tractor trailer and in the line of fire while the driver was shooting at them. They coordinated over jurisdictional lines to remove a threat to the public, not only for that night, but certainly for a future time. 

These officers were nominated for this award by Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. and Le Roy Police Chief Gregory Kellogg.

City of Batavia Retired Police Officer Jason Davis

Police Officer Jason Davis has served many roles within the department during his nearly 22 years of service to the community. He has served as an Officer-in-Charge, Instructor, Field Training Officer and Emergency Response Team member, to name a few. Officer Davis served as the department's de-escalation instructor and, most recently, he was assigned as the School Resource Officer to the Batavia City School District where he immediately made an impact in the lives of students and staff in the District. He was able to successfully de-escalate incidents with students, act as a role model and mentor to many, and served as an invaluable resource to the staff. Throughout his career, Officer Davis handled all of his duties with professionalism and pride for the uniform he wears and the department he represents.

Officer Davis was nominated for this award by City of Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch.

Village of Le Roy Retired Chief of Police Christopher Hayward

Retired Chief of Police Christopher Hayward has served the Village of Le Roy since his teenage years. He began his career as an Officer and rose to the position of Chief of Police through years of dedication, commitment, and compassion to all of the members of the community. Chris was instrumental in the consolidation of the local village and town courts, seeking to provide an efficient and effective court operation. He is a man of high integrity and fostered many relationships with community members of all ages. He supported and worked hard to partner in the County’s shared E-9-1-1 Emergency Services Dispatch Center.

Chief Hayward was nominated for this award by Genesee County Legislator (District #5, Le Roy) Rochelle Stein. 

Charles L. Mancuso Mock Trial Award

The “Charles L. Mancuso Award” was presented to the members of the Alexander High School Mock Trial Team as winners of the 2021 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 14 years ago.

The Alexander High School team members honored include: Erin Hess, Annie Slenker, Shawn Calmes, Katarina Luker, Imogene Plitt, Dana Morelli, Olivia Burkhardt, Holly Bykowski, Maia Saile, and teacher coach Johnny Lucas. Coordinator of the local Mock Trial Program, Kristie DeFreze, presented the award.

Genesee County Bar Association Special Honors

The Genesee County Bar Association is honoring the lives of two longstanding attorneys who passed away in 2020.

Theron “Ted” Howard passed away on June 11, 2020, after practicing law in Genesee County since 1978. Ted spent most of his legal career in his own private practice but fulfilled several public roles as well. Ted worked as an Assistant District Attorney, served the Town of Pavilion as Town Justice and Town Supervisor, and prosecuted traffic matters in the towns of Pavilion and Batavia. Ted also volunteered generously in the community – on the Pavilion School Board, the Le Roy Historical Society Board, and the Genesee Community College Foundation Board.

David Saleh passed away on Oct. 29, 2020. Dave spent many years in private practice before becoming in-house counsel at Enlighten. Dave is a past president of the Genesee County Bar Association and acted as a delegate to the State Judicial Nominating Committee for more than 35 years. During the year leading up to his death, Dave served as a part-time City Court Judge in Batavia. Beyond his professional endeavors, Dave donated his time and energy to his community – at his church, as a volunteer firefighter, as a member of the Lions Club, and as a board member of the Corfu Free Library and St. Jerome Hospital Foundation.

April 20, 2021 - 4:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Kiwanis Club, veterans, news, batavia.

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With the help of Kiwanis members in the region, the Kiwanis Club of Batavia has put together 40 care packages for veterans in our community. 

Members of the Kiwanis Club dropped off the "Kare Packages" at the Veterans Services Office yesterday.

Key contributions came from Kiwanis members Joe Van Cura, owner of Mission Coffee in Rochester, and Dave DiFranco, director of VPAC (Veterans-Plus Assistance Corp.).

Photo: Heather Henders, Lt. Gov. of the Genesee Division of Kiwanis, Bill Joyce, veterans services officer, Stefano Napolitano, VP of Batavia Kiwanis, and Peter Guppenberger, Kiwanis past president.

March 30, 2021 - 4:09pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Batavia Kiwanis Club, easter egg hunt.

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Matt Landers of the Batavia Kiwanis Club hides the 12th Kiwanis Golden Easter Egg today at Centennial Park as part of the service organization's holiday promotion with Oliver's Candies. Landers will hide the final egg on Wednesday.

A note inside the egg tells the story:

Congratulations! You have found one of the 13 Kiwanis Golden Easter Eggs! This entitles you to an Oliver’s Chocolate Easter Bunny! To collect your chocolate bunny, arrive with this note and the Golden Egg at the south side of Centennial Park on Saturday, April 3rd at 10 a.m. We will have all of the prize winners gather for a picture with the Easter Bunny as they collect their chocolate bunny. We hope you had fun looking for the Golden Egg, and wish you and your family a very Happy Easter! (Note: Only one Golden Egg per family can be redeemed and winners must be 12 and under).

Photo by Mike Pettinella.

March 16, 2021 - 1:13pm

Above, a clutch of gleaming Golden Prize Eggs, each containing a special note inside.

Photos and information from Matt Landers:

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia is excited to offer a modified version of its annual Easter Egg Hunt for the community to come together and enjoy.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the typical Easter Egg Hunt could not be safely run, but the Kiwanis members couldn’t stand the thought of canceling the event outright for a second year in a row due to coronavirus.

So this year’s event takes one of the fun aspects of the annual event -- the coveted Golden Prize Egg -- and makes it the focus of the hunt.

Starting on Friday, March 19th, there will be one Golden Prize Egg hidden each day in Centennial Park for the kids to look for. One egg will be hidden each day through March 31st.

The eggs will be hidden at different times to allow for families with different schedules to walk the park looking for the eggs. Each egg will entitle a child to an Oliver’s Chocolate Bunny as with past years' winners.

There will be a note inside each egg with instructions on where to gather for a picture with the Easter Bunny and to collect the prize chocolate bunny.

Winners must bring this note with them to collect the prize chocolate bunny. There will be a limit of one Golden Prize Egg per family.

The Kiwanis Club is very happy to provide this safe and healthy activity for families to participate in over the course of two weeks.

We encourage the whole family to come out and spend time together in the park, but since this is an Easter Egg Hunt for kids, prizes will be restricted to kids 12 and under, just as in the past. That’s not saying a big brother or big sister can’t help though!

Happy Hunting!

Below, the bewhiskered Easter Bunny with some Golden Prize Eggs.

Below, Batavia Kiwanis Club members and their furry, big-footed pal with some Golden Prize Eggs.

June 8, 2020 - 5:51pm

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia presented their annual Citizenship Award to three local seniors last week during home visits to the recipients.

There was one each from Batavia High School, Notre Dame High School and the Genesee Valley Education Partnership.

This year the name of the award was officially changed to the “Richard Rung Citizenship Award” to memorialize local, distinguished club member, Past Kiwanis Lieutenant Governor Richard Rung.

“Rung was a one-of-a-kind member who brought great knowledge, history, and humor to the Kiwanis Club of Batavia,” said Kiwanis Club of Batavia President Bob Conrad.

Rung served Kiwanis in multiple roles, including local club President and New York State Lieutenant Governor. He received many awards for exemplary service during his club tenure from 1973 until his death on May 5.

Club members are delighted that Rung’s legacy will endure for generations with the dedication of this award.

Each Citizenship Award and its $1,000 scholarship is given out annually to recognize students who display outstanding, unselfish behavior and who volunteer their time in the community.

This year’s young winners Gavin Tucker (BHS), Madeline Payton (ND) and Micayla Elliott (GVEP) all embody the attributes the award is intended to honor, which are akin to those of committed members of Kiwanis clubs worldwide.

“Not every member of the Kiwanis Club of Batavia was raised with the spirits of volunteerism or community service among their values,” said Conrad.

“Some of us converted later in life. That’s why it is so gratifying to see these spirits already thriving in the youth of our community.

"The range of organizations they serve represent a cross-section of our community. They’ve touched so many lives, as is befitting the recipients of an award recently named in honor of PLG Richard Rung, a friend who also touched so many of our lives.”

Top left inset photo, from left: Batavia Kiwanis Club Member Peter Guppenberger, honoree Gavin Tucker (BHS) and Batavia Kiwanis Board Member David Chua.

Middle right inset photo: Batavia Kiwanis Board Member Jeanne Walton, honoree Madeline Payton (ND) and Batavia Kiwanis Board Member David Chua.

Bottom left inset photo: Batavia Kiwanis Board Member David Chua, Batavia Kiwanis Board Member Jeanne Walton and honoree Micayla Elliott (GVEP).

All photos courtesy of Allison Chua.

Disclosure: Jeanne Walton is on the Board of Directors of the Kiwanis Club of Batavia.

May 31, 2020 - 12:04pm
posted by Jeanne Walton in Batavia Kiwanis Club, news, COVID-19, Family Game Night Kits.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought about the challenge of trying to keep ourselves busy with new and varied activities.  

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia came up with a way to help families fill the day with some good old-fashioned cheer, as they worked to fulfill their mission of serving the children of the world in our community

Club members assembled 100 Family Game Night Kits that will be distributed to local families.

Each kits has two family-friendly card games, fixin's for s’mores, ingredients for a batch (or two) of authentic homemade popcorn, and a container of “snickerdoodle salt” -- a specialty item made by Kiwanians!

“We know families have been quarantined and that they are out of books, games and movies -- a Family Game Night Kit seemed to be a great choice for everyone,” said Kiwanis Club President Bob Conrad

The kits have been given to Batavia City School District to distribute through all of their schools. All district family names have been entered into a drawing and the winners will be selected at random.

“It’s great that it reaches across the socio-economic spectrum,” said district social worker Julie Wasilewski. “I am more accustomed to working with the underserved, this is broader, and I like that. We really appreciate it!”

School representatives will be working to get all of the games distributed over the next couple of weeks, winners of the kits will be contacted by school officials for delivery.

“The generosity of the community during this time has been great, and we love the idea of bringing joy to families through the simple things in life,” said John Kennedy School Principal Amanda Cook. 

Video provided by Batavia City School District.

Photos by Jeanne Walton.

Disclosure: Jeanne Walton is on the Board of Directors of the Kiwanis Club of Batavia and was chair of this project.

May 26, 2020 - 1:48pm

Submitted photos: Jonathan Tretter (top left), treasurer, and Robert Conrad (top right), president of the Kiwanis Club of Batavia, present a $2,000 donation to Foodlink Director of Development Julie Burke. The donation will be used to fund food charities in Genesee County.

Press release:

Kiwanis Club of Batavia has donated $2,000 to Foodlink to help feed children and families in Genesee County. The Club has been serving the children of our community and beyond since 1923.

"Foodlink is proud to serve the residents of Genesee County and collaborate with our hunger-relief partners to help individuals and families overcome the hardships created by the COVID-19 public health crisis," said Julia Tedesco, president & CEO of Foodlink.

"The Kiwanis Club's generous donation comes at a critical time, and helps increase access to nutritious food for hundreds of households throughout the county."

With the help of many local volunteers, Foodlink hosted six drive-thru distributions in Genesee County in April and May; three at Northgate Free Methodist Church in Batavia, two at Penuel Christian Fellowship in Le Roy, and one at Bergen Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

More than 1,500 emergency food supply boxes were distributed to individuals and families in need.

Foodlink also continues to work with its network of hunger-relief agencies (food pantries, meal programs, etc.) throughout Genesee County, which includes several partnerships in Batavia. 

“When the shutdown first started, Kiwanis Club members immediately started reaching out to food-providing agencies regarding the need for volunteers and funding," said Bob Conrad, president of Kiwanis Club of Batavia. "We discovered that Foodlink was providing and coordinating the food resources for our local agencies, such as Salvation Army and Community Action Genesee-Orleans.

"We learned that they can provide $6 worth of food for every $1 spent. We decided this is the most effective way to support emergency food initiatives in the county.”

The funding provided will support existing emergency food efforts in Genesee County, and allow for the purchase of food, expenses associated with storage, and distribution to various partners, food box sites, and hunger-relief programs throughout the county.

According to Feeding America’s recent report, "The Impact of the Coronavirus on Food Insecurity," Genesee County’s food-insecurity rate is expected to rise from 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent, which equates to more than 9,100 county residents who now live in food-insecure households due to the pandemic.

Food insecurity is the USDA measurement used to determine a household’s limited or uncertain access to enough nutritionally adequate food for everyone in the household to live a healthy life.

November 28, 2019 - 3:03pm
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