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Batavia Lions Club

GLOW YMCA official updates Batavia Lions membership on remodel progress

By Press Release
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Submitted photo of Ron Metz (left), president of Lions Club of Batavia, and John Bender, executive director of the GLOW YMCA.

Press Release:

Lion Ron Metz, president of the Lions Club of Batavia, welcomed Josh Bender, executive director of the GLOW YMCA, who updated club members about YMCA's progress with the ongoing Healthy Living campus project in downtown Batavia. 

The director noted that it started six years ago when a casual group of people had an initial discussion about proposals of remodeling locker rooms. With time, the ideas morphed into a $30 million project shared with Rochester Regional Hospital. 

The grand opening is projected for the fall of this year, with most of the glass enclosure facing Main Street nearing completion. Josh noted three-quarters of the new 80,000-square-foot facility will be occupied by YMCA programming and have children, teens, and multipurpose rooms, as well as the gym, workout rooms, and traditional “Y’ spaces. 

The new project has plans to employ 200 full- and part-time staff, and membership is projected to be 4,000 or more.

Batavia PD and Lions Club partner up to fix bikes for BCSD

By Press Release
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Press Release:

The Batavia Police Department would like to thank the Batavia Lions Club for its generous donation and work during the Day of Caring.  Batavia PD donated several slightly used bicycles to the Lions Club.  

During the Genesee County Day of Caring, the Lions Club partnered with Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle to service/fix up these bikes.  Once the tuneups were completed, the Lions Club donated eight bicycles back to Batavia PD to be distributed to local children in need. 

The Batavia PD School Resource Officers teamed up with guidance counselors from Batavia City Schools to select these children.  Batavia PD and the Lions Club have agreed to continue this partnership in the years to come to ensure we can help the community in which we serve. 

Batavia PD would like to thank the Lions Club, Adam Millers, and the Batavia City Schools for their assistance in this newly founded program.

Submitted photo

Lions Club prepares for Day of Caring bike restoration project

By Press Release

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Press release:

As the Batavia Lions Club continues to move past the pandemic, we are reconnecting with our partners from past projects.

For many years the Club had been working with the Batavia Police Department and Adam Millers to refurbish bikes that have been recovered by the BPD and get them into the hands of children and adults who can use them. To that end, Detectives James Defreze and Matthew Wojtaszczyk (pictured above with Lions President Diane Hawn) visited the Club to review how bikes might be recovered and be eligible for donation to the Lions Club.

Many bikes are recovered each year that are damaged beyond repair. Those bikes are disposed of. If owners can be found for the usable bikes, they will be returned. If there is no way to determine ownership, they can be donated to an organization like the Lions. In past years those bikes have been refurbished and distributed to organizations such as The Salvation Army and ARC.

The detectives do encourage people to register their bikes with the BPD so if they are recovered, the bikes can be returned to the owner.

A relaxed discussion followed on several issues that the BPD faces every day and the complexity of modern law enforcement. Detectives Defreze and Wojtaszczyk were relaxed and informative in the give-and-take with the Lions Club. The Club looks forward to re-establishing the bike program and working with BPD to serve the community.  

Top photo: Submitted.

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File photo from 2014 Day of Caring outside Adam Miller Toys and Bicycles by Howard Owens, from front: John Huntzinger, Chuck Brenner, Bob Swanson, Tom Clark, Pier Chipollone, Dave Cuttia, John Roach and Van Scoy.

Roger Bohn honored by Lions Club for 51 years of service to the community

By Press Release

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Roger Bohn, a 51-year member of the Batavia Lions Club, was honored Monday night at the civic club's weekly meeting held at the American Legion in Batavia with the Robert J Uplinger Award.  

The Robert J. Uplinger Distinguished Service Award was established in 1993. The award honors outstanding individuals (both Lions and non-Lions) or organizations who provide a significant service to their club, district or community.  

The Lions Clubs motto is "We serve," and Bohn has fulfilled that duty by being a past president, as well as holding a variety of other offices, and serving on countless committees to serve our community for 51 years, including many events to assist the NYS School for the Blind.  

Bohn is pictured with Diane Hawn, current Batavia Lions Club president.

Submitted information and photo.

Knights pick up opening round win in 41st Annual Lions Tournament

By Howard B. Owens

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Merritt Holly, Jr., unloaded on Attica for 27 points on Tuesday evening in the opening game of the 2022 Lions Tournament at GCC to lead Le Roy to a 48-30 win over Attica.

Jean Agosto scored 12 points for the Oatkan Knights.

Cole Harding scored 18 points for the Blue Devils.

Other opening-round games today:

  • Elba vs. Oakfield-Alabama (started at 5:15 p.m.)
  • Medina vs. Notre Dame (started at 6:30 p.m.)
  • Roy-Hart vs. Batavia (starts at 8 p.m.)

On Thursday, the small school championship game is at 6:30 p.m. and the large school championship game is at 8 p.m.  Both games are being played at GCC.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene

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Le Roy stiffles Attica in 58-34 win to capture Lions crown

By Howard B. Owens
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For the first 12 minutes of their championship match at GCC on Thursday night, Le Roy and Attica looked pretty evenly matched, then in the waning minutes of the first half, the Oatkan Knights offense caught fire.

By the end, the score wasn't close.

Le Roy won the large school division crown of the 39th Annual Pete Arras Lions Tournament 58-34.

The Knights held the Blue Devils to only 14 points in the second half, only four points in the final quarter.

For Le Roy, Mitchel Hockey scored 28 points, Merritt Holly scored nine, John Penepento, 9, and Finn Shelby, 9.

For Attica, Cole Harding scored 11 points.

The all-tournament team for the large school division:

  • Jamel Johnson, Roy-Hart
  • Carter McFollins, Batavia
  • Cole Harding, Attica
  • Simon Lamparelli, Attica
  • Merritt Holly, Le Roy
  • Mitchel Hockey, Le Roy (MVP)

With 74-61 win, Hornets become Lions champions

By Howard B. Owens

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Oakfield-Alabama prevailed over Notre Dame on Thursday to win the small schools division of the 39th Annual Pete Arras Lions Tournament at Genesee Community College.

The final score was 74-61.

Kaden Cusmano scored 20 points for the Hornets, Kam Cusmano, 18, and Gaige Armbrewster, 11.

For Notre Dame, Jordan Welker scored 24 points and Cody Henry scored 17 points.

The small schools' all-tournament team:

  • CJ Gottler, Elba
  • Cody Henry, Notre Dame
  • Jordan Welker, Notre Dame
  • Gaige Armbrewster, Oakfield-Alabama
  • Kaden Cusmano, Oakfield-Alabama
  • Kameron Cusmano, Oakfield-Alabama (MVP)

Photos by Kristin Smith.  For more photos, click here.

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Perennial favorites Batavia falls to Attica in first-round of Lions Tournament

By Howard B. Owens

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After trailing for much of the game, including, at times, by double-digits, the Batavia Blue Devils put together a final quarter rally but still fell short against Attica, 50-48.

Carter McFollins scored 19 points for Batavia while Tanner Mountain added 12 points.

For Attica, Simon Lamparell scored 16 points and Luke George scored 10.

Attica advances to the championship game at 9 p.m., Thursday, at the GCC gym against Le Roy.

For more game photos, click here.

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Notre Dame beats Alexander in first round of Lions Tournament, 66-51

By Howard B. Owens

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The Fighting Irish are advancing to the championship round the 39th Annual Lions Club Tournament in the small school division after beating Alexander on Tuesday 66-51.

Notre Dame will play Oakfield-Alabama at 7 p.m., Thursday.

For the Irish, Cody Henry scored 22 points, Jordan Welker, 17, Ryan Fitzpatrick, 11, and Jimmy Fanara, nine.

For the Trojans, Nick Kramer scored 14 points, Dylan Pohl, 10, and Trent Woods, 8.

For more game photos, click here.

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RSVP by Dec. 20 for free Christmas Day Community Meal at T.F. Brown's

By Billie Owens

Photo: Roger Bohn, of Batavia Lions Club, Lions Club President Joe Teresi and T.F. Brown's Restaurant owner Rick Mancuso.

Submitted photo and information:

You and your family are cordially invited to the annual Christmas Day Community Dinner, sponsored by the Batavia Lions Club and T.F. Brown's Restaurant, where it is held. The dinner is an opportunity for those who maybe alone for the day, the less fortunate, or simply those who would like to share dinner with fellow community members.

For more than 20 years, this partnership has provided a free, traditional buffet-style Christmas meal to people in the community and a special gift for each child who attends. (The restaurant is not officially open and the full menu is not available. The bar is closed.)

Two seatings are available at the restaurant, located at 214 E. Main St. in the City of Batavia: at noon, and at 1 p.m. Dec. 25.

Please RSVP no later than Dec. 20.

To attend, click on the PDF invitation here, fill it out and return it. Or call 345-1000 -- the office at T.F. Brown's -- and let Barb know how many will be attending, which seating time you prefer; most importantly, let her know the age/gender and first names of children attending so they can receive a special gift.

Completed invitations can be faxed to 345-1003, or emailed to Barb at:   barb@mancusoproperties.com

As in the past, your hosts promise all a great meal, a special gift for the younger family members and plenty of Holiday Joy.

In the past, they have served dinners to more than 300 individuals and presented Christmas presents to all of the younger family members in attendance.

Lions host annual tournament at GCC later this month

By Howard B. Owens

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The annual Peter Arras Lions Basketball Tournament tips off at 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 27 at Genesee Community College with Roy Hart, Attica, Elba, Oakfield-Alabama, Notre Dame, Perry, Le Roy, and Batavia high schools competing for large school and small school trophies.

  • Roy Hart and Attica play the first game at 3:30 p.m.
  • Elba vs. O-A is at 5:15 p.m.
  • Perry vs Notre Dame at 7 p.m.
  • Le Roy vs. BHS, at 8:45 p.m. 

The championship games are Dec. 30, with consolidation games at 3:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. The small school championship game is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the large school championship game at 9 p.m.

Submitted photo and information.

Photo: front row -- Aiden Johnson, O-A, Bryce Reigle, Batavia, Joey Burdick, O-A, Reed Albee, Roy Hart; back row -- Franic Bisceglie, Attica, Michael Hockey, Perry, Grant Gilligan, Le Roy, Colton Dillion, Elba.

Batavia Lions Club is sponsoring Girls Fastpitch Softball tournament tomorrow

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The Batavia Girls Fastpitch Softball organization, with sponsorship from the Batavia Lions Club, is hosting a 12U six-team Memorial Day Weekend Tournament this Saturday, May 25.

Teams include Batavia Stingers Black, Batavia Stingers Yellow, Le Roy, Lyndonville, Perry and Oakfield-Alabama.

Games will take place at fields at John Kennedy School, Batavia Middle School, and Lions Park.

Start time for the first round of games is 8:45 a.m., with the second set of games getting underway at 11 a.m.

Semifinal action begins at 2 p.m. with the Championship game being played at 5:15 p.m. at Lions Park. It is located at 11 Wallace St. in Batavia.

The City of Batavia Fire Department, sponsor of Stingers Softball 12U Yellow team, will be at John Kennedy field presenting our nation’s flag during the playing of the National Anthem prior to the start of the first round of games.

The Batavia Stingers 10U Yellow team will also be on hand to show support for the older age division.

Rain date will be this Sunday (May 26) in the event that games must be suspended on Saturday.

The Batavia Girls Fastpitch Softball, a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2017, would to thank the Batavia Lions Club for their generous support of this event.

It's anybody's tournament with first-eight team format for Lions Club event

By Howard B. Owens

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The Lions Club of Batavia is promising area basketball players a more competitive tournament with a revamped tournament format and for fans that should mean closer, more intense games.

The club has expanded the field this year to eight teams -- four teams in the small-team division and four teams in the large-team division. This should make games more competitive and lead to some potentially interesting matchups.

For example, if Batavia beats Roy-Hart in its first game it would face either Le Roy or Attica, teams that are natural rivals but Batavia rarely if ever plays.

Notre Dame and Elba have one of the most storied rivalries in the region and could potentially face each other in the championship game but both will face tough first-round opponents in Oakfield-Alabama and Mt. Morris.

"Our kids look forward to this tournament every single year," said Buddy Brasky, the Batavia head coach who will be taking a team to the tournament for the 29th consecutive year. "They talk about right from the get-go. They want to know when is the Lion’s Club’s Tournament? Who’s playing? Who’s in it? It’s really important to them.

"We play in Monroe County so we don’t get a chance to play the area schools very often. We see them in summer at camp. We play some spring league. They really look forward to playing the area schools, the tough area schools, in the Christmas tournament."

It's not a foregone conclusion, as it has been in recent years, that Batavia will be crowned champion. Brasky's squad has only five seniors and one of his biggest scorers, Antwan Odom, is out for the season because of legal issues. Brasky also said there have been some key injuries.

Roy-Hart comes from a tough Section VI and is coached by Joe Pawlak, Notre Dame grad who played in the tournament in 2008, with a loss to Batavia, so he knows what to expect.

"I’m really blessed to have been able to play in it and now coach it," Pawlak said.

If Batavia survives Roy-Hart, the Blue Devils will either face Le Roy or Attica.

Le Roy is anchored by four-year starter Reece Tresco, who is a 6-foot, 4-inch guard/forward who is a threat to score from anywhere on the court and tough under the boards.

Attica has 10 seniors on its squad and Coach Rob Crowley said with five or six big guys on the team and five or six guards, he will be able to play whatever brand of basketball an opponent puts on the court, adjusting his team's look to meet any challenge.

"We can mix in different brands of basketball and match every team and be competitive against every team," Crowley said.

In the small-team division, Mt. Morris is coming off a 15-win season and returning almost all its top players from that squad. Head Coach Brian Stout said he's expecting a quality year from his players.

They open against the Elba Lancers, always a tough squad and this year featuring one of the top players in Section V in 6-foot, 4-inch forward/guard Jon Boyce, along with returning stars Colton Dillon and Collin O'Halloran.

"I’m excited to see what his (Boyce's) senior season holds," said Elba Head Coach Ciaci Zambito. "We've gone from young and inexperienced last year to now one of the older teams experience-wise in the area."

Mike Rapone, Notre Dame's legendary head coach, said he's got the biggest team he's ever led. There are nine players on the roaster who are at least 6-foot, 1-inch tall, including 6-foot, 7-inch returning starting center Keith Szczepanski.

That is no guarantee of anything, however, Rapone said, especially after losing last year's two leading scorers.

"That (size) doesn’t necessarily always translate into what we want it to be, but hopefully it will this year," Rapone said.

Oakfield-Alabama is a young team (only two seniors) with coach, Ryan Stehlar, so their tournament game will be a test and give fans some idea of what to expect on the season.

The Lions Club Tournament is played at Genesee Community College and that's one reason that the players who get to play in the tournament look forward to it. It's a big stage and prepares them for what they might face in post-season play.

It's also the premier fund-raising event for the Lion's Club, which is another reason you should attend.

The first four varsity games are Thursday, Dec. 27. 

  • Attica vs. Le Roy, 4 p.m.
  • Mt. Morris vs. Elba, 5:30 p.m.
  • Oakfield-Alabama vs. Notre Dame, 7 p.m.
  • Roy-Hart vs. Batavia, 8:30 p.m.

The consolation and championship games will be played Dec. 28, with consolation games at 4 and 5:30 p.m. The championship game in the small-teams division is at 7 p.m. Tipoff for the large-team division is 8:30 p.m.

Top photo: Frank Biscelie, Attica, Joe Martinucci, Batavia, Charlie Birgham, Roy-Hart, and Reece Tresco, Le Roy.

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Spencer Misiti, Notre Dame, Jon Boyce, Elba, Cameron Regal, Mt. Morris, and Joey Burdick, Oakfield-Alabama.

Batavia Lions announce annual scholarships and awards

By Howard B. Owens

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Press release:

The Batavia Lions Club recently presented its annual scholarships and awards for the 2017-2018 school year. 

This spring, more than 20 graduating seniors at Batavia High School and Notre Dame High School applied for scholarships, were interviewed by a committee of Lions Club members, with two chosen from each high school to receive $1,000 each toward their college education.

In addition, selected students from both Notre Dame and Batavia High School were awarded the Art Roth Fine Arts Award and the Bill Cook Scholar-Athlete Award. 

The final award is the Batavia Lions Club Award in Communications, which is presented to a Genesee Community College student in memory of two former Batavia Lions and local media legends – Paul Bostwick, the former managing editor of the Batavia Daily News and James H. Gerrity, the former news director of WBTA.

During the high school football soccer seasons each fall, members of the Lions Club man the food stand at Notre Dame Stadium to sell snacks during home games.

The proceeds are used exclusively for the scholarship and awards program at Notre Dame. The BHS Scholarships, Bill Cook, and Art Roth Awards as well as the Bostwick/Gerrity Award are funded with monies earned through various activities of the Batavia Lions Club.

This year’s winners are (from left):

Marty Czekala – Paul Bostwick/James Gerrity Award and is currently attending Genesee Community College; Madisyn Tomaszewski – Batavia High School Scholarship; Nico Zambito – Notre Dame Scholarship and Notre Dame Bill Cook Scholar-Athlete Award; Jessica Cmor – Notre Dame Art Roth Fine Arts Award; Mckenna Payton – Notre Dame Scholarship; Madeline Keenan – Batavia High School Art Roth Fine Arts Award; Madison Hoerbelt – Batavia High School Scholarship; and Claire Zickl, Batavia High School Bill Cook Scholar-Athlete Award.

The Lions Club congratulates all of this year’s winners and wishes them success in all of their future endeavors.

Photos: Inaugural Lions Club softball tournament

By Howard B. Owens

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Batavia Girls Fastpitch Softball and the Batavia Lions Club hosted an inaugural four-team softball tournament today at Lions Park.

The Batavia Stingers fielded two teams to play against teams from Perry and Lyndonville.  Pictured is a game between Perry and Lyndonville.

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Batavia Lions present annual scholarship awards

By Howard B. Owens

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Press release:

The Batavia Lions Club recently presented its annual scholarships and awards for the 2016-2017 school year. 

This spring,more than 20 graduating seniors at Batavia High School and Notre Dame High School applied for scholarships and were interviewed by a committee of Lions Club members; four were chosen to receive $1,000 each toward their college education. In addition, selected students from both schools were awarded the Art Roth Fine Arts Award and the Bill Cook Scholar Athlete Award. 

The final award is the Batavia Lions Club Award in Communications, which is presented to a Genesee Community College student in memory of two former Batavia Lions and local media legends – Paul Bostwick, the former managing editor of the Batavia Daily News, and James H. Gerrity, the former news director of WBTA.

During the high school football season each fall, members of the Lions Club man the food stand at Notre Dame Stadium to sell snacks during each home game. The proceeds are used exclusively for the scholarship and awards program at Notre Dame. The BHS Scholarships, Bill Cook and Art Roth Awards as well as the Bostwick/Gerrity Award are funded through money set aside by the Batavia Lions Club.

This year’s winners are (from left):

Kelvin LaPierre – Paul Bostwick/James Gerrity Award and is currently attending Genesee Community College. Serena Strollo-DiCenso – BHS Scholarship, will be attending the University of Buffalo to begin her path to law school. Hannah Bowen – ND Scholarship, will attend Clarkson University to study Psychology.  Angelina Miconi – BHS Scholarship, will attend Genesee Community College to begin her program in Art Education. McKenna Dziezmian – BHS Art Roth Fine Arts Award, will attend the University of Rochester to study Biomedical Engineering. Campbell Anderson – BHS Bill Cook Scholar Athlete Award, will attend the Air Force Academy. Jacob Weatherwax -- ND Scholarship, will attend Alfred State to study Welding Technology and Business. Christopher Lemley – ND Bill Cook Scholar Athlete Award, will attend Case Western University to study Civil Engineering. Keara Zerillo – ND Art Roth Fine Arts Award, will attend the State University of New York at Fredonia to study Music Education.

The Lions Club congratulates all of this year’s winners and wishes them success in all of their future endeavors.

Bicycle safety program offered at city parks on Wednesdays this summer

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Batavia Police along with the Batavia Fire Department and the Batavia Lions Club are presenting a bicycle safety program to the City of Batavia Parks programs.

Each Wednesday during the summer the police and fire departments will be visiting a park in the City of Batavia where the Batavia Youth Bureau hosts children recreation programs. Remaining dates are: July 13, 20, 27 and Aug. 3.

Officers will instruct the children on the proper rules of the road for riding a bike and then supervise them through a simulated road course. The fire department inspects bikes and advises the children on the proper care of their bikes.

Along with training, helmets are offered to children who register their bikes or are in need of a helmet. The bike helmets are provided by a grant from the Batavia Lions Club as well as a NYS Grant received by the Batavia Fire Department. The Helmets were purchased by Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, of Batavia, at a reduced rate. Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle has also donated its time to help fit children’s helmets for this program.

To find out times and specific parks and dates call the Batavia Youth Bureau at 345-6421.

T.F. Brown's and Lions ready to deliver annual Christmas Day cheer to community residents

By Howard B. Owens

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T.F. Brown's and the Lions Club of Batavia are teaming up again for an annual free Christmas Day dinner for members of the community who want a place to go, a traditional meal and presents for the kids.

There are two seatings Christmas Day, at noon and at 1 p.m.

Childern will be able to visit with Santa and receive a present.

For reservations, call Barb at (585) 345-1000. Barb will need to know how many people are attending and if children are attending, their names and ages.

Pictured are Tony Scalia, Rick Mancuso, Chuck Brenner and Joe Teresi.

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