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Batavia Rotary Club

February 8, 2021 - 11:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Rotary Club, news, batavia.


Batavia residents Mike Pullinzi and Mark Schmidt will have to figure out how to share a brand new 2021 Corvette after winning this year's Batavia Rotary Club raffle, or perhaps they will split the $40,000 cash prize. 

Pullinzi and Schmidt's winning ticket was picked randomly Saturday evening at Roman's by the Rotary Club members.  

All proceeds support Rotary’s charitable causes, which this year included $20,000 in direct COVID-19 relief, in addition to the support of a dozen or more community nonprofits who take care of so many needs right here in Genesee County.

In addition to the Corvette, the following people won $500 cash: Paul George, Howard Kerr, Meghan D'urso, Nathan VanDeeBeck, Gail Kee, Jane Ziad, Deanna Mastin, Lori Lohan, Donna Salmon and Ken Hay.

Photo: Submitted photo.  Tom Turnbull, president of Batavia Rotary, at the start of the drawing.

December 9, 2020 - 3:21pm

Press release:

Looking for that perfect last-minute gift? A stocking stuffer for that sports-car buff in the family? How about a new ‘Vette? 

OK, so a chance on one. And more likely, just in time for Valentines’ Day. Either way, the odds are decent. 

Batavia Rotary Club has reintroduced its popular Corvette Raffle.

“We took a break for several years, but realized it was time to bring it back” says Rotarian and event chair Lisa Ormsbee. “The raffle raises money for all of Rotary’s good causes locally and worldwide. And we sell only up to 3,999 tickets.” 

Tom Turnbull, 2020-21 Rotary president, adds We’re thrilled to be able to bring back this project after several years’ hiatus. 2020 will surely go down in history as one to remember. We are happy to be back doing what we do best: supporting our communities. All proceeds support Rotary’s charitable causes, which this year included $20,000 in direct COVID-19 relief, in addition to support of a dozen or more community nonprofits who take care of so many needs right here in Genesee County.” 

Tickets are $50 each or three for $100. Donations are fully tax deductible.

First prize is a new 2021 Corvette or $40,000 in cash, with 10 second prizes of $500 each. The drawing will be held on Feb. 6. Tickets may be purchased from any Batavia Rotarian, or online.

“Or ask your Rotarian friend to mail you one or three tickets, and take care of it that way,” says Ormsbee. “Either way you’re doing a lot of good, and who knows, you might be driving around in style next Spring!” 

November 10, 2020 - 12:15pm

Batavia City Councilperson-at-Large Robert Bialkowski and Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski engaged in several minutes of Q & A on Monday night over the particulars of the city’s acceptance of a Batavia Rotary Club/Rotary Foundation grant. It would be used purchase kayaks and related equipment, which then would be “gifted” to Genesee County for use as a youth outdoor recreation activity.

Council, at its Business Meeting at the City Centre Council Board Room, was preparing to vote on the resolution to receive the $6,000 in what Tabelski termed “a pass-through” transaction since the Rotary Club wished to donate the funds directly to the City Youth Bureau.

When Paul Viele, who was running the meeting in place of City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr., asked for discussion, Bialkowski was ready with a series of questions.

Bialkowski said he was concerned by recent discussions with a couple of county legislators who said they knew nothing about owning anything, stating that “they will just store it for us.”

City Council learned about the resolution at its Oct. 26 Conference Meeting.

At that time, Jocelyn Sikorski, City and Genesee County Youth Bureau executive director, advised Council that the city would “gift” all equipment from the grant – kayaks, kayak launch, paddles and vests – to Genesee County, which will maintain and store it at the DeWitt Recreation Area on Cedar Street.

She also said that county workers will build a trailer for hauling the equipment back and forth.

The resolution stipulates that the city would accept the grant from Rotary for the period of Oct. 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021 “to provide assistance to expand outdoor recreation and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education.”

Fast forwarding to last night, following is the back-and-forth between Bialkowski and Tabelski -- with Viele interjecting his thoughts toward the end of the mini-debate:

Q. Who will be purchasing the kayaks?

A. It will be purchased through the city and then it will be gifted to the county, so we have no liability for the kayaks or the docking.

Q. Why are we giving the county money?

A. When Mrs. Sikorski was here at the last meeting, she discussed that because it is the city Rotary, they wanted to do the grant with the city. But after myself and the county manager looked at it, it will be housed in a county park.

Q. Why are we … transferring the actual funds to the county if we’re buying the kayaks?

A. We’re not transferring the funds, we’re transferring the material after purchase – the kayaks and the docking.

Q. Because the resolution implies we are transferring the funds.

A. No, it will be purchased through the city’s procurement policy. The city will gift the equipment from this grant to Genesee County Parks who will assist with the maintenance and the storage of program equipment once purchased, and they will be responsible for the insurance for that as well.

Q. Then who will own the kayaks?

A. Genesee County. We will not own them.

Q. There seems to be some gray areas here. Who will be instructing in the use of the kayaks?

A. I know the YMCA was a partner in it and when we have youth programming, again through whatever means we do, I think it would be incumbent upon that person to have an instructor there when they bring children out there.

Viele jumped in at that point, stating that “we’re going to buy the kayaks and gift them to the county, very simple.”

Bialkowski pressed on, however, saying that “the county doesn’t know anything about us donating kayaks, and they’ll probably be plastic throwaway kayaks … the inexpensive ones, and the longer they’re in the sun, the shorter the shelf life.”

To which Tabelski replied that Paul Osborn, county parks supervisor/forester, was building a shed and a place to store them.

Q. Who will be responsible to replace them?

A. The city would not be responsible moving forward. We’re basically acting as a pass-through … (for the kayaks) to be housed at the county park, along with the docking system that we discussed at the last meeting that has the handicap accessibility.

Bialkowski said he was surprised the county doesn’t know about this, and Tabelski reemphasized that the vote on the table was to accept the grant, purchase the equipment and give it to the county.

Viele said he was sure the county knows about it.

“They have to know about it, if we’re doing this. They have to know about it, if we’re voting on it,” he said. “Maybe the legislator hasn’t read his email to see what is going on.”

Bialkowski said he didn’t think a couple of legislators would do this, but Viele said since the city is not liable, “don’t worry about it.”

After Bialkowski signified his concern about the status of an instructional program for youth, Viele remarked, “It would be a good job for you. You could teach them.”

In the end, Council voted in favor of the resolution, with Bialkowski casting the lone "no" vote.

Legislature Chair Weighs In

The Batavian contacted County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein today about this matter and although she wasn’t aware of the details, she indicated that it was likely to come up at the next Human Services meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 30.

“Basically, this is an opportunity that Rotary wanted to focus onto the city youth recreational program, and it has been working on for well over a year,” she said. “The fact that those kayaks could be donated to the DeWitt park area, it just enhances what we already have going on there and it gives opportunity for the city youth at the same time.”

Stein acknowledged the “fluid situation right now with youth services, (so) we are following our process and our procedure because we certainly want to be a good partner.”

“Everybody has a job to do and we all have steps to take to get to where we need to be,” she said.

When asked about instruction for the youth, she said the county has a kayak program that is run by the Interpretative Center staff.

October 27, 2020 - 10:11am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, city council, STOP-DWI, Batavia Rotary Club, Youth Bureau.

With a boost from the Batavia Rotary Club and The Rotary Foundation, the City of Batavia Youth Bureau and Genesee County Parks, Recreation & Forestry are working together to provide an increasingly popular water sport for children.

Jocelyn Sikorski, youth bureau executive director, reported to City Council on Monday night that the pond at DeWitt Recreation Area on Cedar Street has been identified as a safe and secure place for a kayak launch, made possible through a $6,000 grant from Rotary.

Sikorski, speaking at council’s Conference Meeting at the City Centre Council Board Room, said officials looked at a section of the Tonawanda Creek near Kibbe Park, but determined it was “not really a safe place.”

She said the launch to be utilized at DeWitt Recreation Area will be easy and safe for youth to get in and out of the kayaks.

City Council considered a draft resolution to accept the grant from Rotary for the period of Oct. 1 through April 30, 2021 “to provide assistance to expand outdoor recreation and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education.” After hearing details regarding the city-county connection, it forwarded the measure to its Nov. 9th Business Meeting.

The resolution also calls for the city to “gift” all equipment from the grant – kayaks, kayak launch, paddles and vests – to Genesee County, which will maintain and store it.

Sikorski also said county workers are building a trailer for hauling the equipment back and forth.

The youth bureau is planning to teach kayaking as part of its youth center and summer recreation programming, incorporating STEM learning methods into the curriculum, she said.

As far as the Liberty Center for Youth, the youth bureau’s afterschool social and educational location for students ages 9-16, Sikorski said it continues to be closed due to COVID-19 and likely won’t open until next year.

“The City of Batavia Youth Bureau and Genesee County YMCA need to ensure that the Liberty Center participants have a safe and fun experience with us,” she said. “Currently, we are working through reopening plans carefully and monitoring the potential spike in COVID-19 cases due to increased travel through the upcoming holiday seasons.”

Sikorski said as the reopening date nears, the agency will send out information regarding the registration process as well as COVID-19 protocol in accordance with Department of Health and Batavia City School District protocol.

In other developments:

  • No one from the public spoke at a public hearing to amend the Batavia Municipal Code to include public garages (auto repair stations) in I-1 (Industrial) zones with a special use permit.

Prior to opening the public hearing, council members were required to declare the city as the lead agency in the State Environmental Quality Review, which has determined there will be no significant adverse environment impact.

The zoning ordinance change is a result of a request in January by Batavia businessman Eric Biscaro, owner of Classic Home Improvements, to place an auto repair shop on his property on Ellicott Street. It is expected to be approved at the next Business Meeting.

  • City Council approved a Just Kings’ “Trunk or Treat” event for 6 to 8 p.m. this Friday, noting that all application guidelines – including a certificate of liability insurance listing the city as an additional insured – have been met.

“This is a great event for the kids,” said Council Member Rose Mary Christian, advising that city police will be participating. She said that she will be donating candy to Just Kings.

In other action, Council advanced the following resolutions:

  • Entering into an agreement with a consulting, engineering or design firm (or a combination of those types of companies) for engineering services for the $750,000 Downtown Revitalization Project at Jackson Square, a music venue located between Jackson and Center streets.

Public Works Director Matt Worth said a team including Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski, Maintenance Superintendent Ray Tourt, a representative of the Downtown Business Improvement District and himself are in the process of scoring the 11 companies that have applied and would get back to City Council either next month or in December with a contract in hand.

Previously, Worth said that the project calls for upgrades such as decorative pavement, enhanced lighting, relocation of electrical utilities, planters, benches, tables, chairs for seating and a new stage. Funds have been provided through the $10 million DRI award from the state to the City of Batavia.

In response to a question from Council Member John Canale about the upgrade decision-making process, Worth said that all stakeholders, such as nearby businesses, vendors who have used the area, BID officials, city staff and the public, will have the opportunity to provide input.

Worth indicated that the design work is to be performed next spring, with construction next fall after the Jackson Square performance season.

  • Accepting public dedication of Carolwood Drive Extension, also known as Clinton Gardens Subdivision Part 21A, following city approval of Batavia Homes and Development’s completion of the installation of stormwater system, sanitary sewer system, water main, house services and street paving to add five more building lots on the street.

Worth said the developer, which was responsible for all project costs, followed the city’s engineering requirements. This sets the stage for the city to take over maintenance of the street, including plowing and fire and police protection.

“One of the houses is close to completion, and it is my understanding that there is some interest (in the other building lots),” Worth said, adding that the extension eliminates two dead-end streets in that northeast section of the city.

  • Contracting with New Wave Energy Corporation of Buffalo for the purchase of natural gas at a rate of $3.28 per dekatherm, which, according to Worth, is 8 cents less than what the city has paid in the past three years.

New Wave Energy, which also has a contract with Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., submitted the lowest of two bids. The pact is for three years, starting on Jan. 1.

  • Accepting a $5,000 award from Genesee County STOP-DWI for the police department’s to set up high visibility road checks, saturation patrols and DRE (Drug Recognition Expert) call out during impaired driving crackdown periods.
October 24, 2020 - 8:33am

The City of Batavia is moving forward with the design and construction of the $750,000 Downtown Revitalization Project at Jackson Square, the popular music venue tucked in between Jackson and Center streets.

Public Works Director Matt Worth on Friday said his office has received 11 proposals from professional firms seeking to take the lead for the project that calls for the following upgrades: decorative pavement, enhanced lighting, relocation of electrical utilities, planters, benches, tables, chairs for seating and a new stage.

The cost of this work, $750,000, is the full amount of the grant issued as part of the state’s DRI program, and the expense of the design firm will be charged against the DRI grant as a project cost.

A draft resolution to enter into an agreement with an engineering or architectural firm is on Monday night’s City Council Conference Meeting agenda. The meeting is scheduled for 7 o’clock at the City Centre Council Board Room.

A letter from Worth dated Sept. 25 went out to consultants, inviting them to “provide a proposal of project understanding and qualifications” for engineering and design services. The letter indicated the city “strongly encourages participation of MWBE (Minority and/or Women-owned Business Enterprise) and SDVOB (Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business) firms.”

The state is stipulating a MWBE participation of 30 percent and an SDVOB goal of 6 percent.

Worth said a team is scoring the proposals and will announce its selection in several weeks.

“Because this project is a little different – not a straightforward, engineering street design (for example), this could end up being a team approach,” he said, advising that the consultant could be an engineering firm, design professional, landscape architectural company, or a combination.

As far as the timetable is concerned, Worth’s letter indicates investigation and design work to be performed next spring and progress through to construction in the fall – after the Jackson Square performance season. It also states that two public information meetings will be scheduled.

On another front, Worth said work on the City Centre Mall roof is complete.

“The warranty is in place, so we’re moving to the next phase,” he said. “The Mall Feasibility Study is wrapping up right now and we’ll be jumping into the DRI project with the mall concourse, which will probably include some additional roofing as well.”

Worth said specific plans for the mall project will be based on the feasibility report recommendations.

Other topics on Monday’s agenda include:

-- A public hearing to amend the Batavia Municipal Code to include public garages (auto repair stations) in I-1 (Industrial) zones with a special use permit. This action stems from a request by Batavia businessman Eric Biscaro, owner of Classic Home Improvements, to place an auto repair shop on his property on Ellicott Street.

-- A resolution accepting public dedication of Carolwood Drive Extension, also known as Clinton Gardens Subdivision Part 21A, as a result of Batavia Homes and Development’s completion (and municipal approvals) of the installation of storm water system, sanitary sewer system, water main, house services and street paving to add five more building lots on the street.

-- A resolution to accept a $6,000 grant from The Batavia Rotary Club and Rotary Foundation to the City of Batavia Youth Bureau to support outdoor recreation through the purchase of kayaks, kayak launch, paddles and vests. The youth bureau has indicated that it will teach kayaking as part of its youth center and summer recreation programming, and also will incorporate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education through this activity.

August 5, 2020 - 7:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jay Gsell, genesee county, batavia, Batavia Rotary Club, news.


In honor of the retirement of Jay Gsell's retirement as county manager, the Batavia Rotary Club -- he's a member -- has purchased yard signs and they've been distributed around the city.

Gsell will be guest on a special hour-long segment of WBTA's Main and Center tomorrow morning (Thursday), from 9 to 10 a.m.

June 21, 2020 - 5:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Rotary Club, batavia, news, COVID-19.


The crowd may not have been as big for the Rotary Club's annual Father's Day Pancake Breakfast as it would have been if they had been able to conduct the breakfast in the sit-down style of the past 20 years, but club members were pleased with their well-organized effort to feed members of the community for free.

Nobody had to pay this morning for three pancakes, two sausage links, butter and syrup, milk and orange juice, though donations were gratefully accepted.




June 12, 2020 - 11:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, Batavia Rotary Club, batavia, COVID-19.


Submitted photo and press release:

Responding to community needs, the Batavia Rotary Club is contributing a $20,000 donation from its Foundation to assure Genesee County residents have access to food and other essential items during this time of increased needs.

"We want to make sure the families and individuals are not suffering during this time of financial uncertainty and increased health concerns," said club President Bob Knipe.

The Rotary Club tapped its endowment that was created by various fundraisers conducted throughout the years, he explained.

The contributions will be made in two waves. The first $10,000 is being donated now, primarily focused on assuring food supplies for needy families and for emotional support for senior citizens. 

"One-hundred percent of the contributions are going to provide support directly to people, not for administration," said Rotarian Ed Leising, who has served on a special COVID Relief committee for the club.

The Salvation Army in Batavia will receive $7,000 for its emergency food distribution.

The United Way of Genesee County will receive $2,400 for its backpack program that provides food to families with school-age children.

Genesee County Office for the Aging will receive $600 toward emotional support for local senior citizens who have been isolated during this period of stay-at-home social distancing.  

A second round of $10,000 funding will be released in about a month.

"At that point in time, we anticipate having more of an understanding on the economic impact of layoffs and joblessness caused by the pandemic," said Rotarian Sharon Kubiniec. 

Rotary is an international service club whose motto is "Service Above Self."  The Batavia Club has been in existence for more than 100 years and provides regular financial support to community organizations such as Crossroads House, the YWCA Domestic Violence Safe House, college scholarships to local students, youth sports and capital improvements to United Memorial Medical Center. 

"We are working to continue supporting the organizations that we have been sustaining for many years, but club members were adamant to respond during this unprecedented time of need for our neighbors," said President Knipe. 

For more information about Batavia Rotary, visit its website at www.bataviarotary.com.

Photo, from left: Rotarian Donna Saskowski, Rotarian Ed Leising, Tony Condello from the Genesee Senior Foundation, associated with the Office for the Aging, Diana Fox of the Office for the Aging, Rotary President Bob Knipe, Rotarian Sharon Kubiniec, Tammy Hathaway, executive director of the United Way of Genesee County. All the Rotarians are members of a special COVID Relief Committee.

June 3, 2020 - 1:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Rotary Club, Fathers Day, news, pancake breakfast.

Press release:

For 20 years, the Batavia Rotary Club has conducted a fundraising breakfast at the Genesee County Airport. This year, the club is offering breakfast to the community for free.

Yes, free breakfast.

"Club members thought the community needs a positive event at this time," said President Bob Knipe. "We want to serve those in need with this offer, but also anyone who enjoys breakfast is welcome.

"It's a sample of our club's interpretation of the Rotary motto of 'Service Above Self.' "

Of course, there are many changes to the breakfast format in order to keep visitors and volunteers safe during the coronavirus pandemic. The club leadership has been working with the Genesee County Health Department to follow strict guidelines for safety.

Here's how it will work:

  • The event will be a drive-thru at the Northgate Free Methodist Church at 8160 Bank Street Road in Batavia.
  • Patrons will be able to drive into the parking lot and be given pancakes, sausage, milk and orange juice in a takeout container. Visitors should not leave their vehicle.

The event will be held from 7 to 11 a.m. on Father's Day -- Sunday, June 21.

For many of the first 20 years, the breakfast has been a Father's Day tradition.

"We're able to offer this because of the generosity of our major sponsors who donate much of the food and supplies," said Rotarian Mark Snyder, cochairman of the event.

Donations come from Tops Friendly Markets, United Memorial Medical Center, Suburban Propane, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel, and Reinhart Enterprises.

"While we can't serve the extensive menu we usually have, we should be able to serve up to 1,500 people with pancakes and sausages," said Paul Marchese, also a cochair from the club.

"This year's breakfast will be a drive-up, takeout event. We will be limiting the takeouts to the number of persons in the car, plus up to two extra for family members who are unable to venture out to the breakfast."

The facility at Northgate allows for space to keep the volunteers socially distanced into small groups and is ideal for the drive-through plan, said Rotarian Ed Leising, who was one of the originators of the event 21 years ago.

Northgate has been the site of several food distribution days for The Salvation Army and can safely handle the traffic flow.

Since masked and gloved Rotarian volunteers will bring the prepared and boxed food right to the cars, there is very little interaction that would compromise safety.

"Our preliminary plans have been approved, and we continue to work with county health officials to make sure we are compliant with all safety regulations," Leising said.

The Batavia Rotary Club generally uses the Father's Day breakfast as one of its major fundraisers. The free breakfast was conceived to assist those in need in the community as well as give a morale boost to the region, President Knipe said.

The club will accept freewill contributions at the breakfast to continue its programs. It is awarding $20,000 in COVID relief funds to area agencies who are leading efforts to assist our neighbors who are financially struggling because of the pandemic.

The Batavia Rotary Club annually provides $18,000 in scholarships to graduates of Batavia and Notre Dame high schools, plus the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. It has also made significant donations to UMMC, the Genesee Community College Scholarship Fund, Arc of Genesee Orleans, Crossroads House, and the YWCA Domestic Violence safe house.

For more information about Batavia Rotary, visit its website.

May 13, 2020 - 5:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Batavia Rotary Club, Day of Caring.

Photos and information courtesy of Bob Knipe:

Today, on what was to have been this year's United Way Day of Caring, Batavia Rotarians Krysia Mager and kids, Doug Forsyth and Ray Chaya did a bit of socially distanced sprucing up of Rotary Park -- complete with sidewalk chalk art!

April 22, 2020 - 1:39pm

From the Rotary Club of Le Roy:

It is the Rotary International vision statement that perhaps says it best “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”

Rotarians are a collection of people of action, and we share a strong sense of purpose. In troubled times such as these, Rotarians will rise and meet the needs of their community and the world. It is with that sense of purpose that the Rotary Club of Le Roy has begun the “Rotary Community Reinvestment Fund.”

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt across the globe, but signs of the effects can be seen in our community. In the interest of public safety, nonessential local businesses have been forced to close.

The impact of these closures may not be evident to the naked eye, but the ramifications are impacting our friends and neighbors who own these businesses. As both state and national levels begin to restart the economy, those same businesses that have supported Le Royans in the past will need our support more than ever.

The Community Reinvestment Fund will take donations made by local individuals and families, and direct them to the Le Roy businesses most in need. The Rotary Club of Le Roy, which has served the community for more than 75 years, will oversee the collection and distribution of funds.

There will be a short application for businesses to complete, and a committee of Rotarians will review the applications and submit approved applications to the Board of Directors. The form is available on our website. Fellow Rotarians and their families are not eligible to receive funds through this process.

Individuals or businesses interested in supporting our community can make contributions by mailing a check to: Rotary Club of Le Roy, Attn.: Community Reinvestment Fund, P.O. Box 141, Le Roy, NY 14482.

Any questions can be directed to Jim Ellison (717) 503-5749, or:   [email protected] 

April 16, 2020 - 2:09pm

Press release:

Batavia Rotary Club has donated $1,000 to United Way of Genesee County to help provide food for its Backpack Program that assists local families in need.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rotary International Foundation made available $20,000 to clubs in District 7090, which includes the counties of Western New York and Southern Ontario, Canada. 

Through Rotary's District Grant process, Batavia Rotary Club applied for and received a $1,000 grant specifically to provide financial assistance to United Way of Genesee County’s Backpack Program. This program supplies weekend meals to students within multiple school districts in Genesee County.

With students home continuously over these past weeks, the demand for the weekend meal program has increased substantially. Each week brings more and more new families registering in the program.

From Bob Knipe, Batavia Rotary Club President:

"We are very pleased to receive this grant to be used by United Way of Genesee County.  Providing food for our neighbors in Genesee County is vitally important at this time, especially for families with children.  The Backpack Program operated by United Way here in our county offers food to some of our most vulnerable citizens.  With the recent increased demand for food, Batavia Rotary is able to help fill some of the gap."  

Batavia Rotary Club has just completed celebrating its 100th anniversary year of providing service to our community.  Rotary's motto is "Service Above Self."

The United Way of Genesee County has been supplying services and funding to many agencies through this time of uncertainty. The funding received from Batavia Rotary Club will be wholly used to purchase food for the weekend Backpack Program.

From Tammy Hathaway, executive director of the United Way of Genesee County:

“We cannot thank Batavia Rotary Club enough for their continued dedication to our mission. This is proof that our community is doing what it does best, uniting to ensure the needs of households in Genesee County are met.”

For those wanting to join Rotary in supporting the efforts of the United Way of Genesee County in feeding our neighbors, please contact Tammy Hathaway at 585-343-8141 or [email protected].

February 24, 2020 - 4:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, charity, crossroads house, Batavia Rotary Club.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Rotary Club of Batavia recently blessed Crossroads House with a new snowblower and lawn mower to keep the grounds of their home beautiful in the summer, and safe and snow free in the winter.

Crossroads House Executive Director Jeff Allen and Rotary Club of Batavia President Bob Knipe were on hand to see the new equipment at Cedar Street Sales and Rentals.

“For so many years, we have relied on volunteers and staff with shovels in the winter and used lawn mowers in the summer that often times were held together with duct tape.” Allen said.

“With this wonderful gift from the Rotary Club of Batavia, the great folks who keep up our grounds all year long can do so more efficiently.”

Upon delivery of the equipment Guy Clark, along with sons Adam and Connor, presented Crossroads House with a certificate from Cedar Street providing all parts, labor, maintenance and tune-ups for the new equipment for three years.

“With the added bonus, we only need to pay for gas and that is great for our budget.” Allen added.

Rotary Club of Batavia has partnered with Crossroads House for many years. They provided funds in the recent past to install a vital handicap bathroom.

They also funded an upgrade to the security camera system as well as LED lighting in the parking lot providing peace of mind important to a home that operates 24 hours a day.

Pictured, from left Bob Knipe, Rotary Club of Batavia president; Connor Clark and Guy Clark, Cedar Street Sales and Rentals; Jeff Allen, executive director of Crossroads House.

December 10, 2019 - 2:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Rotary Club, Sports, basketball.


The Rotary Club Tournament returns to GCC on Jan. 2 and Jan. 3 with Batavia, Le Roy, Notre Dame, and Pembroke competing for the crown.

Game times are at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., each night.

Photo: Kiaya Condidorio, Le Roy, MacKenzie Reigle, Batavia, Montana Weidman, Notre Dame, McKenna Johnson, Pembroke.

Submitted photo and information.

November 26, 2019 - 3:10pm

Le Roy Police Department is putting on a special charity event on Saturday, Nov. 30, to help Genesee County families in need this holiday season.

Le Roy PD will be joined by New York State Police - Troop A in Batavia, New York State Environmental Conservation Police, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, Batavia Police Department, Corfu Police Department, Genesee County Probation and Rotary International.

"Stuff the Cruiser" will take place 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. in the Target parking lot at Towne Center at Batavia on Veterans Memorial Drive.

Bring unwrapped toys, new clothing and nonperishable foods to stuff in a police vehicle. This is a kid friendly event, fun for the whole family.

June 5, 2019 - 4:29pm

Above, three generations of the Marchese family, of Batavia, helping at last year'sfly-in breakfast. Seated is Fran Marchese, who has been a Batavia Rotarian for more than 40 years and is a past president. At right is his son, Paul Marchese, who has been a member of the Batavia Rotary Club since the 1980s. Center is Paul's son, Joe, a college student who volunteers at the breakfast annually.

Submitted photo and press release:

The popular Batavia Rotary Club Fly-in Breakfast returns to the Genesee County Airport on Father's Day, June 16. Serving is from 7 a.m. until noon.

Rotarians will prepare the all-you-can-eat extensive breakfast of eggs, pancakes, sausage, orange juice, coffee, tea and milk. A specialty is the "Rotary Scramble" combination of eggs, sausage, peppers, onions and cheese.

Tickets are $8 per adult and $5 for children ages 5 to 12. Children under 5 are free.

"We have expanded the number of our serving lines so waiting has been greatly reduced," said Ed Leising, longtime chairman of the event.

Also, there is plenty of onsite handicapped parking close to the hangar that is the breakfast site.

The Fly-in Breakfast is one of the Batavia Rotary Club's main fundraisers each year to support the many community service projects conducted by the club.

"Every penny our Batavia Rotary Club raises from fundraising is donated toward local, regional and international projects," Leising said. "Money we raise in fundraisers such as the Fly-in Breakfast is never used for the operation of our Rotary Club itself."

Leising cited several programs that benefit from the club's fundraising efforts, including $18,000 in college scholarships awarded annually to students from Batavia, Notre Dame and Genesee Educational Partnership and $250,000 pledged to the Healthy Community Center to be constructed as a joint venture of the YMCA and United Memorial Medical Center.

Recent short-term projects have included remodeling of the Domestic Violence Safe House operated by the YWCA and improvements to Crossroads House security.

Batavia Rotary Club is celebrating its 100th anniversary of providing for the community under its motto of "Service Above Self."

Tickets for the Fly-in Breakfast are available in advance from any Rotary member and also at the door.

History of the 100-year-old Batavia Rotary Club's Annual Fly-in Breakfast

By Gregg McAllister

Genesee County Chamber of Commerce had a great idea in the late 1990s as they launched the Wingding Weekend as an end-of-summer festival that included an air show.

Anne Garlock, who was on the Chamber's planning committee, suggested to fellow Rotarian Ed Leising that the Club should organize a fly-in breakfast at the county airport for Sunday morning during the weekend.

Ed assembled a team of workers who obtained food donations, equipment to cook a hearty pancake and eggs breakfast in an airport hangar, and suddenly the idea took flight.

Rotarian Carol Boshart and her husband, Jeff, of Boshart Enterprises and Aircraft Services, and Jay Gsell, county manager and also a Rotarian, provided support and clearance to use the hangar for cooking and seating of guests.

That first year in 1998, the club served nearly 900 breakfasts.

Over the next few years, the tradition continued, and Rotarians developed a relationship with the local Flying Farmers club, which conducted a fundraising breakfast at the airport each Father's Day in June.

Eventually, the Flying Farmers decided they were not going to continue their event, and offered the Father's Day date to Rotary.

The first year of the change to June for the breakfast, the hungry crowd of breakfast lovers climbed by 200.

Now Rotarians average 1,350 to 1,400 breakfasts served annually, with income of $11,000 to $12,000 for community service projects.

Many area residents have made the trip for breakfast at the airport part of a Father's Day ritual as parents, children and grandchildren meet for a huge meal. Pilots fly in from airports throughout Western New York, and guests enjoy seeing the various planes.

Even with so many years of experience, the event requires six months of planning and preparation. Basically all of the food is donated from generous sponsors like Tops, United Memorial Medical Center, Kreher's egg farm and Suburban Propane.

A team of Rotarians sets up tables, chairs and massive grills in the hangar the night before.

The first shift of workers starts cracking eggs by 6 am in order to be ready for the first surge of customers at 7. Serving continues until noon. A cleanup crew comes behind, and the hangar is restored to airplanes by 4 p.m.

Working on the event is a family tradition for a number of Rotarians. One young adult who now lives in Pittsburgh comes back each year to help because that's what she did when in middle and high school.

"It's a great way to spend time with my Dad the Rotarian on Father's Day," she said.

May 14, 2019 - 4:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Rotary Club, news.

Rotary Club of Batavia group photo by Kevin Carlson of Carlson’s Studio.

Submitted photos and press release:

The Rotary Club of Batavia is celebrating its 100th anniversary and to mark its centennial, the club hosted a gala at Batavia Downs on Friday, May 10, to celebrate its accomplishments and energize for more projects that benefit the community.  

As an organization designed to instill values of community service and professional development, Rotary was founded in 1905 in Chicago. In 1919 the Batavia Rotary Club was chartered with 25 members who pledged to the organization's motto of "Service above Self." 

Now, 100 years later, that commitment remains strong.  The 75 men and women of Batavia Rotary seek to serve others through local community projects and international partnerships.

Rotarians are committed to service, and we're not afraid to dream big and set bold goals, said Laurie Mastin, the current president.

Locally, the Batavia Rotary has contributed more than $700,000 to charitable causes in the Genesee community in the last 20 years. Additionally, it provides $18,000 in scholarships to local college students each year.

On a worldwide scale, Rotary began a fight against polio in 1979 and has reduced that crippling disease to only two countries -- down from 125 in 1988. And we won't stop until we're done and polio is eradicated. Batavia Rotary continues to financially support that campaign and has contributed more than $150,000 over the years to eliminate polio from the Earth. 

In the words of Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary, "We believe we can change the world one life at a time."

Photos below by Paul Figlow for Figlow Productions.

May 12, 2019 - 11:07am
posted by Steve Ognibene in Sports, baseball, Le Roy, batavia, Batavia Rotary Club.


Last evening, the Batavia Blue Devils advanced to the finals (following their close win to Oakfield-Alabama) between the Le Roy Oatkan Knights.  Alex Hale pitched the first five innings while Andrew Francis closed on the mound for the duo to have a complete game.

The first three innings showed no score from either team, until the bottom of the fourth as Batavia scored five runs. Sam Sallome, Trevor Zewan, Andrew Francis, Josh Weis, and Luke Grammatico each had a hit and RBI. Later on in the sixth, Luke Grammatico would score again with his second hit and RBI. Alex Hale and Jake Humes came to home plate as well.

Batavia was calm, cool, and collected throughout tonight and having continuous hits led to many runners on base, which turned into plenty of scoring opportunities. They were defensively sound. Batavia led Le Roy in hits 12-3 and one error to Le Roy’s three. Final score 8-0.

After the match, Sam Sallome was announced 2019 Rotary Tournament MVP.

Story submitted by Thomas Ognibene.

To view or purchase photos, click here.




May 11, 2019 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, batavia, Batavia Rotary Club, video.
Video Sponsor

Batavia beat Oakfield-Alabama 5-4 with a bottom-of-the-seventh bunt in an opening round game of the annual Batavia Rotary Club Tournament.

Earlier today, Le Roy beat Notre Dame 8-2.  

Batavia and Le Roy face each other at 7 p.m. in the championship game.

May 11, 2019 - 1:59pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in Sports, news, batavia, Le Roy, Oakfield, baseball, Batavia Rotary Club.


Today, the Le Roy Oatkan Knights took on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to kick off the 21st Annual Batavia Rotary Club High School Baseball Tournament at Dwyer Stadium.

Tim McMullen and Tommy Saunders held the mound for Le Roy, while David Russo and Spencer Misti pitched for Notre Dame.

Giavanni Caccamise, Reece Tresco, Tim McMullen, Kenny Saunders all recorded a hit and RBI, while Ryan Friend had two hits and RBIs to make it 6-1 Le Roy after two. Zachary Cocking had the lone RBI for ND in the first.

Later on in the fifth inning, Tommy Saunders and Austin Saeya came home safely and scored. It was 8-1 Le Roy after five.

Spencer Misti, David Russo, Andrew Moore, all collected hits while Alex Totton had a RBI and hit of his own in the final inning of the game.

Le Roy led ND in hits 9 to 8 and was defensively strong overall only allowing two errors. With Le Roy’s 8-2 win they will move on to the championship game at 7 o'clock tonight to face the winner of Oakfield-Alabama and Batavia.      

Story and photos by Thomas Ognibene.

To view or purchase photos click here.






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