Local Matters

Community Sponsors


April 1, 2020 - 4:01pm

Submitted photos and press release:

In response to the significant increase in need for food, The Salvation Army in conjunction with Northgate Free Methodist Church and FoodLink held major food distributions on the grounds of the church in Batavia.

These took place on Friday March 27th and again today, April 1st. Well over 600 families were assisted in this effort.

Volunteers from four area churches and several community groups assisted in handing out urgently needed food supplies.

The food items included milk, fresh produce, cheese and dry goods. Items were provided by area church food drives, Star Growers and FoodLink.

“None of this would have been possible without the help of the amazing volunteers," said Todd Rapp director of Emergency Disaster Services for The Salvation Army here in Batavia. "They went above and beyond.”

The Salvation Army has been active in Batavia since 1865 and they intend to be here as long as possible through this crisis.

“As long as we have access to food, we will be getting it out there,” Rapp said.

Mark Logan of Northgate said the church will do all it can to support this effort.

In order to keep abreast of future distributions go to The Salvation Army Batavia NY on Facebook and “like” the page. Announcements will also be made through The Batavian.

March 28, 2020 - 12:14pm

Supplies are dwindling for basic food items stocked at the Corfu Presbyterian Church food pantry, located at 63 Alleghany Road, which is operated in partnership with St. Maximilian Kolbe Roman Catholic Church.

"We have a lot of elderly people, who used to go out to restaurants, relying on us," said pantry coodinator Paula Trapani.

If you can help, they are especially in need of:

  • Canned fruit and vegetables
  • SOUP, noodle cups, Top Ramen
  • Canned tuna
  • Canned chicken
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauces
  • Canned tomato products, most assuredly ketchup
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly and jam
  • Canned juice
  • Cereal and shelf-stable milk
  • Pancake mix and syrup

Trapani said meal items that can be prepared quickly are needed, adding that cake mix and canned frosting, or brownie and muffin mix would be nice treats, too.

The pantry is also running low on basic hygiene supplies and toiletries like soap and shampoo.

To help families pass the time during the COVID-19 pandemic, the pantry is also making room to stockpile puzzles, board games, hidden word search booklets and the like.

There will be someone at the church from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays. Please leave items on the bench outside and someone will retrieve them.

If anyone has questions or needs to drop off items at another time, please contact Paula Trapani at (716) 423-1907.

One thing they do not need is frozen French fries.

"Our freezer is stuffed with bags of frozen French fries from a truck that caught fire last week, I believe on Route 5, and they were able to salvage quite a lot of French fries -- I'm not kidding," Trapani said, adding that the freezer at the St. Kolbe's also chock full of them.

So don't forget the ketchup, folks...

UPDATED at 1:46 a.m. Sunday, March 29: Forgot to include crackers; all kinds of crackers.

March 26, 2020 - 4:07pm

Press release:

New York’s farmers are among the best in the nation when it comes to supporting people in need through their regional food banks. This week, American Farm Bureau Federation recognized New York Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) program for its efforts to donate more than 7.3 million pounds of food to the regional food banks across the state last year.

That was the second highest donation total in the country, behind Florida. In addition, the county Farm Bureau YF&R committees throughout New York raised $14,421 in monetary donations and performed 223 of volunteer work for their area food banks in 2019.

The food is collected through the “Harvest for All” donation program, a nationwide annual farm donation partnership linking Farm Bureau and Feeding America in each state. In New York, NYFB’s YF&R Committee and Feeding New York State administer the statewide donation partnership. The food is then distributed among the 10 Feeding America food banks throughout the state.

NYFB’s YF&R Committee also received the Most Innovative Award from AFBF for its efforts to use Livingston County Farm Bureau’s popular Farm Fest event last September to assist with food collection efforts. Attendees helped pick sweet corn that was then delivered to the Avon Food Pantry. Sweet corn seed was generously donated by local dealer, Seedway, LLC. The host farm, Mulligan Farm, then planted and maintained the sweet corn throughout the summer.

Two planting dates were scheduled in hopes of the corn being ready for the day of Farm Fest. The event had volunteers at each station who assisted with picking and placing the corn into bags so it could later be transported. NYFB’s YF&R program was awarded two $250 checks for its efforts that will be donated to Feeding New York State.

Last year was a difficult one weather wise for New York agriculture. Spring rains delayed planting for farms in every region of the state, by several weeks in some instances, which in turn delayed harvest and overall food production. Some farms were unsure if they would have enough product to donate.

Despite the challenges, farmers came through in a big way. These efforts are continuing in 2020 with gleaning projects being planned for harvest season to secure fresh produce for the food banks. Unfortunately, the demand for food will likely be higher this year as the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing more New Yorkers who are out of work to turn to their food banks and local pantries.

Christina Kohler, New York Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers chair, said, “The YF&R members are proud to support the Harvest for All program for more than 15 years. In that time, farms in New York have given almost 106 million pounds of food to support the work by the regional food banks in our state. That translates into more than 88 million meals.

"Our members also volunteer with gleaning projects and fundraisers to make more fresh food accessible to New Yorkers in need. We look forward to continuing this partnership, and we encourage farmers across the state to remember their local food banks as an important way to give back or when they have excess product that would otherwise go to waste.”

David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau president, said, “Despite all the challenges farmers faced last year, their donations of more than seven million pounds of food is still a significant number. It reflects that even when times are tough, farmers step up to care for their neighbors and provide for their communities.

"We are proud to continue this great partnership with Feeding New York State and our outstanding regional food banks. I would like to thank all the farmers who have given during this past year and the regional food banks for helping get the food from the farm fields to people in need.”

Dan Egan, executive director of Feeding New York State, said, "The food banks of New York State are deeply grateful for the generous donations of fresh food from New York's farmers. It was a difficult year, but once again New York farmers stepped up and provided high quality food to our neighbors in need.

"In communities large and small, there are hungry people who would not otherwise be able to eat fresh food were it not for New York's farmers. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts."

For more specific information on local food donation projects, please contact your regional food bank.

March 26, 2020 - 2:46pm
Press release:

The Salvation Army in Genesee County in cooperation with FoodLink and Northgate Free Methodist Church in Batavia announce two upcoming distribution dates for a “Pop Up” Mobile Food Pantry.

We know that many in our community have relied on the once monthly Mobile Food Pantry hosted at The Salvation Army’s Main Street location. Due to current events, this will not be possible for the foreseeable future.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 27th, and again on Wednesday, April 1st, The Salvation Army will oversee the food distributions at Northgate Free Methodist Church, located at 8160 Bank Street Road.

This will be done as a “drive-thru” distribution to insure social distancing and proper hygiene.

Residents are asked to pull into the church lot and go around the back of the building via the north side. Pull up to the pallets and volunteers will load the items for you.

Do not get out of your car or attempt to help. This will continue until all the products are gone.

Items vary but always include fresh produce. We cannot guarantee any particular items or quantities of items.

There are no residency requirements or financial restrictions in order to take part in this distribution.


Please arrive no earlier than 9 o'clock as the lot will be closed. We will need time to set up and organize.

We will open the lot at 9 in the morning and begin as soon as we are set up and ready.

March 19, 2020 - 6:23pm

Press release:

There are many families within the greater Genesee region that, during normal circumstances, don’t know where their next meal may come from. During this time of uncertainty, it becomes clearer that as a community, it is our call to help those around us.

Have you felt that urge to help, but just can’t figure out where to plug yourself in?  

Northgate Free Methodist Church will be assisting The Salvation Army with food collection and distribution.

They are setting up a drop-off point on Monday, March 23, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at their North Campus, located at 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia.

The Salvation Army is in need of the following items:

  • Canned meats
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly, soups or chili in cans
  • Pastas, rice, beans
  • Breakfast items
  • Snack items for kids
  • Shelf-stable milk

There will be volunteers available to unload items from your vehicle, and safety precautions will be made to maintain social distancing.

Turnbull Heating and Air Conditioning has offered their fleet of vehicles to transfer the goods to The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army in Batavia is looking for some (relatively) younger people who are willing to volunteer to help shop and hand out food as people come in. This would be on a daily basis for as long as they are able to have food available. They currently are in the office from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. each day but as the need grows it will become likely that those hours will grow as well.

*If you can help out, call Todd at 343-6284.

In a time where we are being asked to remain apart, let’s do what we can to help those who are in need right now.

*Editor's Note: We were initially provided an incorrect contact number for Todd, the person to call if you want to volunteer for The Salvation Army. The phone number has been corrected.

March 8, 2020 - 1:19pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Inspired by Project Linus, a nationwide nonprofit organization that coordinates the delivery of blankets to children in need, the Byron-Bergen Liberty Scholars looked locally to give the gift of warmth.

The handmade no-sew blankets will be delivered to Community Action Head Start in Batavia. The group chose this project as a way to pay it forward to younger community members.

“When I was in kindergarten I loved nap time,” said Byron-Bergen ninth-grade student Sydney Zastrocky. “My teacher gave me a pillow and blanket and I want to give that same comfort to other children.”

“One of the tenants of the Liberty Scholar program is community service,” said program counselor Samantha Golden. “This project is special because the students showed their creativity and really put their hearts into the work.”

“I’m so proud of the work the Liberty Scholars do for our community,” said Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School Principal Pat McGee. “They demonstrate their growing leadership skills by taking the initiative to respond to community needs with energy and kindness.”

Photo: Byron-Bergen Liberty Scholars display their completed blankets.

March 3, 2020 - 12:18pm

Submitted photo and press release:

The Le Roy Women of the Moose Chapter 370 held their annual Cake Walk on Feb. 15 and raised $429 to purchase personal care items for Knights Closet at Le Roy High School.

This fun event involves dessert donations, a DJ, and the game of musical chairs, with the aim of winning a dessert. Along with a 50/50 raffle and basket raffle, the money helped buy toiletry items for students that may not have access to them at home.

Some students use the school facilities to get ready for the day. The Knights Closet is open to all students and students that need extra support may contact Lindsey Dailey for a private meeting. They gladly accept donations of personal care items and gently used clothing. 

After the desserts were all won, it was time for the Men’s Fashion Show. Our Moose men are good sports as they dress up and parade around to see who will win.  

Pictured from left: Lindsey Dailey, school counselor, Catherine Campbell, Club recorder and Martha Bailey, chairperson. The Men’s Fashion Show was chaired by Sharyll Hume.

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

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.

February 21, 2020 - 12:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in Notre Dame, Coaches for Cancer, charity, sports, batavia.

On Tuesday, Notre Dame High School in Batavia donated $300 to the Amercian Cancer Society's Coaches vs. Cancer.

According to the program's website, the 25-year-old program operates in collaboration with the National Association of Basketball Coaches. It unites coaches and fans nationwide to help the American Cancer Society defeat a common enemy – cancer, through fundraising and education initiatives.

Submitted photo: Notre Dame High School Varsity Basketball Coach Mike Rapone, left, and Joe LaVare, Community Development manager for the WNY office of the American Cancer Society, based in Amherst.

February 4, 2020 - 4:10pm

Press release:

Hops for Hope to benefit the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16, at Eli Fish Brewing Company.

The brewery, located at 109 Main St. in Downtown Batavia, will be releasing a new Hope Lager for the event.

There will be a Cornhole Tournament with prizes and a Yeti Cooler Raffle. Commemorative glasses for the cost of $20 will enter you into a large cash prize drawing! It will be a “Sunday Funday"!

All of the proceeds from the new beer sale, along with the sale of several other items, will go to the foundation, which assists families undergoing the challenges of a cancer diagnosis, provides funding to youth activities through their grant, and supports research for pediatric blood cancers. 

Join us for an afternoon of “Hope” … listening to the music of the OHMS Band, purchasing a commemorative glass, participate in some games, purchase raffle tickets, buy some apparel and just spend a Sunday afternoon with friends. 

Tickets are available at the door for $15 and include live music and appetizer stations provided by Eli Fish. Go to elifishbrewing.com for details or call 585-861-0550 or 585-409-3275 for questions.

February 4, 2020 - 3:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in GO ART!, Gregory Hallock, news, charity, fundraiser, batavia.

File photo of GO ART! Executive Director Gregory Hallock.

The executive director of the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council -- GO ART! -- is battling a rare form of cancer. There will be a raffle and fundraiser on Friday, March 27, to help Gregory Hallock and his family defray medical expenses.

The community is encouraged to help support him and his family during this difficult time.

The benefit for Hallock will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at GO ART!, located in the historic Seymour Building, 201 E. Main St. in Downtown Batavia.

Tickets are $20 each. Only 500 will be sold.

Tickets are available at GO ART! and during business hours at Artic Refrigeration Co. of Batavia, located at 26 Cedar St. in the City of Batavia.

They are also available to buy online through the Batavia Society of Artists, here.

Baskets and an art raffle will also be held -- 10 tickets for $5.

Enter to win a Kegerator and half keg -- a $1,000 retail value. The drawing will be held at 8 o'clock; you need not be present to win.

For more information, contact Stuart McLean at (585) 729-7234 by phoning or texting; or email him at:   [email protected]

GO ART!'s galleries inside Seymour Place are open Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Additional gallery hours and office hours are available by appointment.)

Tavern 2.o.1, located inside Seymour Place, is open from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.

GO ART! was established in 1962 and is dedicated to developing the cultural life in Genesee and Orleans counties by facilitating the creation, presentation and experience of art, heritage and traditions.

For a story about how Hallock has grown the nonprofit GO ART! and raised its profile in the community since taking the helm in July 2017, click here.

January 29, 2020 - 3:21pm

Submitted photos and press release:

A dream of Crossroads House founder Kathy Panepento has been realized through a generous gift from the family of a past resident.

Twenty years ago, Samuel Marchese spent his last days at Crossroads House. Because of a generous gift given by his daughter, Antoinette Clancy, and her husband, Emmett, Crossroads House was able to fund some foundational projects throughout the home, open only two years at the time.

The families of Crossroads House residents are forever families and so many faithfully support the mission long after their loved ones were served in our home. The Clancys remain one of those families. Recently they reached out to Crossroads House with the desire to bless our home again.

Panepento has always envisioned the idea of a comfort care home having it’s own wheelchair van to enhance the end of life experience and embrace every opportunity to live and make memories while at Crossroads House.

The Clancys embraced that idea and funded a brand new 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan wheelchair van. This gift allows Crossroads House to relieve families of often unreimbursed ambulance trips on admission.

The van will also make it possible to take residents and their loved ones out for day trips and outings that will create forever memories. Giving residents and their families the opportunity to live every moment has always been the mission of Crossroads House and this gift will help us continue to fulfill that in new and enduring ways.

"Crossroads House would like to thank Antoinette and Emmett for this wonderful gift!" said Crossroads House Executive Director Jeff Allen.

Top photo, from left: Kathy Panepento (Crossroads House founder and director of Resident Care), Deb Chilano with dog "Boston" (volunteers), John Chilano (volunteer and official wheelchair tester), Emily Crawford (coordinator of Volunteer Services), Vinnie Tjhung (volunteer), Diane Sia (director of Development), Jim Gardner (volunteer).

January 28, 2020 - 8:32am

Submitted photo and press release:

The JCPenney department store in Batavia is dedicated to helping our local youth. It has proudly donated $1,200 to the Liberty Center for Youth located at 114 Liberty St.

They have made this donation to help close the opportunity gap for the youth of our community. The opportunity gap refers to youth who have unequal access to programs, resources and necessities that enable them to be academically successful.

Many factors such as age, race, gender, household income and community wealth can put the underserved youth at greater risk of not graduating high school or getting the formal training they need to secure a good-paying job. That is where the Liberty Center for Youth Comes in. 

The Liberty Center for Youth offers free programing to all youth ages 9-16 in the community. The center is equipped with a technology lab fit with 10 new computers, 10 tablets and a smart board.

The facility is also has a gymnasium, indoor foursquare court and gaming room complete with air hockey, pool and foosball tables. Youth are offered a free snack every day in the cafeteria and tutoring services are also provided free of charge. 

The City of Batavia Youth Bureau and the Genesee County YMCA have entered into a collaborative partnership to deliver Liberty Center for Youth for youth programing. Both organizations have prided themselves on offering free, safe and fun activities to our youth.

JCPenney proudly supports this community and its success. JCPenney would like to thank Lydia Schauf, who is the program coordinator for the City of Batavia Youth Bureau, for making us aware of this need in our community and taking the time to coordinate this donation.

Photo: Back row, from left -- Sue Dart (JCPenney), Charitie Bruning (Glow YMCA), Elise Lee (JCPenney), Lydia Schauf (City of Batavia Youth Bureau), Rachel Hale (Glow YMCA), and Jeff Townsend (Glow YMCA). Four local youths are in the front row, from left: Kamela Lockhart, Jonelis Martinez-Williams, Gabrielle Lawlis and Gianna Williams.

January 10, 2020 - 3:00pm

Pembroke High School Girls' Varsity Basketball Team.*

Submitted photo and press release:

The Pembroke Jr./Sr. High School Girls’ Basketball Team will host its ninth annual Shooting For A Cure! event versus Oakfield-Alabama on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 5 p.m. at the high school gymnasium located at the corner of routes 5 and 77 (8750 Alleghany Road) in Pembroke.

The JV basketball game begins at 5:30, while the Varsity game begins at 7 o'clock.

To date, Shooting For A Cure! has raised more than $119,000 and has become one of Roswell Park Comprehensice Cancer Center's largest community-based fundraising events.

This year, the team hopes to raise another $30,000 for the cause. The team is accepting online donations in support of Shooting For A Cure! To make a donation, click here.

There are several other ways to support the cause. Attendees can contribute through various raffles and auctions, purchase food and beverages from the concession stand, and buy merchandise during the event.

The basket raffle includes 100 baskets and gift cards. A sheet of 25 tickets costs $5. There is also a big-item pink ticket raffle. A handful of these tickets remain and cost $5 each or 5 for $20.

One winner will be selected for each of the following prizes: a one-year supply of pizza logs from Original Pizza Logs; an Apple Watch Series 5; an autographed Sam Reinhart jersey; a pair of 200-level Sabres tickets for the March 9th game versus the Washington Capitals; and an autographed Josh Allen football.

The silent auction offers attendees the chance to bid on several high-value items such as: 12 Park Hopper passes to Walt Disney World; two round-trip plane tickets from Southwest; two round-trip plane tickets from JetBlue; a catered dinner party for eight guests; and handcrafted Adirondack chairs made by Pembroke students.

At the concession stand, there will be pizza from Batavia’s Original, pizza logs from Original Pizza Logs, taco in a bag from Clarence Deli, ice cream from Hershey’s, and drinks from Coca-Cola of Rochester and Crickler Vending. Pink ribbons and a variety of Shooting For A Cure! apparel items will also be available for purchase.

Shooting For A Cure! coordinator Mike Wilson would like to give special thanks to community member and former Western Region Vice President of NYSCOPBA (New York State Corrections Officer and Police Benevolent Association) Joe Miano.

According to Wilson, “Over the past four seasons, NYSCOPBA has donated a total of $10,000 to our cause, and I cannot express how grateful we are for the continued community support. I am overwhelmed by their generosity.”

Miano stated, “It’s been a pleasure working with Pembroke’s Shooting For A Cure! over the last four years, watching the endless work all the volunteers put into this great cause for Roswell Park.”

The 2019-2020 Shooting For A Cure! business and organization donors list includes: 26Shirts, ACES Foundation, ADPRO Sports, Batavia Country Club, Batavia’s Original, Buttercrumbs Bakery, Clarence Deli, Coca-Cola of Rochester, Crickler Vending Company, Darien Lake, Dollar General, Dollars for Scholars, Dry Creek Group, Fava Brothers Lawn Care, Five Guys, Genesee Feeds, Hershey’s Ice Cream, Insty-Prints, JetBlue Airways, Kingdom Bound, Knockaround Sunglasses, Linda’s Family Diner, Maple Ridge Landscaping, Mosquito Hunters of Buffalo, Northtown Automotive, Oliver’s Candies, OnCore Golf, Original Pizza Logs, Pesci’s Pizza and Wings, Pillar Real Estate Investors, Platinum Fitness, Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, Sincerely Kayla, Southwest Airlines, Spa at Artemis, Terry Hills, Tim Hortons, Walt Disney World, West Herr Chevy of Orchard Park, Yancey’s Fancy, and YMCA of Batavia.

Businesses or organizations wishing to donate to this year’s event should contact Mike Wilson by calling 716.949.0523.

The event itself began nine years ago when the Pembroke Girls’ Varsity Basketball team approached then Head Coach Mike Wilson with an idea to show their support for Toni Funke, wife of beloved coach and Pembroke teacher Ron Funke in her battle against breast cancer.

They wanted to play a game in her honor to raise money for cancer research. Since then, Shooting For A Cure! has blossomed into a huge community event attracting supporters from throughout Western New York.

Regardless of how large the event has grown, the goal remains the same: show support for community members in the fight against cancer. To make this night special for cancer survivors, current patients, and families, the varsity halftime program is dedicated to recognizing people from all of these groups.

As part of the halftime program, members of the varsity and junior varsity teams give each honoree a flower and a hug. It is a great way to show love and support to those who have been touched by this far-reaching disease.

Anyone who would like to support this noble cause is encouraged to do so by coming to the event or visiting the Shooting For A Cure! donation page here.

About Pembroke High School Girls' Varsity Basketball Team

The team colors are green, white, and black. The team began Shooting For A Cure! as an annual event in 2011, and they are committed to the hard work and dedication it will take to win the battle against breast cancer.

*The team is comprised of 10 young women. The current team members, their numbers and positions are: 2 -- Serene Calderón, G; 3 -- Isabel Breede, G; 4 -- Brianna RindellF; 11 -- Mackenna JohnsonG12 -- Dekari MossF13 -- Casey WurtzF; 14 -- Megan ConibearF21 -- Allie SchwerthofferG; 32 -- Emily PetersG34 -- Nicole vonKramerF.

This season’s captains are Megan Conibear, Mackenna Johnson, Casey Wurtz, and Serene Calderón. The Lady Dragons are coached by Ron Funke and Guy Gabbey.

About Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

According to its website, “All donations made to Roswell Park are managed by the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that ensures that every donation is put to the best possible use. The Alliance Foundation has been recognized numerous times for these efforts.” For more information about giving to Roswell Park, click here, and go to “Donate.”

January 10, 2020 - 11:04am

A comedy show to benefit four local nonprofits will be held at Ascension Parish's Slomba Hall on Friday, Feb. 28. It is located at 17 Sumner St. in Batavia.

Tickets are $50 each. VIP packages also available -- $500 for a table for eight, includes VIP seating, signage and table wine.

Paul Venier and Nick Marra are the featured performers.

Come and enjoy a fun night of laughs, heavy hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. Food catered by Dibble Party House.

Registration begins at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 o'clock.

Beneficiaries of the event are: Rochester Regional Health; Batavia YMCA; Strong Memorial Spine Center; and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.

Make checks payable to:

Spinal Injury Tournament

C/O Ricky Palermo

5159 Sunset Terrace

Batavia NY 14020

Questions? Contact Ricky Palermo at (585) 739-8522 or email him at:   [email protected]

About Paul Venier

Venier was born and raised in Long Island and has spent much of his time in New Jersey as he and a few of his friends started a band called STARK NAKED. In the '70s they went on to become number six on the music charts and were the forerunner for groups like Kiss and Alice Cooper. After a fun stint of touring and playing from Florida to Detroit, Canada and everywhere in between, they landed on the New Jersey shore in 1976.

Venier left the band in 1979 and started a solo career as he began a one-man show, he quickly realized that people really enjoyed his music with a very comedic fun combination that led to repeated sellouts and a well-known restaurant in Lafayette, N.J., called Ye Olde School inn. He has opened for and performed with some of the best comedians and musicians in the world, like Phyllis Diller, Don Rickles, Howie Mandell, Cheap Trick, Jethro Tull, Jay Leno, Soupy Sales, Paul Reiser, etc.

He is currently working on acting again and has just released a CD called “BETTER LATE THAN NEVER” with his serious music. You can find his CD on www.comedytornado.com.

About Nick Marra

Nick Marra is from Syracuse and has been entertaining crowds with his down-to-earth company for more than 20 years. Drawing on his experiences from growing up in an Italian Catholic home, to his current family comprised of two sons in their 20s and a daughter (17 years later), audiences easily relate to his quirky observations.

Marra has performed at the “2017 Red Carpet Live ESPY show on ESPN.” Marra is a cousin of local philanthropist Ricky Palermo and has been supporting his events since the inception of his annual golf tournament. He is known to bring more than five teams every year to the golf tournament.

January 7, 2020 - 10:31am
posted by Billie Owens in Catholic Charities, news, east pembroke, charity, volunteers.

Information from Catholic Charities of Buffalo (serving all of WNY):

The Appeal 2020 workshop for the tri-county region -- Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties --is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, at St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church in East Pembroke. The workshop will be held in the Parish Hall behind the church, located at 8656 Church St.

In attendance will be:

  • Deacon Steve Schumer, president and CEO, Catholic Charities of Buffalo;
  • Meichle Latham, chief operating officer, Catholic Charities of Buffalo;
  • Rick Cronin, Appeal 2020 general chair;
  • Richard Suchan, executive director, Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo;
  • Kelly Grimaldi, tri-county district director, Catholic Charities;
  • Hero of Hope Partner Award Recipient June Seager, county coordinator, Orleans County Office of Children and Family Services;
  • Approximately 40 community volunteers, clergy, lay leaders and donors, as well as Catholic Charities staff.

This volunteer training workshop kicks off Appeal 2020 in support of Catholic Charities and the Fund for the Faith in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

In addition, a Hero of Hope Partner award will be given to June Seager, county coordinator of the Orleans County Office of Children and Family Services, for her support of Catholic Charities and strong investment in area families, youths and individuals.

Members of the Appeal leadership team and staff will present information about Appeal 2020, including what has changed, how to run a successful parish effort, and ideas for gaining new donors and renewing previous donors.

Donors in parishes from the tri-county region contributed $418,727 to the 2019 Appeal. 

This year’s Appeal week will take place March 28-April 5 throughout the eight counties of Western New York to celebrate the support of those who have made contributions to the Appeal, and to encourage those who have not already donated to do so. 

The funds raised for Appeal 2020 will help support the 51 programs and services Catholic Charities offers across 43 sites, along with a number of ministries through the Fund for the Faith. Catholic Charities provides assistance to people of all ages, races, faiths and walks of life.

Of the 160,000 individuals reached by Catholic Charities last year, the lives of more than 3,600 were impacted in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

For more information, please contact Catholic Charities of Western New York at (716) 218-1400, or visit ccwny.org.

December 30, 2019 - 5:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, news, charity.


Macey and Preslee Blecha of East Bethany collected a total of 154 blankets for Wings Flights of Hope.

The blankets will be used to comfort patients as they fly for medical treatments or appointments. Accepting the donation are Joe and Diane DeMarco, founders of Wings Flights of Hope.

December 26, 2019 - 8:54am
posted by Steve Ognibene in charity, Batavia's Original Pizza, news.


Nearly a dozen local service organizations who are on duty yesterday during the Christmas holiday received pizza and salads from Batavia Original staff pictured above.

Some delivery locations included City Police, City Fire Department, Rochester Regional Health and the New York State Veterans Home to name a few. This has been an annual tradition by the pizzeria the last couple years.

Top photo from left are: Daniel Ferrara, restaurant owner Kathy Ferrara, Marygrace Ferrara, Jacqueline Patterson and Mitch Caci.





December 11, 2019 - 4:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, charity, news.
Video Sponsor

Macy and Preslee Blecha are collecting blankets for Christmas to give to patients who fly with Wings Flights of Hope. Their mother, Rachel Blecha, said, "They want to make patients feel more comfortable on their flight.

There is a drop-off Friday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Alexander Elementary School.

You can also drop off new blankets at Three Little Birds Pediatrics on Ellicott Street and Jody Lynn Salon VIP, or mail blankets to Macy and Presley at 4577 Conway Road, East Bethany.

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