Local Matters

Community Sponsors

charity

July 14, 2020 - 2:19pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Le Roy resident Karen Samis (far left in photo) participated in the American Lung Association's first-ever Virtual Fight For Air Climb Buffalo.

Samis completed more than 48 hours of physical activity all over New York State and raised nearly $1,000 for the Lung Association's mission.

That mission is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through advocacy, education and research of lung diseases, including COVID-19.   

The 10th annual in-person event was originally scheduled for late March. It regularly attracts hundreds of people to walk or run up the 24 flights of stairs, or 470 steps, to the top of Main Place Tower in Buffalo.

This year, COVID-19 required the event to be moved online, and participants from all over Western New York joined in to stay active by choosing a challenge such as climbing, running, walking or cycling from home or near their own neighborhoods.

In total, the event raised more than $165,000.

To support Samis and contribute to her effort click here.

Pictured in Lake Placid, from left are: Karen Samis, Diane Yarosis (her cousin and lung cancer survivor), Pete Yarosis (her nephew), and Steve Samis (her husband).

June 5, 2020 - 12:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, Alabama, news, charity, Feed The Need food pantry.

Submitted photo and information from Melissa Domoy:

“Feed The Need” is a little food pantry located in the Oakfield community behind the Okafield United Methodist Church at 2 S. Main St.

Creating this valuable resource was a project two months in the making as Ava Flores (above photo) worked to complete her Girl Scout Gold Award.

Ava saw that there was a growing need in Oakfield during this difficult time. It is her hope that Feed The Need food pantry will help her Oakfield-Alabama community, not just now but in the future.

Inside the food pantry are recipes for simple affordable meals. It is also stocked with soups, canned fruits and vegetables and other shelf-stable food items.

Anyone who is in need is welcome to stop by and take what they need.

It is her hope that the little food pantry will be self-sustaining in the weeks to come where people may drop off donations or take what they need.

If you would like to make a donation, please contact the church at (585) 948-5550, or go the Feed The Need food pantry and put in some nonperishable goods to help out a local family.

June 5, 2020 - 11:47am

Northgate Pastor John Keller gets some grooming.

Submitted photos and press release:

Beginning in October of 2019, Northgate Pastor John Keller began a process many of our readers can relate to. He grew a beard. After an eight-month progression and the absence of winter temperatures, Pastor Keller made the decision to potentially lose a part of him which he had grown fondly of.

As a member of the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army in Batavia, Keller put a wager on the community and Northgate congregants through Facebook to raise money in exchange for a fresh shave.  

The original post asked for the community to donate $500 to The Salvation Army of Batavia. Unbeknownst to him, the community rallied around his fundraising efforts and raised that amount in only an hour and a half.

Quick on his feet, Keller amended the goal to $1,000, saying that if he reached the new amount, he would let his three daughters shave his beard. Once again, the congregants and community spoke. Three hours after the original post, the total had surpassed $1,000.

Over the course of the five-day fundraiser, 53 people donated for a combined total of $2,215.  

This financial fundraiser will remain local and will help to fight food scarcity in Genesee County.

Keller said “Truthfully, a beard that long with a mask and the higher temperatures just wasn’t comfortable. So, I was probably going to shave it anyway, but I thought we could have a little fun with it and raise some money for a great cause. I had no idea that people would respond in such an awesome way! Our local Salvation Army is so well run and does such an incredible job loving and serving our community. I’m so glad to have been able to have a part in helping them do that great work!” 

Northgate church continues to partner with The Salvation Army of Batavia, as they have for years. During the COVID-19 closures, they have hosted local food collections each Monday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at their North Campus (8160 Bank Street Road).

They have also teamed up with The Salvation Army and Foodlink to conduct drive-thru food distributions every other Wednesday. This past Wednesday, they were able to distribute food to 413 vehicles that passed through their parking lot.

If you are interested in assisting the local community, food deliveries can be delivered during the hours listed above, or directly to The Salvation Army during their hours of operation.

Below, Pastor Keller before and after.

Bottom, photo from this Wednesday's food giveaway at Northgate church featuring featuring fresh meat, produce and dairy products.

June 3, 2020 - 4:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in Mercy Flight, charity, Cruising for Mercy Flight, news, batavia.

A fundraising event this Sunday called "Cruising for Mercy Flight" has been cancelled.

It was to feature a Mercy Flight helicopter on a tractor-trailer along with vintage automobiles and hot rods, leaving the Genesee County Fairgrounds at about 1 p.m. escorted by Sheriff's deputies for a countywide convoy.

"The sheriff cannot guarantee the safety of the event," wrote Pam Cherry, Mercy Flight Outreach coordinator for Batavia. "We would like to offer participants to email me pictures of their classic cars and we will share them on social media as a virtual classic car show."

Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, especially Undersheriff Brad Mazur, the Genesee County Agricultural Society, and the Batavia and Le Roy police departments were working to make the event possible. It was the brainchild of Bill and Jeanne Freeman.

Send Cherry a digital photo of your ride at: [email protected]

May 28, 2020 - 2:54pm

Press release:

The Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund, announced that it has awarded nearly $1 million to an additional 47 nonprofit organizations, bringing the total grant amount from the Fund to $6.6 million, supporting a total of 156 nonprofit organizations.

This collaborative philanthropic effort was created in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 health crisis and has been coordinated by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, The John R. Oishei Foundation and the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County.

Grants were awarded to organizations serving all eight counties of Western New York that are addressing immediate needs in our community as a result of the COVID-19 crisis in the areas of food, housing, healthcare, childcare, mental health, transportation, and other emergency services.

This is expected to be the final phase of grantmaking to individual organizations from the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund. Additional funds raised will provide microgrants ranging from approximately $500 - $2,500 to grassroots organizations in all eight counties. Going forward, the collaborative effort is evolving into a “Build Back Better” initiative to support developing strategies focused on recovery efforts through collaborative systems work to address specific needs such as sourcing personal protective equipment for nonprofits and food security.

The following nonprofit organizations in Genesee County received a grant (amounts not specified) from the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund in May:

  • Arc of Genesee Orleans
  • Project Stork
  • YWCA of Genesee County

“The sudden arrival of the COVID-19 crisis necessitated an immediate response to meet the significant need in the community with everyone working together on solutions," said Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, president/CEO of Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. "We are grateful that so many foundations, corporations, community leaders and individuals continue to generously contribute time and resources to support more than 156 organizations to date working on the frontlines at a time of great need."

Robert D. Gioia, president of The John R. Oishei Foundation added, “We are just at the beginning of this crisis and it will take a sustained, collaborative effort to continue to assess critical needs and find new, creative solutions to rebuild our community.”

"It’s clear that COVID-19 will have a long-term, serious impact on the people and communities of Western New York," said Nora OBrien-Suric, Ph.D., president of the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York. "We remain committed to supporting nonprofit organizations in our region as they work tirelessly to meet the evolving needs of the community."

"We are facing unprecedented need and are only just beginning to grapple with the effects caused by COVID-19," said Michael Weiner, president and CEO United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. "Extraordinary times call for an extraordinary response and we will continue to support our community and the nonprofits on the ground throughout this unprecedented crisis."

To date, the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund has raised approximately $7 million from 60 local foundations and private sector companies, more than 40 community leaders and approximately 1,900 individuals. To see a full list of contributors, or to join the effort, please visit www.WNYResponds.org.  

On April 8, the Fund announced its first round of grants totaling just over $4.5 million to 74 organizations and on April 29, the Fund announced grants totaling $1 million to an additional 35 organizations. To see the full list of grantees, visit www.WNYResponds.org.

May 20, 2020 - 3:22pm

Route information from Bill and Jeanne Freeman​:

Cruising for Mercy Flight is a car-cruise fundraiser that will be held on Sunday, June 7, escorted by Genesee County Sheriff's deputies.

Participants -- including classic automobile enthusiasts, hot rodders, vintage car owners, and people with way cool rides -- will assemble at the Genesee County Fairgrounds at 5056 E. Main St. Road (Route 5) in Batavia, and the procession will leave at approximately 1 p.m.

And this cavalcade surely must include thankful everyday operators who carry a valid license to drive in New York, have a vehicle that has adequate gasoline in the tank, is inspected, insured and runs.

They can all rally around Mercy Flight, a really good reason to enjoy some fresh air with people for a change, whether the weather cooperates or not weather weather permitting.

The Route

  • From fairgrounds, turn left onto Route 5 westbound (about 1 p.m.);
  • In Batavia, turn right on Route 98 north to Elba (1:15 p.m.)
  • In Elba, turn right onto Route 262 going through Byron and into Bergen (1:35 p.m.);
  • In Bergen, turn right onto Route 19 southbound through Le Roy (1:45 p.m.);
  • Keep on Route 19 south to Pavilion (1:52 p.m.);
  • Turn right on Route 63 westbound in Pavilion to go to junction of routes 63 & 20 (1:55 p.m.);
  • Turn left onto Route 20 at Texaco Town (2 p.m.);
  • Take Route 20 through Bethany and Alexander, to Route 77 westbound to Darien Center (2:15 p.m.);
  • Take Route 77 northbound from Darien Center to Alabama (2:35 p.m.);
  • Turn right on to Route 63 in Alabama and go to Oakfield (2:45 p.m.);
  • Approximately 1 mile down the road, turn left onto Route 262 to Elba;
  • In Elba turn right on to Route 98. This will take you back to Route 5 and also to the Batavia Exit on the Thruway.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT FOR MERCY FLIGHT!

We would like to thank the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, especially Undersheriff Brad Mazur, the Genesee County Agricultural Society, and the Batavia and Le Roy police departments!

We certainly appreciate your support in being a part of this cruise. Be careful on your way home.

We sure hope to see everyone next month.

Stay Healthy and Be Safe,

Bill and Jeanne Freeman

UPDATE 12:28 p.m. May 21: A Mercy Flight Helicopter on a truck and trailer will be in the convoy, being held "in memory of all the former cruisers that have passed before us." A goodwill collection for Mercy Flight will be taken at the start of the event.

Here are the rules:

  1. If you get out of your car you have to wear a mask.
  2. If you do get out of your car be sure to practice social distancing.
  3. If you bring a snack and a beverage with you, please take home any trash. 
  4. CARRY IN AND CARRY OUT PLEASE!

Questions, call Jeanne Freeman at (585) 548-7197 before June 7.

May 19, 2020 - 12:13pm

Press release:

The Byron Rescue Squad along with local fire departments will be holding a 9-1-1 Food Call on Friday, May 29th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Byron Bergen High School Campus.

Food donated will be given to The Salvation Army in Batavia for distribution.

The items in demand are: helper meal kits (hamburger and tuna) canned fruit, crackers and cereal. Any nonperishable food items will be welcomed to help us answer this 9-1-1 Food Call.

If these hours do not fit your busy schedule, donations can be left at the Byron Fire Department across from the Post Office in Byron on Route 262.

Please have your donations bagged and be advised that no one needs to exit their car at this event.

Volunteers will accept your donation as you pass through the high school campus. Byron Bergen High school is located at the intersection of Route 262 and West Bergen Road in Bergen.

For questions or to volunteer to help at the drive-thru, Contact Brad Nickerson at (585) 330-3584 or by email at:   [email protected]

Thanks for answering this 9-1-1 Food Call!

May 14, 2020 - 4:06pm

From Nikki Leigh and the Batavia Society of Artists:

GO ART! Executive Director Gregory Hallock (above file photo) has been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. Hallock has done so much to promote arts and culture and all things good in the Genesee/Orleans area and it is our time to help him.

Medical treatments and life itself have become increasingly more difficult now that COVID-19 has occurred. Please consider joining us in helping Hallock with costs of medical treatments.

A fundraiser planned earlier this year was postponed due to the pandemic. Since then, we've decided to hold one online.

​The fundraiser is a collaboration between the Batavia Society of Artists and the GO ART! Board.

We are selling tickets $20 each for a Kegerator and a half keg of beer donated by Eli Fish Brewing Co. There are still tickets available here:   bataviasocietyofartists.simplesite.com.

We are also having an online gift basket and art raffle on Facebook starting tomorrow, May 15 and ending at 6 p.m. May 29th with drawing of the Kegerator winner on Facebook live.

All the baskets and art to be raffled will be posted on this event page on Friday, May 15th.

During that two-week time period, please bid an amount you want to pay for the item in the comments of the picture.

We have lots of great items! Be sure to take a look!

Items can be delivered to the winners within a reasonable distance of Batavia. They can also be shipped at an added cost to the auction winner to cover shipping costs.

May 9, 2020 - 8:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Purple Pony, news, video, Le Roy, covid-19, coronavirus, charity, crossroads house.
Video Sponsor

Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship in Le Roy hosted a drive-thru parade today to benefit Crossroads House.

May 7, 2020 - 11:33am

Press release:

Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship is holding a drive-thru parade event Saturday at its KD Ranch home in Le Roy to benefit Crossroads House.

Participants will get a gift bag as they enter the property and will stay in their vehicle as they drive thru and get to meet our COVID-19 masked therapy horses and handlers.

Riders, parents, volunteers and the public are invited.

At the end of the parade, each vehicle will drop off raffle tickets they have received and have a chance to donate to Crossroads House. This should be a very fun event.

What: Drive-thru parade meet the Purple Pony therapy horses and their handlers

Why: Benefit for Crossroads House

When: Saturday, May 9th from 10 a.m. to noon

Where: KD Ranch home of Purple Pony -- 8321 Lake Street Road, Le Roy

May 4, 2020 - 6:46pm

From the Holland Land Office Museum:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on May 5, 2020, people around the world are coming together for #GivingTuesdayNow to give back to their communities and valued organizations in many different ways. The Holland Land Office Museum will be one of those participating cultural organizations and we need your help!

By joining the #GivingTuesdayNow movement, you’re proving that in times of uncertainty, generosity can bring the whole world together. As regular sources of funding become less reliable, we must look to other avenues to make our way through these difficult times.

We are joining this movement to ask for support from our friends and community in order to continue our mission to educate and preserve the local history of Genesee County and the development of Western New York through the history of the Holland Land Company.

Here is how you can help:

On May 5, go to www.hollandlandoffice.com or our Facebook page and donate.

This support will go toward many different areas:

  • The continued operation of the museum and maintaining of our staff.
  • The continuance of our programming both virtual and in public once it is safe to do so. These programs include: History Heroes Kids Summer Camp, Saturday Morning Children’s Program, Guest Speaker & Concert Series, Java with Joe E., and Trivia Nights.
  • The development of exhibits and exhibitions.
  • The preservation and conservation of the museum’s collection of more than 20,000 artifacts.
  • The efforts currently under way to rebuild and restore the two 19th century military cannons featured on the museum’s front portico.

You can also support our organization in these ways:

  • Follow -- Please follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and invite your friends to do the same.
  • Spread the word -- Encourage your friends and family to join you in creating a real impact on May 5th by sharing what our mission means to you and why you support our organization. Make sure to use the hashtag #GivingTuesdayNow.

Learn more at www.hollandlandoffice.com as well as our social media platforms.

Thank you for your support during this challenging time.

Ryan Duffy, Director, Holland Land Office Museum

May 4, 2020 - 11:50am
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, news, GLOW YMCA, #GivingTuesdayNow, charity.

Press release:

Tomorrow, May 5, as part of the global day of giving #GivingTuesdayNow, YMCAs across New York State will join together to showcase how they are staying “Open For Good” to meet the needs of their community during the COVID-19 crisis.

“When businesses were shut down, the impact on YMCAs was immediately felt,” said Kyle Stewart, executive director of the Alliance of New York State YMCAs. 

Since the organization’s beginning in the United States in 1851, the Y has always adapted to meet community needs, and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been no different. 

“We’ve seen a tremendous spike in requests for services and financial support since our community closed,” said Rob Walker, GLOW YMCA. “Now, we’re hoping that communities throughout our state will support us, so that we can continue providing essential services during this pandemic, and also ensure that we’re able to serve our communities as we reopen and recover.” 

#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity, set to take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented challenges caused by COVID-19. The day is designed to drive an influx of generosity, citizen engagement, business and philanthropy activation, and support for communities and nonprofits around the world. At a time when we are all experiencing the pandemic, generosity is what brings people of all races, faiths, and political views together.

“YMCAs are a charitable, nonprofit force for good,” said Stewart. “#GivingTuesdayNow gives us all the chance to showcase how we bring diverse communities together to help our community heal.”

On #GivingTuesdayNow, you can support the Ys across New York, and in your community, by visiting www.ymcaforgood.org.

May 1, 2020 - 5:34pm

It didn’t take Gail Tenney long to decide who she wanted to help when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

She works for her family’s businesses, McNickel’s Bottle and Can Redemption and adjoining RJ’s Washroom on Ellicott Street in the City of Batavia.

Given her family’s work at the Redemption Center, and because she knows that for most people “bottles and cans are a nuisance,” an empties drive was the perfect choice for an event to benefit hardworking medical providers at United Memorial Medical Center.

Thus was born "Community Strong with Cans." Tenney visited neighbors on Redfield Parkway, Bogue Avenue and Woodrow Road. They were happy to help!

She collected empties with a $200 redemption value initially, $120 with the next round, and then added $100 from her family. This $420 was used to purchase 55 meals for hospital workers at UMMC.

The meals were from local eatery Commit to Well (inside Eli Fish Brewing Co.) and delivered on April 13; the recipients were more than grateful.

“The ongoing support of our community is such an important piece in our fight against COVID-19," said UMMC President Dan Ireland. "As we all learn how to cope during these extraordinary times and rise to the challenge, our team members are working long hours away from their family—many accomplishing tasks they’ve never done before.

"Our community’s acts of kindness, large or small, keep us going. This outpouring of gratitude reminds us why we’re here, and that the community we care so deeply about, also cares for us. There are not enough words to express our sincere appreciation. We are all so thankful for the heartwarming generosity.”

Now Tenney would like to expand the scope of the project and share the benefits with the people who support their businesses as well, while increasing collection efforts throughout the community.

"Let’s support them, they support us," Tenney said. "…My heart breaks for them" because they are truly the people in need during these difficult times.

Along with the hospital staff, Tenney has selected Care-A-Van Ministries and Community Action of Orleans and Genesee to be recipients in the future.

Paul Ohlson of Care-A-Van said that contributions they receive are distributed according to needs, so it is most helpful to provide them with the funds directly.

Similarly, Lisa Wittmeyer of Community Action is anticipating that any money raised will help in upcoming months when many local residents need to catch up on unpaid rents from the early days of the pandemic.

The Tenney family hopes their efforts will bring a bit of much needed relief to those who need it, without overburdening the people they are asking to contribute. They intend to continue matching funds for money raised.

To donate your empties to "Community Strong with Cans," to arrange a pick up, or to help, please contact Tenney at:  [email protected] or call/text (585) 993-2060.

Visit Tenney’s Blog here.

Top photo, courtesy of UMMC.

Inset photo right, courtesy of Gail Tenney.

May 1, 2020 - 1:10pm

Press release:

The Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA) today announced that farms and co-ops located across Upstate New York have donated more than 34,000 pounds of milk, beef, fruit and vegetables to fellow New Yorkers in need. 

In addition to the NY-sourced milk and food, packets of crayons and coloring books for kids have also been donated, and were made available to families today, May 1, at Senator Jessica Ramos’ district office in East Elmhurst, Queens.

The following donations were made possible by a partnership between Senator Ramos and a number of New York State farms:

  • 300 pounds of beef donated by La Casa De Leche Farm (Livingston County) and the Northeast Dairy Producers Association.
  • 1,700 gallons of milk donated by Dairy Farmers of America.
  • 20,000 apples equaling 5,700 pounds donated by Farm Fresh First Inc., which markets NY apples from more than 100 apple growers throughout the state.
  • 14,000 pounds of onions, 8,000 pounds of potatoes and 4,000 pounds of cabbage donated by Torrey Farms Inc. (Genesee County) and the New York State Vegetable Growers Association
  • 2,880 pounds of blueberry and vanilla parfait yogurt donated by Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc., a dairy cooperative located in Western New York.
  • 575 packs of Prang Crayons made with soybean oil donated by the New York Corn & Soybean Growers Association, along with coloring books sponsored by New York dairy farmers and donated through American Dairy Association North East.

On Wednesday, a truck left Western New York packed with beef, vegetables, fruit, yogurt, crayons and coloring books. The truck stopped at Dean Foods in Rensselaer County to pick up 1,700 gallons of milk and arrived in Queens yesterday.

Many areas in Senate District 13, including Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona and parts of Woodside and Astoria — are considered food deserts, making it difficult to obtain fresh meals. Additionally, there are few local food pantries that remain open in the area as many residents have fallen ill with COVID-19. 

The donations of food, milk, crayons and coloring books were distributed to families in need today. A hot meal distribution will also take place on Saturday, May 2 at Senator Ramos’ office. 

“In addition to the unspeakable loss of life caused by the coronavirus pandemic, two additional devastating tragedies are unfolding during this crisis — a spike in hunger as the economic pain takes its toll, and the breakdown of our food supply chain,” Senator Ramos said.

“We cannot have hungry families in New York City, and farmers Upstate dumping their product because they cannot sell it. Together with our farmer partners, we created our own network, and we will convert our district office into a food distribution hub to provide our neighbors with fresh produce and meals.” 

Northeast Dairy Producers Association Vice Chair and Owner of La Casa De Leche Farm (Livingston County) Keith Kimball said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all -- our families, our businesses and the greater New York community.

"By pooling resources and working together to adapt to unprecedented market disruption, we’re able to get milk, beef and produce in the hands of those in need. I’m proud to partner with farmers, co-ops and processors across the state to make this donation a reality, and thankful to Senator Ramos for hosting the event for families in Queens.”

Maureen Torrey, co-owner of Torrey Farms Inc. in Genesee County, said, “Thanks to the passionate employees on our family farm and our dedicated truck drivers, we’re able to donate 26,000 pounds of vegetables to families in need, including onions that Senator Ramos helped us plant last year.

"This public health crisis has changed life as we know it, but what we’ve learned is that no matter where you live -- Buffalo, Plattsburgh, New York City and everywhere in between -- we’re all New Yorkers -- and together We are New York Tough.” 

(File photo of Maureen Torrey taken in 2013.)

Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA) is an organization of dairy producers and industry partners committed to an economically viable, consumer-conscious dairy industry dedicated to the care and well-being of our communities, environment, employees and cows.

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].

April 7, 2020 - 11:28am

Press release:

The Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund coordinated by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, The John R. Oishei Foundation and the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County announced that it has granted $4.5 Million to 74 organizations in less than two weeks after the Fund was announced.

Grants were awarded to organizations serving all eight counties of Western New York that are addressing immediate needs in our community as a result of the COVID-19 crisis in the areas of food, housing, healthcare, childcare, mental health, transportation, and other emergency services.

Grants were made to nonprofit organizations throughout WNY including urban and rural areas, organizations of every size, and to those serving a range of populations with consideration for areas already in economic distress. 

The WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund is a collaborative effort among the region’s philanthropic organizations to help essential organizations on the front lines of this community crisis with grants designed to complement public sector funds.

Anyone is welcome to join the effort and donate to the Fund through the website – www.WNYResponds.org.

The following nonprofit organizations received a grant from the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund:

• Allegany County Community Opportunities and Rural Development

• Arc of Genesee Orleans (Meals on Wheels)

• BestSelf Behavioral Health

• Boys & Girls Clubs Collaborative

• Buffalo Prenatal Perinatal Network

• Buffalo Urban League

• CAO of Western New York

• Cattaraugus and Wyoming Counties Project Head Start

• Cattaraugus Community Action

• Cattaraugus County Dept. of Aging (Meals on Wheels Fund)

• Cazenovia Recovery Systems

• CCNY

• Child & Family Services of Erie County

• Child Care Coalition of the Niagara Frontier

• Christ Church Community Kitchen

• City Mission Society, Inc.

• Community Action of Orleans & Genesee

• Community Health Center of Buffalo

• Community Missions of Niagara Frontier

• CoNECT (Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo)

• Crisis Services

• Cuba Cultural Center

• Directions in Independent Living

• Empower (United Cerebral Palsy Assoc. of Niagara County)

• Erie Regional Housing Develop. (Belle Center)

• Evergreen Health

• Every Bottom Covered

• Family Help Center

• Feed Buffalo

• FeedMore WNY

• Friends of Night People

• Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern Inc. 

• Harvest House of South Buffalo

• Health Association of Niagara County (HANCI)

• Healthy Community Alliance

• Heart Love & Soul

• Hearts and Hands: Faith in Action Inc.

• Horizon Health Services

• Jericho Road Community Health Center

• Jewish Family Service of Buffalo & Erie County

• Journey's End Refugee Services

• Kendall Community Food Cupboard Corp.

• Learning Disabilities Association of WNY

• Life Impact (Resurrection Life Food Pantry)

• Lt. Col. Matt Urban HSC of WNY

• Metro Community Develop. Corp.

• Mid-Erie Mental Health Services (Endeavor Health Services)

• Native American Community Services 

• Neighborhood Health Center 

• Niagara Community Action Program Inc.

• Northpointe Council

• NYS Network for Youth Success

• Olmsted Center for Sight

• Open Buffalo (Seeding Resilience Initiative)

• Parkside Evangelical Lutheran Church

• PUSH Buffalo

• Restoration Society

• Safety-Net Assoc. of Primary Care Affiliated Providers

• Save the Michaels of the World

• Say Yes Buffalo 

• Spectrum Health and Human Services

• Western New York Independent Living

To date, the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund has received approximately $5.5 million from local foundations, private sector companies, and individuals. Additional funds raised will be distributed based on evolving needs related to the pandemic. To see a full list of contributors to the Fund, please visit www.WNYResponds.org.

On Monday (April 6) Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Beane announced that he is donating $20,000 to relief efforts and is also offering fans an opportunity to interact with him as he gears up for the 2020 NFL Draft to build awareness for the Fund.

The initiative, which runs until Friday, April 17, will award seven randomly selected entrants with one of seven unique Bills-themed experiences or prizes.

For anyone in need of assistance with information related to services available in our community, please call 2-1-1. It is a referral hotline that is staffed 24/7 and serves all eight counties of Western New York.

April 4, 2020 - 2:38pm

Submitted photos and press release:

When a crisis occurs, it is vital that communities collaborate. This week, the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) made a significant donation to both the Genesee and Livingston counties' Emergency Management systems.

These donations amounted to thousands of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including gloves, disposable gowns, hand sanitizer, surgical masks, N95 respirator masks, blood pressure cuffs and alcohol prep pads. 

While schools are closed, these items will be benefit local communities in the fight against COVID-19.  

“Our nation is facing a pandemic that we have never encountered before," said Matt DellaPenna, GVEP director of Safety and Security. "These supplies will help to protect the brave first responders and healthcare workers who are on the frontlines of this COVID-19 outbreak.”

April 3, 2020 - 6:55pm

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?

  • FOOD COLLECTION: Northgate Free Methodist Church will be assisting The Salvation Army with food collection. They are setting up a drop-off point for donations on Monday, April 6, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at their North Campus (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 and shelf stable milk.

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

  • FOOD DISTRIBUTION: Beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 8, The Salvation Army, along with the assistance of FoodLink, will oversee a “Pop-up” Mobile pantry at Northgate's North Campus (8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia).

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 product is gone. Items vary. Please arrive no earlier than 9 a.m.

There are NO residency or income requirements.

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.

April 3, 2020 - 6:15pm

Above: Byron-Bergen Central School District staff at food distribution site. Photo courtesy of Mickey Edwards.

Submitted photos and information from Byron-Bergen Central School District:

BERGEN -- In the wake of school closings, mandatory social distancing, and the economic downturn, food insecurity is a rising concern. Byron-Bergen Central School District has organized meal pickups to provide breakfast and lunch to school-aged children five days a week, but some local farmers decided to take it a step further.

On Thursday (April 2) a trailer piled with potatoes, onions, carrots, and cabbage pulled into the Byron-Bergen High School parking lot -- a gift to the community from five farms in Genesee County: Mortellaro Farms, Star Growers, Stymus Farms, Torrey Farms, and Triple G Farms.

The produce was distributed directly to community members during their regular school meal pickups for about 300 students at the High School bus loop.

The drop-off was organized with the help of Byron-Bergen Central School District's kitchen manager Rozanne Klycek, who got the idea from a family member at Star Growers in Elba, Barbara "Barbie" Starowitz.

The Byron-Bergen alumna has been in contact with other local farmers, eager to help in these uncertain times. Since the District was already distributing food, the farmers thought it was the perfect way to reach community members in need.

"It's just all of us farmers helping each other out," Starowitz told The Batavian this evening. "We always help out the community in times like this. It's not unusual. It's what we do."

In the space of a mere week, hundreds of pounds of produce has been donated by the farmers help people fight food insecurity -- at the giveways at Northgate Church in Batavia, to help stock Harrington's Market and local food pantries, which many seniors increasingly rely on. They plan on donating to Elba Central School on Monday.

“This community never ceases to amaze me,” said Byron-Bergen Superintendent Mickey Edwards. “I am truly humbled by the generosity of these farmers. It was an honor to help carry 10-pound bags of potatoes out to cars, knowing the relief it will provide to our families.”

Below, produce donated by local farmers being prepared for distribution. Photo courtesy of Susan Kuszlyk.

Bottom: Byron-Bergen kitchen manager Rozanne Klycek and Adam Starowitz from Star Growers during produce drop off. Photo courtesy of Susan Kuszlyk.

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.

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2019 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button