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Cherry Hill Farm Sanctuary

Corfu's solar eclipse weekend events include Carruba's Chicken BBQ today

By Kara Richenberg

Carruba's Chicken BBQ is one of many events happening in Corfu this weekend. 

All they are selling chicken barbecues for $15 each, which includes buttered spuds, coleslaw, and a roll. 

When The Batavian stopped by, Jeromy Fincher said that they are only there until sell-out but they should have enough to last until 5 p.m.

All proceeds raised by this event will help benefit the horses at Cherry Hill Farm Sanctuary. For more information about Cherry Hill, visit their website here.

Corfu's next event is the Alien-Themed Parade starting at 6 p.m. It begins at the fire hall on Route 33 and ends at Pembroke Intermediate School on Route 77.

Photos by Kara Richenberg


Genny Sees the Eclipse helps to raise money for local animal rescues

By Joanne Beck
Zorro kitten
Zorro, one of the kittens who was in foster care with Volunteers For Animals and is now up for adoption.
Submitted Photo

Genny the cow, in a field near her barn, looked up at the sun over Genesee Farm. While the pig rolled in the mud and the horse pranced nearby, Genny just stood there, transfixed by the sky. What are you wearing? The dog asked with a bark. “I need these safe glasses until it gets dark.”

If you have already purchased your copy of “Genny Sees The Eclipse,” this charming introduction will be familiar, as it leads the way, along with a bunch of whimsical animals, to learn more about a total eclipse that’s nearing our world right on April 8, 2024, right here in Genesee County.

As for the cow, horse, pig, dog, and many other creatures that will also need some help to understand why it has suddenly gone dark in the middle of the day, at least four local rescues — all of which will benefit from the sales of this book — will be there for their occupants’ once-in-a-lifetime moment.

Volunteers For Animals is a longtime nonprofit staple based in the Genesee County Animal Shelter at 3841 W. Main Street Road in Batavia. Vice President Shanna Shaw, who says that her more prominent role of late is as kitten coordinator due to so many pregnant cats in the community, acknowledged the heavy and constant need for both cats and dogs, but with a special emphasis on felines at the moment.

“There are about 40 cats and kittens in the foster care system,” she said. “Resources are always needed, people coming to help clean is a need. So it's just a matter of cleaning, feeding, caring for the animals, and doing the daily operations that you need just to get started for the day. We need people to come and help with cleaning and feeding the animals, scooping litter pans, and exercising the dogs, that in the morning seems to be we're having challenges with keeping up with that,” she said. “And then just like the typical supplies like bleach and laundry soap for a high energy machine. We probably do seven or nine loads of laundry a day. So we go through a lot of that. Clay cat litter is always welcome, as well as canned dog food. So those are some of the things usually on our wish list. But you know, having more people willing to come in and clean is one of our more immediate needs.”

Actually, human hands to help out is a need at each one of these shelters. And as for the book fundraiser, monetary proceeds will go toward the animals’ medical needs and/or a spay and neuter program to help reduce the animal population and even more unwanted four-leggeds.

Shaw talked about Loki, a cat who came to the shelter pregnant with six babies. One of them did not survive, and another has been adopted. Four of her kittens are now up for adoption and just waiting to be taken into a warm, snuggly home.

If you are interested in volunteering, call 585-343-6410, Ext. 7, and ask to speak with Animal Control Officer Catherine Seward or Sarah Fountain. For more information about the animals or shelter, go to

Slim the horse
Slim the horse that "started it all," founder Maryanne Arena says.
Submitted Photo

On the other side of the county with four-leggeds just a little bit bigger and taller — well, a whole lot bigger, heavier and taller — is Maryland, a Haven For Horses, at 8132 W. Bergen Road in Le Roy.

The nonprofit is Founder Maryanne Arena’s dream come true, and it “promises horses a safe and dignified retirement after racing,” she said.

“What makes MaryLand different is that we do not rehome,” she said. “Once a horse is accepted here, it will live out its natural life on the farm. We had 10 horses, but we were able to reunite an original owner with two of her former racehorses. We have two slots open and had hoped to fill two stalls for Christmas, but we need help.

“Our horses are stabled and it costs a great deal of money to stable horses during the winter months. We are constantly fundraising,” she said. “The money will definitely go to the care and maintenance of the horses, and fencing repair, and the goal is to fill the two stalls.”

The money raised from book sales will go toward giving two Standardbred horses “a safe home for life.”  For more information, go to

Llama at Mockingbird
Daisy the llama.
File Photo by Joanne Beck

Just to the northwest of that is Mockingbird Farm Sanctuary at 5978 Upper Holley Road In Byron.

Jonell Chudyk co-founded the nonprofit with Jon Tedd to provide, as the name implies, a sanctuary for creatures of all various types, with a compassionate heart and loving touch for their ultimate comfort through the remainder of their lives.

From Ferris and Forest to Barnaby, Anne and Gilbert, the goats, miniature donkeys, pigs, chickens,  cows, geese and others that have a comfy niche carved out on the Upper Holley Road property, they have what Chudyk believes is a mutually beneficial and responsive relationship with their human caretakers in this corner of a world of kindness.

None of it happens without cost, both time and money, it takes $6,000 a month to care for the animals, with vast amounts of hours of cleaning, feeding and caring for the sanctuary animals, Chudyk has said.

The farm has two holiday wish lists at Chewy and Amazon and has an ongoing goal this year to raise $15,000 to buy hay for the winter season. Volunteers are always a need for the daily care — scrubbing and filling bowls and buckets with food and water, cleaning their beds, providing for medical needs, and other such tasks, while also enjoying the critters’ individual personalities, of course.

“Mockingbird Farm Sanctuary embodies true peace and sanctuary for the living beings in our company,” the co-founders say.

For more information, go to

Jerritt the horse at Cherry Hill
Jerrit, the tenacious elderly and blind Belgian that still does "everything a horse should be able to do."
Submitted Photo

Cherry Hill Farm Sanctuary, at 2514 Genesee St., Corfu, began as a refuge for senior horses that were discarded after years of work. 

“Over the years, we have grown. We now take in a multitude of farm animals, including goats and fowl, but our focus is senior workhorses, founder Pam Harmon said.

“Currently, the farm is working to add a goat barn that will move our goat herd from the horse barns to their own space.  As we have grown, taking in animals other than the horses has been challenging.  We are hoping to divide up our indoor space so that it is easier to turn out horses and not need to move our entire goat herd to do so,” Harmon said.  “Along with that challenge, winter is always a challenge with senior animals.  The horses are moved off the big pastures and turned in at night.  Several have special dietary requirements due to lack of teeth, and the cold makes it harder to do our everyday chores.”  

The money raised from the book will be used to help update some of the farm’s fencing for the blind horse herd, which includes Jerrit, an elderly Belgian who has no eyes. Blindness is not a rarity on the farm, as there are several blind draft horses there — “it is one of our soft spots,” she said. 

“We currently have three draft horses that are fully blind.  Jerrit an elderly Belgian, had his remaining eye removed due to cancer.  He was our first draft horse that we took on that had a missing eye,” she said.  “We quickly learned that even though he was missing an eye, it did not hinder him from doing everything a horse should be able to do.” 

For years, Jerrit was the leader of the sanctuary’s large herd, but a few years ago, Jerrit started showing signs of cancer in his remaining eye.  It quickly progressed, and he had to have his remaining eye removed.  “This was not an easy decision for us, we wanted to make sure Jerrit could still have a good quality of life without his eyes,” she said.  “We decided that we would take the chance, and if Jerrit did not acclimate to his new life, then we would have him humanely euthanized. 

“He has proved to us that a horse without any eyes can still enjoy their life.  We have modified a pasture for his needs, and up until this year, he lived with Bess, who never left his side.  Bess passed this Fall, and we have been working towards finding another companion from the herds for Jerrit,” she said. “Fletcher and Jake suffered from accidents while in work that left them blind; they came to CHFS this Fall. We also have NaLady and Callie, who have had one eye removed due to cancer.” 

For more information, go to

Genny Sees book

On nights in the stalls when the grand calves won’t sleep, to help them drift off, Genny doesn’t count sheep. She tells them again of the glorious sight: the eclipse, when the moon turned the day into night.

To get your copies of this limited edition children’s book — perhaps for a Christmas, holiday or simply as a commemorative gift while also helping out these rescue organizations — go to the Chamber office at 8276 Park Road in Batavia or online at You can save on shipping costs by picking it up at the Chamber Visitor Center. 

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