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Boy Scout Troop 650 hosts Breakfast with Santa fundraiser

By Steve Ognibene
Photo with Santa of Boy Troop 650 of Alexander NY  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Photo with Santa of Boy Troop 650 of Alexander
Photo by Steve Ognibene

Boy Scout Troop 650 hosted a Breakfast with Santa on Sunday in Alexander.  More than 300 people atteneded.

Photos by Steve Ognibene

Some scouts serving to the public.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Some scouts serving to the public.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Many families gathered to eat breakfast, show local support and visit Santa.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Many families gathered to eat breakfast, show local support and visit Santa.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Committee members from Troop 650 giving information out for Boy Scouts.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Committee members from Troop 650 giving information out for Boy Scouts.  
Photo by Steve Ognibene

Sponsored Post: Join us for a waffle breakfast at Bontrager Auction

By Lisa Ace

You are invited to attend a waffle breakfast on Saturday, November 11 th from 7AM to 10AM at Bontrager Auction Center in Batavia, NY! Come and enjoy all-you-can-eat waffles, sausage, coffee and all the fixin’s! Admission is $10. Non-perishable food donations for those in need are also being accepted at this event.

All funds raised at the breakfast support the Christian Missions & Relief Sale, a benefit auction planned for August 10 th, 2024. This sale is seeking to support efforts to further God’s Kingdom through two organizations: Christian Aid Ministries and the East African Initiative. Christian Aid Ministries is a organization working to provide relief and the Gospel to those in areas of crisis and need around the world. East African Initiative is an effort of Christians in Western NY to train and minister to church
leaders in growing East African Churches.

Tickets are also being sold pre-sale. For tickets or more information on this event, contact Zak Jantzi, (585) 409-7408.

Craft fair and open house to benefit MaryLand

By Joanne Beck

There are continuous fundraisers for MaryLand, a Haven for Horses to help offset the expense of sheltering, feeding, and caring for 10 horses, the future purchase of a tractor, and the goal to house 10 more horses with a new barn.

There will be a big craft fair on site from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 30 at 8132 West Bergen Road, Le Roy. Craft vendors, a food truck, and a track photographer will be available to take photos of your kids with the horses for a fee, with all proceeds going to the nonprofit. 

This event will also serve as an open house for folks to see for themselves what MaryLand is all about, the nonprofit President and CEO Maryanne Arena said. 

“Our mission is to provide a safe and dignified retirement to Standardbred race horses. We also want to educate the public on harness racing which is a wonderful sport,” she said. “We want to promote responsible horse ownership. These horses run their hearts out for you and deserve a great retirement.”

MaryLand has a board of directors and dedicated workers, plus trainers who work with and advise Arena, she said. 

"Alana Caprio is my mentor, and she has taught me and continues teaching me about Standardbred race horses. She cares about her horses deeply and has a wealth of experience and knowledge," Arena said. "Denny Bucceri is also a trainer who I've worked with who would never put a horse in danger. I always respected Denny's love and respect for horses, and Jim McNeight is humane and ethical.

"I need to thank the board members because they work continuously for the horses. Board member Amber and her dad volunteer to help at the farm. It's all done out of love, and no one gets a salary or compensated," she said. "It's for the love of the horses and providing them a forever home."

Arena wants to share the message that people who dislike horseracing and think that it’s cruel "need to know there are some good and responsible trainers out there." She has learned from some great ones, she said.

Photos: Car Wash by Batavia Notre-Dame hockey, fundraising for tournaments

By Steve Ognibene
Members of BND Hockey team fundraiser today behind Notre-Dame High School until 2 p.m.
Members of BND Hockey team fundraiser today behind Notre-Dame High School until 2 p.m.

The Batavia Notre-Dame Hockey team is having a drive-thru car wash today behind Notre Dame High School parking lot, 206 Richmond Avenue until 2 p.m. to help fundraise for upcoming hockey tournaments.

Members of BND Hockey team fundraiser today behind Notre-Dame High School until 2 p.m.
Members of BND Hockey team fundraiser today behind Notre-Dame High School until 2 p.m.

Photos: Car Wash by Batavia Ramparts teams fundraising for tournaments

By Steve Ognibene
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Batavia Ramparts Pee Wee III and Squirt III travel hockey teams fundraising car wash today

The Batavia Ramparts Squirt III and Peewee III travel hockey teams are having a drive-thru car wash today at J. Leonard McAndrew Funeral Home, 2 Bogue Ave., Batavia, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help fundraise for the next upcoming hockey tournaments.  

They are accepting donations and also offering hot dogs and lemonade too.

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Notre Dame HS to host annual golf, tennis and bocce tournament June 11 at Terry Hills

By Press Release

Press Release:

Join us Sunday, June 11 for the 26th Annual Notre Dame Foundation Golf, Tennis, and Bocce Tournament. The event is hosted by Terry Hills Golf Course for Golf and Bocce and Batavia High School for tennis.

The event features:

  • Four-Person Golf Scramble
  • Bocce and Tennis Competition
  • Beverages served throughout the day
  • Cash Bar and Dinner following completion of the tournament

Registration for Golf begins at 11:30 a.m. Registration for Tennis and Bocce begins at Noon. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m - 12:30 p.m. (included with your registration).

This year the event is being held in honor of Bradley F. Rogers. Mr. Rogers was a devoted Notre Dame supporter, Notre Dame JV and Varsity Basketball coach as well as a Batavia High School track and golf coach.

He will be remembered as a respected educator with a passion for sports and an overwhelming love for his family.  We at Notre Dame take great pleasure in honoring him this year for the legacy he leaves behind.

Join us in supporting Notre Dame High School for a fun day of golf, tennis, bocce, prizes, food, and drinks. We hope to see you there!

Submitted photo from 2021

Cookies and pierogies sale to benefit Ukrainian people

By Press Release

Press Release:

The area Episcopal churches are holding a Cookie and Pierogi event in support of the Ukrainian people this Friday, May 19. Join us at St. James Church, 405 East Main St., Batavia between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (or until sold out) for pierogi by Halnyna and cookies by St. James bakers and
friends, cash only.

St. James has joined with St. Peter's Eggertsville to assist a Ukrainian family's transition to the U.S. The mother of the family is helping to support her family by making pierogi and will be present at the sale. Proceeds will be shared with the family and Episcopal Relief and Development designated for Ukrainian humanitarian relief.

Our previous cookie and pierogi events sold out quickly, so come early for best selection. Community support would be most welcome and appreciated.

BHS senior Brendan Burgess wins Mr. Batavia 2023

By Steve Ognibene


The Mr. Batavia event -- in its 10th year and featuring 10 contestants on Friday -- has been a great tradition at Batavia High School, said Lisa Robinson, chairperson of the annual contest. 

Not only is the event a source of local entertainment featuring Batavia High School students, but it also serves as a fundraiser for charities, mostly right here in Genesee County. 

"I am so incredibly proud and very appreciative of all past and present hostesses, contestants and committee members, as well as the amazing staff who has supported myself and everyone involved over the years.  I could not do it without them," Robinson said.

Friday's event surpassed $5,000, bringing the 10-year fundraising total to nearly $38,000.

Each contestant performed their best in different categories, such as group dance, talent, swim strut, lip-sync, tux walk, and question and answer.

Brendan Burgess will get 50 percent of proceeds to donate to his charity, Volunteers for Animals.  When they read his name, his first thoughts were "all the money for the charity for such a good cause."

"I was thinking of my fellow contestants on how much work we all put in.  My coaches, my family, on how much they all supported me through the process," Burgess said.  "I really strengthened my friendships with my close group of friends, and some I have not talked to over a couple years. It helped bond us together even more.  It’s really awesome to come together and make new friends and strengthen those connections."

There was a tie for second place.  They were Cooper Fix (Ricky Palermo Foundation) and Fabian Vasquez (Golisano’s Childrens Hospital).  They will each get 25 percent of the proceeds to donate to their charities.

Vasquez said it was a "shell-shocking, amazing feeling" to win. 

"I was really impressed with this and we all put a lot of hard work and dedication into this," he said. "I don’t feel like there (were) any flaws and we put on a really good show tonight, and I hope it’s loved for many years for those who attended."

Fix had similar positive sentiments about the experience, regardless if he won or not.

"I was so excited and happy, I didn’t expect to place. There were so many talented guys out here that it could have gone either way, so I was so excited especially to share it with one of my friends; it was a great feeling," Fix said.  "We were all friends coming into this, but we got so much closer, seeing each other every day before school, working hard with each other every day it’s like building a new family."

Other contestants and their charities were:

  • Garrett Schmidt – All Babies Cherished
  • Ifran Armstrong – Crossroads House
  • Aidan Anderson – Batavia VA
  • Aden Chua – Genesee Cancer Assistance
  • Alex Johnson – Dave McCarthy Foundation
  • Shawn Kimball – Habitat for Humanity
  • Michael Marchese – Batavia Community Schools

Judges were Michelle Gillard, Batavia Business & Professional Womens Club; Christian Yunker, Owner/Managing Member at CY Farms/Batavia Turf; Jay Gsell, retired Genesee County Manager; Carly Scott, hostess of Mr. Batavia 2015; and Jordan Fluker, winner of Mr. Batavia 2015.

Hostesses were seniors, Clara Wood, Maya Schrader and Lucy Taggart.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

To view or purchase photos, click here.










Lunch in the Dark fundraiser set for April 20

By Press Release

Press Release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is inviting everyone to their Lunch in the Dark Fundraising event, on Thursday, April 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It will take place in the gymnasium of the New York State School for the Blind, 2A Richmond Ave., Batavia, NY.

Participants will experience lunch in a darkened environment in order to better understand eating and socializing with vision loss.  As a group, we will talk about the best practices for making events with food more accessible, as well as strategies for eating with vision loss.  With a donation requested of $50 per ticket, the event includes a 50/50 split drawing and a Basket Raffle.

The BOCES Culinary class will do the catering with a menu including Italian Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Vegetable Medley (Carrots, Cauliflower, Broccoli), Risotto Cakes, and Panna Cotta.

To RSVP, contact Catherine DeMare at 585-815-8501, Ext. 400.

Corporate sponsorships are available at three levels: Gold ($750); Silver ($500) and Bronze ($250), with increasing benefits and degrees of promotion for the business as one goes up the levels.  Individual donations of any amount are accepted as well.  Full details are available from Rae Frank, ILGR Director, at 585-815-8501, Ext. 406.  All proceeds will assist in providing services and programs which offer independence, empowerment, and equality for individuals with disabilities in Genesee, Wyoming, and Orleans Counties!


Noah Burke wins ninth annual Mr. Batavia competition

By Steve Ognibene


Mr. Batavia returned last evening in-person to Batavia High school for the first time since 2019. 

The event was canceled in 2020 and held virtually last year due to COVID-19.

Lisa Robinson, chairperson and event coordinator, said it raised over $4,170, bringing the nine-year total to $33,000.

Each contestant performed their best in different categories, such as group dance, talent, swim strut, lip-sync, tux walk, and question and answer.

Noah Burke took it away with a first place win after everyone's performances.

"It was one of the best experiences of my life getting out here with the guys," Burke said.  "I have really come out of my shell and had never done anything like this before. My heart just sank when they read my name and it was an amazing feeling.  I chose the Arthritis Foundation, which will get 50 percent of tonight's proceeds, because of my little sister Lilyanna, 15, who has juvenile arthritis. More than 18 of her joints are in pain daily, and I have seen her struggling with pain since she was little, and figured this is the best way I can give back to help other kids that are in the same position that she is in."  

Matt Smith was the runner-up.

"This was one of the craziest experiences of my life," Smith said. "I woke up this morning and threw up. The nerves got to me along with the heat in the tuxes and trying to stay calm and cool due to the heat all day.  Getting to know these guys over the last two months has been an incredible experience and starting on day one none of us had any dancing experience.  For it all to come together in a short amount of time and putting the show on, it's honestly insane.  I want to thank Olivia Halpin and Olivia Hussar for being my coaches. Without them, I honestly could not have placed second here today.  I chose the Michael Napoleone Foundation because Mrs. Napoleone was my teacher through the health academy at BOCES, and I learned about Michael's story, what the family went through and what every family who is fighting cancer right now, so I decided there was no other charity I wanted to represent, and thankful to raise 25 percent towards the foundation to fight cancer."

Nicholas Grover was the first runner-up. 

"It was the best decision I have made in my high school career. I am not a very outgoing person but I really wanted to do something that I really didn't think it was in me, and wanted to prove to myself that I could.  It was so fun, and loved the guys I did this with.  The most important thing was to have fun, and I think anybody who has ever tried this or has been in this event in the past, or tonight, is still a winner even if they did not place.  I chose Habitat for Humanity and Habitat will get 25 percent of tonight's proceeds."

Sponsors and people to thank were Charles Men’s Shop for donating the use of tuxedos, Batavia City School District Foundation for distributing the winnings to charities, Vic and Brenda Marchese from Main St. Pizza Company for helping to award the winner with the top prize, Blink of an Eye Photography for the banners, Steve Ognibene Photography for capturing the photos during the performance, Extreme Streetwear for the T-shirts and Beverly's Florist for the beautiful flowers, organizers said.

Judges were Bonnie Hoag of the BCSD Foundation, Nathan Korzelius Batavia Middle School principal, Krista Shamp John Kennedy School reading teacher, and Stacy Squire Jackson School clerk typist.

Hostesses were seniors Ella Houseknecht, Sophia Fulton, and Olivia Hussar and many student coaches and committee members who helped with this event.

Top photo: Noah Burke receives the Mr. Batavia sash from Ella Houseknecht. Photos by Steve Ognibene.

To view or purchase photos, click here.












Genesee County's YMCA kicks off its Annual Strong Communities Campaign

By Press Release

Press Release:

Part of the Y’s charitable mission is the philosophy that we never turn away someone with an inability to pay for membership or programs. To that end, we raise funds annually through the Strong Communities Campaign to help subsidize scholarships for youths, teens, adults, families and seniors in our community.

 Our goal is to raise $50,000
 Our campaign runs from January 18 th – June 13 th
 We want to positively impact at least 800 people’s lives in Genesee County.

Charitable gifts from YMCA donors help provide financial assistance for children, adults and families to participate in Y programs. This makes it possible for kids to have a safe place to learn and build confidence after school and over the summer; for families to reconnect and grow together; for seniors to have a safe and supportive place to gather to stay socially and physically engaged; and for kids and teens to have access to education and training to reach their full potential in and out of the classroom. More importantly, 100-percent of donations stay in the local community, having a direct impact on resident’s right in your own neighborhood.

We need your help! Please consider a gift to support us in achieving this goal and making our community stronger for all.

To make a gift, contact Jeff Townsend, Executive Director at (585) 344-1664 or online at under the “giving” tab.

ILGR announces first in-person fundraising event since beginning of COVID-19 pandemic

By Press Release

Press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is excited to announce our very first in-person event since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic! Join us in celebrating the 31st anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act with our 2nd Annual Walk, Run & Roll!

The event takes place Monday, July 26, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Pavilion 2 of DeWitt Recreation Area, 115 Cedar St. in Batavia, rain or shine.

To register, go to

For $25, participants can walk, run or roll the distance of their choosing. All participants receive an event T-shirt.

Food trucks will be present, plus a basket raffle, a 50/50 raffle and a caricature artist.

Please bring your own chair! COVID-19 guidelines will be followed.

For more information, call Donna Becker at (585) 815-8501, ext. 411.

Thanks to our sponsors: BW’s Restaurant and Banquet Facility, United Refining Company, RESTORE Sexual Assault Services, R.A. Haitz Co. Inc., Assemblyman Stephen Hawley, GEICO, Fidelis, National Grid and Ken Barrett Chevrolet-Cadillac.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is a member of the Western New York Independent Living, Inc. family of agencies that offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.


You have the power to Stop The Spread! Together, we can protect our communities and stop the COVID-19 pandemic. Get vaccinated!

In the last year, we saved NYS taxpayers over $118 million by helping individuals leave or avoid institutionalization through practicing the principles of education, empowerment and equality for persons with disabilities.


Connect with us on social media!




Spring Basket Raffle presale and fundraiser for Crossroads House is next month

By Press Release

Press release:

The Annual Spring Basket Raffle fundraiser for Crossroads House will take place on Saturday, June 5th from 12 to 4 p.m. A presale will be Friday, June 4th from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

This event will be hosted at the Arc Community Center, 38 Woodrow Road, behind Notre Dame High School in Batavia.

There will be more than 100 baskets! In addition, we will have mega raffle prizes which are valued at $100 or more.

Masks will be required, and social distancing maintained.

This will be a “walk-thru” raffle, so you will be notified by phone on Saturday if you have won.

We’re sorry, we won’t be serving lunch this year, but we know that you’ll be amazed at the variety and high quality of our baskets.

We look forward to seeing everyone and are so grateful for the support of our wonderful community. We could not do what we do without you!

Notre Dame HS to host annual golf, tennis and bocce tournament on Sunday, June 13 at Terry Hills

By Press Release

Submitted photo and press release:

Notre Dame High School Foundation will be hosting their 24th Annual Golf, Tennis and Bocce Tournament on June 13th at Terry Hills Golf Course in Batavia.

This year, the annual fundraising event has been moved to a Sunday.

Tournament Chair Jim Sutherland said “the committee felt holding the tournament on a weekend would allow more friends and alumni of Notre Dame High School to participate.”

Registration includes 18 holes of golf with golf cart, tennis or bocce, all beer and nonalcoholic beverages during play, lunch and steak dinner with a cash bar, and much more!

Most importantly, all proceeds from the tournament support Notre Dame Jr/Sr High School student scholarship programs, making excellence in education possible for deserving students in our communities. The tournament is one of our major fundraisers, along with an opportunity to spend the day having fun with friends and alumni.

Businesses and individuals looking to take advantage of this event's advertising opportunities and lock in sponsorship levels are encouraged to act early and contact Jim Sutherland at: Please visit Notre Dame’s website for more information and to register for our fun-filled tournament.

Today only: 15 percent of online orders picked up from Applebee's will benefit local nonprofits

By Press Release

Press release:

In order to earn funds for local nonprofits, St James Episcopal Church is hosting a Carryout for a Cause Fundraiser through their local Batavia Applebee’s. The event will run all day today -- Tuesday, March 23 (now until until close).

Supporters simply have to order To Go, online via or the Applebee’s mobile app and use Promo Code “DOINGOOD” at checkout.

By using the code, 15 percent of their check (before tax and gratuity) will be donated to St James Episcopal Church for local nonprofits in the Genesee County region, in which they support.

Orders must be placed for pick-up at their local Batavia Applebee’s, 8322 Lewiston Road.

More information on the St James Episcopal Church fundraiser here.

T.L. Cannon Companies, the parent company of Applebee's, has a long history of giving back to the communities they serve. The foundation of its business is commitment to the community and making a positive impact on the neighborhoods it serves. In 2019, the organization provided more than $1.6 million in support of local charities and organizations, and more than $26.4 million since 2008.

Drive-thru chicken BBQ at American Legion in Attica next Saturday

By Billie Owens

There will be a drive-thru “take-out only” chicken BBQ at the American Legion, 83 Market St., Attica, on Saturday, March 27th, starting at 12 p.m. until sold out.

Dinner will include: half chicken, salt potatoes, macaroni salad and dinner roll w/butter.  

Dinners are $12 each and will benefit the Sons of the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary.

To reserve your dinners, call Jeff at (585) 813-2743.

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