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Make A Difference Day

Making a difference at Batavia Community Garden

By Joanne Beck
BHS at community garden
A Batavia High School senior turns over the soil at the Batavia Community Garden this week during Make a Difference Day activities. Photo submitted by Irene Hickey.

Batavia Community Garden committee members welcomed nine Batavia High School seniors Friday to help with various landscaping tasks as part of this year's 24th annual Make a Difference Day.

Tracy Grover of the high school College Career Center led the group of students for their community service project, garden helper and photographer Irene Hickey said.

BHS at community garden 2

Students were on hand to help garden members with end of the season work. A laundry list of tasks was led and coordinated by RaeAnn Engler, Garden Committee chairperson, at the garden on MacArthur Drive alongside the high school. 

Those chores included turning over the soil in the beds, putting the art panels into storage for the winter, relocating the compost within the garden, caging apple trees cutting back milkweed and thorny black raspberries (ouch!), and general weeding.

BHS student digging at garden
BHS taking a break at garden

This enthusiastic crew worked from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., breaking at noon for a quick lunch under the tent. 

"The morning was cool and damp with on and off drizzle. Luckily the rain held off until the bulk of the work was done," Hickey said. "Many, Many thanks to our work crew from the High School. The garden community
appreciates your willingness to lend a hand and your spirit of service. We couldn’t have done it without you!"

Photos by Irene Hickey

BHS girls at garden
BHS students at garden 3
Student at garden
Adult at garden

No tasks were too big or small for BHS seniors to 'make a difference' Friday

By Joanne Beck
Cassie Ernst
Cassie Ernst, a senior at Batavia High School, works on a ceiling tile as part of Make A Difference Day Friday at GO Art! in Batavia.
Photo by Joanne Beck

Painting ceiling tiles wouldn’t typically seem like a fun thing to do, but for a group of Batavia High School seniors, they didn’t mind it doing it all morning Friday, they said.

Full disclosure: these weren’t just any ceiling tiles; they were going to replace some that had gotten damaged in the GO Art! kitchen, and since they didn’t match the other ones already in there, it was decided that they could look different. 

And that’s when the fun began.

“We’re painting ceiling tiles for the kitchen in a monster theme,”  student Prudence Favaloro said, showing the piece that she and fellow senior Joshua Budzinack had created. “I really like doing art; it’s one of my biggest passions. I want to minor in art in college.”

The 17-year-old and 13 of her peers chose GO ART! as the place they wanted to go to for Make A Difference Day. In its 24th year, this is a day when the Batavia seniors spend time earning community service hours while also helping out a local nonprofit organization with tasks, such as gardening, cleaning, office work, and various other types of odd jobs.

Kids visited All Babies Cherished, ARC, Batavia Cemeteries, Batavia Community Garden, Batavia Peace Garden, Crossroads House, First United Methodist Church, Genesee Cancer Assistance, Genesee County Park, Genesee County Youth Bureau, Habitat for Humanity, Holland Land Office Museum, Mercy Flight, The Manor House and YMCA.

Given the nature of GO Art!, jobs have been a bit more creative, but helpful all the same, Executive Director Gregory Hallock said.

“They have been coming every year since I've been here. And for us, it’s a godsend. Because we get, what is it? This is Make a Difference Day, and then we have the United Way's Day of Caring. And so those are two times a year where we really try to do some major projects, because all the workers, all my staff have 24/7 jobs … and this gives us a chance to catch up on a lot of stuff, and the kids like painting,” Hallock said while standing in the kitchen at the Bank and East Main Street site. 

“They had been doing this room now since 2021, I think, so they've been painting this room and adding, they were doing the ceiling tiles for today. Some kids come here because they like to do art, and we're an art center. But that's not usually the projects we have, we do more of the arts administration. So that's where we decided one year to let them have at this kitchen. So they've been doing monsters for years.”

There were other chores, including more utilitarian painting of walls to be able to mount paintings on later and building tabletops, volunteer Ed Griffin said.  He led a group of four kids with those tasks up in the attic. 

Everyone arrived at 9 a.m. ready for the day, and time seemed to go very quickly, Favaloro said. 

“It seems we were just getting started, and the next thing you knew, it was 11, and then it was 12:30, where did that time go?” she said. “I enjoyed it.”

There were ceiling tiles drying on the gallery room stage, filled with cartoon monster images and bright colors, while the students and art teachers Nikki Greenbaum and Mandi Antonucci took a lunch break. 

Meanwhile, Hallock pointed around the kitchen to prior handiwork kids had done, demonstrating how each year’s contribution has incrementally carved out a culinary art gallery.

“It's incredible,” he said. “We depend on this. We look forward to this every year to get stuff done.” 

Each site had one or more chaperones to supervise, and work with the students, said Lisa Robinson, who accompanied another group of 14 to the state School for the Blind.

Student Madison Hughes chose the school to visit because she “just wanted to see some different people” and admittedly, wasn’t in the mood for any yard work. Students there were placed in classrooms and offices to either be directly with the school’s students or staff in need of office assistance.

It’s the second year for Robinson to go to the Richmond Avenue site, she said.

“I think from the kids’ perspective, it's great for them to see other opportunities and things that are going on within Batavia that they might not have had the opportunity to do before,” she said. “And then as far as coming here, I think it's great for the students that are here as well as our students. They have some interaction and they get to see how the school operates and just a different aspect of what that looks like.”

Prudence and Joshua
Prudence Favaloro and Joshua Budzinack with their monster "claws."
Photo by Joanne Beck
paintings on tiles
Submitted Photo
Kids with green painting
Submitted Photo

 

Amy and Madison at School for Blind
Special Education Assistant Amy Gromlovits works with BHS student Madison Hughes at the state School for the Blind.
Photo by Joanne Beck 
Michael at School for Blind
BHS senior Michael Nardone takes a break after cutting paper for flip charts that he and another student put together for Make A Difference Day at the state School for the Blind. 
Photo by Joanne Beck
BHS group at school for blind
BHS students at the state School for the Blind.
Submitted Photo

 

Photos: Seniors from BHS pitch in to make a difference in Batavia

By Howard B. Owens

For Batavia High School seniors, today was Make a Difference Day, the day seniors fan out around the community completing a variety of volunteer projects for community organizations.

Photos are from the seniors' clean-up project at the Batavia Cemetery.

Seniors also helped out at:

  • All Babies Cherished Genesee ARC (participate in activities with individuals with disabilities) 
  • Batavia First United Methodist Church (organizing and possible yard work)
  • Genesee Cancer Assistance (organize office inside the hospital)
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension (recording books for kids, assembling soil kits, organizing storeroom)
  • Crossroads House (organizing kitchen cupboards, general indoor cleaning)
  • Batavia First United Methodist Church (organizing and yard work)
  • Genesee County Park (yard work at the outdoor learning center)
  • Genesee County Youth Bureau (decorating Halloween bags)
  • Genesee Orleans Art Council (help with artistic mural painting, landscaping, cleaning, wall painting)
  • Habitat for Humanity (construction work)
  • Holland Land Office (yard work) 
  • Kiwanis Park
  • Manor House (gardening and landscaping)
  • Batavia Peace Garden (yard work, painting)

BHS seniors ready to 'make a difference' in the community today

By Mike Pettinella

Batavia High School seniors are doing their part to “make a difference.”

Kathie Scott, the district’s public relations coordinator, said the students will be participating in the annual “Make a Difference Day” activities from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at various locations in Batavia and also at Genesee County Park in Bethany.

The locations and job descriptions are as follows:

  • All Babies Cherished (Prepare garage sale items. May work Outside doing yard work.)
  • Genesee ARC (Participate in activities with individuals with disabilities.)
  • Batavia Cemeteries (Yard Work. Wear close toed shoes & bring gloves. Historic Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Ave.)
  • Batavia First United Methodist Church (Organizing and possible yard work.)
  • Genesee Cancer Assistance (Organize office inside the hospital. Contact Sue or Theresa who will meet you in the ER Parking lot.)
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension (Recording Books for kids, Soil Kits, Organizing Storeroom.)
  • Crossroads House (Organizing kitchen cupboards, general indoor cleaning and possible light yard work.)
  • Batavia First United Methodist Church (Organizing and possible yard work.)
  • Genesee County Park (Yard Work at the Outdoor Learning Center.)
  • Genesee County Youth Bureau (Decorating Halloween bags. Check in at front desk of Senior Center; they will direct you to the multi-purpose room.)
  • Genesee Orleans Art Council (Help with Artistic Mural painting, Landscaping, Cleaning, Wall Painting.)
  • Habitat for Humanity (Construction work. Location is 116 S. Swan St. (Note: At this site, a COVID attestation needs to be completed before arriving and a face covering is required). Here is the link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfbth1qSxPqca_rsLpV4Jg0BunQHJB6T_pYFMrLInqp4tl8Fw/viewform?gxids=7628
  • Holland Land Office (Yard Work. Bring Gloves. Grounds & Peace Gardens.)
  • Kiwanis Park
  • Manor House (Gardening & Landscaping.)
  • Batavia Peace Garden (Yard work, painting.)

Photos: Batavia students and teachers take a day to make a difference

By Howard B. Owens

It's Make a Difference Day for Batavia High School seniors with students and teachers taking on several community projects, including cleanup at the Peace Garden despite the rain.

Top photo: Leah Wroten. Second photo, Wroten along with Carolena Williams, Gabrielle Lawrence, Andrea Kraus, Katie Metzler and Ethan DiLaura.

At the Batavia Agri-Business Child Development Center on Brooklyn Avenue, Ron Williams, Alesia Schmidt and Sherry Crumity.

Marcello Harris, Jacob Bondaruk and Joshua Wasiulewski clean toys at the Batavia Agri-Business Child Development Center.

Jacob Crimes cleaning a display case at the Holland Land Office Museum.

Charlie Burton and Ayden Dowd-Devay paint a door at HLOM, while in the background Eddie Goodenough vacuums. 

Make a Difference Day is next Wednesday for BHS seniors and the community benefits from it

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Make a Difference Day for all Batavia High School seniors will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

They will participate in the annual Make a Difference Day community service project in various nonprofit agencies throughout the community. 

Participating agencies include: All Babies Cherished, Arc of Genesee Orleans Rainbow Preschool, Batavia Agri-Business Child Development, Batavia Housing Authority, Batavia Peace Garden, City of Batavia Youth Bureau, Crossroads House, Genesee County Parks, Genesee County Youth Bureau, Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council, Habitat for Humanity, Holland Land Office Museum, NYS Veterans’ Home, Premier Genesee Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, United Memorial Medical Center, VA WNY Healthcare System of Batavia, YMCA, YWCA Children’s Center, and YWCA of Genesee County.

Batavia City Schools is dedicated to helping their over 140 seniors learn and develop the importance of giving back to their own community while helping to foster civic responsibility. This is an integral part of their Batavia High School academic curriculum, and is a component of their graduation requirements.

BHS seniors made a difference in the community Wednesday by helping others

By Billie Owens

Above photo: Taiyo Iburi-Bethel working at the Habitat for Humanity job site on East Main Street in Batavia.

Submitted photos and press release:

Batavia High School seniors participated Wednesday in the annual Make a Difference Day. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., various community service projects were carried out in nonprofits throughout the community.

Benefitting agencies included: All Babies Cherished, Arc of Genesee Orleans, Batavia Agri-Business Child Development, Batavia Housing Authority, Batavia Peace Garden, City of Batavia Youth Bureau, Crossroads House, Genesee County Parks, Genesee County Youth Bureau, Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council, Habitat for Humanity, Holland Land Office Museum, NYS Veterans’ Home, Premier Genesee Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation, United Memorial Medical Center, VA WNY Healthcare System of Batavia, YMCA, YWCA Children’s Center, and the YWCA of Genesee County.

Batavia City Schools is dedicated to helping their seniors, more than 140 of them, learn and develop the importance of giving back to their own community while helping to foster civic responsibility.

This is an integral part of their Batavia High School academic curriculum, and is a component of their graduation requirements.

Above photo: Kate Folger is busy at the Habitat for Humanity job site on East Main Street.

Above photo: Elise Hoerbelt weeding at Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.

Photo above: Alex Christensen making decorations for a Halloween party.

Above photo from left: Felicity Anderson, Karissa Kesler, Shay Kilner and Tracy Lin at Premier Genesee Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation setting up for games with residents.

Above photo from left: Jocelyn Castaneda, Elizabeth Cohen and Nia Ross helping out at the YMCA Preschool.

Above photo from left: Amanda Jackson, Hannah Finkney, Garrett Harloff, Damien Sprague, Tom Ognibene, Anthony McMaster and Cristina Kolberg helped with yard work at the VA Medical Center.

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