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January 19, 2020 - 10:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, Corfu Fire Department, news, fire service.

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At the Corfu Volunteer Fire Department's annual dinner on Friday night, Ed Fauth, who has served actively for 65 years, was named Firefighter of the year.  He's pictured with new chief, Greg Lang.

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Lori Stiles was named Service Person of the Year for her help behind the scenes with barbecues, fund drives, fishing raffles, and organizing the annual family picnic.  She is pictured with President Steve Rodland and Chief Greg Lang.

Photos and information submitted by Greg Lang.

January 19, 2020 - 10:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in south byron volunteer fire company, south byron, byron, video, news.

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Jeff Starowitz was named Member of the Year by the South Byron Volunteer Fire Department during an awards and installation dinner Friday night at the South Byron recreation hall.

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Jennie Starowitz was honored for her 65 years of service to the South Byron department.  Steve Hawley, Theresa Hammer, Bob Fite, Jennie Starowitz, and Jeff Starowitz.

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Lt. Vito Muoio was named Firefighter of the Year.  Chief Brian Hickey, Muoio, and President Dean Bates.

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Allie Gurgel completed the most training hours -- while also being a new mother -- in 2019.

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Capt. Any Konieczny made it to the most calls in 2019.

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Administrative Officers for 2020: Dean Bates, president, Reggie Macdonald, vice president, Theresa Hammer, secretary, Alfred Klycek, treasurer, Bob Fite, membership chair, Al Secash, Bell Jar chair, Rev. Harold Coller, chaplain.

Firematic Officers for 2020: Brian Hickey, chief, Jim McKenzie, deputy chief, Jacob Yasses, asst. chief, Andy Konieczny, captain, Vito Muoio, 1st lieutenant, Jeff Starowitz, 2nd lieutenant, Chase Cone, engineer, Matt Dougherty, fire police captain, Aaron Belluscio, fire police sergeant, and Allie Gurgel, fire police corporal.

Video: Members of the South Byron Volunteer Fire Department reflect on being a volunteer firefighter.

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January 19, 2020 - 10:08am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, Le Roy, notify.

Photo courtesy of reader Mary Margaret Ripley.

A fullly involved structure fire is reported in Le Roy at 8707 Lake Street Road. It has gone to a second alarm. Le Roy fire is responding and mutual aid is dispatched from the City of Batavia, Bergen, Stafford, Pavilion and Mumford.

UPDATE 10:14 a.m.: The location is between West Bergen and Randall roads. Town of Batavia Fire Department is asked to fill in at Le Roy's fire hall.

UPDATE 10:28 a.m.: Reader Mary Margaret Ripley says in a text message to The Batavian: "A truck blew up and the back of the building caught (fire), too." The location is Weldon Service & Repair shop.

UPDATE 10:36 a.m.: The fire is out. Overhaul is underway.

UPDATE: Video posted. Chief Tom Wood said the fire appeared to start with the pickup truck parked outside the building. The cause is still under investigation. The fire spread into the building but a quick response by volunteer firefighters helped contain the fire to less than a quarter of the structure. (No interview with Chief Wood in the video due to camera operator error).

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January 18, 2020 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Le Roy.

A vehicle has reportedly slid off the roadway on the Thruway in the westbound lane near mile marker 383.7.

A passerby reports it appeared the driver hit his head.

Le Roy fire and Le Roy ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 1:42 p.m.: A second vehicle is off the roadway and into the trees, in the eastbound lane of the Thruway near mile marker 375. Le Roy fire along with Bergen, Le Roy ambulance, and Mercy EMS dispatched.

January 18, 2020 - 1:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attica, batavia, Scholastic Bowl, schools, education, news.

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In Thursday's Scholastic Bowl matches, Batavia and Attica picked up victories.

Batavia scored 230, while Oakfield-Alabama scored 120 and Elba 50.

In the second match, Attica beat Notre Dame 330 to 220.

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January 18, 2020 - 12:36pm

Submitted photo and information from Genesee Valley Educational Partnership:

Decision Day was held Friday at the Western New York Tech Academy. It is similar to a college signing day.

A total of 10 WNY Tech Academy students were honored for officially declaring the pathways they will pursue as they complete their free applied associate degrees through Genesee Community College.

The students could choose to study Accounting, Food Processing Technology, or Supply Chain Management.

Staff, administrators, business partners and parents attended Decision Day.

The high school juniors who participated are named below, along with their high school and declared paths of study. They are in the top photo.

  • Brett Bogardus, of Perry -- Accounting
  • Dante Brent, of Attica -- Accounting
  • Cameron Durfee, of Attica -- Supply Chain Management
  • Nathan Geise, of Warsaw -- Accounting
  • Holly Grisewood, of Perry -- Accounting
  • Devon Heick, of Byron-Bergen -- Food Processing Technology
  • Trevor Pahl, of Pavilion -- Food Processing Technology
  • Veronica Shepherd, of Le Roy -- Accounting
  • Carl Stachura, Batavia -- Accounting

(Everett Claud, of Perry, is not pictured. He will study Supply Chain Management.)

In addition, the Tech Academy also recognized 12 seniors in Friday's program:

  • Collin Aquina, of Oakfield-Alabama -- Supply Chain Management);
  • Gabriel Bucknam, of Perry -- Food Processing Technology;
  • Stephanie Dibble, of Batavia -- Supply Chain Management;
  • Zachary Evert, of Attica -- Supply Chain Management;
  • Abigail Hackett, of Pavilion -- Supply Chain Management);
  • Evan Harter, of Byron-Bergen -- Accounting;
  • Peyton Heesch, of Caledonia-Mumford -- Supply Chain Management;
  • Dylan Kipfer, of Attica -- Supply Chain Management;
  • Cole Lowery, of Pavilion -- Food Processing Technology;
  • Peyton Penders, of Pavilion -- Food Processing Technology;
  • Alexis Jade Reed, of Batavia -- Food Processing Technology;
  • Jace Hilton Vilinsky, of Avon -- Supply Chain Management.

For more information about the WNY Tech Academy visit wnytechacademy.org

About Western New York Tech Academy

It is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

January 18, 2020 - 11:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in RIT, art, news, Le Roy, le roy hs.

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Le Roy HS senior Taylor Hutton won the Medical Illustration Award (2D) at the opening reception Friday night at RIT Bevier Gallery for the RIT Art Design Start Here 2020 exhibit. The exhibit runs until Feb. 1.

Photo and info submitted by Tim McArdle.

January 18, 2020 - 9:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Rob Ortt, news.

Press release:

“The constituents of NY-27 deserve better, and today provides us the opportunity to close this disappointing chapter and start fresh," said NY-27 candidate Rob Ortt. "This district deserves a faithful and hardworking conservative representing them in Congress, putting the needs of Western New York and America first. I believe I am the candidate best qualified to do so and it is my sincere hope that I’m afforded the opportunity to once again serve my country.”

January 17, 2020 - 7:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, Nate McMurray, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, Democrat running to fill the vacancy left by Chris Collins in NY-27, has issued the following statement on Collins’ sentencing for insider trading related crimes earlier today.

“Years of lies by Collins and those who justified his crimes end like this. Tears. An empty seat. It’s a sad moment. No sentence can heal the damage caused. The sting will linger.

Remember this. Who brought us here? So when we look back, we will see how far we’ve come. I'm heading to my son's basketball game, watching a movie with my family, going to sleep, and waking up tomorrow to continue the fight to restore integrity to NY-27 and Washington.”

January 17, 2020 - 6:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news, notify.

For Rep. Chris Collins sobbed in court, the Washington Post reports, while his attorneys argued for leniency, before a Federal judge sentenced Collins to 26 months in prison for engaging in insider trading and lying to the FBI.

“I have no excuse," Collins said sobbing. "I tarnished my reputation."

The prosecution sought a sentence of 46 to 57 months in a Federal penitentiary.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Max Nicholas argued that Collins deserved prison time because he organized the conspiracy among his family members to help them avoid losing money on the stock, lied to federal agents about it and then announced he would seek re-election to his seat. His attorneys pointed to Collins’ record of public service and said the crime was an isolated decision made in the heat of the moment.

The Post reports: “I cannot face my constituents. What I have done has marked me for life," Collins said.

The NY-27 has been without representation in Washington since Collins resigned in September, after winning re-election while proclaiming his innocence and vowing to "clear my name."

There will likely be a special election to fill the seat April 29, a little more than two months before the scheduled 2020 primary for the office.

January 17, 2020 - 5:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news, Cuomo runs off to Puerto Rico.

A statement issued today from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“While serial felons run free endangering society under new bail laws, statewide infrastructure continues to crumble and we face one of the largest budget deficits in recent memory, Gov. Cuomo thinks it’s the right time to spend unknown amounts of taxpayer money on a trip to Puerto Rico. 

“It has become abundantly clear that the governor cares more about raising his political profile than addressing the serious issues facing New York. Feel good photo ops and trade missions are not always the mark of good leadership but rather it’s having the courage to work through issues and implement real solutions for constituents. 

“Emerging trends under one party rule show our state is growing in the wrong direction. Our debt and deficit are high, Medicaid and welfare spending continues to balloon, population continues to decrease and taxes continue to suppress and stifle two crucial groups needed to grow an economy – homeowners and small businesses. 

“We can’t deny that out of control Medicaid spending is the root cause of our state deficit. We already spend more than Florida and Texas combined with half the population and the continued expansion is clearly unsustainable. Rest assured, I will be making my voice heard loud and clear throughout this year’s budget process to see that New York’s fiscal ship is set on the right path.”

January 17, 2020 - 4:48pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, wbta.

Suicide and how to prevent it will be the topic of discussion at 9 a.m. Tuesday (Jan. 21) when WBTA radio’s “Main & Center” talk show welcomes James Thorman, of Byron, as its guest.

Thorman has been working tirelessly over the past several months to gain support from community leaders and the public in general as he attempts to form a coalition dedicated to mental health well-being for young people and veterans at risk.

Recently, he has connected with Bereaved Parents of the USA, a nonprofit group that offers support and encouragement to fellow bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents after the death of a loved one.

Thorman’s life has been exponentially affected by suicide as two of his daughters took their lives about nine years ago.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017 suicide was the 10th leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of more than 47,000 people, and was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34.

Also in that year, there were more than twice as many suicides (47,173) in the United States as there were homicides (19,510).

WBTA radio is at 1490 on the AM dial, at 100.1 on FM, or can be streamed over the internet at www.wbtai.com.

January 17, 2020 - 4:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in animal rescue, lost pets, el chapo, news.

A man came into the Genesee County Animal Shelter this morning, according to a reader. He had an accident on the Thruway last night (Jan. 16) and his dog ran off.

The man is heartbroken and has been looking all day for little black and white "Chapo."

The dog ran off near mile marker 392 of the Thruway, between the Kelsey Road and Lewiston Road overpass in the Town of Batavia.

Chapo, which is Spanish for "Shorty," is wearing a black collar with no tags on it.

If you have information about Chapo, please contact the animal shelter at (585) 343-6410, or email Volunteers For Animals at [email protected]

"Get Shorty!"

January 17, 2020 - 3:24pm

From Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer:

As your State Senator, I value your concerns and opinions. Many new issues are being discussed and there is sure to be extensive debate throughout the 2020 session.

From a $6.1 billion deficit to criminal justice reforms and vaccination requirements, your opinions on issues facing New York State are very important to me. That is why I have launched a 2020 Legislative Questionnaire.

It is only 14 questions and takes just a couple of minutes to complete. Click here to complete the questionnaire.

I will be listening to residents– all across the 61st Senate District– as this year’s legislative session progresses. 

Thank you in advance for taking the time to participate. I look forward to hearing your feedback.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance to you or your family.

January 17, 2020 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in Tops Friendly Markets, news, batavia.

Press release:

Over the course of the next six weeks, Tops Friendly Markets welcomes the community to try a variety of Tops Full Circle products during its weekend sampling events. Try something new, and share something good with your family today!  

Tops Friendly Markets is pleased to be able to offer its customers a wide assortment of healthy options integrated into every aisle. We believe that organic and best-of-nature products are an important part of a healthy and well-rounded lifestyle. With Tops own Full Circle brand, you can love what’s in it for you!

We bring you food that tastes good and home care items that are eco-friendly and work well. Full Circle products deliver our brand promise in every department with 300+ sku’s across grocery, dairy, frozen and home care, this brand offers shoppers USDA certified organic, non-GMO, gluten free, and hormone/antibiotic free products every day at an affordable price.

Additionally Tops offers more than 3,800 certified organic products that are, integrated with conventional products and merchandised in stores by meal category, which makes it easier to shop and plan.

The weekend sampling events will take place every Saturday and Sunday beginning tomorrow, Jan. 18, at selected located and ending on Sunday, Feb. 23.

In Genesee County, only the Batavia Tops will conduct samplings. It is located at 390 W. Main St.

January 17, 2020 - 2:48pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. announced Thursday that he will seek the Republican Party endorsement for a second term as Genesee County Sheriff.

Sheriff Sheron began his career with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office in 1977 as an Emergency Services Dispatcher. During his career, he has progressed through the ranks of Deputy Sheriff-Jail, Deputy Sheriff-Road Patrol, Sergeant, Investigator and Chief Deputy-Road Patrol. In January 1996, he was appointed Undersheriff, a position he held until being elected Sheriff in 2016.

During his first term, Sheriff Sheron collaborated with mental health officials to establish a “Crisis Intervention Team,” consisting of specially trained deputies to provide assistance to individuals, and family members, with the individual’s mental health needs. The benefits of this program are that individuals with mental health concerns receive appropriate treatment rather than incarceration into a jail cell.

Working with school officials and the Genesee County Legislature, Sheriff Sheron has also been able to assign a Resource Officer to all but one school within the County.

“This School Resource Officer program provides for a safe and secure environment for students and faculty while promoting positive relationships between the students and law enforcement officers,” Sheriff Sheron said.

Another highlight of the Sheriff’s first term is the creation of a “Sheriff’s Office Teen Academy” for high school students from throughout Genesee County. This academy provides students with an in-depth view of the training and duties of the Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement in general.

Sheriff Sheron is a lifelong resident of Batavia. He attended St. Mary’s Grade School, Notre Dame High School and is a graduate of Genesee Community College with a degree in Criminal Justice. He and his wife, Shari, are parents to a blended family of five children and six grandchildren.

“I am honored to serve as the Sheriff of Genesee County and pledge to continue my life’s work of protecting the safety and security of the residents of Genesee County and the men and women of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office,” Sheriff Sheron said.

January 17, 2020 - 2:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in Duster the cat, pet rescue, lost pets, animals, defectors, news.

So dig this, Duster the cat, who has been on the lam since Thanksgiving night, doing God knows what, has been found thanks to a high-profile tipster, the intrepid Genesee County Manager Jay Gsell.

Duster's momma, Melissa Barone, who lives on Tracy Avenue in the city, gives credit where credit is due. But she also thanked The Batavian for the APB published Nov. 29th.

She enlisted not only our readers' help but her momma's, too, who Barone says has been "scouring" the area near Barone's home on a daily basis. This kind of resolute undauntedness is the very essence of intrepidity.

So Barone's momma, and Gsell, renowned for his institutional knowledge of the arcane bowels of county government and his pet- and people-friendly bonhomie, were cahoots, in a manner of speaking, on the recapture of the cat.

By the way, it didn't wander very far from home sweet home, in fact, Duster was just around the kitty-corner.

Word on the street was that the Duster the defector liked to hang around in the vicinity of Batavia Middle School, which is inarguably heavily populated by pals of pets.

Sure eough, Barone's momma was heading to her daughter's for dinner yesterday (Jan. 16) and she spotted a familiar-looking feline following a young miss walking in the area of the school.

"She stopped and sure enough it was Duster," Barone wrote The Batavian in an email. "He came right up to my mom purring away."

His purr reportedly sounds like the world's most expensive car -- that would be the Swedish-made Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita ($4.8M), owned by the likes of Jay Leno and Floyd Mayweather. Not too shabby for a domestic tabby-ish cat with a white bib and front-paw gloves.

Duster prolly figures if he can't have celebrity-caliber fun money, he can at least sound like millions of bucks. He can also check off 15 minutes of fame -- à la that prescient Andy Warhol -- from his bucket list.

January 17, 2020 - 11:45am
posted by Billie Owens in history, GCC Historical Horizons Lecture Series, news.

Press release:

The Genesee Community College History Club is excited to announce the Spring 2020 Historical Horizons Lecture Series lineup full of live readings and events that will transport audiences to another place and time.

The entire community is invited to GCC's Batavia Campus on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. to hear Sharon and Don Burkel present "The Angel and the Warrior: The Story of Emily and General Upton."

The program focuses on the brief love story of Emily Norwood Martin and General Emory Upton between 1866 and 1870. General Upton, who is seen as the epitome of a military officer, will surprise the audience with his fervent devotion to a sheltered, religious young lady from Auburn.

Through the reading of their personal letters and sharing original photos, their tragic story will be told.

The presentation will be in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building and is free and open to the public.

The Historical Horizons Lecture series will continue with events scheduled on the first Wednesday of each month during the Spring 2020 Semester including:

  • Wednesday, April 1 at 1 p.m.: "The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution" presented by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eric Foner, Ph.D., of Columbia University. This lecture will be based on the book of the same title and will occur in GCC's Stuart Steiner Theatre. 
  • Wednesday, May 6 at 7 p.m.: GCC Associate Professor of History Derek Maxfield will present on his book "Hellmira: The Union's Most Infamous POW Camp of the Civil War," which explores this notorious time period in the history of Elmira.
January 17, 2020 - 11:38am
posted by Billie Owens in Stafford, news, scanner.

A 3-year-old child was found wandering around in the 6200 block of Main Road in Stafford. The caller to the Emergency Dispatch Center who found the tot is heading to the Le Roy Police Station where an officer is en route to take custody of the child until his or her parent or guardian is located.

January 16, 2020 - 10:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, music, arts, entertainment, news.

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Press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel has announced the lineup for their fourth annual Rockin’ the Downs concert series, which takes place outside on the racetrack, with eight Friday dates, starting in June and running into August.

Kicking off the series on Friday, June 19th is Vince Neil, the legendary voice of Mötley Crüe. An accomplished businessman and heartfelt philanthropist, his unmistakable voice leads some of the greatest rock songs of a generation including “Wild Side,” “Shout at the Devil,” “Home Sweet Home,” “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Dr. Feelgood,” “Kickstart My Heart,” “Same Ol’ Situation,” and many others.

Next up, on Friday, June 26th, is former Journey frontman, Steve Augeri, who returns after playing one of the most enjoyable concerts from last year’s series. The lead vocalist for the rock group from 1998-2006, Augeri headlined an eight-year tenure that included three albums and will perform hits such as "Don’t Stop Believin’, " "Separate Ways," "Wheel in the Sky," "Faithfully," and "Anyway You Want It."

After a one-week hiatus for the Fourth of July holiday, the concert series returns on Friday, July 10th with Southern rock legend Molly Hatchet. Originating in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1978, the band has gone on to release 14 studio albums. They’ll be performing hits such as "Flirtin’ with Disaster," "Dreams I’ll Never See" and "Whiskey Man," among others.

Rocking the stage on Friday, July 17th is the heavy-metal rock group Skid Row. After forming in New Jersey in 1986, the band has performed all over the world with hard guitars and a unique songwriting style. They’ll be performing their hits "In a Darkened Room," "We Are the Damned," "Youth Gone Wild" and "18 and Life" and many more.

Jonny Lang performs on Friday, July 24th. Hailing from Fargo, N.D., the blues, gospel, and rock singer has had five albums chart in the Billboard 200. The Grammy Award-winning artist will perform hits such as "Still Rainin’," "Bring Me Back Home," "Breakin’ Me" and "Lie to Me."

Friday, July 31st will see Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles, perform at the Downs. As a renowned former lead guitarist of The Eagles, one of the most popular and influential rock groups of our time, Felder has helped write and perform many iconic classics. His 2008 memoir was a New York Times bestseller. Felder will perform solo and Eagles’ hits during his set including "Heavy Metal (Takin’ a Ride)," "Hotel California," "Life in the Fast Lane," "The Long Run" and "Tequila Sunrise."

America’s top Pink Floyd tribute show, The Machine, hits the stage on Friday, Aug. 7th. Over the course of 30 years they have extended the legacy of Pink Floyd while creating another legacy all their own. Along the way, The Machine has touched the hearts and souls of many with their stellar musicianship, dramatic lighting, and video performances. Two other tribute rock acts celebrating the music of The Who and Queen will also grace the stage that evening for what will be a memorable musical journey back in time.

Closing out the series on Friday, Aug. 14th is American alternative rock band, Puddle of Mudd. The post-grunge band from Kansas City, Mo., has sold more than seven million albums. One of the most well-attended concerts of 2018’s summer concert series, Puddle of Mudd concertgoers will be sure to hear hits such as "She Hates Me," "Blurry" and "Control."

Tickets for all eight concerts will be available at www.BataviaConcerts.com beginning at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Jan. 17th.

Individual presale tickets to each concert will remain at $10 for General Admission, while VIP tickets will again be $25. Concertgoers will be able to purchase tickets in the Premium Section directly in front of the stage. Premium tickets are $50 and will be very limited for each concert.

General Admission tickets are $15 if purchased on the day of the concert.

Tickets can also be purchased at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel at the Lucky Treasures Gift Shop located in the lobby.

As of noon today (Jan. 16th) special VIP packages --for the Don Felder Concert only -- will be available on BataviaConcerts.com

Concertgoers will once again have the option of purchasing a “Season Pass,”, which includes admission to all eight concerts at a discounted rate. The season pass for 2020 is $60 for General Admission and $150 for VIP.

New this year will be a chair rental option for lawn seats. While patrons are allowed to bring their own chairs, there will be 500 chairs available for rental for $5 each. A portion of proceeds for chair rental will benefit Make a Wish Western New York. Staff from Make a Wish will also be selling drink koozies.

“It’s incredible to think we are in our fourth year of the concert series,” said Henry Wojtaszek, CEO/president of Batavia Downs Gaming. “We’re excited to continue to bring musical icons to Batavia Downs and provide great entertainment at an affordable price.

"We’re looking forward to partnering again with Western New York Make A Wish to help raise funds to help them transform lives. We hope to see the community come together again this summer.”

Hotel room/ticket packages will be available for each concert. The purchase of a hotel room on the night of a concert using the code includes two VIP tickets to the show while supplies last.

Each concert ticket is also redeemable once at Player’s Club in the three days following the concert for $10 Free Play to be used on one of Batavia Downs Gaming’s 800+ gaming machines.

Concerts are held rain or shine. Additional information may be found at www.BataviaDownsGaming.com.

Photo: Henry Wojtaszek at today's press conference. Photo by Howard Owens.

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