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senior center

August 22, 2019 - 1:44pm

Submitted photo: Mary Tuttle celebrates her 95th birthday at a luncheon at Fortune's restaurant at Batavia Downs.

When Frances Ford was preparing to celebrate her 100th birthday several years ago, her wish was to have lunch at Fortune’s at Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel.

Her celebration started a tradition which the Office for the Aging continues today.

Each summer for the past four or five years, one or more members of the Senior Center’s Quilters have celebrated a milestone birthday at Fortune’s.

Because Ford was going to be 100, Barbara Matarazzo, receptionist at the Senior Center, arranged for her to be transported to lunch in a Mustang convertible. This was repeated for her 101st.

“Unfortunately, Frances never saw 102,” Matarazzo said. “After that, we began celebrating the birthdays of seniors who were 90-plus. That included Mary Tuttle and Madeline Harding. We planned to celebrate Madeline’s 91st birthday in July, but she passed away just a few weeks before her birthday.”

The latest lunch celebrated the 95th birthday of Mary Tuttle. Harding’s family also attended the luncheon and her name was included on the birthday cake, with a sign made by Mary Bucceri, group sales manager at Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel. 

“I know in spirit, Madeline was part of the celebration,” Bucceri said. 

Batavia Downs' Fortune's has always been the Quilters and the birthday celebrities first choice in where they wanted to go and celebrate, Matarazzo said. 

“I can honestly say that working with Batavia Downs has been a privilege, especially with Mary Bucceri, who is always my contact person,” Matarazzo said. “Between Mary and the Batavia Downs staff, they make the birthday celebrations a memory for all of us.”

“I think the most important part of my job is knowing I’ve made someone’s day extra special,” Bucceri said. “When I hosted Frances Ford’s 100th birthday in 2016, I learned so much about her lifestyle that day, it was totally amazing.”

December 14, 2018 - 2:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, The Gift Shop, batavia, senior center, Seniors.

Press release:

Stop by and visit The Gift Shop, located in the Senior Center at 2 Bank St. in Downtown Batavia between the Arts Council and the YMCA.

The daily display of reasonably priced unique gifts, women's accessories including scarves, ponchos, purses, and jewelry is ever changing and now dressed up for the holiday season.  

Come and enjoy this charming shop and meet the friendly volunteers and staff. The gift shop is easily accessed and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Browse, and take home fun gifts galore for your loved ones. The bright, beautiful apparel, seasonal housewares and decorations will be perfect for you, your family and friends. 

The proceeds are devoted to providing popular wellness activities for our local older adult population giving them affordable opportunities to socialize and participate in community-related trips, local events, and activities offered throughout the year.

For more information, please call 585-343-1611 and ask for Mary.

August 3, 2018 - 6:49pm


As the YMCA and UMMC have developed their plans for a new Healthy Living Center at Main and Bank streets they've found they could have available as much as 7,000 square feet to accommodate new space for the Genesee County Senior Center and the Office of the Aging.

County staff, led by County Manager Jay Gsell are working with the Y and UMMC on determining if such a merger of operations would be feasible.

Rob Walker (top photo), director of the Genesee Area YMCA in Batavia, and Dan Ireland, CEO of UMMC, brought the plan to members of the Legislature during the Human Services Committee meeting on Monday as part of a review of the progress on the Healthy Living Center plans.

"What we want to do is have a meaningful discussion with Jay and the team about what option does that present," Walker said. "How can that space be filled? How can it integrate with the community living area?"

The facility will be 85,000 square feet and contain community space, exercise space, a pool, a gym, meeting rooms and an interior walking/running track.

There will also be what Walker and Ireland called a "community living room" in the middle of the building with access from Main Street that will be open to all members of the community, without requiring a Y membership or the services of UMMC. The community living room will be a hub to access services at the facility or just meet with other community members.

The UMMC portion of the building will provide primary care, Ireland said, as well as a residency teaching program, behavioral health and crisis intervention, telemedicine, cancer prevention outreach services such as breast and colon cancer screenings, diabetes, cardiac conditions, dietary education, education services for team members and community.

The goal, Ireland said, is to increase the integration of services across the spectrum of needs for community members, and partnering with the Office of the Aging will help enhance that integration.

"A fully integrated network doesn’t just mean us getting other doctors or other specialists," Ireland said. "It means integrating services within the community. It’s integration with the YMCA and sharing resources and services to touch the community. It means integrating with the Senior Center and the Office of Aging."

Construction on the new YMCA portion should begin in 2019 and once the new Y portion of the building is open, the existing Y can be torn down and the UMMC portion of the building can be added.

If the county decides to integrate its senior, and perhaps its youth, programs, with the Healthy Living Center, it would be up to the county to decide what to do with the existing Senior Center building on Bank Street. Walker acknowledged it is a county asset.

Walker addressed the future of the building while answering questions about access to the new building for seniors using county services.

"Does the current building need to exist?" Walker said. "If it does, it does. But if it doesn't, that helps the flow of access."

The legislature is not being asked to take any action at this time and members were comfortable with letting Gsell and staff continue the discussions.

July 22, 2018 - 12:59pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in Senior Quilters, batavia, news, senior center.


Keeping busy is one reason two seniors believe they are enjoying life into their 90s.

Madeline Harding, of Batavia, turned 90 on June 15, while Mary Tuttle, also of Batavia, was 94 on July 18. Harding was born in Yorkshire and graduated from Wyoming County Academy, where she studied Nursing. She became a nursing supervisor at the former St. Jerome Hospital, then retired from the Genesee County Nursing Home.

She and her husband, Frank, 93, have four children, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. They enjoyed traveling all over the world, but aren’t able to do it anymore. England was her favorite destination, Harding said. They have been there several times.

Harding said she joined the Senior Quilters because she has always liked to do crafts and her mother was a quilter.

She still drives, “but very carefully,” she said.

Tuttle was born in Blossburg, Pa., and met her husband when her father moved to Perry for work.

She learned to quilt after they retired to Florida, where they lived for 21 years until moving back to Batavia for his health.

Tuttle has always loved to sing and said she would sing “Anywhere they let me.” She starred in her first operetta at age 5 at PerryHigh School, playing the part of Baby Bear.

“You gotta’ stay happy,” she said.

She and her husband had two children, five grandchildren, and 11 grandchildren.

When decided where they wanted to celebrate their birthdays, Harding and Tuttle chose Fortune’s at Batavia Downs, because it was a favorite spot of their friend and former quilter, Frances Ford. Ford, who would have been 102 a week ago, died in May.

The Senior Quilters have made more than 15 quilts for Quilts of Valor. They donate quilts to the VA Nursing Home, Migrant Day Care Center, Cancer Treatment Center, Social Services and the surgical center at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester.

Their newest quilt raffle will be in September. They are selling tickets for $1 each or three for $2.

New quilters are welcome to join the group from 9 a.m. to noon every Wednesday.

Top photo: The Senior Quilters, who meet Wednesdays at the Genesee County Office for the Aging, celebrated the birthdays of two of their members, Madeline Harding and Mary Tuttle (both seated) this week. Holding a quilt they will raffle off in September are, from left, Cheryl Bauer, Marge Coniber, Linda Nalbach, Donna Tomski, Harding, Tuttle and Irene Pierce.


Two seniors chose to celebrate their special birthdays' quilting at the Senior Center on Bank Street, before going to lunch at Fortune’s in Batavia Downs. Madeline Harding, left, turned 90 on June 15 and Mary Tuttle was 94 on July 18.

May 23, 2017 - 4:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, senior center.

City Ladder 15 and Engine 11 were called to the Senior Center on Bank Street after employees of St. Jerome's called 9-1-1 and reported smelling smoke outside the building. They discovered an HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) unit on the roof that was smoking and resolved the issue.

March 18, 2012 - 2:07pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, photos, senior center, GoArt!, art, artists.

GoArt! hosted its first GoArt! Members Exhibition on Friday, along with its first Digital Art Exhibit. Both are intended to become annual events.

The above ink-on-canvas painting is called "Fiscal Policy" and was painted by Kevin Hammon, who lives just north of Le Roy. It was on sale for $350.

Here is Hammon with another of his canvas works, "Moon Light Drive-In" ($125).

Below are some of the other paintings on display at Seymour Place.

Oil painting: "Wolf Creek at Letchworth" by Rick Ellingham ($275).

Oil painting: "Route 5" by Joseph Deni ($400).

Kevin Feary, of Batavia, stands beside his oil-on-muslin painting, "Short Order Cook" ($580).

Artist (and City Councilwoman) Rose Mary Christian stands next to her untitled acrylic (not for sale) with Linda Sforno (left) and Roelene Christian.

"Country Cottage Needlepoint" by Joan E. Rotondo ($238).

Watercolor: "Sinking Ponds" by Rita M. Hammond ($50).

Pencil: "Silent Communication" by Judy Wenrich ($175).

Glass art: "Dragonfly Wide Bowl" by Heather Whitney ($100).

Glass art: "Peacock Bowl" by Heather Whitney ($120).

Acrylic and paper: "Night Out" by Kimberly A. Argenta ($100).

Acrylic: "National Geographic: Stampede" by Carole LaValley ($225).

Oil on muslin: "Upton Monument" by Kevin Feary ($580).

Oil: "Rusted & Weathered" by Rick Ellingham ($200).

Connie Mosher, of Albion, stands next to her Arizona-inspired oil painting, "Rugs on a Railing Near Sedona, AZ" ($500).

Pastel: "Alzheimer's--the Ultimate Identity Theft," by Sharon Jahnke Long (not for sale).

Earthenware, slips, glaze: "Cityscape II" by Moi Dugan ($425).

Pastel: "Twoo Wuv" by Sharon Jahnke Long (not for sale).

Woodcut: "Angus" by Rita Hammond ($50).

Clay: "Covered Jar with Wheat" by Jean Grinnell (SOLD).

Long Stitch: "Tiger Walk" by Joan E. Rotondo ($238).

To find out which of these--and other--photos are still for sale, contact Robin Upson, administrative assistant at GoArt!, at 343-9313, or email [email protected].

As this was going on, a reception for non-members' digital art was held next door at GoArt!'s satellite gallery in the Batavia Senior Center.

"Study in Perspective" by Natalie Buczek ($10).

"Katie" by Byron-Bergen ninth-grader Katelyn Simmons (not for sale).

"Guitar Rock" by Susan Meier ($45).

"Let It Be" by Daniel Cherry ($40).

Cherry displays his work, "Broken Treaties," with his sons, Jimmy and Daniel.

The digital artwork will be on display until April 27 at the senior center, at 2 Bank St. in Batavia. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

For information, contact Joe Langen at [email protected].

January 20, 2011 - 6:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Lorie Longhany, senior center.


Above, Lorie Longhany with Dr. Maidul Kahn and the opening tonight of the "Young at Art" show at the Senior Center. Kahn is one of Longhany's newer students. He's holding one of his paintings. It's of Centennial Park in the fall.

Other artists on display are Marie Washburn, Kathy Roblee, Carol La Valley, Longhany, the late David Rice, Sue Morgan, Farrel Ann Burdick, Joan Scherff, Rosemary Christian, Pat Fletcher and Elisa Di Pietro.

Below, Christian talks with visitor's about another artist's work. 


February 10, 2010 - 9:05pm

Batavia area senior citizens and youth got together last week to celebrate their outstanding service to the community. It was a mutual admiration society with a broad age range.

The "Minnie Tea Celebration" was held by the Retired Senior Volunteer Program in conjunction with the Genesee County Youth Bureau. It took place at the Senior Center on Bank Street in honor of RSVP volunteers who helped the Genesee County Health Department at the end of 2009 as well as teens who planted and cared for an indoor garden for the Minnie Garden Project. 

RSVP volunteers served the health department by distributing flu vaccines -- both seasonal and H1N1 -- and by performing other tasks such as nursing, paperwork and triage. Thanks to the diligent work of these hearty seniors, the GCHD managed to issue over 6,000 doses of the vaccine by the end of 2009.


Meanwhile, area high-schoolers got to try their hands at gardening with the help of Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener David Russell. He was beaming with pride at the tea party and couldn't say enough about the students' dedication to the Minnie Garden Project.

"I'm so proud of the job these kids did," Russell said. "These are kids with different backgrounds who came together and did an excellent job. I'm really proud of them."

In addition to being awarded certificates, the youths were given the honor of having their produce served as hors d'oeuvres at the tea party.

The party was funded by a grant written by 22-year-old former Youth Bureau member Vicki Ripper. Since she finished working at the bureau in November, AmeriCorps Vista volunteer Lauren Paluta and Youth Bureau employee Angela Barbeau have taken control of the program.

Paluta put together last week's event with RSVP Coordinator Dorian Ely. Paluta was the hostess in Ely's absence and, together with Barbeau, she presented certificates of appreciation to the senior and youth volunteers.



In the last two photos, Hannah and Leah Rosenbeck hand out decorated terra cotta flowerpots to the seniors as they return to their seats after receiving certificates. See the article on RSVP's intergenerational project for more information on this.

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