Local Matters

Community Sponsors

Seniors

June 28, 2019 - 12:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in YMCA, Siliver Sneaker, news, batavia, Seniors.

 

Above, Doris Tootell, seated, and her daughter, Joan Stevens, at the YMCA Thursday morning.

Submitted photo and information from the YMCA in Batavia.

Doris Tootell is a local resident who attends the Silver Sneaker exercise class twice a week at the YMCA in Batavia.

That's been her routine for 11 years now and she has no plans to change it. Just because she turns 98 tomorrow (DOB: June 29, 1921) is certainly not reason enough.

"Doris never complains and just keeps going,” says Bonnie Versage.

As for Tootell, she credits YMCA group instructor Becky Swanson for her stick-to-itiveness and says the workouts help with her aches and pains. 

Her friends at the Y are so inspired by her liveliness and get-up-and-go spirit that they held a little celebration for her at yesterday's class.

“(She's the) most caring woman I have ever met,” said friend Nancy Speed.

You know she really cares for you when she bakes you a pie, and her gal pal Brenda Cackett says she bakes pies for all her friends."

We should all be so lucky!

June 17, 2019 - 2:39pm

Press release:

Farmers Market Coupons will be distributed at the Genesee County Office for the Aging, 2 Bank St., Batavia, on the following dates:

  • Wednesday            June 26         10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Wednesday            July 10           1 - 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday                 July 16           10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Thursday                July 18           10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Also, the Genesee County Office for the Aging also plans to distribute coupons at the:

  • Le Roy Farmer’s Market from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, July 6;
  • Downtown Batavia Public Market from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, July 26.

Booklets are available to adults aged 60 years and older who are income-eligible. Proof of age identification must be provided.

Income guidelines are as follows: household of one $1,926 per month; household of two $2,607per month; and, household of three $3,289 per month.

Maureen Estabrooks, Office for the Aging’s coordinator for the program, noted, “Anyone 60 or older in a household may receive a coupon booklet as long as they are income eligible. This means that in a qualifying household, multiple individuals may receive booklets.

"This program is a wonderful way to help older adults with limited income purchase fresh produce from our local farmers.”

Questions may be directed to the Genesee County Office for the Aging at 585-343-1611.

June 10, 2019 - 3:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in RSVP, news, Seniors, Tax Assistance Program.

Submitted photo and press release:

RSVP Volunteer Placement Program of Genesee County announced today that 17 RSVP volunteers prepared more than 1,200 federal and state tax returns, bringing back to the community over $1 million in income tax refunds.

The volunteers served 3,500 hours through RSVP in collaboration with AARP and the IRS, who provide training, materials, equipment and technical support for the Tax Assistance Program.

The program is open to all individuals in need of basic tax preparation and is designed to assist low to moderate income households. There is no charge for the service, but donations are accepted.  

For many people, the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program provides peace of mind along with their filings. Recipients comment on the professionalism, kindness and accuracy with which their returns are processed.

The RSVP Volunteer Placement Program helps individuals 55+ find meaningful volunteer opportunities with 25 different agencies in Genesee County.  If the tax program sounds interesting to you, please call Courtney Iburi, RSVP coordinator, at (585) 343-1611 to learn how you can help those in need next tax season.

Training is provided and opportunities to serve are flexible.

Congratulations to the dedicated volunteers, who made such a difference for so many people!

April 19, 2019 - 3:06pm

Submitted photos and press release:

In celebration of Spring, beautiful bouquets of flowers were hand delivered on Wednesday (April 17) to more than 90 Meals on Wheels recipients. This delightful surprise brought smiles all across Genesee County -- and even some tears of joy.

The Genesee County Office for the Aging and the RSVP Volunteer Placement Program were pleased to partner with the Kohl’s Batavia store for Kohl’s Cares Associates in Action.

Five local employees volunteered their morning to help bring joy to area older adults. Additionally, Kohl’s Corporation will make a monetary donation to the Genesee Senior Foundation to further support programming for residents 60 and older and their caregivers.

The special delivery of posies was made possible through the generosity of a private donation, specifically to benefit the lives of those receiving Meals on Wheels.

The Program offers a nutritionally balanced, hot meal at lunchtime, five days per week. The meals are delivered by dedicated RSVP volunteers and Office for the Aging staff. Each person receives social interaction and a safety check with each delivery as well as ongoing case management, an important piece of the program, which supports their health and independence in the community.

Anyone interested in helping with these efforts by way of a donation is encouraged to do so through the Genesee Senior Foundation, a nonprofit affiliated with the Office for the Aging. Please call Dorian Ely, services coordinator, at (585) 343-1611 to learn more about charitable donations to the Foundation.

The Office for the Aging wishes to thank everyone involved in making this day special, including staff and volunteers from Kohl’s, OFA, RSVP and the ARC Culinary Program.

April 17, 2019 - 1:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, sports, batavia, hockey, Babes on Blades, Seniors.
Submitted photo and write-up by Head Coach Craig Jackson:

 

The Batavia “Babes on Blades” women’s senior hockey team finished off another strong season this year by competing in and winning the area's annual Scottsville Women’s Senior Hockey Tournament during the last weekend of March for the second year in a row.

In the first game, the Batavia team defeated the always tough Buffalo “Stampede” by a 6 to 1 score.

The second game of the tournament was against the Brockport “Ladies on Ice.” Batavia started fast and were up 3 to 0 at the end of the first period. Brockport tightened up with the teams trading goals. Batavia won the game be a 6 to 2 score.

In the third game of the tournament, Batavia played against the host team Scottsville “Chicks with Sticks.” This game was more of a defensive game between the two teams with Batavia ending up with a 3 to 0 win.

The championship game finished with a rematch against the host Scottsville team again. Batavia scored the first goal about halfway through the first period and never looked back as they ended up with the win by a 8 to 0 score. Strong defensive play and goal tending during all the games was key to the tournament win.

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.

December 8, 2018 - 4:23pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in Seniors, running, sports, news, batavia.

Frank Gioia, of Batavia, was photographed in Buffalo in September when he won first place in his age group in the USA Track and Field Championships. 

Frank Gioia has been serious about running since he was young. He's 65 now.

A son of Babe and Dolly Gioia, Frank was born and grew up in Batavia, where he ran all through high school, he said. He was the first one from Batavia to qualify for cross country in the state championships, he said. 

He attended Genesee Community College for two years, and for about five years took a break from running to play softball.

“Back then, everybody was playing softball,” Gioia said. “There were ball teams then all over town.”

As a young man, he had married the former Pattie Walker and had three children, during which time his running took a back seat. He went to work as a welding foreman for the railroad, retiring from CSX Transportation.

Now, as a senior citizen, with time to devote to his love of running and the desire to keep fit, he is chalking up some wins on the USA Track and Field circuit.

In 2016, Gioia placed eighth in a USA National 5K Championship road race in Massachusetts. This past August, he was third our of 15 in the nation in a 5K road race in Atlanta, with a time of 21 minutes 6 seconds.

In his most recent victory, he finished first among 14 in the nation in September in the USA Track and Field Championships in Buffalo with a time of 21 minutes 36 seconds.

His first-place finish was 30 seconds longer because it was in the grass in Delaware Park, Gioia said, while the Atlanta race was on pavement. All races were in age groups. 

He has also traveled to races in San Francisco and Virginia.

He thinks what attracted him to running was because you don’t have to be a member of a team to run. 

“I always enjoyed running, and I could just go run any time I wanted to,” Gioia said. “And when you do good, that makes it all the more pleasurable.”

Although all of his children and three grandchildren are serious about sports, none shared his passion for running.

During good weather, he runs nearly every day, but during the winter he runs on the treadmill at the YWCA four days a week.

He is going to take a break for three or four weeks while he waits for next year’s schedule for the national races to come out.

“I have accomplished everything I really wanted to do, and I’m happy now just maintaining what I’m doing,” Gioia said.

Gioia just learned he has been named The Buffalo News “Runner of the Year” in the 65 to 69 age group. Out of the seven races in the series, he won the first six and placed second in the last race.

He also recalled several other honors to his credit, including running the 1983 Philadelphia Distance Classic half marathon in one hour and nine minutes. That placed him 55 out of more than 3,000 runners.

In 1984, he ran the Skylon International Marathon in two hours and 29 minutes, placing seventh out of 1,153 runners.

And, in 1985 and 1986, he won gold medals at the New York Empire State Games in the 10K on the track.

Photo below: In August, Frank Gioia, of Batavia, placed third in the nation in the Masters 5K USA Track and Field Championships in Atlanta.

September 15, 2018 - 8:00am
posted by Billie Owens in Alzheimer's, dementia, Seniors, Le Roy, corfu, batavia, indian falls, news.

The Alzheimer’s Association® Western New York Chapter is partnership with Le Roy Village Green in Le Roy to offer a series of free educational programs this fall.

All classes will begin at 7 p.m. in The Greens facility at 10 Munson St. in Le Roy.

"Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia" kicks off the three-part series on Oct. 2. This educational program covers the basics about the disease and related dementias.

On Nov. 6, the second program, "Effective Communication Strategies," will help care partners of those living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia identify verbal and non-verbal strategies to more effectively understand and communicate.

The final program, "Understanding and Responding to Dementia-Related Behaviors," is set for Dec. 4. The program helps care partners recognize that behavior is a powerful form of communication and is one of the primary ways for people with Alzheimer’s disease to communicate their needs and feelings as the ability to use language is lost. However, some behaviors can present realchallenges for caregivers to manage. It will cover some common struggles and offer sound strategies to address them.

Additionally, the Chapter trains facilitators to lead several monthly caregiver support groups across the county, which allow caregivers to connect with others facing similar challenges and hear advice for overcoming them:

  • 3rd Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. – Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St. in Batavia
  • 3rd Thursday at 1 p.m. – Genesee County Office for the Aging, 12 Bank St. in Batavia
  • 2nd Monday at 2 p.m. – The Greens of Le Roy, 1 West Ave. in Le Roy

Telephone Support Group:

  • 2nd Wednesday from 12:10-12:55 p.m. – For more information, call the Genesee County Office for the Aging at (585) 343-1611.

Respite Available for Caregivers:

A community social program, or respite, is also available every month in Corfu. This program provides relief to those who care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease or other dementia and offers them some time to refresh and recharge, while their loved one is engaged in social activities in a safe environment.

Indian Falls United Methodist Church at 7908 Allegany Road offers a respite service on the third Wednesday of every month. For more information, call Celinda McQuiston at (585) 762-9105.

To learn more about other Alzheimer’s Association programs and services, contact the WNY Chapter office at 1.800.272.3900.

September 4, 2018 - 3:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, Seniors, Erie Canal, tourism, news.

Press release:

The Holland Land Office Museum will be holding its seventh annual Senior Bus Tour on Thursday, Sept.13th. This year’s tour will be heading to the Colonial Belle Erie Canal Cruises in Fairport.

The cruise consists of a two-hour boat ride through some of the most scenic portions of the Erie Canal with historic narration by the captain. A submarine sandwich lunch from DiBella’s will be provided on board the ship.

Space is limited to 40 people. The bus will be leaving at 10 a.m. on Sept. 13th.

Tickets are $50 per person, and $45 for museum members. To reserve a spot on the tour please contact the Holland Land Office Museum at 343-4727 or [email protected].

We ask that payment be received before the reservation can be granted. The Senior Bus Tour is made possible through a grant from the Muriel H. Marshall Fund for the Aging in Genesee County.

August 1, 2018 - 3:21pm

Press release:

Farmers Market Coupons are still available at the Genesee County Office for the Aging, 2 Bank St., Batavia.

Booklets are available to adults aged 60 years and older who are income-eligible. Proof of age identification must be provided.

Income guidelines are as follows:  household of one $1,872 per month; household of two $2,538 per month; and, household of three $3,204 per month.

Maureen Estabrooks, Office for the Aging’s coordinator for the program, noted, “It still remains, that anyone 60 or older in a household may receive a coupon booklet as long as they are income eligible. This means that in a qualifying household, multiple individuals may receive booklets.

"This program is a wonderful way to help older adults with limited income to purchase healthy fresh produce from our local farmers.”

Questions may be directed to the Genesee County Office for the Aging at 585-343-1611.

July 28, 2018 - 3:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in Alzheimer's, Seniors, Health Care, respite, news, batavia, Le Roy, corfu, Oakfield.

Press release:

The Alzheimer’s Association® Western New York Chapter is offering a number of programs and services across Genesee County in August. These programs are free and open to the public.

Haxton Memorial Library at 3 North Pearl Street in Oakfield will host "Know the Ten Warning Signs: Early Detection Matters" at 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 29.

This program will focus on recognizing potential warning signs of memory problems because early diagnosis is critical to ensure that families can plan for the future together, take advantage of available resources and take part in social engagement programs where they can interact and connect with others facing similar challenges.

Additionally, the Chapter trains facilitators to lead several monthly caregiver support groups across the county, which allow caregivers to connect with others facing similar challenges and hear advice for overcoming them:

Batavia:

  • 3rd  Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. – Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St.
  • 3rd Thursday at 1 p.m. – Genesee County Office for the Aging, 12 Bank St.

Le Roy:

  • 2nd Monday at 2 p.m. – The Greens of Le Roy, 1 West Ave.

Telephone Support Group:

  • 2nd Wednesday from 12:10-12:55 p.m. – For more information, call the Genesee County Office for the Aging at (585) 343-1611

A community social program, or respite, is also available every month in Corfu. This program provides relief to those who care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia and offers them some time to refresh and recharge, while their loved one is engaged in social activities in a safe environment.

Indian Falls United Methodist Church at 7908 Allegany Road offers a respite service on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. For more information, call Celinda McQuiston at (585) 762-9105.

To learn more about other Alzheimer’s Association programs and services, contact the WNY Chapter office at 1.800.272.3900.

June 29, 2018 - 7:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in kohl's, Meals on Wheels, Office of the Aging, Seniors, charity.

Above photo of Kohl's volunteers who helped deliver flowers to seniors in Genesee County, from left: Dar Moleski, Corde Smart and Andrea Osewalt-Renz. Not pictured: Jeffrey DeMare.

Press release and submitted photos:

Beautiful bouquets of flowers were hand delivered to more than 80 Meals on Wheels recipients this week, creating a wave of surprise and an abundance of smiles across Genesee County. An individual called to express her gratitude, saying the gesture had made her week.

The Office for the Aging and the RSVP Volunteer Placement Program are pleased to have partnered with the Kohl’s Batavia store for Kohl’s Cares Associates in Action. 

Five local employees volunteered their morning to help bring joy to area older adults. Additionally, Kohl’s Corporation will make a monetary donation to the Genesee Senior Foundation to further support programming for residents 60 and older, their caregivers and younger individuals with disabilities.

The special flower delivery was made possible through the generosity of a private donation, specifically to benefit the lives of our more homebound residents. Anyone interested in donating is encouraged to do so through the Genesee Senior Foundation, a nonprofit affiliated with the Office for the Aging.

Please call Dorian Ely, Services Coordinator at 343-1611 to learn more about charitable donations to the Foundation.

The Office for the Aging wishes to thank everyone involved in making this day special, including staff and volunteers from Kohl’s, OFA, RSVP and the ARC Culinary Program.

Photo below is Doreen Wright, the woman who coordinated the flower-delivery effort between Kohl’s and the Office for the Aging.

May 24, 2018 - 12:58pm

Press release:

During the month of June, designated by the Alzheimer’s Association® as Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, you can take advantage of a free educational program being offered by the Association’s Western New York Chapter.

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease makes planning for the future a very important task for families. Concerns about care planning and programs that can help offset costs mean that families need accurate information about legal and financial matters specific to the disease.

"Legal and Financial Planning for Alzheimer’s Disease" is an opportunity to learn about important legal and financial issues to consider, how to put plans in place and how to access legal and financial resources in the community.

The Alzheimer’s Association WNY Chapter is offering the program on Wednesday, June 13, at 4:30 p.m. in The Manor House at 427 E. Main St. in Batavia. A light meal will also be provided.

Topics to be discussed include:

• Making legal plans that fit individual and family needs;

• Legal documents and what they mean;

• How to find legal and financial assistance;

• Practical strategies for making a long-term plan of care;

• Government programs that can help pay for care;

The program is free and open to the public, but seating reservations are requested by calling 1-800-272-3900.

April 26, 2018 - 3:01pm

Press release:

A dinner dance with music of the '40s, '50s, '60s, and a little bit of country, organized with Genesee County residents age 55 years and older in mind is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, May 31, at the Ascension Parish Center, 17 Sumner St., Batavia.

Presale tickets for the "Always on My Mind Dinner Dance" are $15 and available for purchase at the Senior Center, 2 Bank St., Batavia, through May 18 or until sold outTickets will not be available at the door.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m.; dinner service will begin at 5:30 p.m.; dancing and music start about 6:30.

The dinner menu is: black angus top round beef with mushroom sauce; roasted chicken breast with cornbread stuffing; rosemary roasted red potatoes, vegetable, green garden salad, fresh rolls and butter, beverages, crumb-topped (French) apple pie.

Ruth Spink, director at the Genesee County Office for the Aging, noted that, “As I was growing up, my folks would go out to dinner and dancing on a regular basis. Whether it was through church or my dad’s horse clubs, they’d be out on the dance floor every chance they got.

"When I was old enough and even beyond college, I’d join them. Restaurants all over the area had dance floors and bands playing. Sadly, those days are pretty well gone. Often, the only chance you get to have a meal and enjoy some good music and dancing is if you go to a wedding.

"We want to give people a chance to hear music of their era and feel those memories come rushing back.”

She also went on to say that, “This will be a fun evening whether you dance or not, have a date, come alone, or come with friends.”

Catering will be provided by Fred Hamilton; Chris Kalen will "spin the tunes"; and the Senior Center Quilters will be selling tickets for a chance to win a handmade patriotic quilt; and there will also be a basket raffle.

Further information is available by calling the Senior Center at 343-1611.

Below is a request for the DJ in advance -- The Chords' "Sh-Boom" from 1954. 

April 10, 2018 - 2:18pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in Le Roy, Seniors, knitting, news.

Marion Kohl, who will be 99 in May, spends hours knitting and crocheting in her room at The Greens of Le Roy. She recently knitted 10 hats for the Little Hats, Big Hearts program in connection with the Children’s Heart Foundation, in addition to knitting and crocheting for Le Roy Rotary’s Graze to Raise auction. Photo by Virginia Kropf.

 

LE ROY – Marion Kohl’s pastime is not what makes her unique, but the fact she will turn 99 in May and is still able to knit and crochet.

“She is amazing at her age to be able to continue to contribute with her talent,” said Kim Pasquale, director of The Greens.

Kohl inherited her talent from her mother and grandmother. She started crocheting as a youngster and learned to knit when her husband Harold was in the military.

She was born in Syracuse grew up in the Catskills. Harold grew up in Henderson Harbor, where her grandparents lived. Her father’s job transferred him to Lowville, and she met Harold in her senior year. They corresponded for seven years while he was in the Service. He served in World War II and the Korean War.

In addition to raising their two children, Kohl was a nurse. The couple moved to the Rochester area in 1965. She came to The Greens in August 2008, after Harold had to enter the nursing home. He died in 2009.

“Marion has made many mittens for people here, as well as baby blankets for residents’ grandchildren,” Pasquale said.

When she heard about the red hats needed for preemies, she got the pattern and some donated yarn and made 10 hats for the Little Hats, Big Hearts program in connection with the Children’s Heart Foundation. She can’t count the sweaters she has made, and she crocheted an afghan for veterans and made baby blankets for the Le Roy Nursery. She also donates her needlework to the Le Roy Rotary’s Graze to Raise auction.

“I knit or crochet every day,” Kohl said. “It’s part of my routine while I’m watching TV.”

Before Harold died, he would read the patterns to her.

Kohl likes to do jigsaw puzzles, and has a computer, but she doesn’t go on the Internet. She just enjoys playing games on it.

She also walks around the facility for exercise and fixes her own lunch in her apartment. She admits to having an occasional drink, but never smoked.

“I’m so grateful my hands and my eyes still let me do the things I love,” Kohl said.

December 13, 2017 - 1:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Announcements, Seniors, Health Care, Premier Genesee.

Press release:

Premier Genesee (the former Genesee County Nursing Home) has named a new administrator, Christine Schaller, and a new Director of Nursing, Mihael Toole, RN.

Schaller, who served at the administrator of the home between 2012-16, lives in Batavia.

Toole, who most recently served as director of Quality Assurance for Avanti, resides in Hamburg.

The new management team plans a series of new services and community events in 2018 to serve the care needs of seniors in Batavia and our Western New York neighbors.

There are plans to offer Respiratory Therapy Services and expended in-patient and out-patient therapy programs.

Adult Day Health Services will continue to be offered as well as skilled nursing and long-term care.

Premier Genesee welcomes the opportunity to be a part of the fabric of Batavia.

December 8, 2017 - 9:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in Seniors.
Event Date and Time: 
August 29, 2017 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Must call or email to reserve your place!! Seating is limited! 344-4400
FREE Pasta Dinner and Presentation!
Spirituality through the lifespan to help navigate the aging process; and explore the basic functions and structure of the human brain. We’ll discuss lifestyle changes that can improve and maintain a healthy brain.

December 8, 2017 - 3:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in Seniors.
Event Date and Time: 
July 12, 2017 (All day)

Genesee County Office for the Aging will be distributing Farmer’s Market Coupon Booklets to income-eligible seniors.
WED. 7/12/201710 – 12pm
FRI 7/14/2017 1-4pm
TUE 7/25/2017 10-12pm
THUR 7/27/2017 10am – 12pm

November 12, 2017 - 4:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, Seniors, Announcements.

Yahtzee anyone? Or how about Crazy Eights or a classic American board game like Sorry!?

A “Community Game Day” will be held next Saturday, Nov. 18, at Premier Genesee Center for Nursing and Rehab., 278 Bank St., Batavia.

It starts at 3 p.m. in Main Dining Room.

Bring your favorite board games, family and friends; they will provide the snacks!

If you have any questions, please call Premier Genesee at 344-0584, ext. 2113.

September 11, 2017 - 4:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in Alzheimer's, Seniors, health, news, Announcements.

Submitted photos and press release:

Holly Eschberger, of Le Roy, has not only been participating by fundraising and walking in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s®, she has been an active member of the Batavia Walk planning committee for several years.

This year's event is Saturday, Sept. 23 and close to 850 people are expected to participate and their goal is to raise $76,000, which supports the free programs and services of the local Chapter, as well as vital research.

“I don't think people understand that you actually die from Alzheimer’s," Eschberger said. "It is not just part of aging. You lose your loved one emotionally/mentally long before you lose them physically and it is absolutely devastating.

"I got involved with the Walk as a way to honor my grandma who I lost to Alzheimer’s. I'm inspired by the coming together of friends and families that have this common thread of watching a loved one decline with Alzheimer’s. It is heart wrenching, but it's also comforting to be surrounded by so many people who understand.”

Eschberger named her walk team “Erma’s Army” after her beloved grandmother (inset photo, above right). Holly’s team and hundreds of others provide a vital source of financial support for the Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter, which offers free programs and resources for all those facing the challenge of dementia in the eight-county WNY region.

Participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is free, but fundraising is encouraged, with incentives awarded when various goals are met, such as an official purple walk T-shirt earned when individual fundraising reaches $100. A percentage of all funds raised are earmarked for research, to ensure that one day, there will be a first survivor of Alzheimer’s disease. A higher percentage of funds stays in WNY, to ensure continuing access to free education, consultations, support and social programs for all impacted by dementia.

The Batavia Walk takes place on the grounds of the Premier Genesee Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation at 278 Bank St. The site opens at 9 a.m. with snacks and refreshments, photo area, entertainment and access to basket and 50/50 raffles. A brief ceremony launches the walk at 10 a.m. and participants will head out on the approximately two-mile route at about 10:15 a.m. Additional entertainment, such as well-known cartoon characters and a "bubble brigade" will pop up along the way, with more food when walkers return to the main site.

Individuals and teams can register, join a team or donate on-line at alz.org/WNY/walk, by calling 1.800.272.3900 or in person the morning of the walk.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is made possible locally through the support of several WNY companies, including Batavia Health Care Center, The Manor House and United Healthcare.

Below are members of "Erma's Army."

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