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Re-Think Thanksgiving at Richmond Memorial Library

By Press Release
Submitted photo of Perry Ground.

Press Release:

Join the Richmond Memorial Library on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 11 a.m. as Perry Ground shares “Re-Thinking Thanksgiving: A Native American Perspective on an American Holiday.” This program is free and open to all. Recommended for families with children in 4th grade or higher and all adults.

Much of what people ‘know’ about Thanksgiving is actually a blend of fiction, myth, and history that has become widely accepted as truth. But the events of what we call “the First Thanksgiving” are nothing like our traditions today.

The creation of this holiday has little to do with the feast that took place in 1621 between the Pilgrims and the Indians. Storyteller and Cultural Educator, Perry Ground will give an overview of this very misunderstood holiday.

The presentation will discuss the actual events of 1621, including the feast, and the relationship between English settlers at Plymouth and the Wampanoag, the Native people who inhabited the area. The concept of Thanksgiving held by many Native Americans will be emphasized through the presentation. Learn the true story and re-think Thanksgiving- a great educational opportunity for all ages.

Presenter Perry Ground is a Turtle Clan member of the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy.  He has been telling stories for over 30 years as a means of educating people about the culture, beliefs, and history of the
Haudenosaunee. Perry learned many of the stories he shares from elders of Native American communities and feels that practicing and perpetuating the oral traditions of Native people is an important responsibility. 

Professionally, Perry has worked in several museums including The Children’s Museum of Houston, Sainte Marie among the Iroquois, and Ganondagan State Historic Site. He has shared stories at countless museums, libraries, classrooms, and festivals throughout the northeast and has guest lectured at numerous colleges. 

Perry is the former Project Director of the Native American Resource Center within the Rochester (NY) City School District and served as the Frederick H. Minett Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) for the 2021-22 academic year.

For more information about Perry Ground, visit Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross Street in the City of Batavia. For more about the library, visit

GCC's Forum Players present: The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse

By Press Release
Photo of GCC's Stuart Steiner Theatre courtesy of

Press Release:

What: GCC's Forum Players Present: The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse.

Where: Performances in the Stuart Steiner Theatre

When: Nov. 16, 17, 18 @ 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 19 @ 2 p.m. The play is approximately 90 minutes long.

In Larissa FastHorse's hilariously funny satirical play, positive intentions collide with absurd assumptions. As a terminally "woke" teacher, Logan, a high school drama teacher/ actor, enlists the help of some interesting characters: Caden, an elementary school history teacher (frustrated, inspiring Playwright and Actor). Jaxton, a yoga practitioner/actor (politically correct to a fault), and Alicia, a simplistic actress (who has a knack for being painfully honest), scrambles to create a school pageant for children that somehow celebrates Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month, or do they? Find out when you join us on the journey that is The Thanksgiving Play.

Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota Nation) is a 2020 MacArthur Fellow, award-winning writer/choreographer, and co-founder of Indigenous Direction, the nation's leading consulting company for Indigenous arts and audiences. Her satirical comedy, The Thanksgiving Play (Playwrights Horizons/Geffen Playhouse), is one of America's top ten most produced plays. She is the first Native American playwright in American theater history on that list. The play recently had a short run on Broadway, being the "critics pick" in the New York Times.

The Thanksgiving Play is a relatively new piece, having first been performed in October 2018 off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in NYC. This past spring, The Thanksgiving Play played on Broadway from April 20 through June 11. We are excited to have such a new and critical play being produced at GCC.

Jaime Arena is directing The Thanksgiving Play for her second time; last year she directed the play at SUNY Geneseo. Brodie McPherson is the production designer. Current GCC student Jeriko Suzette is Assistant Director, and Cass Dzielski is the Stage Manager for the production. The show features GCC students Lauren Ruch, Tony Haitz, Qasim Huzair and Isabella Wheeler as the four instructors longing to create a politically correct Thanksgiving Pageant.

Director Jaime Arena wanted to approach this play with compassion for the Native American tribes and their history. She didn't want to lose the satirical aspect, while wanting to give voice to those at the center of the story. Jaime enlisted Karlie Jones, who is Cayuga, to help. "Director Jaime Arena and I have been longtime friends since 2005, and she asked for my input/direction on this piece. Not much is needed to give - Larissa FastHorse hits all the right notes, showcasing a "woke" society wanting to help minority groups in the best way possible and navigating their way to the best answer. Giving space for us to be heard and proving appreciation without appropriation is possible. The conversation of our cultural stereotypes must be heard; this play gives us a chance to voice the current climate of our Indigenous struggles." -Karlie Jones, Cayuga Nation

"I took the same script and reimagined it by adding and subtracting what I did at Geneseo with the same sole purpose, which is to have the audience leave the Stuart Steiner stage after the performance able to understand; it is not our job to speak for any other culture but to stand beside them and have their back as they speak their truth. To me, that is the true definition of an ally." -Jaime Arena, director

Please be advised that the play includes moments depicting historical violence.

Tickets can be purchased on the Genesee Community College website under the 'Center for the Arts' tab: General admission is $10. Qualifying discounted tickets (GCC staff and faculty, seniors 55+, children under 16, non-GCC students) are $5. Admission is free for GCC students who present their ID at the box office. Please contact the Box Office with any questions. or call (585) 343-0055 x6490.

HCR Home Care employees make donations to help feed families for Thanksgiving

By Press Release


Press release:

Families in need will received food for the Thanksgiving holiday, as a result of donations from HCR Home Care employees.

Employees generously donated items to fill 72 food baskets for families across HCR’s footprint in New York state. HCR chairwoman and CEO Louise Woerner and her husband, Don Kollmorgen, also donated funds to provide turkeys for the families.

“At HCR, we focus on taking a moment of gratitude every day,” said CEO Louise Woerner. “This Thanksgiving, we are grateful to have the opportunity to provide these holiday food baskets to families in need.”

Food baskets were donated to the following number of families:

  • 48 families in the Finger Lakes region
  • 17 families in the North Country
  • 6 families in Central N.Y.
  • 1 family in the Catskills region

Farmers warn of last Thanksgiving with locally grown New York produce

By Press Release

Press release:

Today, local farmers and farm workers from across New York State warned state officials and all New Yorkers this Thanksgiving risks being the last with diverse and abundant locally grown New York products that we’ve all come to love. An imminent State Wage Board meeting will decide whether the overtime threshold for farmworkers will be further reduced to 40 hours, threatening access to the local produce that fills our Thanksgiving tables.

A recent report by industry expert Farm Credit East forecasts a gloomy economic future for New York farms if the threshold is lowered from 60 hours to 40, with impacts extending into local communities. And key findings estimate mandatory overtime pay at the 40-hour threshold for agricultural employees in New York State would result in increased agricultural labor costs of approximately $264 million per year, an increase of 42%. Many New York farms will not survive and the industry risks ultimate collapse.

Farms will be forced to switch to less labor-intensive crops, like corn or soybeans, or cease operations all together, causing farmworkers to lose work and turn to neighboring states that don’t restrict their hours. The Grow NY Farms coalition has been sounding the alarm around New York State and urges the wage board to listen to farmworkers and farmers and maintain the 60-hour overtime threshold.

Comprised of more than 33,500 farms, New York is a leading producer of cottage cheese, apples, cabbage, milk, grapes, wine, maple syrup and cauliflower. In fact, each year New York farms produce*:

  • 1.385 billion pounds of apples
  • 15 billion pounds of milk
  • 561.6 million pounds of cabbage
  • 287.5 million pounds of sweet corn
  • 9.9 million pounds of tart cherries
  • 70 million pounds of pumpkins

*According to the USDA 2020 State Agriculture Overview

On top of that, farming is a boon to the economy. The total economic contribution of agriculture to the state, measured as direct sales, indirect backward linkages, and induced effects from direct sales, is $65.2 billion, approximately 2.5% of the state’s total sales. In addition, farming in the state supports 269,683 jobs—163,148 jobs were direct employment and 106,535 jobs are generated indirectly or through induced effects. This represents approximately 2.1% of the state’s employment based on a 2019 study from the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell. 

“The Thanksgiving holiday serves as a time to reflect and give thanks for the bountiful harvest New Yorkers come to expect each year. This year, New York State must not take for granted local access to fresh food that is provided yearly by farms across the state. My farm, and farms just like it, have been putting food on tables for generations. I hope I am able to continue to do so for many years to come and my children are afforded the same opportunity. However, if the overtime threshold is lowered, our family will be faced with some very tough decisions that will ultimately impact how we continue our business. We want to continue to work hard and feed New Yorkers, but if the Wage Board lowers the overtime threshold, they will essentially be making the decision for many farms like us,” said Jason Turek of Turek Farms in Cayuga County.

“The holiday season is always a busy and fulfilling time of the year for our farm. However, this season that we look forward to, could be gone forever. Lowering the threshold to 40 hours would economically devastate our diverse agriculture community. Next Thanksgiving, tables won’t be filled with New York-grown products, but instead apples from Washington and dairy products from Wisconsin. It’s unsettling knowing that next year we may be facing a very different harvest and holiday season. The wage board must uphold the 60-hour threshold for farmworkers and support New York’s agriculture community for a future worth being thankful for,” said Mark Henry of WD Henry and Sons in Erie County.

“As families gather around their tables this week, I urge them to take stock of the bountiful meal they are enjoying and fresh products from New York farms. Fall harvest is one of the busiest times of year for our farm but this may be the last time we are able to meet demand. A lowered overtime threshold would force us to make significant cutbacks just to keep our doors open. New York State must realize that a lowered overtime threshold will only mean harm to farmers and farm workers, who depend on adequate hours to plant and harvest our vegetable crops on time and maximize farmworker earnings,” said Eric Hansen of Hansen Farms in Ontario County.

Locally owned farms grow and produce the food that feeds families across New York. Economic constraints resulting from a lowered overtime threshold will be directly felt by the consumer and the surrounding local community. Farmers' markets, farm-to-table restaurants, and essential programs like Nourish New York will be forced to turn to out-of-state farms to continue operations.

Prior to the adoption of the 60-hour overtime threshold, the industry standard for farmworkers was 80 hours during peak seasons. This practice reflected the fact that the agricultural industry includes labor-intensive periods during harvests and for the constant care of animals. In 2019, the lowering of the threshold to 60-hours served as a compromise, finding a workable solution for farmers and farm workers. Lowering the overtime threshold below 60 hours disregards the compromise, forcing farmers who negotiated in good faith to fight for their industry’s survival once again.

In the coming weeks, the New York State Wage Board will revisit the 2019 Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act’s 60-hour overtime threshold for farmworkers and determine if an adjustment to 40 hours will be necessary. For more information on the group’s efforts, please visit

Giving some latitude for gratitude during Thanksgiving event at John Kennedy Intermediate

By Joanne Beck


John Kennedy Intermediate School Principal Brian Sutton took a little extra time to get dressed Tuesday. He sported some fancy headgear: a whimsical cloth turkey of bright yellow, orange and red, with two legs dangling over Sutton’s ears. 

He briefed excited groups of students of the day’s events in between roast turkey, expressing gratitude and just having fun. 

“Today we actually have quite a few things happening,” he said to students gathered outside. “You’ll have a half hour to do all of the activities.”

Sutton and the school community, including parents and other family members, took those 30 minutes in each group of second, third and fourth-graders to enjoy the sunshine, mindfulness exercises, a soothing cup of hot chocolate, and each other.

There were stations for the kids to visit and perform activities, which included writing something they were thankful for on index cards. Teachers carved turkey for students to enjoy beforehand, followed by a Gratitude Walk, second grade Macy’s Day parade and reading aloud the index cards filled with Thanksgiving sentiments. A book drop provided opportunity for students to bring in and/or take a book to read during the upcoming break. 

A collection effort led by school counselor Eric Knapp motivated staff and students to donate enough food items so that a dozen Batavia City School District families would have a Thanksgiving dinner. Assisted by city police and fire department members, the meals were delivered later Tuesday. 

The day was focused on one central element, Sutton said.

“It’s a great opportunity for them to reflect on what they’re thankful for, what they’re grateful for, and reflect on what’s important at this time of year,” he said. 



Top photo: John Kennedy Intermediate School Principal Brian Sutton instructs students before they participate in several activities related to Thanksgiving Tuesday at the Vine Street School. Photos by Steve Ognibene

Kiwanis Club of Batavia hosting annual free skate on Thanksgiving morning

By Press Release


Press release: 

Kiwanis Club of Batavia is hosting its annual Thanksgiving Day Skate on Thursday, November 25th, 2021 from 9 am to 11 am at Falleti Ice Arena, 22 Evans Street, Batavia.  The event includes FREE admission, skate rentals, and hot chocolate (while supplies last).

Photo: File photo from 2014

NYS Sheriffs say Cuomo's order limiting private parties to 10 people 'foists an impossible task' on them

By Press Release

Press release:

A Message From the New York State Sheriff's Association to All New Yorkers

Since the first COVID-19 orders issued by the New York State Health Department, Sheriffs across the state have been responding to thousands of complaints of violations of those orders. They have been doing what they can, within the law and the Constitution, to address those complaints.

The criminal laws have very limited applicability with respect to those complaints, and in most cases use of the criminal laws would be unwise. Fortunately, our citizens have, for the most part, willingly complied with advice and encouragement to follow health directives. We think that is the best approach and we continue to advise and encourage all our citizens to comply with guidance issued by state and federal health agencies, and to exercise caution and common sense.

So far, that approach seems to have worked, helping New York achieve one of the lowest infection rates in the country – without having to apply heavy-handed law enforcement tactics.

Recently, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order which limits “nonessential private residential gatherings” to no more than 10 individuals. That has caused great consternation among many of our citizens, who envision armed officers arriving at their doors to count the number of people around the Thanksgiving table.

Many Sheriffs and other law enforcement leaders have felt compelled to allay those concerns by assuring citizens that officers will not be randomly coming to their homes on Thanksgiving Day to count the number of people inside. That would be neither practical nor Constitutional.

The Governor has responded by dismissing those serious concerns on the part of local law enforcement, saying, “Law enforcement officers don’t get to pick and choose which laws they will enforce.”

We find that comment ironic, and disingenuous, since the Governor has directed that his own State Police do not have to enforce the order. Apparently, it is another case of “do as I say, not as I do,” such as we have seen with many other political leaders. He has also called Sheriffs “dictators” for following the Constitution rather than his orders, which we also find ironic.

We do not know if the Governor’s limit on home gatherings to 10 individuals is the right number or not. That is a decision for science, not us, to make. We do know, however, that the Governor has attempted to foist upon local law enforcement an impossible task.

How are officers to know, without violating citizens’ right to privacy and other Constitutional rights, how many people are in the home? How are they to determine if the family gathering is to be deemed “essential” or “nonessential”?

If 12 people normally reside in the home, are the officers to order two of them to move out? If 11 individuals are found to be present in the home, who is to be charged with violating the order, all eleven or just the last guest to arrive? Or is it only the homeowner who is in violation? Are officers really supposed to arrest guests who don’t stay 6 feet apart or who fail to have on their face masks during dinner?

All of those are serious questions which make it impossible for law enforcement to know how to legally enforce the Governor’s order. They are questions that could have been addressed if we had a functioning State Legislature, creating clear and enforceable laws after input from those who would be impacted by them.

Instead we are faced with an unenforceable dictate issued without any consultation with law enforcement or the public as to enforceability.

We believe that rather than issuing orders that cannot be practically enforced, and then blaming law enforcement when they are not enforced, the Governor would better serve the people of New York if he were to use his position to encourage citizens to use common sense and voluntarily adhere to the guidance of state and federal health officials. We would gladly join him in that.

We know the citizens of our communities, and we believe they would be far more likely to voluntarily follow his recommendations than his orders.

In conclusion, we urge all our citizens to keep informed on the best steps to take to protect themselves, and others, from the spread of this terrible disease. We urge you to listen to our public health officials. We urge you to limit your exposure to those outside your household as much as you reasonably can.

If we all do that, we will sooner be able to get back to normal. We in law enforcement do not have the resources nor the legal authority to force you to do those things. It is a matter of individual responsibility and we are confident that you will all voluntarily rise to the occasion.

Photos: BHS seniors Thanksgiving Parade

By Howard B. Owens


Members of Batavia High School's senior class and their families held a pandemic-era Thanksgiving parade through the City of Batavia this morning.







Assemblyman Hawley encourages residents to donate food or time to help others enjoy Thanksgiving

By Billie Owens

From Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

With Thanksgiving and the subsequent holiday season on the horizon, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is encouraging residents to consider donating some food or their time to a local food pantry or organization to help those who are less fortunate enjoy a warm Thanksgiving meal.

“It gives us perspective and appreciation to set aside time this week to reflect on all the good fortune and success we’ve had throughout the year and visit with family and friends who we may only see during this special time,” Hawley said.

“As you’re enjoying Thanksgiving and the holiday season, please remember that many of our neighbors are struggling. Taking the time to lift them up and offer encouragement will make us all stronger as a community. 

“Something as simple as a couple of cans of food or a box of stuffing will mean so much to a local family, and I encourage everyone who is able to donate a couple of items or their time to one of our local food pantries or organizations which do tremendous work this time of year."

Visit here to find a food pantry or donate to one of our local options here in Western New York:

Genesee County Food Pantries

  • Salvation Army -- 529 E. Main St., Batavia / Phone 343-6284
  • Community Action of Orleans and Genesee -- 5073 Clinton Street Road, Batavia / Phone 343-7798
  • Le Roy Pantry and Help Fund Inc. -- 48 Main St., Le Roy / Phone 768-4559

This Saturday: St. James church in Batavia holds pie and soup sale, plus basket raffles and a 50/50

By Billie Owens

Press release:

St. James Episcopal Church announces its Pie Sale/Basket Raffle will be held this Saturday, Nov. 23, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the church, 405 E. Main St., Batavia.

Admission is free.

Known for the wonderful desserts served at Lenten Fish Fries, the bakers of the parish have been busy in the church kitchen making apple and pumpkin pies for next week's Thanksgiving holiday.

There are still pies available, so stop in and buy a 9” homemade pie for $9 before they are gone. Hot soups (eat-in or take-out) will also be available for sale.

Raffles include a 50/50 and more than 60 gift baskets/items, including luggage, a garden wagon, a bench, lottery tree, a “green salad,” handpainted child chair, Oliver’s Candies, Christmas wrappings, and lots more! What a fun way to do some of your holiday shopping!

Tickets will be on sale throughout the event and you need not be present to win.

Dorian Ely, one of the organizers, said, “We hope the community will support this beautiful historic church by stopping by on Saturday, purchasing some raffle tickets, a pie, and maybe even grabbing a cup of hot soup to speed them on their way during this busy holiday season.”

Sponsored Post: Let Alex's Place take care of Thanksgiving this year

By Lisa Ace

Let Alex's Place take care of Thanksgiving this year. Alex's is open from noon til 6pm on Thanksgiving and is accepting reservations for parties of all sizes.

For full holiday menu, click here.

And don't forget that Alex's Place offers Curbside Takeaway for those that want a great Thanksgiving feast at home without the mess! Call 585-344-2999 to make reservations today.

City Church serves more than 250 free meals for Thanksgiving

By Howard B. Owens


Linda Stoiber and Peggy had plenty of pie to give out to guests of City Church this morning at the Generations Center on Center Street, Batavia, as part of the church's annual Thanksgiving Day feast for community members.

More than 250 people attended today's meal.

Below, Dennis Stoiber serves up some turkey.


Pie in the Face smackdown at Batavia Academy

By Billie Owens

Above, Rachel Slobert, Batavia Academy principal, celebrates being first to be successfully pied.

Submitted photos and press release:

Every fall, Batavia Academy students enjoy a special Thanksgiving dinner. This year, students worked together to raise funds for this luncheon by collecting cans and bottles, and offering a pizza sale as well as an in-school snack cart sale. New this year, the students organized a Pie the Face event.  

Students and staff paid to throw a whipped cream pie in the face of Batavia Academy teachers, administrators and campus administrators. This was the first time such an event was held and it was a great success!

Much laughter and many cheers occurred as Batavia Academy teachers and staff, along with Rachel Slobert, Batavia Academy principal; Jon Sanfratello, executive principal of the Batavia Campus; and Chad Cummings, school resource officer of the Batavia Campus, took their turns getting "pied."

“This was a great fundraiser that raised $120 for our Thanksgiving dinner. We hope to make it an annual event,” said Rachel Slobert, as she carefully wiped whipped cream from her face.

About Batavia Academy

The Batavia Academy is an alternative education program that provides a small, nurturing environment, which gives each student the maximum amount of attention necessary to improve academic and social skills.

Programs have been specifically designed to provide an educational option for students from our component school districts in grades 7-12 whose needs are not met by our traditional secondary schools. Teachers assist students in attaining a high school diploma through maintaining the same academic requirements as home schools.

The Batavia Academy is set on the Genesee Valley Education Partnership campus located in Batavia.

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

Below: Chad Cummings, Batavia Campus school resource officer, gets a pie in the face. Nice mustache!

Below: It's a direct hit! Jon Sanfratello, Batavia Campus executive principal, gets a pie smash.

Hawley: 'Giving back gives meaning to the holiday season'

By Billie Owens
Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:
As we near this year’s turkey day, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is wishing residents an enjoyable and safe Thanksgiving holiday while also asking them to consider donating some food or their time to a local food pantry or organization to help those who are less fortunate enjoy a warm Thanksgiving meal.
“Thanksgiving is one of the most important holidays of the year in that it allows us pause in our busy and stressful lives to reflect on what is truly important, our collective bond as families and a community and the good fortune we have enjoyed over the past year,” Hawley said.
“Unfortunately, not all families are privileged enough to afford a large meal this Thanksgiving, and it is especially important during this time to come together as a community and help those in need.
“Something as simple as a couple of cans of food or box of stuffing will mean so much to a local family, and I encourage everyone who is able to donate a couple of items or their time to one of our local food pantries or organizations which do tremendous work this time of year,” Hawley said.
Visit  to find a food pantry or donate to one of these in our community:
Genesee County Food Pantries
  • Salvation Army, 529 E. Main St., Batavia
  • Community Action of Orleans and Genesee, 5073 Clinton Street Road, Batavia
  • Le Roy Pantry and Help Fund Inc., 48 Main St., Le Roy, phone (585) 768-4559

Kiwanis Club of Batavia invites everyone to annual Thanksgiving Morning free skate at Falleti Ice Arena

By Billie Owens

(Pictured above from left are Batavia Kiwanis Club members Jocelyn Sikorski, Matt Landers, Peter Guppenberger and Mark Lewis.)

Submitted photo and press release:

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia would like to invite the community to our Annual Thanksgiving Morning Community Skate at Falleti Ice Arena. It is located at 22 Evans St. in the City of Batavia.

The event runs Thanksgiving morning (Nov. 23) from 9 to 11 a.m. and admission is free, rentals are free (while supplies last) and the hot chocolate is free. Skaters of all skills are welcome!

Come start a new Thanksgiving tradition or continue a tradition that many area families have been participating in for years. A bonus of participating is getting a little exercise in before eating all of that delicious turkey later in the day!

We look forward to seeing all of the smiling faces and Kiwanis is so happy to be able to provide this family friendly entertainment for the community!

"The Kiwanis Club of Batavia would like to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!"

UPDATED: Ascension Parish has reached quota for Thanksgiving food boxes for 'those in most need' -- NO MORE AVAILABLE

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Ascension Parish will be offering Thanksgiving food boxes for "those in most need" in the Genesee Community from noon to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Each box will include a 10-12 lb. turkey as well as other items needed to complete your Thanksgiving Dinner.

These to go boxes are on a first-come, first-serve basis; however, you may reserve a box by calling the parish office at 343-1796

Pick up your dinner boxes at Ascension Church located on the corner of Swan and Sumner streets, using the Sumner Street entrance.

UPDATED Nov. 20: NO MORE FOOD BOXES ARE AVAILABLE. The quota has been met, according to church staff.

Genesee Tourism: Be Thankful for these Genesee County Gems

By Genesee County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center

Wow! 2016 is flying by. It’s hard to believe that it’s Thanksgiving week. We have a lot of things to be thankful for in Genesee County – including items that will make your “Turkey Day” awesome. Whether you are cooking Thanksgiving dinner, or are going to someone’s house on Thursday, here are five places/items that will enhance your holiday.


Greg’ry’s Bakery (13 N. Lake Road, Bergen, NY)   – You will certainly be a superstar if you show up to Thanksgiving dinner with one of Greg’ry’s Bakery’s 25 delicious pies. Everything at this beloved Bergen bakery is made from scratch, so you know it will be great. Greg’ry’s also has a slew of breads, coffeecakes and rolls that will be welcomed at the dinner table. If you visit their website, Greg’ry’s Bakery has a special online Thanksgiving ordering form to help facilitate the process.

(Photo by Howard Owens.)

Oliver’s Candies (211 Main St., Batavia, NY) – Since 1932, Oliver’s Candies has been a sweet tooth’s favorite destination in Genesee County. Oliver’s uses original proven family recipes and the very best in ingredients. Glazed cashews and ribbon candy are two of Oliver’s specialty items that are welcomed at any Thanksgiving table. The fact that Oliver’s is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week should make it easy for you to stop by.

Kutter’s Cheese Factory (857 Main Road, Corfu, NY) – This is your destination for award-winning cheeses. There are so many different flavors to choose from, including all your Yancey’s Fancy favorites (smoked Gouda and bacon is this writer’s top choice!). A large selection of curds, dips, cottage cheeses, jams, spreads, and crackers are also available in the outlet store, as well as Hunt Country Vineyard wines.

Midgard Wines (purchase at West Main Wine & Spirits, Batavia) – Bring some local wine to the table! Genesee County’s only meadery turns honey into wine (also known as mead). Midgard’s delicious flavored wines are made from their own bee colony on the family farm. Mead is quite the rage in the food and beverage world – so not only will you bring a great wine to Thanksgiving, but it’s also catching the wave of a popular trend.

The Mill (7061 Old Orchard Road, Elba, NY) – If you want to spice up your house with some seasonal decorations, or purchase a small gift for your Thanksgiving host, The Mill gift shop is a wonderful place to shop. Set in an old grain mill, The Mill has a wide array of gift items that fit right in with the holiday season. Lots of items to discover throughout.

Bonus locations: After stuffing yourself for a few days, you might want to get some exercise by going for a hike at either Genesee County Park & Forest and Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

Visit to learn more...

LeRoyan will give thanks by sharing

By Raymond Coniglio


Tom McGinnis loves Thanksgiving. It’s his favorite day of the year. 

And what’s love if it isn’t shared?

So once again on Thursday, McGinnis will open the doors of the “party barn” on his town of Le Roy property, for a community Thanksgiving dinner.

“Thanksgiving is my favorite day,” McGinnis said. “No matter what goes on for the rest of the year, on one day you take time to be thankful for what you have — or what you’ve been able to keep.

“Even as a kid, I liked Thanksgiving,” he added. “There are no presents to buy, you have friends around and you can help somebody who is less fortunate.”

McGinnis, who owns McGinnis Excavating, has been doing just that for 14 years. His invitation is extended to anyone in the Le Roy and surrounding communities who is in need, or just doesn’t want to sit home alone this year.

Typically, about 40 or 50 people stop in at some point every year.

Service begins about 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

(Rides and deliveries are also available, but reservations are requested by 5 p.m. today. For information McGinnis Excavating at (585) 768-6769.)

“Last year we had some people from Mumford (and) Caledonia,” he said. “And we probably delivered a dozen dinners.

“I never know how many people we’re going to have, but we always have enough food,” McGinnis said.

This year, he’s stocked 50 pounds of turkey, two large hams, a pair of big pork roasts, plenty of squash and all the trimmings.

It’ll be cooked up and served in the “party barn” behind the McGinnis home on Gully Road.

There’s a joke about why so many men love Thanksgiving: They enjoy a feast while the women are stuck doing all the work.

Not so for McGinnis. A few friends always arrive early to pitch in, but he will probably take care of about 90 percent of the preparation and cleanup himself.

“That’s my hobby, cooking,” McGinnis said. “So I share it with people and hope they enjoy.”

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